From little acorns, mighty oaks grow
How to raise concerns or to make a complaint about the school
We would like you to tell us about it. We welcome suggestions for improving our work in school. Be assured that no matter what the problem is, our support and respect for you and your child in school will not be affected in any way. Please tell us of your concern as soon as possible. It is difficult for us to investigate properly an incident or problem that happened some time ago.
What to do first
Most concerns and complaints can be sorted out quickly by speaking with your child’s class teacher.
If you have a complaint that you feel should be looked at by the Headteacher in the first instance you can contact him straightaway if you prefer. It is usually best to discuss the problem face to face. You may need an appointment to do this, and can make one by ringing or calling into the school office. You can take a friend or relation to the appointment with you if you would like to.
All staff will make every effort to resolve your problem informally. They will make sure that they understand what you feel went wrong, and they will explain their own actions to you. They will ask what you would like the school to do to put things right. Of course, this does not mean that in every case they will come round to your point of view but it will help both you and the school to understand both sides of the question. It may also help to prevent a similar problem arising again.
What to do next
If you are dissatisfied with the initial response, or if you do not want to discuss the matter informally, you can make a complaint to the Headteacher. This will need to be in writing. Contact the school office if you would like some help putting your complaint in writing.
If your complaint is about an action of the Headteacher personally, then you should refer it to the Chair of Governors now. Contact details can be obtained from the school office.
You will be offered a meeting to discuss the problem. You may bring a friend or someone else for support. The Headteacher will conduct a full investigation of the complaint and may interview any members of staff or pupils involved. You will receive a written response to your complaint.
If you are still unhappy
The problem will normally be solved at this stage. However, if you are still not satisfied you may wish to contact the Chair of the Governing Body to ask for a referral of your complaint to a Governors’ Complaints Panel. It will then be heard by a group of three governors who have no previous knowledge of the problem and so will be given a fresh assessment. You will be invited to attend and speak to the panel at a meeting that the Headteacher will also attend. The Complaints Procedure sets out in more detail how these meetings operate.
Complaints about school problems are almost always settled within schools but if they remain unresolved they can be referred to the Secretary of State for Education. The Department for Education will expect the complaint to have been considered by the school governors first. There is more detail in the full Complaints Procedure, on the school’s website or on the Department for Education website (www.education.gov.uk/schoolcomplaints).