Home Page

Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

Home Page

Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

Close Window

Complaints Procedure



Governor :   Edward Oatley


Governor Implementation Check. Date: November 2016

 Governor Implementation Check EYFS Date: November 2016

Policy Review by Governors Date:  November 2016


Date of next Implementation review: November 2017


Signed:             E Oatley                             Date: 15.11.2016


Original held in school. 



Including EYFS, Main School and before and

after school care


The School has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care to its pupils. However, if parents do have a complaint, they can expect it to be treated by the School in accordance with this procedure. The Complaints Procedure has reference to Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE) 2016.


All contact, information and records will be kept completely confidential. Hard copy correspondence is kept in the HT Office and any electronic communication is kept on file on the HT secured computer. All issues concerning one child are kept in a dedicated folder and not a shared folder.


Stage 1 – Informal Resolution


  • It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally.

  • If parents have a complaint they should contact their son/daughters’ Class Teacher.  In many cases, the matter will be resolved immediately by this means to the parents’ satisfaction.  If the Class Teacher cannot resolve the matter alone, it may be necessary for him/her to consult with the Head Teacher.

  • Class Teachers will respond to a complaint or enquiry within 1 working day or give a good reason why this will take longer and set a new deadline.

  • Complaints made directly to the Head Teacher will usually be referred to the relevant Class Teacher unless the Head Teacher deems it appropriate for her to deal with the matter personally. Any complaint to the Head Teacher will receive a reply within 1 working day and resolution will also be within this time. If it is not possible to offer resolution within 1 working day then a new deadline will be agreed.

  • The Class Teacher will make a written record of all concerns and complaints and the date on which they were received.  Should the matter not be resolved within 14 working days or in the event that the Class Teacher and the parent fail to reach a satisfactory resolution then the parents will be advised to proceed with their complaint in accordance with Stage 2 of this procedure.


Stage 2 – Formal resolution


  • If the complaint cannot be resolved on an informal basis then parents should put their complaint in writing to the Head Teacher.  The Head Teacher will decide, after considering the complaint, the appropriate action to take.

  • All written complaints at Stage 2 will be recorded and notes made on file.

  • In most cases, the Head Teacher will meet with or phone the parents concerned within 1 working day of receiving the complaint, to discuss the matter.  If possible, resolution will be reached at this stage.

  • It may be necessary for the Head Teacher to carry out further investigations. The timing for response will be discussed with parents and based on the nature of the enquiries needed.

  • The Head Teacher will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint.

  • Once the Head Teacher is satisfied that all the relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and parents will be informed of this decision in writing.  The Head Teacher will also give reasons for her decision.

  • If parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this procedure.


Complaint against the Head Teacher

If the complaint is against the Head Teacher or a governor, the complainant is advised to direct that complaint to the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Chairman will follow the Stage 2 procedure as above. The contact number for Mr Edward Oatley is: tel 01732 465905 or by email  In the event a complaint is made against the Chairman. The Head Teacher will nominate another governor to receive the complaint.


Stage 3 – Panel Hearing

  • If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 following a failure to reach an earlier resolution, they will be referred to Edward Oatley, who has been appointed by the Governors to call hearings of the Complaints panel.

  • The matter will then be referred to the Complaints Panel for consideration.  The panel will consist of three persons not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint, one of whom shall be independent of the management and running of the School.  Each of the panel members shall be appointed by the Governors.  Mr Oatley, on behalf of the panel, will then acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing to take place as soon as is practicable and normally within 14 days.

  • If the panel deem it necessary, it may require that further particulars of the complaint or any related matter be supplied in advance of the hearing.  Copies of such particulars shall be supplied to all parties not later than 4 days prior to the hearing.

  • The parents may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person.  This may be a relative, teacher or friend.  It is not the intention that the parties should be legally represented at the hearing.

  • If possible, the panel will resolve the parent’s concern immediately without need for further investigation.

Where further investigation is required, the panel will decide how to carry out the investigation.  After due consideration of all the facts they consider relevant, the panel will form a decision and may make recommendations, which it shall complete within 7 working days of the hearing.  The panel will write to the parents informing them of the 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 Head Teacher, the Governors and where relevant the person complained of.


Final Hearing

In the case that the complainants are not satisfied with the outcome of the panel hearing, the final stage is appeal to the School’s outside adjudicator, Mrs Susan Webb.  Her decision is final.

All complaints logged in the Complaints folder in the Head’s Office will be kept for a minimum of three years.  Complaints of this nature are those that have not had informal resolution or have been referred directly to the Head.  EYFS and Pre-School complaints, whether informal or formal, are noted and kept for a minimum of three years.

Parents may contact Ofsted and/or ISI if they wish to make a complaint at any stage.

Their contact details are:

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
Manchester M1 2WD
general helpline: 0300 123 1231        textphone: 0161 618 8524

ISI: Independent Schools Inspectorate
Cap house
9-12 Long Lane


Tel 020 7600 0100

Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially.* However we are required to provide written evidence of all complaints upon request from Ofsted or ISI together with the action taken.

  * Correspondence, statements and records of complaints will be kept confidential except in so far as required of the School by paragraph 6(2)(j) of The Education (Independent Schools Standards) Regulations 2003; where disclosure is required in the course of the School’s inspection; or where any legal obligation prevails.


Allegations of abuse against teachers and other staff

If it is alleged that a teacher or member of staff (including volunteers) has:

• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;

• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or

• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates he or she would pose a risk of harm if they work regularly or closely with children, then the guidelines in KCSIE 2016 are followed. If the allegations are against someone no longer working at the school then the police are informed.

Any staff member having an allegation of abuse against them will receive support and guidance from the School to ensure that the matter is dealt with quickly and fairly and in a way which protects the child and supports the staff member. The staff member will have a named contact at School which is normally Caroline Birtwell, head teacher. In case of her absence or that the allegation is against her, the contact is Anne Saul, Deputy Head Teacher. Procedures follow those set out in the Safeguarding Guidance.

Number of Complaints received that reached Stage 2 academic year 2015-2016 = 0

CB Nov 2016