Complaints Procedure

We believe in dealing with parents’ worries, concerns or complaints as soon as possible and would urge you to come and talk to someone if you are unhappy. Staff are available at the end of the day and this is often a good time for a quick chat or to make a longer appointment if necessary. Often these things can be dealt with quickly and easily.

Complaints should be referred to the appropriate staff member in the first instance, for example, your child’s class teacher.

The school aims to provide a good and safe learning experience for all its pupils. Concerns about about the school, its staff or governors can normally be dealt with informally by talking to the people involved. But sometimes this does not work and this guidance explains how to make a formal complaint.

Robert Blair School follows the Islington Council’s Complaints Policy and Procedure (referred to as the Complaints Policy) which can be accessesd here. This is a summary, not the actual document.

There are three basic stages

Stage 1 – Complaining to the Headteacher

Stage 2 – Complaining or appealing to Chair or Vice Chair of Governors

Stage 3 – Complaining to the Governing Body’s Complaints Committee

Any complaints against the Headteacher should be made to the Chair of Governors and this will be dealt with under Stage 2 below. Any complaints against the Chair should be referred to the Clerk of the Governing Body and will be investigated by the Vice Chair under Stage 2 below.

Stage 1
1. if possible complaints should be resolved informally in discussion with the teacher concerned or with the Headteacher. We appreciate, however, that this is not always possible. If you are not satisfied with the response you have received you should contact the Headteacher to discuss your complaint. You can do this by telephone or in writing. The Headteacher has to provide you with a copy of the Complaints Policy and they or a member of staff must explain it to you. It is important that you complete the form attached to the Policy so the school is clear what your concern and what you want done about it. They have to talk to you about your concerns and investigate them. They normally need to do this within ten days of receiving your complaint and should contact you within three days of completing the investigation to arrange a meeting to aim to resolve the complaint. The outcome of this meeting will be followed up in writing.

Stage 2
If you are not happy with the Headteacher’s reply you can appeal to the Chair of Governors. The Chair will acknowledge your letter. If this has not already happened you will be provided with a copy of the Complaints Policy and asked to fill in the complaints form. If the Chair feels a further investigation is necessary they will arrange for this to happen. This should be completed within 10 days of the complaint being referred to Stage 2. Within three days of the complaint being investigated the Chair will then arrange to meet with you. The outcome of this meeting will followed up in writing to you.

Complaints against the Headteacher
3. If your complaint is against the Headteacher you should contact the Chair of Governors in writing and fill in the complaints form. The Chair of Governors will then arrange an investigation in the same timescale as set out above. The Chair may ask someone independent to carry the investigation. Within three days of completing the investigation the Chair will meet with the complaint with the aim of resolving the complaint. This will be followed up in writing.

Complaint against Chair of Governors
4. If your complaint is about the Chair you should contact the Vice Chair who will carry out Stage 2 of the Complaints Policy as if s/he was the Chair and the complaint was about the Headteacher.

Stage 3
If you are not satisfied with the Chair’s (or Vice Chair’s) response you can write to the Clerk of the Governing Body to request that the Governing Body considers the complaint.

The Governing Body will set up a committee of governors who have not already been involved. This will meet within 20 days. The procedure of the meeting is explained in the Complaints Policy and includes you being able to make a submission. The Chair should notify the complaint within five business days of the decision.

Final Appeal
If you are still unhappy you can appeal to the Secretary of State for Education through the Department’s Complaints Unit. The Complaints Unit will not re-investigate the substance of the complaint but will examine whether the complaints policy and other relevant policies were followed; and policies to determine if they adhere to education legislation.

Their address is:
The School Complaints Unit
Department of Education
2nd Floor Piccadilly Gate
Manchester M1 2WD

Unless otherwise stated the timescales given in this guidance for school days e.g. do not include weekends or school holidays. These timescales can be extended if necessary to do a full investigate. You should be informed of any extension of the time and the reason for this.

Everyone involved in the complaints process must respect your right to confidentiality.