Complaints and Grievances
At Finstall First School, we are very keen to ensure that parents are happy with the service that we provide for you and your children. However, we are also aware that we will occasionally make decisions that some parents will be happy with but other parents will not, which is why we have a School Complaints Policy, which can be found by clicking the link below.
As detailed in this policy, we believe that the best way to manage parental concerns and complaints, in the first instance, is to have either a face to face conversation with you or, alternatively, a virtual or telephone conversation. We feel that this helps staff and parents to maintain a positive working relationship, which is so important as we strive to ensure that we work in partnership with you to provide the very best for your children. In particular, it enables both parents and staff to understand each other’s views, reasons, etc.
We do not feel that parents putting their concerns and complaints in writing, in the first instance, is conducive to the building of positive working relationships and we are finding that, when this happens, it impacts on the work-load and well-being of staff. The only time that concerns and complaints should be sent in writing is when parents have already tried to resolve such issues through a conversation with the appropriate member of staff and they want to escalate their complaint to the next level and make a more formal complaint.
Most concerns and complaints should be dealt with, initially, by your child’s Class Teacher. Should you wish to discuss a matter with your child’s Class Teacher, please ask for an appointment or for a phone call via your child’s Communication Book. Please do not send an e-mail if you wish to speak to the Class Teacher as this creates additional work for our office staff.
Although it is not a problem to mention, if you wish, the subject of your complaint or concern, please do not use the communication book to explain this in detail. This can be done in your discussion with the member of staff. Many concerns can also be addressed very briefly for those parents who are able to drop-off or collect their children at the beginning and end of the School day.
Should you wish to speak to either myself or Mr Mason, because you have already met with your child’s Class Teacher and are unhappy with the way the complaint was dealt with or because you wish to discuss a whole School issue, please ask for an appointment or a phone call. This can be done by either ringing or e-mailing the School office. Again, if you wish, you can mention the subject of your complaint or concern but please do not put additional details in writing at this point. Alternatively, please feel free to speak briefly to either myself or Mr Mason if you see us around School at the beginning and end of the School day. We will do our utmost to make ourselves available to parents at these times although we cannot guarantee that we will always be there.
It is the Head Teacher (and, by delegation, the teaching staff) who has the responsibility for every day decisions, situations and actions. Therefore, if a parent or other person with a legitimate interest in the school, wishing to complain about the school, approaches a Governor, the Governor will direct that person to take their complaint to the Head Teacher.
However, there may be some instances when the complaint is about the Head Teacher, when it might be appropriate for the Complainant to be advised to speak to the Chair of the Governing Body instead of the Head Teacher. Similarly, any Complainant who approaches the LA will be referred back to the Head Teacher or the Chair of the Governing Body as appropriate.
All concerns will be taken seriously in order to establish an effective partnership between the school, parents or the community. Equally, they will be dealt with promptly to reach an early resolution to avoid frustration and further difficulty. Complainants will be kept informed of what actions will be undertaken and what the time scale is likely to be.
There may be complaints where the individual requests not to be identified at the preliminary stage. Such complaints will still be dealt with under the set procedures. However, in the case of a serious complaint, it might not be possible to maintain confidentiality.
Where complaints and concerns relate to issues, which occurred more than three months prior to registration of the complaint, they will generally be ruled “out of time.” The school and LA may decline to investigate a matter, which would have been expected to be raised beforehand, unless of course there are legal implications.