Complaints Policy and Procedures



The purpose of the following policy is to establish a structure whereby complaints can be heard and resolved. It is not intended that the procedures in this document should replace normal discussion on day to day problems and concerns as they arise. It is only when a complainant remains dissatisfied with the outcome of such discussions that further steps will need to be taken.


  • To ensure the rapid and efficient processing of complaints by parents against members of school staff, the Headteacher or a Governor;
  • To maintain strong and positive relationships within the school community.


The following principles underpin the Complaints Policy:

  • Parents will have ready access to the complaints procedure.
  • Complaints will be handled in a conciliatory, as opposed to a confrontational, manner.
  • All parties involved have equal rights.
  • The proceedings surrounding a complaint, both oral and written, will be handled confidentially.
  • There will be close monitoring of all complaints, with results shared with the Governing body.


There are 5 stages outlined in the complaints procedure:

Complaints Pre-stage: Complaint heard by staff member

Stage 1: Informal resolution by Head teacher (within 28 days)

Stage 2: Formal referral to Head Teacher

Stage 3: Complaint referred to Chair of the Governing Body  (within 28 days)

Stage 4: Governing body Appeal Committee

Stage 5: Referral to DFE & OFSTED complaints procedures

Stage 1:

In the case of unresolved concerns relating to a member of staff or school procedure including those received by a governor from a parent, the complainant should make contact with the Headteacher in the first instance.

A meeting will be arranged at the earliest convenient time to all parties where it is anticipated the complaint can be dealt with to the satisfaction of all parties The Headteacher (or Chair) will endeavour to resolve the concern informally, during the course of the investigation they may invite a third party in to observe any relevant meetings.

Any member of staff complained against will be kept fully informed of the content of the complaint and will be given an opportunity to explain their actions. It is anticipated that the majority of parental concerns relating to the school procedures, organisation or education provided can be resolved at this early stage with the class teacher, Head Teacher or if relevant governor.

In the event of this not being the case, the following procedure is available to the complainant.

Stage 2:

Should this intervention fail to resolve the problem to the complainant’s satisfaction, a formal complaint should be made in writing, addressed to the Headteacher.

Once a formal written complaint has been received, the matter will be investigated fully and a written response given by the head teacher with any actions taken clearly listed.

Stage 3:

Should stage 2 fail to resolve the problem to the complainant’s satisfaction, the matter will be referred to the Chair of the Governing Body who will contact the complainant and arrange a meeting at the earliest convenience to both parties. A written response will be given with any actions taken clearly listed.

Stage 4:

Should stage 3 fail to resolve the problem to the complainant’s satisfaction, the matter should be referred to the appeal committee which will consist of not less than three members.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, the panel may be members of the Governing Body (not the chair) or may include independent members.

Receipt of the letter of complaint will be acknowledged within 10 working days.

Role of the Complaints Appeals Panel

The role of the Complaints Appeal Panel is to review the complaint made by an individual and the response of the school or individual to that complaint. It is NOT an adversarial process therefore there will not be an opportunity for either party to enter into a debate with the other over the information presented to the panel.

The panel will hear information from all parties and then reach a decision. A meeting will be arranged within 20 working days of receipt of the written complaint, at which the complainant will be invited to present his/her case.

See Appendix 1 for the conduct of the hearing.

The Complaints Appeal Panel will communicate its decision to all concerned parties, in writing, within 10 working days of the hearing. This communication will include:

  • an explanation of how the decision has been reached
  • any action to be taken fully recognises the responsibilities for Safeguarding Children.

Stage 5:

Should stage 4 fail to resolve the problem to the complainant’s satisfaction, the complainant should be referred to DFE & OFSTED complaints procedures.


The Governors, Headteachers and Staff of Hartpury CofE Primary School are always ready to listen to criticism and challenge from their parents and to respond positively to these in order to bring about improvement. They acknowledge that all members of the school community are entitled to have their points of view heard, and seek to ensure that complaints are resolved speedily and effectively.

It is anticipated that the implementation of this policy will be a significant aid in achieving these aims.