Complaints Procedure Statement
Saltaire Primary School aims to provide high quality education for all children at all times. The school welcomes every child and family and aim to provide friendly, nurturing environments within which all children can learn and develop.
This school believes that children, parents, carers and visitors can expect to be treated with dignity and courtesy, with prompt consideration being given to their needs and wishes. School staff aim to work in genuine partnership with parents, carers and the wider community and welcome suggestions on how to improve their services at any time. Any parent, carer or visitor who is uneasy or uncomfortable about any aspect of school should bring it to the attention of the Headteacher. If this does not have a satisfactory outcome within a reasonable period of time, or if the problem reoccurs, then we would request that you put your concerns or complaint in writing to request a meeting with the Headteacher, or alternatively the Chair of Governors. Should a meeting be requested, either party may be accompanied by a colleague (or friend / partner in the case of the complainant) following which an agreed written record of the discussions will be made and signed by both parties.
This policy should be used in conjunction with the DfE School Complaints Toolkit (2014) and the Best Practice Advice for School Complaints Procedures (2016).
Since the 1st September 2003 governing bodies of all maintained Schools and Nursery Schools in England have been required, under Section 29 of the Education Act (2002), summarised in Annex A, to have in place a procedure to deal with all complaints relating to their School and to any community facility or service that the School provides. This does not limit complainants to parents or carers of children registered at the school, a complainant could be a member of the wider community or the representative of an ex-pupil. The law also requires the procedure to be publicised.
The majority of issues raised are concerns rather than complaints; however Saltaire Primary School is committed to taking these seriously, at the earliest stage, in the hope of keeping the number of formal complaints to a minimum and without the need for escalation to formal procedures. Conversely, depending on the nature of the complaint, you may choose to, or be requested to follow the School’s Formal Complaints procedure.
Our prime aim is to resolve the complaint as fairly and speedily as possible. Formal complaints will be dealt with in a sensitive, impartial and confidential manner. The following details outline the stages that can be used to resolve complaints.
Saltaire Primary School's Policy has four main stages. In summary they are as follows: -
• Stage 1 (informal): concern heard by an appropriate staff member
• Stage 2 (formal): complaint heard by Headteacher
• Stage 3 (formal): complaint heard by Chair of Governors
• Stage 4 (formal): complaint heard by Governing Body Complaints Appeal Panel
Stage 1 – concern heard by staff member
Concerns can be raised with the School at any time and will often generate an immediate response, which will hopefully resolve the concern. The school requests that parents/carers initially make contact with their child’s class teacher. On some occasions the concern raised may require investigation, or discussion with others, in which case you will receive an informal but informed response within a day or two. The vast majority of concerns will be satisfactorily dealt with in this way. However, if you are not satisfied with the result at stage 1, please write, email or telephone the school within 10 school working days. The school will then look at your complaint at the next stage.
Stage 2 – complaint heard by Headteacher
The Headteacher may delegate the task of collating the information to another staff member but not the decision on the action to be taken. The Headteacher will arrange for the complaint to be acknowledged within 5 school working days of receiving it and a meeting may be requested to discuss the issue in further detail. Following an investigation the Headteacher will endeavour to produce a written response within 10 school working days of sending the acknowledgement. However if a complaint is more complex to review this could be extended to a maximum of 20 school working days. The school will provide you details of the new deadline and an accompanying explanation for any delay. If you are not satisfied with the result at stage 2 please write, email or telephone the school within 10 school working days of receipt of the response. The school will then look at your complaint at the next stage.
Stage 3 – complaint heard by Chair of Governors
If the matter has not been resolved at Stage 2 or the complaint is about the Headteacher, then you will need to write to the Chair of Governors care of Saltaire Primary School. The Chair of Governors will arrange for the complaint to be acknowledged within 5 school working days of receiving it and a meeting may be requested to discuss the matter in further detail. Following an investigation, the Chair of Governors will endeavour to provide a written response within 10 school working days of sending out the acknowledgement. However if a complaint is more complex to review this can be extended to 20 school working days. The school will provide you details of the new deadline and an accompanying explanation for any delay. If you are dissatisfied with the result at stage 3, you will need to let the school know within 10 school working days of getting the response. The school will then look at your complaint at the next stage.
Stage 4 – complaint heard by Governing Bodies Complaints Appeal Panel
If the matter has still not been resolved at Stage 3, then you will need to write to the Clerk of Governors care of the relevant School giving details of the complaint and asking that it is put before a Complaints Appeal Panel. Should the Chair of Governors have been previously involved at any stage in the process a nominated impartial Governor will convene the Complaints Appeal Panel. The complaint will be acknowledged within 5 school working days of the Clerk of Governors receiving it. The hearing will normally take place within 20 school working days of sending the acknowledgment. The aim of the Complaints Appeal panel hearing is to impartially resolve the complaint and to achieve reconciliation between the school and the complainant. All parties will be notified of the Complaints Appeal Panel’s decision in writing within 5 school working days after the date of the hearing. The letter will also contain what you need to do if you wish to take the matter further. The Governors Complaints Appeal hearing is the last School-based stage of the complaints process.
If the matter is still unresolved to your satisfaction then you should bring the matter to the attention of the Local Authority Officers responsible for the relevant School at the following address:
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Department of Children's Services
Margaret McMillan Tower
Telephone 01274 432111
Alternatively if you have followed the School’s Complaint process and the matter is still unresolved to your satisfaction, you may complain to the Department for Education (DfE) at the following address:
Department for Education
Manchester, M1 2WD
0370 000 2288
Please note that if the nature of any complaint relates to another pupil then the outcome of any investigation will remain confidential. We will not share any confidential information relating to pupils with people do not have parental responsibility for that pupil.
The School regards the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to the successful and efficient performance of its functions and to maintaining confidence between those with whom we deal and ourselves. We ensure that our schools treat personal information lawfully in compliance with GDPR.
Our school aims to be fair, open and honest when dealing with any complaint. We give careful consideration to all complaints and deal with them as swiftly as possible. We aim to resolve any complaint through dialogue and mutual understanding and, in all cases, we put the interests of the child above all other issues. We provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed, and then resolved.