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Integrated Status Obtained

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Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

Our Mission Statement

To provide a caring, learning environment where each person feels valued and respected.

 

Scope of Complaints Procedure

The Board of Governors together with the Principal set the direction and tone of the school in all that they do and are committed to working with parents in the best interests of their children’s education. The purpose of the Complaints Procedure is to address complaints raised by parents/guardians.

 

The Procedure covers all matters relating to the actions of staff employed in the school and the application of school procedures, where they affect individual pupils.

 

Where it becomes evident at an early stage that a matter should be dealt with according to other established procedures or appeals mechanisms, this Complaints Procedure will be set aside in favour of the agreed procedure such as Child Protection, Special Education, Admissions, Suspensions and Expulsions, Grievance, Discipline,

Bullying and Harassment or Unsatisfactory Teaching Procedure.

 

The school will not deal with anonymous complaints (except for those concerning child protection matters) and therefore these procedures do not provide for a resolution of anonymous complaints.

 

If you have any issues, please talk to the teacher / head of year as soon as possible. Concerns about matters other than in the classroom should be raised with the Principal. We take all concerns seriously and make every effort to resolve matters as quickly as possible.

 

 

Aims

When dealing with complaints the school will;

·              encourage resolution of all concerns as quickly as possible

·              provide timely responses to concerns and complaints

·              keep you informed of progress

·              ensure a full and fair investigation of your complaint where appropriate

·              have due regard for the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved

·              respect confidentiality

·              fully address complaints and provide an effective response

·              take appropriate action to rectify the issue and prevent it happening again where appropriate

·              be responsive to learning from outcomes which will inform and improve practice within the school.

 

A copy of this Procedure is available on the school’s website or is available from the

school on request.

 

 

Complaints Procedure – At A Glance

 

Stage One - Write to the Principal  

Stage Two - Write to Board of Governors           

 

 

 

 

 

Time Limit

Please contact the school as soon as possible, unless there are exceptional circumstances, complaints will normally only be considered within 6 months of origin of the complaint to the school.


Stage One

When making a complaint, contact the school Principal who will arrange for the complaint to be investigated. If the complaint is about the Principal, proceed to Stage Two. The school requires complaints to be made in writing, where this may present difficulties, please contact the school which will make reasonable arrangements to support you with this process. (see guidance notes for further information)

 

Please provide as much information as possible including;

·              name and contact details

·              what the complaint is about

·              what has already been done to try to resolve it and

·              what you would like the school to do to resolve the complaint.

 

The complaint will normally be acknowledged within 5 school working days and a response normally made within 20 school working days of receipt of the complaint. This response will be issued in writing by the Principal and will indicate with reasons whether the complaint has been upheld, partially upheld or not upheld.

 

These timeframes may need to be reviewed if complaints are ongoing during school

holiday periods.

If you remain unhappy with the outcome at Stage 1, the complaint may be progressed to Stage 2 which is overseen by the Board of Governors.

 

Stage Two

If the complaint is unresolved after Stage One, write to the Chairperson of the Board of Governors (care of the school and marked ‘private and confidential’). Where this may present difficulties, please contact the school which will make reasonable arrangements to support the complainant with this process. The Chairperson will convene a committee to review the complaint. Please provide as much detail as possible as indicated above.

 

The complaint will normally be acknowledged within 5 school working days and a final response normally made within 20 school working days from date of receipt of the complaint. The response will be issued in writing by the Chairperson of the committee.

 

These timeframes may need to be reviewed if complaints are ongoing during school holiday periods.

 

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO)

If following Stage Two you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can refer the matter to the Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO).

The Ombudsman provides a free, independent and impartial service for handling complaints about schools in Northern Ireland. You have the right to complain to the Ombudsman if you feel that you have been treated unfairly or have received a poor service from a school and your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction.

A complaint should normally be referred to NIPSO within six months of the final response from the School. The school must advise in its concluding letter that the complaint may be referred to the NIPSO if you remain dissatisfied.

Contact details for NIPSO are:

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Progressive House

33 Wellington Place

Belfast

BT1 6HN

Freepost: FREEPOST NIPSO


Telephone: 02890 233821

Freephone: 0800 34 34 24

Email: nipso@nipso.org.uk

Web: www.nipso.org.uk

Scope of Complaints Procedure

The Complaints Procedure sets out how any expression of dissatisfaction relating to the school will be managed. By taking concerns raised seriously at the earliest possible stage, it is hoped that issues can be resolved quickly and effectively.

 

Some examples of complaints dealt with;

·              not following school policy

·              communication delays / lack of communication

·              difficulties in staff / pupil relationships.

 

Complaints with separate established procedures

Some examples of statutory procedures and appeal mechanisms are listed below. The list is not exhaustive. The Principal/ Chair of Governors will advise on the appropriate procedure to use when the complaint is raised.

 

Matters may still be referred to NIPSO, if it is felt that maladministration has occurred.

 

Exceptions

 

Contact

 

Admissions / Expulsions / Exclusion of

children from school

 

 

Statutory assessments of Special

Educational Needs (SEN)

 

 

School Development Proposals

 

 

 

Child Protection / Safeguarding

 

Contact www.eani.org.uk Director of

Operations and Estates

Sara Long

 

Contact www.eani.org.uk Director of

Children and Young People’s Services

Dr Clare Mangan

 

Contact www.eani.org.uk Director of

Education

John Collings

 

Contact www.eani.org.uk Director of

Children and Young People’s Services

Dr Clare Mangan

 

 

 

 

 

The school will not normally investigate anonymous complaints, unless deemed by the Chairperson of the Board of Governors to be of a serious nature. The decision of whether to deal with such complaints will be at the discretion of the Board of Governors. (see guidance notes for further information)

 

 

What To Expect Under This Procedure

 

Your rights as a person making a complaint

In dealing with complaint we will ensure;

·              fair treatment

·              courtesy

·              a timely response

·              accurate advice

·              respect for privacy – complaints will be treated as confidentially as possible allowing for the possibility of consultation with other appropriate parties about the complaint and

·              clear reasons for decisions.

 


Your responsibilities as a person making a complaint

In making a complaint it is important to;

·              raise issues in a timely manner

·              treat our staff with respect and courtesy

·              provide accurate and concise information in relation to the issues raised

·              use these procedures fully and engage with them at the appropriate levels.

 

Rights of parties involved during the investigation

Where a meeting is arranged the complainant may be accompanied but not

represented by another person.

 

This Procedure does not take away from the statutory rights of any of the participants.

 

Timeframes

Where concerns are raised with the relevant Teacher or Principal, a response will normally be provided during the meeting or within an agreed timeframe.

 

Stage 1 – Normally acknowledge within 5 school working days, response normally within 20 school working days

 

Stage 2 – Normally acknowledge within 5 school working days, response normally within 20 school working days

 

If, for any reason, the review of a complaint takes longer to complete, you will be informed of revised time limits and kept updated on progress.

 

These timeframes may need to be reviewed if complaints are ongoing during school holiday periods.

 

Making A Complaint

Equality

The school requires complaints to be made in writing. Where this may present difficulties, please contact the school which will make reasonable arrangements to support the complainant with this process.

 

Unreasonable Complaints

The school is committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially, and to providing a high quality service to those who complain.

 

There will be occasions when, despite all stages of the complaints procedure having been completed and the complaint having been reviewed by the Ombudsman, the complainant remains dissatisfied. If they try to reopen the same issue, the Chair of Governors will inform them that the procedure has been completed and that the matter is now closed.

 

If the complainant repeatedly continues to contact the school with the same issue it may choose not to respond.

 

 

A full set of guidance materials to support this procedure is currently being developed. It will be helpful to consult this to understand the scope of the complaints procedure.

 

Date adopted by Board of Governors                  April 2018

Integrated Status Obtained