Your views are welcomed. In the spirit of true partnership between home, school and the community, you are encouraged to say what you think should go on within the school. ACT 2 CAM aims for high standards but sometimes things can go wrong or expectations are not met.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet which may be about an event that has happened, failed to happen or the way in which something was handled.
The vast majority of concerns can be resolved informally. It is in everyone’s best interests that complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. This can usually be achieved through discussion and good communication. However, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, a formal procedure (as outlined in this policy) would then need to be followed when attempts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful.
The procedure described does not include complaints covered by a separate statutory procedure, for example: complaints about the National Curriculum; our admission decisions; statutory assessments of Special Educational Needs (SEN); school re-organisation procedures; matters likely to require a Child Protection investigation; student exclusions decisions; whistleblowing; staff grievances and procedures; complaints about services provided by other providers who may use school premises or facilities.
For complaints to be investigated fully you need to give full information and not make them anonymously.
What can you expect?
- There are set response times for each stage of the complaints procedure.
- A complaint register should be maintained for formal complaints (see below).
- Conversations and correspondence should be handled with discretion, but you need to be aware that some information may have to be shared with others involved in the complaint procedure.
- Raising a concern or making a complaint should not affect the relationship between the ACT 2 CAM and you or your child.
- When investigating your complaint the ACT 2 CAM will talk to your child, witnesses and others involved quickly.
- The school, our teachers and management have a duty to act properly and investigate complaints impartially. Once investigations are complete the person making the complaint should receive a written response from the school within 20 working days.
- Many concerns can be resolved quickly with goodwill, often by making early contact with the class teacher.
- Remember the more information you have the better able you will be to discuss the matter. Fact find by asking the school for information. Obtain copies of relevant policies from our website page, or example our behaviour policy (including anti-bullying and exclusion), home school agreement, SEND policy, health and safety policy etc.
- Seek further information by visiting: https://act2cam.com
- You can seek support from independent bodies such as Citizens Advice (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk ), community relations centres and Advisory Centre for Education (http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/) etc.
- Please make an appointment for discussion by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It will help to outline the purpose and how long you think you may need with the staff member/headteacher. Cover all the relevant points, but be as brief as you can. Avoid writing long letters or emails. Make it easy to read by using bullet points or headings. Include dates, times, names etc and explain clearly what your complaint is, what effect the issue is having on your child or you and what you would like to see happen. Keep it factual and avoid making judgements or hearsay. If more information is needed from you the person investigating your complaint will contact you.
- Sometimes it helps to take a friend with you. You may forget something if you are doing all the talking, they can do the listening for you and record main points and agreed action.
- Try to keep calm! Avoid confrontation – it will cloud the issue.
- Remember to ask “what happens next?”.
Complaint against a member of staff
- The complaint procedure is distinct from any formal disciplinary proceedings for staff. If a complaint did result in a disciplinary procedure, then the complaint would be put on hold and you should be advised of the delay and updated every three weeks.
- If a complaint is made against a member of staff or manager they will be informed and have the opportunity to respond.
Stage 1: Informal
- Your expression of concern should be made to the school at the earliest opportunity.
- First talk to the teacher most closely concerned to clarify the facts and resolve through discussion. A request for discussion with the headteacher or senior staff member may also be desirable before making a formal complaint.
Stage 2: Complaint
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome at Stage 1 you may wish to make a formal complaint. This should be done in writing to the head teacher. Your complaint should be acknowledged within three school days.
- The investigation should be carried out and the outcome communicated to you within 20 working days. The written response should include a full explanation of the decision and the reasons for it (if additional time is required to formulate a response this should be explained to you). Where appropriate the response should include what action the school will take to resolve it.
- The headteacher may delegate the task of collating the information to another member of staff but not the decision on the action to be taken.
- Once a decision has been reached, the headteacher should ensure that you are clear about the action taken and what to do if you remain dissatisfied (see below).
- When the headteacher receives your written complaint, they may decide to refer the matter immediately to Ofsted.
- If the complaint is about the headteacher, the matter should be taken up with Ofsted.
Stage 3: Ofsted (final complaints stage)
- Complaints rarely reach this formal level but should you need to, you should make a formal complaint to Ofsted, within 20 working days of any communication with or decision by ACT 2 CAM.
Telephone: 0300 123 4666
Last reviewed: January 2021
Next review: January 2022