At Gifford we try our best to ensure that the needs of all our children and parents/carer are met and that your school, is a safe and happy place for all.
However we do recognise that at times concerns can arise and we ask that there are brought to our attention as soon as possible to allow us time to investigate an incident or problem.
Problems sometimes arise from misunderstandings which are easily addressed. Most concerns and complaints can be sorted out quickly by speaking with your child’s class teacher. We believe that when parents/carers and teaching staff treat each other with mutual respect and support, this provides a very good role model for all our children. Our ultimate aim is to find a way forward together which services the best interest of both the school and your child.
The school expects complaints to be made as soon as possible after the occurrence of the incident being complained about and usually will not consider complaints made more than three months after any incident.
Raising a concern and making a complaint
Step 1: Talking the problem through informally with the Class Teacher
In the first instance complainants should discuss the matter with the Class Teacher, this can be in person or by phone.
Most concerns can be dealt with in this way. A response (which may be a call, a face to face meeting, or a written response) will be sent within 2-3 working days. Complainants are required to remain calm when stating their concerns and complaints. Failure to do so may result in any meeting being brought to a close until emotions are under control.
All staff are committed to ensuring that each child is happy at school and is making good progress. Staff want to know if there is a problem so that they can provide any support needed.
Step 2: What to do if the matter is not resolved through informal discussion
Where a complainant feels that the situation has not been resolved through contact with the Class Teacher, or that their complaint is of a sufficiently serious nature, they should make an appointment to discuss it with the Assistant Head of the relevant department.
The Assistant Head will consider any such complaint seriously and will investigate the complaint thoroughly. It is very rare for complaints not to be resolved at this stage. The Assistant Head will aim to meet with the complainant within 2-3 working days of the complainant’s request.
If the Assistant Head is unable to resolve the matter, then the complainant may raise the matter with the Head teacher. The Head teacher will then review all the information relating to the complaint and will meet with complainant within 5 working days of the complainant’s request to discuss any remaining concerns. Complainants may bring a representative or person to support them to this meeting.
Step 3 Review by the Governing Body and the Complaints Panel
If the complainant is not happy with the decision of the Headteacher they may complain to the Governing Body.
The complaint should be made to the Chair of Governors. The Chair of Governors or another nominated Governor may invite the complainant to resolve the issue informally. If this is not successful, the Chair of Governors will convene a formal Governing Body Complaints Panel.
The Governing Body Complaints Panel will consider the complaint within 15 working days of receipt if there is no attempt at informal resolution, or within 15 working days of failure of any informal resolution. It will arrange a meeting to discuss the complaint and invite the complainant to attend to explain their complaint in more detail. The school will give the complainant at least three working days’ notice of the meeting.
After hearing all the evidence, the Governors will consider their decision and inform the complainant about it in writing within 5 working days of the meeting. The Governors will do all they can at this stage to resolve the complaint.