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Complaints (Parents)

Complaints (Parents) 

Good, positive relationships between pupils, parents, staff and Governors at Trinity Christian School are vital if we are to achieve the school’s aims. If disputes occur they will be taken seriously, dealt with promptly, and resolved in a biblical manner. 

Established procedures should be followed so that disputes can be settled quickly and fairly.  “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40) 

This policy has been written with reference to guidance from the SIEF, Staff Handbook and Government Statutory Guidance (Independent Schools Standard, England, 2014). Examples of a complaint could include:

  1. Any complaint that could result in the expulsion of a pupil.
  2. Any complaint that could lead to serious disciplinary action being taken against a member of staff.

The complaints procedure is made available to parents in a number of ways:

  1. A copy of the Complaints Procedure is made available to all new parents along with the “Contract”
  2. A copy of the Complaints Procedure is made available on the school web page
  3. A copy of the Complaints Procedure is made available to parents on request.

Philosophy

Trinity Christian School operates as a partnership between home and the school and we value working with parents and seek to resolve all issues at an early stage. Indeed we believe that the majority of all complaints can be successfully resolved at Stage One. Nonetheless it is still recognised that there may be times when parents have concerns that need further attention. 

Resolution of Complaints and Disputes 

Any person who has a complaint should follow the appropriate procedure. When problems first occur, our personality and temperament can be affected by anger. It would be appropriate to take time to “put off all these: anger, wrath, malice…” and “put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering: bearing with one another…” (Colossians 3:1-17)

Step 1

In the first instance, the complainant should contact the School Office to arrange a meeting with the person they have a complaint against. For example, a parent might want to discuss a concern with the class/subject teacher regarding an incident that happened in class. The primary purpose of this meeting is to clarify the situation/establish the facts and give the staff member an opportunity to resolve the concern before it escalates. We encourage these meetings to be informal and private.

As stated above, we value working with parents and seek to resolve all issues at an early stage. As such, we aim to meet with parents within 5 working days of stage one being initiated.

It should be remembered that a parent should not complain or discuss the nature of their complaint with pupils –as this can send a message of disunity. 

Step 2

If, after the stage one meeting, a resolution is not reached, either party should record his or her complaint in writing and send it to the Headteacher. 

The Headteacher will arrange to meet both parties (within 5 working days of the letter being received) as a mediator to establish the facts, make sure that both parties understand them, suggest a way forward or make a decision as to what each party should do. If an investigation is required into the facts of the dispute, the Headteacher will inform both parties of the outcome. A record will be kept of complaints reaching this level and beyond. 

Step 3

If either party is unhappy with the Headteacher’s decision at stage two, they should write formally to the Governors outlining their complaint. The Chair of Governors will form a panel to investigate the complaint and responses from the school. This panel must consist of at least 3 people who were not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint.   One panel member should be someone independent of the management and running of the school;

Having gathered appropriate evidence, the panel will meet within 20 working days to review the case and make conclusions.  The complainant must be invited to attend and may be accompanied at the panel hearing if they wish. In the event of the complainant not attending the meeting, the panel will make a judgement based on the evidence available and all decisions will be communicated in writing to the complainant within 5 working days of the meeting.

The panel’s findings and recommendations must be:

  • Sent by electronic mail or otherwise given to the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about.
  • Available for inspection on the school premises by the Governors and Headteacher.

In the event of a complaint being made against the Headteacher the complainant should carry out Step 1 and then continue to Step 3 if the issue is unresolved.

This complaints policy should also be carried out in the event of a dispute or complaint between staff at Trinity Christian School.

In any dispute, a decision by the panel appointed by the Chair of Governors will be the School’s final decision. 

Written records

We keep a written record of all complaints (whether they are upheld or not) and we record every change to school practice/policy that occurs as a result of a complaint being upheld.

All complaints are kept in a secure location 

Complaints Time Frame 

As soon as this complaints procedure has been initiated, conclusions will be made as soon as practicably possible and all relevant parties informed of progress.

Child Protection issues. 

ANY COMPLAINT PERTAINING TO CHILD PROTECTION ISSUES WILL IMMEDIATELY BE BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CHILD PROTECTION DESIGNATED SAFEGUARDING OFFICER AND CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES WILL IMMEDIATELY BE APPLIED.  (See policy.)

EYFS.

Any written complaints about the fulfilment of the EYFS requirements must be investigated and the complainant notified of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days. The record of complaints will be made available to Ofsted and ISI on request.

Confidentiality 

The reader should understand that we take confidentiality very seriously and ask that staff and parents do not discuss any complaint outside of the perimeters set by this policy.

However, it should be noted that some outside agencies (including Ofsted and other inspection agencies) do need to have access to the complaints made in school.

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Complaints:

Number of complaints that went to panel in 2013/14 – NONE

Number of complaints that went to panel in 2014/15 – NONE

Number of complaints that went to panel in 2015/16 – ONE