Tower College has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided to its pupils. However, if parents do have a complaint, they can expect it to be treated by the School with care and in accordance with this Complaints Procedure. Tower College makes its Complaints Procedure available to all parents of pupils and of prospective pupils on the School’s website and in the School office during the school day, and Tower College will ensure that parents of pupils and of prospective pupils who request it are made aware that this document is published or available and of the form in which it is published or available, and of the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the preceding school year. In accordance with paragraph 32(1) of Schedule 1 to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulation 2014, Tower College will also make available, on request, to Ofsted, the Department for Education (DfE) or the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), details of this Complaints Procedure and the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the preceding school year.
Although this Procedure is made available to parents of prospective pupils, it is not available for use by them; it may only be used by parents of current pupils.
Complaints by parents of former pupils will be dealt with under this Complaints Procedure only if the complaint was initially raised when the pupil to which the complaint relates was still registered as a pupil at the School.
The only exception to this is if the complaint is a review of a decision taken by the Principal to exclude or require the removal of a pupil in which case such a review must be requested by no later than five working days from the date of the decision to exclude or require the removal of a pupil.
“Parent(s)” means the holder(s) of parental responsibility for a current pupil about whom the complaint relates.
What Constitutes a Complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a real or perceived problem. It may be made about the School as a whole, about a specific department or about an individual member of staff, and any matter about which a parent is unhappy and seeks action by the School is within the scope of this procedure. A complaint is likely to arise if a parent believes that the School has done something wrong, failed to do something that it should have done or has acted unfairly.
Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. The School is here for your child and you can be assured that your child will not be penalised for a complaint that you or your child raise in good faith.
The Three-Stage Complaints Procedure
Timeframe for Dealing with Complaints
All complaints will be handled seriously, sensitively and within clear and reasonable timescales.
It is in everyone’s interest to resolve a complaint as speedily as possible: the School’s target is to complete the first two stages of the procedure within 20 working days. Stage 3, the Appeal Panel Hearing, will be completed within a further 20 working days.
Please note that, for the purposes of this procedure, working days refers to weekdays (Monday to Friday) during term time, excluding bank holidays. This means that during School holidays it may take longer to resolve a complaint although the School will do what is reasonably practicable to avoid undue delay.
Recording Complaints and use of personal data
Following resolution of a complaint, the School will keep a written record of all formal complaints, whether they are resolved at [the Stage 1 (informal stage), the formal stage (Stage 2) or proceed to a Panel hearing (Stage 3) and any action taken by the School as a result of the complaint (regardless of whether the complaint is upheld).
The School processes data in accordance with its GDPR Policy. When dealing with complaints the School (including any Panel member appointed under the Stage 3 process) may process a range of information, which is likely to include the following:
- Date when the issue was raised
- Name of parent
- Name of pupil
- Description of the issue
- Records of all the investigations (if appropriate)
- Witness statements (if appropriate)
- Name and contact details of member (s) of staff handling the issue at each stage
- Copies of all correspondence on the issue (including emails and records of phone conversations)
- Notes and minutes of the hearing, and
- The Panel’s written decision
This may include ‘special category personal data’ as detailed in the School’s Privacy Notice GDPR Policy, but potentially including, for instance, information relating to physical or mental health) where this is necessary owing to the nature of the complaint. This data will be processed in accordance with the School’s GDPR Policy.
The School will keep records of formal complaints and Complaints Panel hearings, as required by regulation. It will do so in accordance with its GDPR Policy.
Correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints will be kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 109 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 requests access to them.
For the academic year 2019 – 2020, the School received 2 formal complaints.
Parents of EYFS children should follow the three stages of this Complaints Procedure. If parents remain dissatisfied and their complaint is about the School’s fulfilment of the EYFS requirements, then parents may take their complaint to the ISI or Ofsted. Parents will be notified by ISI or Ofsted of the outcome of the investigation into their complaint within 28 days of the complaint being received.
Tower College will provide ISI or 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. The record of any such complaints will be kept in accordance with its Privacy Notice and GDPR Policy.
Parents may complain directly to Ofsted or to ISI if they believe the provider is not meeting the EYFS requirements. Schools must make available details of how to contact Ofsted and/ or the ISI:
Ofsted can be contacted on 0300 123 1231 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD
ISI can be contacted on 020 7600 0100 or by email: email@example.com
ISI, CAP House, 9-12 Long Lane, London EC1A 9HA