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 which is not a complaint – you just want to get something ‘off your chest’. Whatever contact the school and let us know your views.
If you are dissatisfied about the way you or a child is being treated, or any actions or lack of action by us, please feel free 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 twenty-eight working days.
- Your complaint will be logged on the school’s Complaints Register.
How to make a complaint
If you have a concern about anything we do or if you wish to make a complaint you can do this by telephone, in person or in writing. We hope that most complaints can be settled quickly and informally, either by putting matters right or by giving you an explanation. 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 such as the special needs co-coordinator (SENCo) if it is about special needs.
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 the first person you talk to cannot help you then speak to the Headteacher. Make an appointment with the Headteacher’s PA 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.
How to make a formal complaint
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 Chair of Governors, Mrs Melany McQueen.
In this form you should
- make it clear why you are complaining
- say who you have spoken to already
- explain what you want to happen as a result of your complaint
The Chair of Governors will arrange for your complaint to be considered and investigated under the arrangements approved by the Governing Body. This is likely to involve a Panel of Governors. If the Chair of Governors or another Governor has been involved in discussions to help settle the disagreement at Stage 1, she should arrange for another Governor to take charge of the investigation. The Governor in charge of investigating the complaint may ask to meet you to discuss your concerns. The Governing Body should give you full details of how they will carry out any further investigation or formal hearing and keep you up-to-date with progress.
You and School must make sure the Governors’ Complaint Panel is provided with any written information or evidence you intend to use in a formal hearing. You may bring a friend, representative or interpreter to any meeting if you wish. The Chair of the Panel may invite any person who may help establish the facts of the complaint. The Chair should tell you who this person is before the meeting.
If any member of staff is required by the Governing Body to attend a meeting they will have the opportunity to be accompanied or represented as they wish. A member of staff named by parents in the complaint may also choose to attend a meeting, even if not required to do so by the Governors. They may be represented. If this happens, the school will inform you before the meeting.
When the panel has fully investigated your complaint, the Chair of the Panel or the Governor in charge of the investigation will write to you to tell you the findings. These findings will be reported to the Governing Body. The Chair of Governors will then write to you confirming the outcome of your complaint and any agreed actions to be taken. The Governing Body will aim to deal with complaints within 28 school days.
Is there another stage of complaint?
For almost all complaints, the procedure ends with the governing body and there is no third stage of complaint to the local authority.
If the school’s complaints procedure has been exhausted and you remain dissatisfied, you can approach the Secretary of State. Further advice is available from the Children’s Legal Centre, the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) or Family Lives (formerly Parentline Plus).
However, if your complaint is about the way that a school is providing for your child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs you do have a third stage of complaint to the Local Authority.
In this case, you can write to the Complaints Manager who will acknowledge your complaint within five working days and then inform the Chair of Governors and Headteacher. The Complaints Team will aim to investigate your complaint within 25 working days, however the investigation may take longer in complex situations. When your complaint has been fully investigated the Complaints Manager will write to let you know the decision. S/he will give the reasons for the decision, any action or proposed action to be taken and any further avenues open to you. S/he will send a copy to the Headteacher, the Chair of Governors and anyone else concerned in the investigation.
Parents who remain dissatisfied following further investigation by the Local Authority have the right to complain to the Secretary of State who may decide to conduct an additional investigation.
Can I complain to anyone other than the County Council?
For all other types of complaint, including those regarding bullying, the national curriculum or collective worship in a community, voluntary-controlled, voluntary-aided, foundation or trust school, there is no third stage of complaint to the local authority.
However, you can complain to the Secretary of State at the Department for Education. The contact details for the Secretary of State are as follows:
The Secretary of State, Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT,
Telephone: 0870 000 2288, Website: www.education.gov.uk
Please note that the Department for Education will only follow up your complaint with School or the Local Authority if they believe either might have acted unreasonably or failed to carry out a statutory duty.
Useful contact details
|Chair of Governors||Mrs Melany McQueen
c/o Marriotts School
|Parent Partnership Service (SEN)||http://www.hertsdirect.org/parentpartnership|
|ACE (Advisory Centre for Education)||http://www.ace-ed.org.uk||0300 0115 142|
|HertsHelp||http://www.hertsdirect.org/hertshelp||0300 123 4044|
|Family Lives||http://www.familylives.org.uk||0808 800 2222|
|Carers in Herts||http://www.carersinherts.org.uk||01992 586969|
|Children’s Legal Centre||http://www.childrenslegalcentre.com||01206 873820|
|Citizen’s Advice Bureau||http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk||08444 111 444|