School Complaints

Blackburn with Darwen Complaints about School Policy

Introduction

The policy of the School is to work in partnership with parents/carers and the wider community. It is based on the belief that co-operation and a sense of joint purpose between staff, parents/carers and the School will assist in ensuring open and positive relationships. From time to time, however, parents and members of the public may express concern or make a complaint, either orally or in writing, about some aspect of the conduct/operation of the school, the conduct of the Headteacher, an individual member of staff, the Governing Body or an individual governor. The School will always give serious consideration to concerns and complaints that are brought to its attention. However, anonymous complaints will not normally be considered. In considering concerns or complaints, the School will ensure that they are dealt with effectively and with fairness to all parties. The vast majority of concerns and issues raised by parents/carers will be resolved informally. Where a complaint has not been resolved informally, then the formal procedures set out below will be followed.

What if my complaint is about the governing body or an individual governor?

If you are complaining about an individual governor, you need to contact the Chair of Governors so they can investigate. Please mark your complaint private and confidential and address it to:

Chair of Governors C/O Newfield School Old Bank Lane Blackburn BB1 2PW

If you are complaining about the Chair of Governors, contact Governor Services governors@blackburn.gov.uk (please also see contact details below). They will tell you who is the nominated governor to deal with such complaints.

If you are complaining about the governing body, please contact Governor Services (please see contact details below).

What can I expect to happen?

Your complaint will be listened to and investigated. This does take time, so please allow a reasonable amount of time – about 15 school days is fair. We will tell you if we think it will take longer than this.

If we agree that your complaint is justified, we will tell you what action we are going to take. If this involves disciplinary action against a member of staff, this will remain confidential and we will not be able to tell you details of this (because of employment law). The Governing Body, not the Local Education Authority (LEA), is responsible for deciding if disciplinary action should be taken. If we do not think your complaint is justified, we will tell you why. We will confirm our reasons in writing.

What if I am not satisfied with the way in which the school has dealt with my complaint?

If you are not satisfied, you have a right of appeal – and we will tell you how to do this. If the head and the governor nominated to deal with complaints have been involved and you are still not satisfied, it will go to governors who have not previously been involved. If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the local education authority.

How can the local education authority help?

In most cases, the LEA only investigates how the school and governing body handled the complaint – NOT the complaint itself. The LEA will only become involved after the school and the governing body have tried to resolve the complaint. The LEA will give you its opinion on how the complaint was handled.

How long will it take?

Complaints should be handled quickly and most are generally dealt with within a few days. Most investigations by the school should be completed within 15 school days but some may take longer. If this is the case, the school will keep you up to date with developments.

Who can help?

If you are worried about making a complaint you can have a friend, representative or interpreter to support you. Making a complaint will not affect your child/children.

The Local Education Authority

For help or general advice please contact:

Governor Support Manager, Children and Education Department, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Duke Street, BLACKBURN, BB1 6AD.

Telephone: (01254) 666507


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