Guidance For Parents
If you have a concern or complaint we want you to tell us about it. We welcome suggestions about how we can improve our work in the school. Parents worry about making a complaint or voicing a concern to their child’s school. No matter what you want to tell us, our support and respect for you and your child/ward will not be affected in any way. Please tell us about any concerns as soon as possible. It is difficult to investigate an incident or problem that happened some time ago.
Ridgeway High School uses a four-stage complaints procedure to manage complaints from parents, guardians and members of the public.
- All complaints or concerns by parents, guardians or members of the public will be recorded and referred to the most appropriate or relevant person. This person will respond as soon as is practical.
- Most complaints will be resolved fairly quickly by office staff, the teacher concerned, the relevant Head of Year, the relevant Head of Faculty or by a member of the Senior Management Team.
- Where the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, they will be offered the opportunity to discuss their concern with the next appropriate member of staff
- Where the matter in question has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, a further opportunity will be offered to discuss the issue with the next appropriate person in the management group or with the Headteacher.
- The Head Teacher (or designate) will acknowledge receipt of the complaint orally or in writing within a maximum of 3 working days.
- Where the concern relates to the Headteacher, the complainant will be advised to contact the Chair of Governors, via the school office.
- A written record will be kept of telephone conversations, interviews and any other documents pertinent to the complaint.
- Once all the relevant facts have been investigated and established, the Headteacher, or their designate, will a) meet with the complainant to discuss and attempt to resolve the matter directly or b) produce a written response to the complainant within 15 working days.
- This stage in the procedure can follow Stage 2 where the earlier stage has been investigated by a senior member of staff other than the Headteacher.
- If the Headteacher was involved at Stage 2, the process will move to Stage 4.
- If the complainant is not content with the decision reached by the designate they may refer the matter to the Headteacher. This should be within 15 working days.
- The Headteacher will arrange a meeting at a mutually convenient time. This will offer an opportunity to reassess all the issues, discuss any findings from the Headteacher’s investigation, clarify any action to be taken by the school and reassure the complainant in respect of their worries, in order to seek reconciliation.
- If resolution of the original complaint has not been achieved and the complainant wishes to take the complaint further, then s/he will be advised to write to the Chair of Governors within a maximum period of 10 working days.
- The Clerk to the Governing Body or the Chair of Governors will acknowledge receipt of the complaint. A meeting will be arranged at a mutually convenient time for the complaint to be heard by either the Chair of Governors or the Complaints Committee.
- The complainant will be informed that they may attend the meeting with a friend, a relative or representative.
- The complainant will be advised where they can go for information, advice and advocacy.
- The Clerk to the Governors will record the details of the complaint and take receipt of any documentation that will be submitted at the meeting.
- Prior to the meeting the Chair of Governors will share all documentation with the staff concerned, and will carry out an investigation into the complaint.
- The Chair of Governors or the Governors Complaints Committee will meet with all relevant members of staff within 20 working days. In the case of serious allegations or complaints, staff will be advised that a friend or representative may accompany them. All meetings will be include a minute-taker.
- The aim of this/these meetings will be to resolve the complaint and achieve reconciliation between both parties. However, it may only be possible to establish facts and make recommendations, in order to satisfy the complainant that their complaint has been taken seriously by the school.
- The Chair of Governors/Chair of the Complaints Committee will consider all the information and come to a decision. A written copy of the decision will be sent to all parties within 15 working days. This will outline the action to be taken in the resolution of the complaint. It may also recommend changes to the school’s systems or procedures in order to ensure that problems of a similar nature do not re-occur.
- The Chair of Governors should ensure that parents are aware that they can, in rare circumstances, complain to the Ombudsman, or secretary of State for Education and Skills, if they are still unhappy with the outcome of the process outlined above.