SANDROYD SCHOOL

SANDROYD COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FOR PARENTS AND PUPILS

for Sandroyd, The Walled Garden (EYFS) and boarding.

This Procedure applies to the whole school including the Walled Garden (Early Years Foundation Stage). It is publicly available on the School website www.Sandroyd.com and on request a copy may be obtained from the School Office Email: office@sandroyd.com. If you are viewing this document online via Google Drive publishing then there may be some formatting issues. Please contact the school office if you would like to be sent a pdf version.

The purpose of this complaints procedure is to deal with complaints from the parents of current pupils. This complaints procedure does not apply to parents of prospective or past pupils and it does not cover exclusions.

Legal Status: This procedure incorporates the manner in which complaints are to be managed in accordance with The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations currently in force and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) regulations.

 

Timescale: The process of dealing with a complaint in writing from the moment that it is received by the school to resolution should take no more than twenty-eight (28) working days, except in circumstances in which the normal timescales are affected by issues that delay resolution; namely school holidays and other factors.


Monitoring and Review:
The Headmaster monitors the complaints procedure, to ensure that all complaints are handled properly and also undertakes a formal annual review of this procedure, for the purpose of monitoring and of the efficiency with which the related duties have been discharged.

Complaints log: The Headmaster logs all complaints received by the school and records at which stage and how they were resolved. The record includes, at least: the person making the complaint, the date of the complaint, the nature of the complaint, any action taken and the outcome of the complaint.

The number of formal complaints registered in the academic year September 2018 to August 2019 was: 0.

Alastair Speers

Headmaster

27th August 2019


Introduction
Sandroyd School has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided to its pupils. However, if parents or pupils do have a complaint, they can expect it to be treated by the school with care and in accordance with this policy. The Complaints Policy is available to all parents of pupils and of prospective pupils on the school's website.
In accordance with paragraph 24(3)(g) of Schedule 1 to the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, Sandroyd School will provide to parents of pupils and of prospective pupils and, on request, to the Chief Inspector, the Secretary of State or the ISI for the purposes of section 162A(1) of the Education Act 2002 (as subsequently amended), details of the complaints procedure and the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the preceding school year.

This policy covers complaints from parents and pupils.


PARENTAL COMPLAINTS

What Constitutes a Complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a real or perceived problem. It may be made about the school as a whole, about a specific department or about an individual member of staff. A complaint is likely to arise if a parent believes that the school has done something wrong, or failed to do so something that it should have done or acted unfairly.
Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. Parents and pupils are assured that a parent and/or pupil will not be penalised for a complaint that is raised in good faith.
Timeframe for Dealing with Complaints
All complaints will be handled seriously and sensitively. They will be acknowledged within five working days if received during term time and as soon as practicable during holiday periods. It is in everyone's interest to resolve a complaint as speedily as possible: the school's target is to complete the first two stages of the procedure within 28 days if the complaint is lodged during term-time and as soon as practicable during holiday periods.  Stage 3, the Appeal Panel Hearing, will be completed within a further 28 days, if the appeal is lodged during term-time and as soon as practicable during holiday periods.
Recording Complaints
Following resolution of a complaint, the school will keep a written record of all complaints and whether they are resolved at the preliminary stage or proceed to a panel hearing. At the school's discretion, additional records may be kept.
Correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints will be kept confidential except to the extent required by paragraph (k) of Schedule 1 to the Education (Independent Schools Standards) (England) Regulations 2010, by the Secretary of State or where disclosure is required by the ISI under Section 162A of the Education Act 2002 (as amended), or under other legal authority. 
Stage 1 - Informal Resolution

“What will happen next?”  If you raise something face to face or by telephone it may be possible to resolve the matter immediately and to your satisfaction. If you have made a complaint in writing or via e-mail, we will respond to your concerns and explain how we propose to proceed. In many circumstances, the person you contact will need to discuss the matter with a colleague and consider it further before responding. You will be given an indication of when you will receive a response. If a detailed exploration of the issues is needed, a letter or report will be sent to you as quickly as possible and usually within seven (7) school days. This will tell you the outcome of your complaint. It will explain the conclusion, the reasons for it and any action taken or proposed.

“What happens about confidentiality?”  Your complaint or concern will be treated in a confidential manner and with respect. Knowledge of it will be limited to the Headmaster and those directly involved, except in the circumstances required by law or school inspection. It is the school’s policy that complaints made by parents should not rebound adversely on their children. We cannot entirely rule out the need to make third parties outside the school aware of the complaint and possibly also the identity of those involved. This would only be likely to happen where, for example, a child’s safety was at risk or it became necessary to refer matters to the Police. You would be informed. While information relating to specific complaints will be kept confidentially on file, we would point out that anonymous complaints may not be pursued. However, serious complaints such as those raising allegations will be followed up. Action which needed to be taken under staff disciplinary procedures as a result of complaints would be handled confidentially within the school.

“What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?”  We hope that you will feel satisfied with the outcome, or at least that your concerns have been fully and fairly considered. Should the matter not be resolved to your satisfaction within seven (7) school days, then parents are to advance to the formal complaints stage of this procedure.

Stage 2 - Formal Resolution (References to the number of working days refer to term-time only)
 Stage 3 - Panel Hearing

It is a requirement of the Independent Schools’ Regulations that schools publish the number of complaints in the previous academic year that required a Panel Hearing.

During Holiday Periods: The complaint will normally be resolved within twenty-eight (28) days of the lodging of the complaint to its resolution whenever possible. Allowable exceptions to this rule are for instances when persons involved in the complaint are unavailable during holiday periods. In this case the parents will be kept informed. However, as far as possible, the meeting should not be delayed if the referral comes at the end of term, especially at the end of the Summer Term. Since the aim of the procedure is to resolve the issue and effect reconciliation if necessary, it will be best if the matter can come to the Panel as quickly as possible, especially if the parents will already have been engaged over a longer period in attempts to put things right.

Child Protection: For any complaint that involves a potential child protection issue, this must be reported immediately to the Headmaster (See our Child Protection Policy for details of the procedure).

Parents of Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage EYFS) are also entitled to make a complaint to Ofsted (The regulatory authority) or the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) (The inspecting authority) about the provision. The contact details for both organisations are:

The principal agency to contact is Ofsted (www.ofsted.gov.uk)

Ofsted,

Piccadilly Gate,

Store Street,

Manchester        General Helpline: 0300 123 1231

enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

For boarding issues you may choose to contact:

Independent Schools Inspectorate

Ground Floor

CAP House

9-12 Long Lane

London EC1A 9HA                        Telephone: 020 7600 0100.

info@isi.net

Recording Complaints

Following resolution of a complaint, the School will keep a written record of all complaints, whether they are resolved at the informal stage, the formal stage or proceed to a panel hearing and any action taken by the School as a result of the complaint (regardless of whether the complaint is upheld).  At the School’s discretion, additional records may be kept which may contain the following information:

Correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints will be kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 109 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 requests access to them.  

Sandroyd will provide ISI/Ofsted, on request, with a written record of all complaints made during any specified period, and the action which was taken as a result of each complaint.  The record of any such complaints will be kept for at least 3 years.

Parents may complain directly to Ofsted or to ISI (contact details above) if they believe the School is not meeting the EYFS requirements.

The school recognises and acknowledges your entitlement to complain and we are committed to work with you in the best interests of the children in our care.

Unreasonable Complainants

Sandroyd is committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially, and to providing a high quality service to those who complain. We will not normally limit the contact complainants have with the school.

However, we do not expect our staff to tolerate unacceptable behaviour and will take action to protect staff from that behaviour, including that which is abusive, offensive or threatening. Sandroyd defines unreasonable complainants as ‘those who, because of the frequency or nature of their contacts with the school, hinder our consideration of their or other people’s complaints’. A complaint may be regarded as unreasonable when the person making the complaint:-

Complainants should limit the numbers of communications with a school while a complaint is being progressed. It is not helpful if repeated correspondence is sent (either by letter, phone, email or text) as it could delay the outcome being reached. Whenever possible, the Headteacher or Chair of Governors will discuss any concerns with the complainant informally before applying an ‘unreasonable’ marking.

If the behaviour continues the Headteacher or Chair of Governors will write to the complainant explaining that their behaviour is unreasonable and asking them to change it. For complainants who excessively contact causing a significant level of disruption, we may specify methods of communication and limit the number of contacts in a communication plan. This will usually be reviewed after 6 months.

In response to any serious incident of aggression or violence, the concerns and actions taken will be put in writing immediately and the police informed. This may include banning an individual from the School premises. Although fulfilling a public function, Sandroyd is a private place and the public has no automatic right of entry. Sandroyd will therefore act to ensure it remains a safe place for pupils, staff and other members of their community.

If a parent’s behaviour is a cause for concern, a school can ask him/her to leave school premises. In serious cases, the Headteacher or the local authority can notify them in writing that their implied licence to be on school premises has been temporarily revoked subject to any representations that the parent may wish to make. Schools should always give the parent the opportunity to formally express their views on the decision to bar in writing.


COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FOR PUPILS

What happens if I want to make a complaint about something?

Sometimes you may feel that you haven’t been treated fairly. If this happens to you, you don’t have to put up with it. You can make a complaint so that the matter can be properly looked into.

The first thing you should do is to speak to a member of staff you trust - the list inside the back of the calendar suggests some people that may be able to help. You can take a friend with you if you wish – they may be able to help with the incident or they may just make you feel more confident.

Usually a friendly member of staff will be able to sort out any misunderstandings so that everyone is happy again.

However if you still aren’t happy with the result you can make a formal complaint. It may be that a teacher you trust can help you follow these guidelines.

  1. The first thing to do is to write to the Headmaster or one of the Senior Member od Staff telling them that you wish to make a formal complaint.

  1. They will then write the complaint in the Complaints Book held by the Headmaster.

  1. You will be given a note by one of the Deputy Headmasters saying that he has seen your complaint and will look into it in the next two days.

  1. You will then have the chance to talk the matter through with either one of the Deputy Headmasters or the Headmaster.  You can have someone with you if you want – this might be a friend, your tutor or any member of staff. This talk will take place within 4 days of you making your complaint.

  1. If after this second chance to talk about your complaint, you still don’t feel that things have been fairly sorted out, you may contact any of the people whose names are listed in the back of your calendar or whose names, addresses, and telephone numbers are listed below.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO INFORM STAFF OR ANYONE ELSE THAT YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT THEM. YOUR COMPLAINT WILL REMAIN PRIVATE UNLESS YOU AGREE THAT IT IS BEST FOR IT TO BE SHARED WITH SOME OTHER PEOPLE.

Whoever you contact will come and talk to you at school. You can have a friend or teacher with you to help you and they will help you to decide what is the best thing for you to do.

NAMES, ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE SCHOOL YOU MAY WISH TO CONTACT:

Mrs Michelle Haskins, Children’s Listener                   01725 552052

Mr Thomas, Chairman of the Governors                07710 038283

Childline                                                0800 111111

OFSTED                                                08456 404040

Children’s Rights Listener                                0800 5280731

ABS: 27/08/2019                             For review before: September 2020

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