Seaton Academy prides itself on the outstanding quality of the teaching and care provided to all pupils. However if parents do have a complaint it will be treated by the Academy in accordance with this Procedure.
Dealing With Complaints – Initial Concerns – Stage 1
We recognise the need to be clear about the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage reduces the numbers that develop into formal complaints.
We aim to ensure that concerns are handled, if at all possible, without the need for formal procedures. Our formal complaints procedure is only necessary if efforts to resolve the concern informally are unsuccessful.
- In most cases a class teacher or an individual delivering the service, will receive the first approach and in many cases the matter will be resolved straightway.
- Should the matter not be resolved in this way then parents will be advised to proceed with their complaint in accordance with the Formal Procedures.
Dealing With Complaints – Formal Procedures – Stage 2
- If the complaint cannot be resolved on an informal basis, then parents should put their complaint in writing to the Head. The Head will decide, after considering the complaint, the appropriate course of action to take.
- In most cases, the Head will speak with the parents concerned, normally within 5 days of receiving the complaint, to discuss the matter. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage.
- It may be necessary for the Head to carry out further investigations.
- The Head will keep written records of all meetings and interviews in relation to the complaint.
- Once the Head is satisfied that, in so far as is practicable, all the relevant facts have been established a decision will be made and parents will be informed of the decision in writing. The Head will also give reasons for the decision.
- If parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this Procedure.
Dealing With Complaints – Formal Procedures – Stage 3
If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 (following a failure to reach an earlier resolution) they will be transferred to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
- The matter will then be referred to the Board of Trustees Complaints Panel for consideration. The Complaints Panel will consist of at least 3 persons not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint. At least one member of the panel will be independent of the management and running of the school. Each of the Panel members shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Chair of the Complaints Panel will then acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing to take place as soon as is practicable and normally within 14 days.
- If the Panel deem it necessary, it may require that further particulars of the complaint or any related matter be supplied in advance of the hearing. Copies of such particulars shall be supplied to all parties not later than 3 days prior to the hearing.
- The parents may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person. This may be a relative or friend.
- If possible, the Panel will resolve the parent’s complaint immediately without the need for further investigation.
- Where further investigation is required, the panel will decide how it should be carried out. After due consideration of all the facts the Panel will reach a decision within 10 days of the hearing. The panel will write to the parents informing them of its decision and the reasons for it. The decision of the Panel will be final. The Panel’s findings and, if any, recommendations, will be sent in writing to the parents, the Head, the Trustees and where relevant the person complained of.
Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. Correspondence will be kept confidential in so far as is required by Education Regulations, where disclosure is required in the course of the Academy’s inspection, or where any other legal obligation prevails.
Effective from: January 2020 Review January 2023