How we will deal with your concerns and complaints
Forest Fields Primary School / www.forestfieldsprimary.co.uk / 0115 9156872
Each day this school makes many decisions and strives to do the best for all the children. Your comments, either positive or negative, will help our strategic planning.
You may want to talk to us about a concern, though not actually make a complaint
A concern is defined as “an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought”. The school will resolve concerns through day-to-day communication as far as possible.
A complaint is defined as “an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action”.
If you are dissatisfied about the way your child is being treated, or any actions or lack of action by us, please feel free to contact us using the details shown above.
We will ensure that:-
Your complaint will be dealt with honestly, politely and in confidence.
Your complaint will be investigated thoroughly and fairly.
If your complaint is urgent we will prioritise.
We will provide you with an update at each stage.
We will accept responsibility and apologise if we have made a mistake.
You will be informed what we are going to do to put things right.
You will receive a clear written reply to formal complaints within 28 school days
How to make a complaint
In the first instance – informal stage
Should you have a concern or if you wish to make a complaint, you can do this:-
in writing, by letter or email
We endeavour to resolve most concerns and complaints quickly and informally. Please discuss this with the class teacher or another appropriate member of staff, such as the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator if it is about Special Needs.
If the member of staff you speak to in the first instance is unable to resolve the matter, please make an appointment with the Head teacher. We will attempt to address your concern or complaint but this is not always possible. The next step moves to a formal process:-
Request a meeting with the Head teacher who will investigate your complaint and aim to inform you of the outcome within 10 school days.
If your complaint is about the Head teacher, please write to the Chair of Governors.
Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome following Stage 1 and wish to escalate your complaint further, please write a letter to the Chair of Governors and include the following:-
A clear explanation of your complaint.
Identify the process you have followed to date and who you have spoken to and why you are dissatisfied.
A clear explanation of what you recognise to be a successful outcome as a result of your complaint.
The Chair of Governors will arrange for your complaint to be considered and investigated under the arrangements approved by the Governing Body. This is likely to involve a Panel of Governors. If the Chair of Governors was involved at Stage 1, another member of the governing body will appointed to oversee the investigation.
Please ensure that the Governors' Complaint Panel is provided with any written information or evidence you intend to use in a formal hearing. You may bring a friend, representative or interpreter to any meeting if you wish.
Following the investigation the Chair of the Panel will write to inform you of the outcome of your complaint and any agreed actions to be taken. The Governing Body will aim to deal with your complaint within 28 school days
Most complaints are resolved by this process. Should your complaint not be resolved you can refer it to the School Complaints Unit (SCU), which investigates complaints relating to maintained schools on behalf of the secretary of state.
The SCU will not re-investigate the matter of the complaint. It will look at whether the school’s complaints policy and any other relevant statutory policies that the school holds were adhered to. The SCU also looks at whether the school’s statutory policies adhere to education legislation. It may direct the school to re-investigate the complaint where it is clear the school has acted unlawfully or unreasonably.
For more information or to refer a complaint, see the following webpage:
We are committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially and to providing a high quality service to those who complain. We will not normally limit the contact complainants have with the school. However, we do not expect our staff to tolerate unacceptable behaviour and will take action to protect staff from that behaviour, including that which is abusive, offensive or threatening.
This school defines unreasonable complainants as ‘those who, because of the frequency or nature of their contacts with the school, hinder our consideration of their or other people’s complaints’.
A complaint may be regarded as unreasonable when the person making the complaint:-
refuses to articulate their complaint or specify the grounds of a complaint or the outcomes sought by raising the complaint, despite offers of assistance;
refuses to co-operate with the complaints investigation process while still wishing their complaint to be resolved;
refuses to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of a complaints procedure;
insists on the complaint being dealt with in ways which are incompatible with the adopted complaints procedure or with good practice;
introduces trivial or irrelevant information which the complainant expects to be taken into account and commented on, or raises large numbers of detailed but unimportant questions, and insists they are fully answered, often immediately and to their own timescales;
makes unjustified complaints about staff who are trying to deal with the issues, and seeks to have them replaced;
changes the basis of the complaint as the investigation proceeds;
repeatedly makes the same complaint (despite previous investigations or responses concluding that the complaint is groundless or has been addressed);
refuses to accept the findings of the investigation into that complaint where the school’s complaint procedure has been fully and properly implemented and completed including referral to the Department for Education;
seeks an unrealistic outcome;
makes excessive demands on school time by frequent, lengthy, complicated and stressful contact with staff regarding the complaint in person, in writing, by email and by telephone while the complaint is being dealt with.
A complaint may also be considered unreasonable if the person making the complaint does so either face-to-face, by telephone or in writing or electronically:-
using threats, intimidation or violence;
using abusive, offensive or discriminatory language;
knowing it to be false;
using falsified information;
publishing unacceptable information in a variety of media such as in social media websites and newspapers.
Complainants should limit the numbers of communications with a school while a complaint is being progressed. It is not helpful if repeated correspondence is sent (either by letter, phone, email or text) as it could delay the outcome being reached.
Whenever possible, the Headteacher or Chair of Governors will discuss any concerns with the complainant informally before applying an ‘unreasonable’ marking.
If the behaviour continues the Headteacher will write to the complainant explaining that their behaviour is unreasonable and asking them to change it. For complainants who excessively contact the school causing a significant level of disruption, we may specify methods of communication and limit the number of contacts in a communication plan. This will usually be reviewed after six months.
In response to any serious incident of aggression or violence, the concerns and actions taken will be put in writing immediately and the police informed. This may include banning an individual from the school.
Complaints about personal information
We take any complaints about our collection and use of personal information very seriously.
If you think that our collection or use of personal information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate, or have any other concern about our data processing, please raise this with us in the first instance.
To make a complaint, please speak to a member of our office team or contact our Data Protection Officer at DPO@forestfiels.nottingham.sch.uk.
Alternatively, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office: