How to Raise a Concern
If you have a complaint
Most concerns and complaints can be sorted out quickly by speaking to your child’s class teacher.
All school staff will make every effort to resolve your problem informally. They will make sure that they understand what may have gone wrong and explain their actions to you. They will ask what you would like them to do to put things right. Of course this does not mean that in every case they will come round to your point of view, but it will help both you and the school to understand everything about the issue. It may also help to prevent a similar issue arising again.
All schools are required by law to have and publish a complaints policy and you can ask for a copy from the school office or access it by clicking the link at the top of this page.
If you have a concern about the school you must follow the complaints process in the order set out below (view an illustration of the process here):
- Go to the school and speak to someone who knows about the issue and could help you. Aim to do this as soon as possible. This could be the class teacher. The member of staff will try to explain and put things right, if that is appropriate. Or they may recommend a more appropriate person to help you.
- If you are not happy with their response try and speak to a senior member of staff.
- If you are still not happy make an appointment to speak to the headteacher.
If the issue is still not resolved, write a formal letter/email with attachments of complaint to the headteacher. You will need to clearly outline your concerns and explain what you are specifically complaining about. We suggest you keep a copy of this letter. The headteacher will ask to meet you to discuss the problem.
- You may take a friend or someone else with you if you wish. The headteacher is required to conduct a full investigation of your complaint and may interview people and/or pupils involved.
- You should receive a written response to acknowledge your complaint within five school working days (this does not include holidays). The school’s letter to you will explain the timescale for completing the investigation. Once the investigation has been completed and shared, where appropriate, with parent/carers the issue will normally be resolved at this stage.
- If you are still not satisfied that your complaint has been resolved, you should write to the chair of governors at the school and ask that the issue raised in your letter of complaint be reviewed and considered by the Governors’ Complaints Panel. It will be heard by a panel of three governors who have no previous knowledge of the complaint, so they will be able to give it an objective and final assessment. You will be invited to attend and speak to the panel at a meeting at which the headteacher will also be present. It will be set out in the complaints procedure how these meetings will operate.
- Usually most complaints are settled, but in exceptional cases it may be possible to refer the issue to the local authority (Brighton & Hove City Council), who will only check that the complaints procedure has been followed correctly. After the local authority it can be referred to the Secretary of State for Education. Again it is likely they will check that procedure has been followed correctly and not revisit the decision of the panel.
- If you have a complaint about the headteacher personally then you should refer this, confidentially, directly to the chair of governors through the school office. The chair of governors will make arrangements to investigate your complaint.
If you wish to raise a concern
Silence isn’t always golden!
Although we all pride ourselves on having high standards of conduct and providing quality services to the community, sometimes you may become aware of a lapse, or suspected lapse, in these standards.
The simple fact is that you may suspect something is going wrong long before anyone else finds out about it.
So if something at our school is troubling you enough for you to mention it to your family or friends, please report it straight away.
The Whistleblowing Policy is available from the school office or can be accessed here):
- It details what you should do next if you witness any inappropriate behaviour or actions.
Don’t think “what if I’m wrong?” – think “what if I’m right?”