Complaints Procedure - statement for parents and guardians

Introduction

The English School has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided to its pupils. However, if parents do have a concern or complaint, they can expect it to be treated by the school in accordance with this procedure.

Stage 1 - Informal Resolution

It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally.
 
If parents have a complaint or concern they should normally contact their child’s Form Tutor who will inform their Head of Year. In many cases, the matter will be resolved immediately by this means to the parents' satisfaction. If the matter is of an academic nature, it is likely that the Head of Year will discuss it with, or refer the matter to, the relevant Head of Department. If the Head of Year cannot resolve the matter alone, it may be necessary for them to consult a more senior colleague.
 
The Head of Year 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 5 working days, or in the event that the Head of Year and the parent fail to reach a satisfactory resolution, then parents will be advised to proceed with their complaint in accordance with Stage 2 of this procedure, if they wish to do so.
 
Parents may express their concerns to a designated representative of The English School Parents Association (ESPA) who may bring the concern to the appropriate Head of Year, or Senior Management, if multiple concerns have been received or the concern is a non-year group specific issue.
 
Board members should not be approached regarding any concern or complaint as this may hinder their objectivity, if required, in stage 3 of the process.  Our Board will politely guide you to the correct channel, or staff who can provide advice.  Advice may be sought from the Secretary to the Board, Headmaster’s PA, SMT Secretary, Reception or ESPA.
 

Stage 2 - Formal Resolution

If the  complaint  cannot  be  resolved  on  an  informal  basis,  then  the  parents  should  put  their  complaint  in  writing  to  the
 
Headmaster. The Headmaster will decide, after considering the complaint, upon the appropriate course of action to take.
 
In most cases, the Headmaster or a member of the Senior Management Team will speak to the parents concerned within 5 working days of receiving the complaint to discuss the matter. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage. It may be necessary for the Headmaster (or his Deputy or an Assistant Head) to carry out further investigations.

The Headmaster will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint. Once he is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all of the relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and parents will be informed of this decision in writing.
 
If parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this procedure.
 

Stage 3 - Panel Hearing

If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 (following a failure to reach an earlier resolution), they should write to the Secretary of the Board of Management (board@englishschool.ac.cy), who will refer the matter to the Chairman of the Board who has the discretion to determine if the matter does not warrant further consideration and close the process at this point, or feels that it does warrant further consideration and the matter will then be referred to the Complaints Panel.
 
The Panel will consist of at least 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 Chairman of the Board, on behalf of the Panel, who will then acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing to take place as soon as practicable, and normally within 10 working days.
 
If the Panel deems 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 5 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. Legal representation will not normally be appropriate. If possible, the Panel will resolve the parents' complaint immediately without the need for further investigation.
 
Where 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 5 days o f 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 recommendations, if any, will be sent in writing to the parents, the Headmaster, the Board and, where relevant, the person to whom the complaint refers.
 
Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. Correspondence, statements and records will be kept confidential except in instances where disclosure is required, or the Board of Management deem disclosure necessary, or where any other legal obligation prevails.

In the event that the complaint refers specifically to the Headmaster, the matter should be referred in the first instance in writing to the Secretary to the Board of Management.

 
 Complaints Procedure 
 
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