Britannia Education Trust
The 4 stages of the Complaints Procedure are as follows:-
Stage1 – Informal
In the majority of cases a concern can and should be resolved by contacting the relevant member of staff ie the class teacher, or other designated member of staff directly involved with the reported problem
The initial communication from the complainant to the member of staff may be by letter, telephone or in person by appointment, but it must be clearly stated that an official complaint/concern is being lodged. The complainant must then allow the designated staff member at least 5 days to respond to the concern.
If this does not lead to a resolution of the problem then the concern/complaint must be referred to the next stage of the process which is the commencement of the formal process.
Stage 2 – Formal
The complaint is heard by the Head Teacher
If complainant is still dissatisfied with the response from the member of staff at Stage 1 they should put their complaint/concern into writing to the Head Teacher.
A model form is available from the school office.
If the Head Teacher is the subject of the complaint, this should be addressed to the Chair of Trustees– this will bypass Stage 2 and move to Stage 3 of the formal procedure and be heard by the Chair of Trustees.
The complaint must include details of why they are still dissatisfied and what action they would like to resolve the complaint. Any evidence which supports their concern/complaint should be attached.
The complaint must be acknowledged, within 5 days, in writing to the complainant. The acknowledgement should state that a further communication will follow within 20 school days stating what actions have been taken to investigate the complaint with the outcome.
The Head Teacher can delegate another senior member of staff to carry out the investigation and report their findings to them. The Head Teacher will then reach a conclusion based on this investigation. All notes relating to the investigation should be kept on file. The investigating officer may feel it necessary to meet with the complainant. If this happens, then notes should be produced from the meeting.
The investigating officer will then compile a report detailing their findings. Any recommendations or actions proposed must be considered by the Head Teacher.
Once satisfied that the investigation has been concluded and a decision has been reached, the Head Teacher must notify the complainant in writing of the conclusion and any actions that will be taken as a result. The decision can be communicated by the Head Teacher to the complainant in writing or, if they may feel it appropriate, meet with them first to communicate their findings and then confirm in writing afterwards.
The complainant must also be informed if they are still dissatisfied with the outcome they can write to the Chair of Trustees outlining why they are still unhappy.
Stage 3 – Formal (if not resolved at stage 2)
The Chair of Trustees must write to the complainant within 5 days of receipt of the complaint to acknowledge this. The letter should state that another letter will follow within 20 school days setting out the actions taken to investigate the complaint and the findings.
The Chair of Trustees will look at all the information pertaining to the complaint submitted by the complainant and the investigatory evidence by the school at Stages 1 and 2. The Chair may want to talk with the complainant or investigating staff members to establish facts and obtain further information.
Once satisfied that the investigation has been concluded and a decision has been reached on the complaint, the Chair of Trustees will notify the complainant in writing of the conclusion.
The conclusion could be:
The complainant is also informed if they are still dissatisfied they can write to the Trustees directly via the school or, Governor Services or School Management Support at Newham Partnership Working outlining why they feel the complaint is unresolved.
Stage 4 – Formal (if not resolved at Stage 3)
The complaint is heard by a panel of trustees. This is the final stage of the process.
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the response from the Chair of Governors (or Vice-Chair) at Stage 3 they should be advised that the next stage is to put their complaint in writing to the School Governing Body at Stage 4. A model form is available from the school office.
The complainant must ensure that they include details of why they are still dissatisfied with the decision of the Chair, recommendations and actions of the Stage 3 complaint and what they feel would resolve the matter. They can also attach any evidence to support their concerns in addition to that submitted at Stages 1, 2 and 3.
The complaint will be acknowledged within 10 school days by the Board of Trustees.
4. Further information
The outcome letter from the School Complaints Panel exhausts the 4 Stage procedure. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the process, they are able to contact
The Secretary of State for Education,
The School Complaints Unit (SCU)
Department for Education
2nd Floor, Piccadilly Gate
The SCU will examine if the school complaints policy and any other relevant processes were followed. The SCU will also examine policies to determine if they adhere to education legislation. However, the SCU will not re-investigate the substance of the complaint.