Since 1 September 2003, governing boards of all maintained schools and maintained nursery schools in England have been required, under section 29 of the Education Act 2002, to:
- Have in place a formal procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school and to any community facilities or services that the school provides.
- Tailor the policy to the individual school.
- Publicise the procedure.
- Have regard to any guidance given by the Education Secretary.
The Headteacher should ensure that records are kept of the progress of all complaints and the final outcomes, and hold these records centrally, since complainants have a right to copies of these records under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts.
At New York Primary School we;
- Have in place a formal written procedure to deal with complaints relating to the school.
- Keep a written record of all complaints and at which stage they are resolved.
- Allow for a complaint to be made and considered initially on an informal basis.
- Make the policy/procedure available to parents of pupils.
- Set out a clear time scale to the management of a complaint.
- Make provision, where a complainant is not satisfied with the response to a complaint, for a hearing before a panel of at least three people who were not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint.
- Ensure that at least one member of that panel is independent of the management and running of the school.
- Allow the complainant to be accompanied at a panel hearing if they wish.
- Provide that the findings and recommendations of the panel are:
- Sent by electronic mail or otherwise to the complainant and the person complained about (where relevant).
- Available for inspection on the school premises by the Headteacher.
- All documentation relating to individual complaints should be retained and kept confidential. Ofsted inspectors will make a judgement of the complaints procedure statement that the school issues and information from any upheld complaints about the school from parents to Ofsted.
Any complaint relating to a child protection matter should immediately be raised with the local authority (LA) for them to handle, whatever the status of the school.