Who can make a complaint?
This complaints policy and procedure is not limited to parents or carers of children that are registered at the school. A concern or complaint can be made in person by parents, carers (including parents or carers of children no longer at the school) and members of the public, in writing or by telephone. They may also be made by a third party acting on behalf on a complainant, as long as they have appropriate consent to do so. Any person, including members of the public, may make a complaint to Benenden Church of England Primary School about any provision of facilities or services that we provide:
. Unless complaints are dealt with under separate statutory procedures (such as appeals relating to exclusions or admissions), we will use this complaints procedure.
The difference between a concern and a complaint:
A concern may be defined as ‘an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought’.
A complaint may be defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’.
It is in everyone’s interest that concerns and complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. Many issues can be resolved informally, without the need to use the formal stages of the complaints procedure. Benenden Church of England Primary School takes concerns seriously and will make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
Concerns should be raised with the class teacher in the first instance. At this stage informal mediation may be offered. While this can be useful in helping the school and complainants reach an agreement and move forward, there are times when it may not be the most appropriate course of action.
- provide a helpful mechanism for discussion when a concern is raised
- help to rebuild the relationship between all parties
It should not be used as a substitute for an investigation during the formal stages of the complaints procedure.
If neither the complainant nor the school considers that mediation will serve any practical purpose at this point, the complainant will not be prevented from moving to the next investigative stage of the complaints procedure.
If the issue remains unresolved, the next step is to make a formal complaint.
If you have difficulty discussing a concern with a particular member of staff, we will respect your views. In these cases, the Complaints Co-ordinator Mrs Kellie-Vickers will refer you to another staff member. Similarly, if the member of staff directly involved feels unable to deal with a concern, Mrs Kellie-Vickers will refer you to another staff member. The member of staff may be more senior but does not have to be. The ability to consider the concern objectively and impartially is more important.
We understand however, that there are occasions when people would like to raise their concerns formally. In this case, Benenden Church of England Primary School will attempt to resolve the issue internally, through the stages outlined within this complaints procedure.
Complainants should not approach individual governors to raise concerns or complaints. They have no power to act on an individual basis and it may also prevent them from considering complaints at Stage 2 of the procedure.
Complaints against school staff (except the headteacher) should be made in the first instance, to Mrs Lindsay Roberts (Headteacher) via the school office. Please mark them as Private and Confidential.
Complaints that involve or are about the headteacher should be addressed to Mrs Sarah Martin (Chair of Governors, care of the Complaints Co-ordinator), via the school office. Please mark them as Private and Confidential.
Complaints about the Chair of Governors, any individual governor or the whole governing board should be addressed to The Clerk to the Governing Board, care of the Complaints Co-ordinator via the school office. Please mark them as Private and Confidential.
For ease of use, a template complaint form is included within our complaints policy.