Parental Complaints Procedure

1. Preamble

JESS is committed to providing the best teaching and pastoral care it can for its students. It is hoped that any worries or complaints can be dealt with informally through the Parental Communication framework, but if not the school has a formal complaints procedure. Formal complaints are extremely rare, reflecting the good, positive relationships between students, parents and the school which enables most matters to be resolved informally. It is our hope, even at this stage, that discussions are both open and constructive.

2. The Complaints Procedure

 A record of all written complaints, and of whether they were resolved at the preliminary stage or proceeded to an investigation, will be kept by the relevant Head of School’s P.A.

2.1. Stage 1: Informal Resolution
 It is hoped that most complaints will be resolved quickly and informally. Please refer to the document on Parental Communication.
 If the complaint is against a specific member of staff and parents believe that the complaint is of a serious nature, they may make their complaint directly to the Head of School. The Head will decide who is best placed to deal with the complaint in the first instance with the aim to resolve the issue and meet or contact the parents within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint.
 If, after the meeting, there is no satisfactory resolution, parents are advised to proceed to Stage 2 of the procedure.
 If a complaint is received about a Head of School it is hoped the matter can be resolved informally. If a complainant believes this would not be possible, the complaint should be sent to The Director, who will liaise with the Chairman of the Board.
2.2. Stage 2: Formal Resolution
 If the complaint cannot be resolved on an informal basis, parents should put their complaint in writing to the Head of School.
 The Head of School will meet the parents concerned, normally within five working days of receiving the written complaint, to discuss the matter. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage. If the complaint is made against a specific member of staff the Head of School will have the right to decide whether the member of staff’s presence is appropriate at this stage.
 The Head of School will appoint an Investigating Officer to investigate the matter and will provide a response to the complaint within a further five working days. The investigation report will confirm if they believe there is a case to answer; this will be communicated to all interested parties.
 The school will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint.
 If parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of the procedure, which will be considered by The Director and/or Board of Governors.
2.3. Stage 3: Appeals Procedure
 If parents wish to proceed to Stage 3 of the procedure, they will be referred to the Chairman of the Board.
 The Panel will consist of individuals who have not been directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint. The panel shall include at least one person independent of the management of the School.
 The Director / Chairman of the Board will acknowledge the complaint within three working days of receipt and schedule a hearing to take place within a further ten working days.
 If the complaint is made against a member of staff, the particulars of the complaint will be made available to the member of staff, and that member of staff will have the right to speak with the Panel.
 The parents and, where applicable, the member of staff may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person. Legal representation will not be appropriate.

 If possible, the Panel will resolve the parents’ complaint immediately without the need for further investigation.

 When further investigation is required, the Panel will decide how it should be carried out. After due consideration of all facts they consider relevant, the Panel will reach a decision and may make recommendations, which it shall complete within seven working 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 Board of Governors and, where relevant, the person complained of.
 A written record will be kept by The Director.

3. Confidentiality

 Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and in confidence. Correspondence, statements and records will be kept confidential.