Procedures For Dealing With Complaints
At TGA we undertake to provide a friendly and safe environment in which students will be helped to achieve their potential, both academically and socially. We recognise, however, that sometimes things can go wrong and parents, carers and members of the public may need to make a complaint or raise concerns they have with the academy. This policy tells you what to do if this happens.
The majority of issues raised by parents, the community or students, are concerns rather than complaints. We are committed to taking concerns seriously, at the earliest stage, in the hope of keeping the number of formal complaints to a minimum and without needing formal procedures. However, depending on the nature of the complaint, you may wish or be asked to follow the academy’s formal complaints procedure. For the academy to be able to investigate a complaint, it needs to be made within one year of the incident occurring. If a complaint is older than a year it will not be investigated.
The prime aim of TGA’s policy is to resolve the complaint as fairly and speedily as possible. Formal complaints will be dealt with in a sensitive, impartial and confidential manner. Malicious complaints may incur appropriate action by the academy. Any complaints concerning the conduct of academy staff will be handled in accordance with the academy’s internal disciplinary procedures such an investigation will remain confidential. The following details outline the stages that can be used to resolve complaints.
The Academy Policy has four main stages:
Informal Stage – Raising a concern
Concerns can be raised with the academy at any time and will often generate an immediate response, which will resolve the concern. The academy requests that parents make their first contact with the pupil’s Tutor or subject teacher. Alternatively the concern should be raised with the College Leader.
It is important for parents / carers to recognise that the academy is a busy organisation and that whilst we will do our best, it may not be possible to offer an appointment immediately.
On some occasions the concern raised may require investigation, or discussion with others, in which case you will receive an informal but informed response within a day or two. The vast majority of concerns will be satisfactorily dealt with in this way. However, if you are not satisfied with the result at the Informal Stage, please write to or call the academy within ten working days and state what you would like the academy to do. The academy will then look at your complaint at the next stage.
Stage 1 – Complaint heard by an appropriate senior staff member
Formal complaints should be put in writing and addressed to the Principal. You may request a complaints form for this purpose (please see link at the bottom of the page). The complaint will be logged, including the date it was received. The academy will normally acknowledge receipt of the complaint within three working days of receiving it. In many cases this response will also report on the action the academy has taken to resolve the issue, however, if the issue requires complex investigation (e.g. interviewing a number of people) it may take up to five working days. Alternatively, a meeting may be convened to discuss the matter further.
This meeting will normally take place within ten working days. The aim will be to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. However, if you are not satisfied with the result at Stage 1 please write to or call the academy within ten working days of receiving our response. You will need to tell the academy why you are still not satisfied and what you would like the academy to do. You can request a complaint form for this.
Stage 2 – Complaint heard by Chair of Governors
If the matter has not been resolved at Stage 1, the Chair of Governors will arrange for a further investigation. Following the investigation, the Chair of Governors will normally give a written response within ten academy working days. If you are dissatisfied with the result at Stage 2, you will need to let the academy know within ten working days of receiving the response.
Stage 3 – Complaint heard by the Governing Body’s Complaints Appeal Panel
If the matter has still not been resolved at Stage 3, then you will need to write to the Clerk to the Governors giving details of the complaint. The panel will be composed of at least 3 people not directly involved in matters detailed in the complaint, one of whom will be independent of the management and running of the Academy. A complaints appeal panel will be convened by the Clerk.
The hearing will normally take place within ten working days of the receipt of the written request for Stage 3 investigation. The aim of the Appeal Panel hearing is to impartially resolve the complaint and to achieve reconciliation between the Academy and the complainant. All parties will be notified of the Panel’s decision in writing within three working days after the date of the hearing. The letter will also contain what you need to do if you wish to take the matter further. although it should be noted that the decision of the Governor’s Complaints Panel is final.
Allegations of abuse against a member of the academy staff must be reported to the Principal immediately. Allegations of abuse against the Principal must be reported to the Chair of Governors immediately.
In cases where the matter concerns the conduct of the Principal, the Principal and Chair of Governors will be informed of the complaint. The Chair of Governors will arrange for the matter to be investigated. In cases where the matter concerns the conduct of a member of the Governing Body the member will be informed of the complaint.
The Governing Body will review this policy at least every two years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the Academy.