In light of the Department for Education updating the guidance for school complaint policies, please note that should we be in Tier 4 restrictions, or, have restricted access to school due to localised Covid-19 cases, we may not be able to respond to your complaint within our usual timescales or, in accordance with our usual complaints procedure.
If a complaint cannot be responded to until there is access to school, the response times for handling a complaint will commence from the first day access to school is possible.
Please be assured if your complaint can be dealt with remotely we will endeavour to do so, however, if we cannot it will be processed in the usual way upon our return. Where our policy states we may invite you into the school to meet and discuss the complaint you have raised, please be aware that this meeting will have to take account of the relevant restrictions and social distancing guidance that is in place at that time. It may therefore be that the matter is discussed by exchange of correspondence, over the telephone or via video call as an alternative. This would be done in full consultation with you.
Who can make a complaint?
This complaints procedure is not limited to parents or carers of children that are registered at the school. Any person, including members of the public, may make a complaint to The Whitby High School about any provision of facilities or services that we provide. Unless complaints are dealt with under separate statutory procedures (such as appeals relating to exclusions or admissions), we will use this complaints procedure.
The difference between a concern and a complaint
A concern may be defined as ‘an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought’.
A complaint may be defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’.
It is in everyone’s interest that concerns and complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. Many issues can be resolved informally, without the need to use the formal stages of the complaints procedure. The Whitby High School takes concerns seriously and will make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
If you have difficulty discussing a concern with a particular member of staff, we will respect your views. In these cases, Mr E Barford will refer you to another staff member. Similarly, if the member of staff directly involved feels unable to deal with a concern, Mr E Barford will refer you to another staff member. The member of staff may be more senior but does not have to be. The ability to consider the concern objectively and impartially is more important.
We understand however, that there are occasions when people would like to raise their concerns formally. In this case, The Whitby High School will attempt to resolve the issue internally through the stages outlined within this complaints procedure.
How to raise a concern or complaint
A concern or complaint can be made in person, in writing or by telephone. They may also be made by a third party acting on behalf on a complainant, as long as they have appropriate consent to do so.
Concerns should be raised with either the class teacher or headteacher. If the issue remains unresolved, the next step is to make a formal complaint.
Complainants should not approach individual governors to raise concerns or complaints. They have no power to act on an individual basis and it may also prevent them from considering complaints at Stage 2 of the procedure.
Complaints against school staff (except the Headteacher) should be made in the first instance, to Mr B Heeley (the Headteacher) via the school office. Please mark them as private and confidential.
Complaints that involve or are about the headteacher should be addressed to the Chair of Governors, via the school office. Please mark them as private and confidential.
Complaints about the Chair of Governors, any individual governor or the whole governing body should be addressed to the Clerk to the Governing Body via the school office. Please mark them as private and confidential.
For ease of use, a template complaint form is included at the end of this procedure. If you require help in completing the form, please contact the school office. You can also ask third party organisations like the Citizens Advice to help you.
In accordance with equality law, we will consider making reasonable adjustments, if required, to enable complainants to access and complete this complaints procedure. For instance, providing information in alternative formats, assisting complainants in raising a formal complaint or holding meetings in accessible locations.