Complaints Procedure

AIMS

  • To ensure that concerns are dealt with swiftly by the most appropriate person.
  • To ensure that where parents or third parties are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, this can be looked at again by someone else within the school.
  • To ensure that complaints against the Headteacher are properly investigated by the Director of School and, if necessary, by the members of the AAGS School Committee.
  • To ensure that complainants have a clear explanation of the outcome of their complaint and know what they can do next if they are still unsatisfied with the decision.


OBJECTIVES

  • To try to satisfy and resolve as many concerns as possible, so that they do not become complaints.
  • To learn from complaints and to modify practices where appropriate.
  • Even if the complainant does not receive the answer he or she wishes as a result of following the complaints procedures, that he or she does feel that the complaint has been fully considered and understands the reasons why the school has made the decision that it has.


PROCEDURE

The arrangements for dealing with complaints about the school curriculum are quite tightly defined and it may well be best for us to consider them informally first (following these procedures) before you may decide to request a formal complaint.

1. If any concern arises, parents are asked to raise it with the member of staff responsible in the first instance. The school undertakes to respond initially on any such concern to the person who raised the matter within 5 working days.

2. Concern about a pupil’s progress or any pastoral matters should be raised in the first instance with the Form Tutor. Concerns about individual subjects should be raised with the subject teacher. It is expected that in almost all cases this will lead to an agreement or understanding being reached between all parties involved. You can request an appointment with the subject teacher, in order to try and resolve the complaint at this informal stage.

3. Formal complaints regarding the curriculum, a pupil’s special educational needs, religious education, exclusions and admissions should be made directly to the Headteacher. All such complaints should be made in writing, outlining the details and addressed to the school, requesting the School Office to make an appointment for the complainant to see the Headteacher. The Headteacher will also ask staff members who are involved for their comments, either verbal or written. We will ensure that the complainant is clear what action or monitoring of the situation, if any, has been agreed. This will be confirmed in writing to the complainant. Most complaints can be resolved by talking to the Headteacher.

The complainant may be asked to attend another meeting in order to gain additional information. The school will attempt to reply to the complainant within 10 working days. However, if this is not possible, we will write to explain the delay and give a target date for a response.

6. Most complaints will be resolved at this stage. However, if the complainant is unsatisfied with the outcome arrived at by the Headteacher, he/she may make a formal request to the Director of School asking him/her to review the Headteacher’s decision. This will need to be made in writing and addressed clearly to the Director of School. In the request for review, he/she will be required to highlight precisely which aspect of the Headteacher’s decision he/she is unsatisfied with and why. The Director of School will carry out further investigation by gaining the opinion of the Head Teacher and relevant staff in a verbal form and will attempt to inform the complainant of his/her judgement in writing within 15 working days. Under normal circumstances, the Director’s decision will be binding and final.

7. In extraordinary circumstances, if the complainant still remains convinced that they did not receive a fair hearing, then as a last resort he/she must inform the school immediately so that the school can arrange for the complaint to go before the a hearing panel as part of the investigation. This will be made up of a member of the staffing sub-committee, the Director of School and Mr Yunus Dudhwala, who is an independent member of the panel and not connected to the running of the school.

This panel will initially consider all evidence presented and all previous judgements made and, only if satisfied that all relevant reasonable steps have not been already undertaken in the previous judgements by the Head Teacher and Director, will allow a panel hearing.

Parents are welcomed to attend this hearing and may be accompanied by one other person. Acknowledgment of the complaint and the date(s) of the meetings will be sent to the complainant. If you wish to attend the panel hearing, you must inform the panel immediately upon receiving written confirmation of the proposed dates. All statements and records are kept confidential and details of individual accounts are not discussed with any third parties.

The panel has the authority to make findings and recommendations. At the end of the investigation, the panel will provide a copy of findings and recommendations to the complainant, proprietors, the Headteacher and the person complained about. We would normally aim to respond in full within 28 working days. If the complaint is of a complicated nature or has many individuals or parties involved, it may take longer to resolve. In such as case, an explanation explaining the delay and possible target date for dealing with the complaint will be giving to the complainant. The decision made by the panel is final.

8. If the complaint concerns the Headteacher, than parents should refer directly to the Director. In such cases, a meeting with the Headteacher will be held to discuss the complaint and all its history. The outcome of that meeting will be given in writing to the complainant within 20 working days. If the complaint is of a complicated nature or has many individuals or parties involved, it may take longer to resolve. In such a case, an explanation explaining the delay and a possible timescale for dealing with the complaint will be given in writing to the complainant and the procedure explained above will be followed.