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Complaints Procedure

We care about what you think

This is an extension of our Contact Booklet.   Expressions of pleasure or praise are very welcome as they give staff reassurance that their efforts on behalf of your children are appreciated.  Such comments can be verbal or put in writing or placed in the Comments Box (in each department) to inform us as part of our school self-evaluation.

Each day this school makes many decisions and tries hard to do the best for all the children.  Your comments – either positive or negative – are helpful for future planning. You may want to talk to us about a particular aspect of this school, though not actually make a complaint – you just want to get something ‘off your chest’.  Whatever it is, this booklet shows you how this can be achieved.

If you are dissatisfied about the way your child is being treated, or any actions or lack of action by us, please feel able to complain.

Our promise to you

  • Your complaint will be dealt with honestly, politely and in confidence
  • Your complaint will be looked into thoroughly and fairly
  • If your complaint is urgent we will deal with it more quickly
  • We will keep you up to date with progress at each stage
  • You will get an apology if we have made a mistake
  • You will be told what we are going to do to put things right
  • You will get a full and clear written reply to formal complaints within 28 working days

First

Please make sure that you have read the Contact Booklet and followed the guidance given there.   We hope that any problem can be resolved quickly and informally where and when it occurs.   If you have a concern about anything we do, or if you wish to make a complaint, you can do this by letter, telephone, minicom, fax, e mail, text mobile or in person.  If there is something you are not happy about, or you don’t understand why we are doing something in a particular way, please come in and discuss it with the class teacher or other appropriate member of staff.  If the problem cannot be dealt with at that level please approach the relevant Head of Department.

We know that it can feel uncomfortable to question or challenge, but if you don’t tell us what is worrying you we cannot explain what we are doing or try to put it right.

If your concern remains unresolved talk to the headteacher.  Make an appointment with the school secretary to make sure the headteacher is available.  You should be able to sort out your worries but sometimes this is not possible.  In this case there is a next step.

Second

If you are not satisfied you can complain formally by filling in a form, which is available from the school office.  Send the form to the Chairman of Governors.  The school secretary will tell you who this is.  The Chairman will then arrange for your complaint to be investigated and considered and will reply within ten working days to give you a progress report and tell you what will happen next.  When your complaint has been fully investigated you will be told of the outcome in writing.

Third

Most complaints are the responsibility of the governing body of the school and will be resolved by them.  A small number of complaints cannot be resolved by this process.

In the case of complaints about Special Educational Needs, the National Curriculum or Collective Worship, in LEA maintained schools, you can complain further to the Local Education Authority.  This should be done by writing to the Head of the Conciliation and Appeals Unit at the address on page 6.

HEATH HOUSE (Residential Sector)

The complaint procedures outlined above equally apply to Heath House.  However, if you have a serious concern to raise with respect to our residential provision you can complain directly to Ofsted, Royal Exchange Buildings, St. Ann’s Square, Manchester M2 7LA.  Tel: 08456 404045.  E-Mail : enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

Useful contacts

Chair of Governors
The secretary at school will tell you who this is and pass on any written correspondence

County Councillor for your area
Contact the Members Secretariat at County Hall
01992 556556

ACE
Advisory Centre for Education
1b Aberdeen Studios
22 Highbury Grove
London.  N5 2EA
Free Advice Line 2-5pm
Monday to Friday
0808 800 5793

Children’s Legal Centre
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester
Essex  CO4 3SQ
Free Advice Service, 2-5pm
01206 877910

Complaints Officer
Head of Unit
Conciliation and Appeals Unit
CSF
County Hall
Hertford, SG13 8DF
Helpline 01992 588542

Parent Partnership (Special Educational Needs)
Helpline 01992 555847

There are four Area Parent Partnership Supporters in the county and you can contact your local Supporter direct.  Their details are:

North (Stevenage/Hitchin/Letchworth/Baldock/villages)
Irene Holland           01462 634488

East  (Hertford/Ware/BStortford/Waltham Cross/ Hatfield/WGC/villgages)
Dawn Owen             01920 411152

South (Watford/Rickmansworth/Potters Bar/ Borehamwood/Radlett/villages)
Karen Edwards       01442 453316

West (St Albans/Hemel Hempstead /Tring Harpenden/Berkhamsted/villages)
Helena Marks          01442 217143