Oakfield Primary Academy

We are proud of ourselves. We are proud of each other. We are proud of our community.

Complaints

At Oakfield, our complaints procedure is based on a principle that concerns expressed by a pupil, parent, guardian or any individual or organisation with a concern should be resolved as quickly as possible without the need to escalate to the increasing more formal stages of the procedure. However, where resolution is not achieved quickly and the person raising the complaint remains dissatisfied and wishes to take the matter further, the formal procedure will be invoked.

 

The Four Stages of our Complaints Procedure are:

Stage 1 Informal Procedure

 The class teacher and other members of staff can deal with many concerns to the satisfaction of the Complainant, without needing to deal with them formally. The Academy values informal meetings and telephone discussions as a way of improving its procedures and relations with parents.

There is no rigid time-scale for resolving concerns and complaints at this stage, given the importance of dialogue through informal discussions, however it is expected that most concerns will be resolved within 10 school days. Should the nature or complexity of the concern mean that more time is required, the Academy will write to the Complainant within 10 school days informing them of the reason for the delay and confirming a revised date for resolution.

Should informal meetings and telephone discussions appear unlikely to resolve the concern, either party may initiate a move to the Stage 2 for the complaint to be investigated formally. A copy of the formal complaint form in Annex 2 will be forwarded to the Complainant for completion and return, or completed during an initial interview.  Complainants will be provided with a copy of this Complaints Policy.  A copy of the complaint form should be retained by both the complainant and the Academy.         

Stage 2 Formal Complaint Investigated by a Member of Staff

If the Complainant is unhappy with the way in which the concern was dealt with informally, the Complainant should complete the formal complaint form found in Annex 3 and return it to the Academy.

Upon receipt of a completed formal complaint form, the Headteacher will identify the appropriate member of staff to investigate the complaint under Stage 2. If the complaint is about a member of staff, a manager senior to that member of staff will normally investigate the complaint.  If the complaint is very serious, the Headteacher may, at their discretion, escalate the complaint directly to Stage 3.

During a standard investigation the investigator should:

  • Record in writing all meetings held, whether it is with pupils, staff, parents or other witnesses
  • Ensure that the complainant has the opportunity to submit witness statements which should be received in writing in support of their complaint

 The Academy will try to respect the views of a Complainant who indicates that he or she would have difficulty discussing a complaint with a particular member of staff. In these cases, the matter will be referred back to the Headteacher who may, if they feel it necessary, refer the complaint to another staff member for investigation.   

 Where the complaint concerns the Headteacher or a Local Governor, the complaint will be referred to the Chair of Local Governors. The Chair of Local Governors will investigate the complaint under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy.  Where the complaint concerns the Chair of Local Governors, a non-executive member of the local Cluster Board will investigate the complaint under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy.

Where the first approach is made to a Local Governor, the Local Governor must refer the complaint to the Headteacher, who will allocate it to an appropriate member of staff for investigation under Stage 2 of this Complaints Policy. Local Governors should not act unilaterally on an individual complaint outside the formal procedure or be involved at the early stages in case they are needed to sit on a Complaint Panel at a later stage of the procedure.

 The member of staff considering the complaint will write to the Complainant acknowledging the complaint within 5 school days of receiving the formal complaint form or written complaint. The acknowledgement will confirm which stage of the Complaints Policy the complaint is being investigated under, and will confirm the date for providing a response to the complaint. Following investigation of the complaint, the member of staff will write to the Complainant confirming the outcome within 10 school days of the formal complaint form being received.  If this time limit cannot be met, the member of staff will write to the Complainant within 10 school days of the formal complaint form being received, explaining the reason for the delay and providing a revised date.  

 The letter to the Complainant should notify them that if he or she is unhappy with the outcome of the Stage 2 investigation of the complaint, they should write to the Headteacher within 10 school days of receiving the letter, asking for the complaint to be investigated under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy. If no further communication is received from the Complainant within 10 school days, the complaint will be deemed to have been resolved.       

Stage 3 Formal Complaint Investigated by the Headteacher

If the Complainant is unhappy with the outcome of the complaint under Stage 2, the Complainant should write to the Headteacher at the Academy asking for the complaint to be investigated under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy.

The Headteacher will write to the Complainant acknowledging the complaint within 5 school days of the date that the letter was received from the Complainant. The acknowledgement will confirm that the complaint will now be investigated under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy, and will confirm the date for providing a response to the complaint. Following investigation of the complaint, the Headteacher will write to the Complainant confirming the outcome within 10 school days of the date that the letter was received from the Complainant.  If this time limit cannot be met, the Headteacher will write to the Complainant within 10 school days of the date that the letter was received from the Complainant, explaining the reason for the delay and providing a revised date.

 

During a standard investigation the investigator should:

  • Record in writing all meetings held, whether it is with pupils, staff, parents or other witnesses
  • Ensure that the complainant has the opportunity to submit witness statements which should be received in writing in support of their complaint

 

The letter to the Complainant should notify them that if he or she is unhappy the outcome of the Stage 3 investigation of the complaint, they should write to the Clerk to the Local Governors within 10 school days of receiving the written request asking for the complaint to be heard before a Complaint Panel under Stage 4 of this Complaints Policy. If no further communication is received from the Complainant within 10 school days, the complaint will be deemed to have been resolved.

 In exceptional circumstances, the Headteacher may delegate responsibility for investigating the complaint under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy to a member of the Academy’s Senior Management Team. In those circumstances, the Headteacher will monitor the progress of the investigation, and it will be the Headteacher who will write the letter of outcome to the Complainant.

If an Academy has a Transition or Intervention Board as part of the REAch2 governance model (or where there is an established LGB which is carrying governor vacancies or is supporting a small school), the Board should consider whether it has the capacity and capability required to act under these provisions; if not, other arrangements can and should be made, liaising with the Governance service, including involvement of local governors at other REAch2 academies and or REAch2 cluster non-executives.

As stated above, where a formal complaint form is received making a complaint about the Headteacher or a Local Governor, the complaint will be referred to the Chair of Local Governors for investigation under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy, rather than Stage 2. If a formal complaint form is received making a complaint about the Chair of Local Governors, the complaint will be referred to a non-executive member of the local Cluster Board for investigation under Stage 3 of this Complaints Policy, rather than Stage 2.  Where the Chair of the Local Governors has investigated the complaint, they will write the letter of outcome to the Complainant and provide a copy to the Headteacher and the Deputy Director of Education.

       

Stage 4 Complaint Heard at a Complaint Panel Hearing

If the Complainant is unhappy with the outcome of the complaint under Stage 3, the Complainant should write to the Clerk to the Local Governors at the Academy asking for the complaint to be heard before a Complaint Panel within 10 school days as the final stage available in the process. Where he or she believes, at his or her absolute discretion, it may enable the matter to be resolved more effectively and without the need for a full panel hearing, the Chair of Local Governors, in consultation with the Trust Governance service, may propose that they or the Vice-Chair have a meeting with the complainant to review the process/outcomes to date and to discuss how best to achieve a resolution.

The Clerk to the Local Governors will write to the Complainant within 5 school days of receiving the letter acknowledging the request for the complaint to be heard before a Complaint Panel. The letter will inform the Complainant that the Complaint Panel Hearing will take place within 25 school days of the date that the letter was received from the Complainant and that arrangements to appoint the Complaint Panel and convene the Complaint Panel Hearing will be made by the Clerk to the Local Governors, who will be the Complainant’s point of contact.  

 

Ms Christine Doxford, our Local Governing Body Chair, can be contacted via. email: christinedox@yahoo.com 

 

What should I do if I have a complaint about the school's SEND provision?

 We welcome feedback from parents, including complaints. However if a parent is unhappy they should initially speak to the class teacher. If the issue is not resolved they can speak to the SENCO and/ or the Headteacher. It is hoped that a solution would be reached between the school and the parents but if a problem still exists parents may seek the advice of the SEND governor and if a child has an EHCP or statement, the Local Authority. Parents may also be signposted to the local Parent Partnership Service. As a last resort parents have the right to go to an independent SEN tribunal.

Parents may also write to the Chair of Governors (Ms Christine Doxford) via. email: christinedox@yahoo.com 

 

See below for further information on our Complaints Policy & Procedure: