The Independent Grammar School: Durham
In the vast majority of cases, problems and concerns can be dealt with by way of a brief meeting or telephone call between parents/pupils and the teacher(s) involved. Apart from when they are very minor in nature, these contacts are logged and recorded on pupil files.
If at any time a member of staff has any concerns regarding the safety of a child he or she should alert the Designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.
The formal procedure is as follows:
1. If a parent writes to a member of staff expressing concern or complaint, the member of staff will contact the parent in writing or in person within two school days of receipt either to attempt to deal with the matter or to explain that the letter has been referred to the Executive Principal and that a reply can be expected by a given date.
2. If a parent contacts the school to discuss an incident which has taken place within school, the first point of reference will be the form tutor or the member of staff involved in the incident or with the closest involvement in it. If the issue cannot be resolved immediately, the parent will be asked to come in to school at a convenient time to meet with the member of staff.
3. If the meeting or its outcome does not in the opinion of the parent fully deal with the issue, the parent will be directed to the Executive Principal and a meeting will be arranged as above. The person complaining may put the complaint in writing at this stage or at any other stage in the procedure.
4. If the parent is still not satisfied following a meeting with the Executive Principal, an appeal may be made in writing to the Chairman of the Board, c/o the school, who will reply within ten working days either arranging a hearing or giving a verdict. Whether given at that time or following a hearing, the decision by the Chairman on behalf of the Board is final and binding.
5. A record of all meetings and hearings referred to above will be made at the time and held confidentially within school. At any of the stages a parent, or parents, may choose to be accompanied by another person.
6. Where the Chairman of the Board deems it necessary to arrange a hearing, one person on the panel responsible for hearing the appeal will be independent of the management and running of the school. The panel will consist of not fewer than three and not more than four members, including the Chairman of the Board who will also be a member unless he or she is personally involved to an extent that would render his or her membership of the panel untenable, in which case another member of the panel will assume the role of Chairman. The panel will consist of at least three people who have not been directly involved in the incident being complained about. Parents will be invited to attend the hearing and may be accompanied.
7. The Chairman of the Board will give to all concerned (i.e. the parent making the complaint, members of the Board, members of the panel, the Executive Principal and, where relevant, the person complained about) a written copy of the panel’s findings, decision and recommendations
8. All correspondence, written information, statements and records of meetings, hearings etc. which relate to complaints will be held confidentially under lock and key except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting a formal school inspection requests access to them. This procedure will be made available to all parents and pupils on request and will appear on the school website.
(Throughout this procedure, the use of the word parent includes guardian as well as any other person involved in the life of the school who may have cause to make a complaint.)
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy and other relevant Policies.
This policy will be reviewed annually, or more frequently if required.