Complaint Policy  

Optimal Tutors Complaint Policy


Guidance

The complaints procedure at Optimal Tutors has three stages, to be covered in a period of 28 days excluding school holidays and weekends between the complaint being made and the final resolution. The DfE does not distinguish between a ‘concern’ and a ‘complaint’. Any matter about which a parent of a pupil is unhappy and seeks action by the school is considered as a complaint and will be addressed in accordance with this policy. In this respect, it is anticipated that the large majority of complaints will be resolved at the informal stage.

The school will keep records of complaints, which are resolved at the informal stage for management purposes, for example to enable patterns or trends to be monitored. A formal written and/or electronic record is kept of complaints made to the school, which reach the formal stage. Details will be recorded of.

  • Whether the complaint was resolved following the formal stage or proceeded to a panel hearing.
  • Action taken by the school as a result of the complaint, (regardless of whether the complaint was upheld).

Records are kept for at least three years. The school will provide ISI and Ofsted, on request, with a written record of all complaints made during any specified period, and the action, which was taken as a result of each complaint.


Stage 1 - Informal complaint (Resolution within 5 working days)

All complaints may be made on an informal basis initially; verbally or in writing. Sections A-F deal with any informal complaints. In many instances issues will be dealt with straight away. Where further information is required every effort will be made to make an initial response within 24 hours of the issue being raised.


A) Complaints by parents about a member of staff

  1. Direct discussion with parents and Head teacher
  2. Direct discussion with member of staff followed by conversation between member of staff and parents and aggrieved parties
  3. Action on points raised agreed
  4. Review situation

B) Complaints by parents about another child.

  1. Class teacher involved immediately.
  2. If necessary, playground supervisors involved and class teacher to observe in the playground.
  3. All teachers are informed at staff meetings for classroom awareness.
  4. "Complaining" parents telephoned; procedures explained; offered opportunity to talk further and asked to telephone immediately with any further/future concerns.
  5. Conflict noted on children’s profiles and SMT ensure where possible that class teacher/tutor mitigates conflicts.
  6. In instances of bullying the procedure is outlined in our anti-bullying policy
  7. Where necessary steps will be taken in accordance in the school Behaviour and Exclusions policy.

C) Complaints by a child about a child.

  1. All parties are separately seen by staff, as a fact collecting exercise.
  2. Staff is informed in staff meetings.
  3. Parents are informed
  4. In instances of bullying the procedure is outlined in our anti-bullying policy
  5. Where necessary, steps will be taken in accordance with the school Behaviour and Exclusions policies.

D) Complaint by a member of staff about a colleague.

This is usually made to the Head teacher director of studies either informally or formally

  1. Informally: the director Head teacher then discusses matter with member of staff and offers to intervene tactfully. Usually the member of staff chooses to speak to the other staff member him/herself. SMT ensure that situations likely to cause friction/aggravation between staff concerned are avoided.
  2. In appraisal; Procedures as above, though the complaint is noted. In order to maintain a happy community, all staff are asked by the their appraiser in appraisal, if they have any concerns
  3. If the complaint is about the Head teacher the complaint should be made to the Education Committee at Bellevue Education.

E) Complaints by residents

  1. Whoever takes the call, listens sympathetically and collects as much information as possible.
  2. Subsequent action varies according to information.

F) Complaints by former pupils

This policy does not apply to complaints made by former pupils unless the complaint was first raised whilst the pupil was still registered at the school.


Stage 2 - Formal Complaint (Resolution within 10 working days)

Where the complainant(s) are not satisfied with the response of the school, through the procedures outlined above they may register a formal complaint. This should be done in writing to the head, including:

-The nature of the complaint

-The reasons for their dissatisfaction with the school’s response.

The head will meet with the complainant as soon as is practical, to discuss the matter and, if possible, to reach a resolution at this stage. Where a complaint is received during a school holiday, it will be deemed to have reached the school on the first full school day following its arrival. It may be necessary to carry out further investigations. The head will keep written records of all complaints, and of meetings held in relation to them.

Once the head is satisfied that all the relevant facts have been established, a response to the complaint will be made and the complainant will be informed in writing, within ten school days: the nature of the response will depend on the nature of the complaint but it will always give a judgement whether and to what extent, if at all, the complaint is justified, and reasons; the response may include actions which the school intends to take or a decision. A complainant who is not satisfied should proceed to the next stage.


Stage 3 - Independent Resolution - Panel Hearing (Resolution within 13 working days)

If Stage 2 has not resolved a complaint satisfactorily, the complainant should write within five school days to the head, requesting a hearing before the complaints panel, which will acknowledge the letter of complaint.

At this point the school will:

a) Convene a panel of one of the proprietors, a member of the SMT not involved in the matters detailed in the complaint, and either one or two representatives of ISA (Independent Schools Association) or IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools), depending upon the particular circumstances, the ISA or IAPS representatives will be independent of the running of the school.

b) Send a letter to the parents inviting then to attend the panel, along with someone to

Accompany them if they wish.

c) Provide that the panel is able to make findings and recommendations; and ensure that minutes and recommended actions of the panel are kept for three years.

d) Ensure that a copy of the panel’s findings and recommendations is –

  1. Provided to the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about;
  2. Available for inspection on the school premises by the proprietor and the head teacher;
  3. e) Ensure all records relating to individual complaints are kept confidential – unless the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act requests access to them.

    f) Show how the findings and recommendations of the panel have been responded to.

    g) Seek to complete this stage of the procedure within 13 working days.