- Complaints made to the College will be listened to and acted upon.
- Complaints will be investigated thoroughly, fairly and promptly.
- The Principal or Deputy Principal, or if appropriate, a senior member of staff, will respond to complaints made by parents within 28 days, although an acknowledgement will be made within 14 days.
- Complaints made by students will normally be dealt with by the Deputy Principal in the first instance.
- When the complaint is directed at a senior member of staff, the Principal will deal with the matter.
- When there is a formal complaint against the Principal, the Chairman of Trustees will be informed.
- Complainants will not suffer as a result of a complaint.
Stage 1 – Informal
Most complaints are easily resolved informally by discussion with the appropriate member of staff at the College. More difficult or complex concerns may involve more than one discussion.
Procedure for Initial contact by members of staff:
- Listen to, and record, in writing, basic details of the complaint.
- Decide upon appropriate person to pass information.
- Appropriate member of staff interviews complainant or makes telephone or email contact.
- Complaint listened to and details recorded.
- Member of staff dealing with the complaint decides upon action to be taken and who needs to be seen, what information is required, possible further interviews. Decision is made on urgency of action and timescale to work to.
Action to be taken:
- Speak to those involved in complaint
- Speak to witnesses if required
- Take written statements if required
If possible, collect sufficient evidence to make an objective decision about the complaint.
Is the matter concluded?
If yes, agree action, communicate with complainant.
If no, refer to higher authority or repeat procedure.
If the complaint is not resolved at this stage, the parent, guardian or agent, as appropriate, should be informed about how to move on to the formal stage of the complaints procedure by making a written complaint to the Principal.
Stage 2 – Formal
The Principal will carry out an investigation and respond to the complainant. The complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt during term time, and a target date for providing a response will be given. This will normally be within 14 days during term time. The Principal may request to meet the complainant to gain further information relevant to the complaint. Statements from witnesses will be collected where necessary. When all the relevant facts have been established, the Principal will produce a written response to the complainant.
If the complaint is not resolved, the complainant will be given the option to move to Stage 3.
Stage 3 – Involvement of Chair of Trustees
The complaint will be raised with the Chair of Trustees, who may involve an additional trustee(s) as appropriate, who is not directly involved in the details of the complaint. The Chair of Trustees is contacted via the Principal (or the Principal’s PA in the case of a complaint against the Principal), who will forward the written complaint. In certain cases, it may be appropriate for the Chair of Trustees to resolve the matter less formally. The complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt during term time, and a target date for providing a response will be given. This will normally be within 14 days during term time. The complainant will be informed that they may attend this meeting, with an appropriate person accompanying them. A final decision will be made and communicated to the complainant, the person being complained about, the Principal and a representative of the Trustees. We will also ensure that an independent member is available. All complaints are recorded in the Complaints File in the Principal’s Office.
The overall process from the formal stage to completion will not take more than 28 working days during term time.
(Names of independent members – Mary Riall, Andrew More)
For serious complaints that are unresolved, parents are at liberty to contact the Independent Schools Inspectorate, Ground Floor, CAP House, 9-12 Long Lane, London EC1A 9HA. Tel: 0207 600 0100.
NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS
Number of complaints 2011/12: 0
Review: August 2012. Final Trustees Review October 2012