Introduction to the Complaint Procedure
(The number of complaints received is 0)
Under Section 29 of the Education Act 2002, the governing bodies of all schools are required to have in place a procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school and to any community facilities or services the school provides.
It is in everyone’s interest that complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. Iqra High School will encourage resolution of problems, swiftly, and fairly by informal means wherever possible. At very early stage the school will ensure to establish what action the parent/guardian wishes will be the starting point to distinguish an enquiry from a complaint.
At the initial stages the compliant may simply be resolved by a variety of different outcomes, including an apology, recognition of wrongdoing by the school, the reversal of a decision. However the school complaints procedure is based on three distinct stages.
At stage one if the informal attempts fail to resolve the complaint, then the complaint will move to next stage. Stage two, where possible parents are requested to put their concerns in writing to the headteacher of the school and if this fails to resolve the issue, it should then be escalated to the third stage. At the end of stage two, the headteacher will ensure to set out all the reasons why the complaint has been escalated to stage three. At stage three the complaint will be heard by the governing Board’s complaints appeal panel.
The GB will monitor the level and nature of complaints and review the outcomes on a regular basis to ensure the effectiveness of the procedure and make changes where necessary. Preferably, complaints information shared with the whole GB will not name individuals.
In all cases the written records of the findings and recommendations of the compliant even resolved at initial stages will be kept by the school for the next ofsted inspection visit. A copy of the compliant and its outcome will be provided to the complainant.
The occasions where, despite all stages of the procedure have been followed, and the complainant still remains dissatisfied. If the complainant tries to reopen the same issue, the chair of the GB will inform him/her in writing that the procedure has been exhausted and that the matter is now closed.
All records related to the complaint will be kept confidential
Definition of a compliant
- It should be kept in mind the difference between concerns, problems and complaints are not always clear-cut. A broad definition is as follows: “Any expression of dissatisfaction that needs a response from school is considered to be a compliant, however it’s communicated”.
- In terms of schools if a parent/guardian believes at Iqra High School a staff member, a teacher, headteacher or a member of governing body is acting unreasonably or is failing to carry out its duties properly. The complainant should set out fully the concerns and reasons why the complaint is being submitted.
The underlying principles
- It’s extremely important that every concern, compliant ought to be handled, if at all possible, without the need for formal procedures.
- The requirement to have a complaints procedure need not in any way undermine efforts to resolve the concern informally.
- In most cases the class teacher or the individual delivering the service, will receive the first approach to resolve the issue. It would be helpful to the parents, and time saving to the school, if staff could resolve issues on the spot, including apologising where necessary.
- At every stage the class teacher or any other individual takes the necessary steps to ensure the complainant that the issue will be resolved as soon as it’s possible, and at least the time scale, at each stage will be observed.
- Identify the nature of compliant and establish the scope as quickly as possible.
- If the issue can be resolved using any of the existing policy and procedures, these policy and procedures will be followed. As an example:
- Admissions policy and procedures.
- Child Safeguarding
- Curriculum policy and procedures.
- The procedure will identify areas of agreement between the parties. It is also of equal importance to clarify any misunderstandings that might have occurred as this will create a positive atmosphere in which to discuss any outstanding issues.
There are many more school policies and procedures will be used to resolve the issues, before complaints procedure is invoked.
Stage 1: Dealing with Concerns, Complaints Informally
- Iqra High School takes any complaint informal or formal very seriously. Every effort will be made to resolve the compliant informally, and as swiftly as possible.
- All parties concerned are respected and heard by the staff or any other individual handling the concern.
- If the compliant is not resolved amicably, and in a timely manner, naturally the compliant will accelerate, and will be dealt formally.
- The necessity to have a formal complaints procedure need not in any way undermine efforts to resolve the concern informally. In most cases the class teacher will receive the first approach. It would be helpful if staff were able to resolve issues on the spot, including apologising where necessary.
- The compliant may be listened in any language but, must be recorded in the English language.
First Stage-Informal Complaints Procedure (Heard by a Staff Member)
Step1. At this stage the staff member will listen to the complainant, and allow sufficient time for the complainant to raise his/her issues and concerns. If there is more than one complainant, then listen to all of them individually.
Step2. Establish the exact nature of the compliant, and determine if the first contacted staff member is the most appropriate person to deal with this complaint, if yes then continue with the issues until it’s amicably resolved. Or refer to the appropriate person.
Step3. Where necessary let the best person (who is more aware of the issue) handle the complaint.
Step4. Establish if there are any language issues; if necessary arrange the appropriate support.
Step5. If the complaint is unresolved ensure to record the complaint with relevant details, including the complainant’s name, address contact number and the date.
Step6. At this stage assure the complainant that, every effort will be made to resolve the issue. Clarify the complaints process and he/she will be contacted by the school.
Step7. Ensure to pass a copy of the compliant to the headteacher. If the compliant is related to the head teacher, the copy of the complaint will be passed to the chair of the school governing body.
Step8. Where the informal complaint is unresolved within 10 school working days, then complaint will escalate to the next stage. The complaint will now be resolved formally.
Stage 2: Dealing with Concerns, Complaints Formally
- The formal procedures will to be invoked when initial attempts to resolve the issue informally are unsuccessful, and the person raising the concern remains dissatisfied and wishes to take the matter further.
- At this stage all complaints will be co-ordinated by the school headteacher Mr. Mohammad Farooq.
Second Stage – Formal Complaints Procedure
(Heard by the School Headteacher)
Step1. At this stage the headteacher to check the complaint documentation, and establish what has happened so far, and who has been involved. The headteacher will acknowledge the compliant with in 3 school working days.
Step2. The acknowledgement letter will outline the complaint and briefly describe how the procedure will be followed. The letter must also give the time scale to response to the issue. This will be normally 15 school working days. Where the compliant is much more complex and is unlikely to be resolved within the given timescale. Another letter must be written to the complainant or concerning parties explaining the cause of the delay.
Step3. The headteacher during the investigation will clarify the nature of the complaint and what remains unresolved. If necessary, meet with the complainant or contact them where further information is required. If the complainant wishes to be accompanied by anyone during the meeting, s/he will be encouraged to do so.
Step4. The headteacher during the meetings will also clarify what the complainant feels would put things right. The complainants are encouraged to state what actions they feel might resolve the problem at any stage.
(Please note an admission that the school could have handled the situation better is not the same as an admission of negligence.)
Step5. The headteacher at this stage may decide to interview those involved in the matter and/or those complained, and equally allowing them to be accompanied by a friend, a family member, or parents (where pupil is to be interviewed) if they wish;
The headteacher will conduct the interview with an open mind and will persist in the questioning where further clarification is necessary.
Step6. Once ALL the facts have been established, the headteacher will produce a written response outlining his decision with all the necessary logical reasons of his decision. The response should also draw an action plan (who’s to do what) clearly indicating what action will be taken or has been taken in order to resolve the situation.
|Action to be taken||By Who||By When||To be checked by|
The headteacher may again invite the complainant at this stage to explain his decision.
Step7. At this stage the complainant will be advised that should he desire to take the complaint any further. They should notify the Board of Governors (BG) within 15 school working days after receiving the written response from the headteacher.
Step8. Where the compliant is against the headteacher another staff member will conduct the formal complaints procedure.
Step9. IMGHSO will ensure to keep the records for at least 3 years.
Third Stage – Appeal to the Governing Body
(Heard by Complaints’ Committee)
- At this stage majority of complaints would be already resolved. However, if the complainant is still unsatisfied from the formal response at second stage, then the complaint will automatically escalate to the third stage. Where the governing body is responsible to investigate and bring the compliant to a satisfactory conclusion.
- It’s expected at every stage that the participants are seeking to resolve the complaint amicably. However, at its third stage every effort will be made to reach a compromise to satisfy the complainant. Parents may seek advice from the local education authority.
- All due care will be taken by the member of the governing body who may decide to interview the pupil, as the governing body member is likely to be stranger to the pupil or the parents. The school will do all what is necessary for the process to seem more informal. The parent permission will be sought in all cases.
- The governors’ appeal hearing is the last school based stage of the complaints process, and is not convened to rubber stamp previous decisions.
- The complainant must submit his complaint to the chair of Governors giving details of the compliant in writing.
Stage Three Appeals Procedure
(Heard by the chair of governors or GB Complaints Committee)
Step1. The chair of governors (CG) will write to the complainant to acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and fully explain how the complaint will proceed. The compliant will be investigated within 20 school working days, and the complainant is welcome to submit any additional evidence if he/she wishes to do so.
Step2. The chair of governors will select at least three members from the governing body to form a complaints committee appropriate to deal with the compliant. During the selection of a three-member committee the following guidelines will be observed.
- None of these three members have been directly involved in previous stages of the complaint.
- At least one member on the complaints committee will be independent of the management and running of the school.
- The complaints committee member must be competent who are capable of analysing evidence and putting forward balanced arguments.
Step3. The chair of governors will write to all the concerning parties at least 10 days in advance informing time, date and the venue of the meeting. The complainant will also be informed his/her right to bring any friend, relative or any representation if he/she wishes to bring with him/her.
Step4. The complaints committee during the meeting will fully hear the complainant including any additional information which might not have been disclosed during the early stages of the complaint. The headteacher will also be given the opportunity to explain his response to the compliant and the decision made at the second stage. The chair will ensure the hearing is conducted in an informal manner with each party treating the other with respect and courtesy.
Step5. At this stage the complaints committee may decide to interview the individuals concerning the compliant to seek further clarifications.
Step6. The chair of the complaints committee will ensure that the complainant is notified of the complaint committees’ decision, in writing within a set deadline as indicated in step 1 of third stage. The letter needs to explain if there are any further rights of appeal and, if so, to whom they need to be addressed.
At the end of first stage of the compliant procedure the complainant will be given or sent by post the following complaints form.
What is your complaint about?
Please check if, your compliant is related to any of the areas listed below. If yes then follow the appropriate school policy/procedure. If no then please speak to the school secretary or any other staff member before submitting the compliant.
Please download the form below and complete it.