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Complaints procedure

Bishops Down places great importance on the close partnership between parents, staff and other stakeholders. It is hoped that parental concerns can be dealt with on a normal day to day basis. It is, however, important that parents are aware of the school procedure for dealing with complaints.

Please click here to view our Complaints Procedure Policy

Stage 1 : Informal Stage

On occasions, a parent may raise a concern directly with school staff without any formality. At this stage, it may be unclear whether the parent is making a complaint, seeking information or has misunderstood a situation. In any effect, the school aims to resolve the concern at this point in a speedy and effective way.

However, if the concern is not resolved immediately and a complaint is confirmed by the parent, the opportunity will be given to discuss the matter with the Headteacher.

The Headteacher will discuss the issue with the parent and those involved in school, with the aim of resolving the complaint as soon as possible. The parent will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and what action, if any, the school proposes to take.

If the informal process has been exhausted and no satisfactory solution has been found, the parent will be asked by the member of staff dealing with the complaint whether (s)he wishes the complaint to be considered formally at stage two of this procedure.

If wishing to proceed with the complaint, the parent will be invited to put the complaint in writing to the Chair of Governors.

Stage 2 : Referral to Chair of Governors

The Chair of Governors will acknowledge the written complaint within five school days of receipt and provide an opportunity to meet the parent to discuss the complaint.

The Chair of Governors will investigate the complaint and a written response will normally be made within ten school days of receipt of the complaint. If this is not possible, a letter will be sent explaining the reason for the delay and providing a revised target date.

The written response will include full reasons for the conclusions reached by the Chair of Governors and what action, if any, the school proposes to take to resolve the matter.

If the parent still remains dissatisfied, (s)he will be advised that, in order to progress the complaint further at Stage 3, (s)he must notify the Clerk to the Governing Body in writing within ten school days, copying the original complaint form.

The Clerk will then ensure that the parent is offered the opportunity of taking the complaint to the Governors’ Complaints Panel at Stage 3 of this Procedure.

Stage 3 : Review by the Governors Complaints Panel

The Chair of the Governing Body will write to the complainant to acknowledge receipt of the written request for the governing body to review the complaint. The acknowledgement will inform the complainant that three members of the school’s governing body will hear the complaint within 20 school working days of receiving the complaint. The letter will also explain that the complainant has the right to submit any further documents relevant to the complaint. These must be received in time for the documents to be sent to the three members.

A written decision will be sent to both the parent and the Chair of Governors and/or Headteacher by the Chair of the GCP within five school days of the hearing.

If the parent is still dissatisfied with the outcome they will be informed of their right to refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH.

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