Making a complaint
Schools work hard to maintain good relationships with the communities they serve; however, sometimes people can see ways to improve things, and helpful suggestions are valuable. Sometimes people want to voice a concern or even complain formally about issues related to the school.
This information advises you on how to make a suggestion or to express a concern to a school, and on the procedures agreed by many Cambridgeshire schools for responding to concerns or complaints.
DO YOU WISH TO MAKE A SUGGESTION?
- You can telephone, write to or e-mail the Headteacher at the School giving your ideas.
- You can expect the school to consider suggestions and to keep in touch in writing over how and when problems can be raised with the school
DO YOU HAVE A CONCERN?
- You should raise this informally with your child’s teacher or the Headteacher - whoever you feel is most appropriate. Always try to make appointments to see members of staff. Usually, your worry can be sorted out at this stage.
- publicise details of the Complaints Procedure
- respond within a reasonable time, with courtesy and respect
- be available for consultation within a reasonable time limit, considering the needs of pupils/ staff
- attempt to resolve problems using reasonable means in line with the School's Complaints Procedure and advice from Cambridgeshire County Council
- keep you informed of progress.
DO YOU WISH TO MAKE A FORMAL COMPLAINT?
- The Recommended Complaints Procedure for Schools is designed to help find ways to resolve problems. It is a positive process based on negotiation and conciliation rather than conflict.
Full details of how schools will respond to complaints are explained in the school’s Complaints Procedure.
WHAT CAN THE SCHOOL EXPECT OF YOU?
- It is usually best to try to solve a problem first by raising a concern informally; however, if you wish to complain formally you should write to the Headteacher at the School, stating that you are making a formal complaint. If you need help or advice on doing this, you should contact either the school, or the Local Authority (LA) on the number below. You may wish to use the form overleaf. You will be asked to give permission for your complaint to be shared with any person you are complaining about.
The LA and the School expect anyone who wishes to raise problems to:
- treat all school staff with courtesy and respect
- respect the needs of pupils and staff
- avoid the use of violence, threats of violence, abuse and aggression towards people or property
- recognise the time constraints under which members of staff in schools work and allow the School a reasonable time to respond to a complaint
- recognise that resolving a specific problem can sometimes take some time
- follow the School's complaints procedure when necessary.
YOU CAN CONTACT THE LOCAL AUTHORITY on 01223 706399.
The role of the LA is to advise parents/carers and the School, and help resolve difficulties. You will be given the name of an appropriate officer who, if unavailable, will contact you usually within 48 hours. A meeting may be arranged to discuss issues with the school.
If your child has special educational needs you can contact the Parent Partnerships Service on 01223 699214 for further impartial advice with your issue.