Policies

Anti-Bullying 01/05/15

Bullying of any kind will not be tolerated at Kilgarth School, whether by pupils bullying pupils, adults bullying pupils, pupils bullying adults or adults bullying adults. Preventing bullying, including cyber-bullying, disability related bullying and homophobic bullying, is a priority for Kilgarth School and no racial harassment or racist incidents will be tolerated.

It is a principle of this policy that bullying and harassment is about the impact of the behaviour on the recipient and not the intention. The individual’s feelings are of paramount importance. Equally, it cannot be the case that if a person feels bullied or harassed that it is enough to conclude they have been.

 

Aims

  • to demonstrate that Kilgarth School takes bullying seriously and it will not be tolerated
  • to take measures to prevent all forms of bullying in and around school and during off-site activities
  • to support anyone involved to identify and protect those who may have been bullied
  • to demonstrate to all that safety and happiness of pupils is enhanced by dealing with bullying effectively.

 

What is bullying?

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, and/or an abuse or misuse of power that undermines, humiliates or injures the person on the receiving end.

  •  it is a form of aggressive or insulting behaviour that intentionally hurts or harms
  • it is invariably persistent, sometimes continuing for weeks, months, or even years
  • an underlying feature is an abuse of power and a desire to intimidate or dominate
  • it is difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves
  • it is behaviour that can be subtle and covert
  • it undermines self esteem
  • it affects attitudes to and performance in school
  • it can lead to serious and prolonged distress and long term damage to social and emotional development.

Bullying and harassment may be misconduct that is physical, verbal or nonverbal, eg by letter or email, through social media or by act.

 

Bullying can be:

  • low key – such as name-calling, which can escalate if the bully finds that bullied pupils respond in a particular way
  • physical – hitting, kicking, taking or damaging belongings
  • verbal – name calling, insulting, repeated teasing, racist remarks or threats
  • psychological – spreading nasty rumours, exclusion from groups, moving away as a person approaches, leaving notes, failure to speak to or acknowledge a person
  • technological -through the use of mobile phones and the Internet – the use of threatening, insulting or frightening mobile phone text messages, photographs or video and Internet messaging
  • social – alienating, leaving people out, peer pressure.

 

Strategies for Prevention

Preventing bullying is a priority for Kilgarth School; we aim to maintain a safe, inclusive and comfortable environment in which pupils can learn and thrive. Action taken in all areas of school life contributes to the development and reinforcement of the school ethos to encourage non-bullying behaviour where bullying is unacceptable.

The following points are used as a checklist:

  1. Staff are committed to a Behaviour Management Policy and the ethos that underpins it.
  2. The Behaviour Management Policy is published on our website.
  3. All staff are aware of the possibility of bullying taking place.
  4. There are adequate supervision arrangements, particularly at times and in places where bullying is more likely to take place such as at break-times, lunch-times and during lesson change-overs.
  5. A system of spot checks at likely trouble spots or times is operated. In particular, staff monitor less formal situations e.g., when pupils are on the yard.
  6. Groups of pupils are never left unattended in classrooms.
  7. External and internal areas are well cared for and free from rubbish and graffiti.
  8. Teachers model non-bullying behaviour and ensure that methods of teaching and control do not endorse bullying behaviours.
  9. There is emphasis on praising good behaviour rather than the use of sanctions, and there is a positive expectation of pupils’ behaviour
  10. Teachers arrive at lessons on time and are well-prepared.
  11. The curriculum encourages co-operative as well as competitive learning.
  12. The topic of bullying is incorporated in SMSC sessions across the curriculum.
  13. Pupils are encouraged to assist in the promotion of positive attitudes in the classroom.
  14. Staff, pupils and parents are encouraged to take collective and individual responsibility for preventing and responding to bullying.

 

Advice on the different forms of bullying, and their prevention, can be found in the Department for Education document “Preventing and tackling bullying. Advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies” on the following website link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/409061/preventing_and_tackling_bullying_october2014.pdf

 

Reporting Bullying

The relationship between pupils and teachers should be characterised by mutual respect and trust so that pupils are able to tell teachers if they are being bullied or if they see incidents of bullying.

It is made clear to pupils that reporting bullying is responsible, respectful and demonstrates good citizenship, it is not telling tales. Reporting of bullying behaviour can be made to any member of staff. Every incident is recorded in the pupil profiles.

If pupils or a parent make a report of bullying, the report will be listened to, taken seriously, recorded and appropriate enquiries will be made. The person reported responsible will be treated with dignity and respect and afforded the opportunity to give their account of the alleged report of bullying.

The outcome of any enquiries will be made available to all concerned. The enquiries, outcome and any action taken will be recorded.

False or malicious allegations will be followed up with the person(s) involved.

Where bullying occurs over a period of time, the person complaining will be encouraged to keep a log of incidents.

 

Responding to Bullying

The action that will be taken will include communicating disapproval of bullying to the person(s) involved.

The sanctions imposed should differentiate between various degrees of bullying. In the first instance, ways will be sought to give the person(s) the opportunity to change and modify their behaviour. It will be made clear that a failure to respond will invoke sanctions. Exclusion from school will be regarded as a last resort and used only in extreme cases. Modification of behaviour is the desired goal in all cases.

Steps will be taken to simultaneously improve the self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills of victims of bullying. Those who have witnessed incidents and friends of victims will also be given support and help. In all cases, parents will be informed.

Bullying that takes place outside school but which involves pupils will also be investigated.

 

Communication of the Policy

Parents/carers, staff and pupils are made aware of this policy at their admission interview and through the induction process

Pupils are periodically asked to design anti-bullying posters for display around the school.

 

Monitoring, Maintenance and Evaluation

An Anti-Bullying Policy is a long-term commitment. Staff and pupils are reminded of it regularly.

If bullying isidentified, use will be made of the Local Authority Support Services, and our Safer Schools Police Officer.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

All members of the school community are responsible for ensuring that bullying is prevented, havea duty to deal with incidents in line with the policy and procedures, and never let an incident pass by unreported, whether on-site, surrounding the school or during an off-site activity.

 Parents and carers, in addition to staff and pupils, are aware that school does not tolerate any form of bullying, and takes a positive approach to educating pupils to combat it.

If an act of bullying is observed, it will be written up by teachers and support staff and/or reported to a Senior Management Team member, who will act accordingly.

All members of the school community are responsible for ensuring that no form of bullying occurs.

Ultimately, the Headteacher has the primary responsibility for ensuring that bullying does not occur in the school community.

       

Behaviour Modification and Management

 

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Rationale
  • De-escalation and Non-Confrontational Approaches
  • Systems to Reward and Promote Positive Behaviours
  • Post Event Learning Opportunities
  • Creating the conditions for positive behaviour
  • Curriculum Design to Promote Social and Emotional Development
  • Positive Handling
  • Exclusion

Introduction

Most systems of behaviour modification and management are based on sanction and reward. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that sanction of negative behavioural choice is an ineffective method of effecting change. Our approach to behavioural modification will be based on three main components.

  • An effective reward system based on short, medium and long term rewards, a reduced behaviour monitoring period and an emphasis on positive reinforcement
  • Curriculum modification to enhance teaching of social skills, social problem solving skills and emotional regulation
  • Intervention to ensure that post event learning opportunities are fully utilised

There will be no use of sanctions on a day to day basis and staff will not use language that can be associated with punitive approaches. All of our interactions with pupils will be positive, avoid confrontation and promote de-escalation.

Rationale

Some pupils respond to sanction. There is evidence to support that the actual sanction is relatively unimportant-people respond to the feelings of discomfort they experience when faced with the disapproval of others. They learn to associate these feelings of discomfort with the negative behaviours that precipitated them. There is, however, a significant population of pupils who do not respond well to this aversive conditioning and for whom sanction or the fear of punishment is less effective in promoting behavioural change.

  • Some pupils with social communication difficulties may find it hard to recognise how they or others feel and therefore less likely to respond to punishment cues. Sanction may well be less effective for this type of pupil
  • Some pupils show callous unemotional (CU) traits. Pupils displaying these traits are less likely to experience empathy or to care about the feelings of others and therefore will be less responsive to aversive conditioning. Restorative justice techniques are often inappropriate for these pupils.
  • Pupils with a combination of SEMH and ADHD have been shown to have a supressed fear response to aversive stimuli. This lack of fear may make them less responsive to aversive conditioning.

As well as being ineffective for a sizable group of our pupils, punishment may militate against positive behavioural modification. Evidence shows that pupils are more responsive to work on modifying poor choices when they feel a sense of well- being and are emotionally resilient. Punishment does not contribute to positive feelings of self. The anger that many pupils feel when sanctioned is often transferred and used to ‘justify’ the original misdemeanour or fuels feelings of negativity about any victims of the behaviour. Such pupils are less likely to analyse their behavioural choices and develop new strategies to cope with challenging situations.

 

De-escalation and Non-Confrontational Approaches

The best chance of successfully implementing strategies to modify behaviour is to build excellent working relationships between staff and pupils. The philosophy of using non-confrontational approaches when communicating with others is central to the school’s ethos.

A summary of non-confrontational techniques can be found in ‘The Toolkit, Non -Confrontational Approaches to Behaviour Modification’ which is appended. Staff at Kilgarth are trained in the rationale for and implementation of these strategies. All staff use the strategies routinely.

A comprehensive package of de-escalation strategies is available via ‘Team Teach’, our trainer of choice in the use of positive handling strategies. We embrace the team teach approach which emphasises the use of verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques to reduce instances of aggressive behaviour and the need for positive handling. All staff are trained and conversant in the use of de-escalation techniques and receive refresher training on an annual basis or as need is identified. Training materials are available to all staff ( Changing Minds – The Psychology of Managing Challenging Behaviour within an Ethical and Legal

Framework) The Team Teach website provides a full explanation of this approach. http://www.team-teach.co.uk/introduction_Aims.html

Systems to Reward and Promote Positive Behaviours

Reward is often significantly more effective than sanction for the groups of pupils discussed in the rationale. Rewards can be verbal (praise), good PAS scores or various token rewards. Reward, wherever possible, is immediate and explicitly linked to positive behavioural choices. This encourages the behaviour to be repeated. Consistent repetition of positive behaviours leads to the behaviour becoming an embedded part of the pupil’s behavioural repertoire.

Our systems have been developed collaboratively with the whole staff and pupil population. They are subject to daily review in whole staff briefing and periodic review by SLT, the School Council and House Teams. Because of this they are constantly evolving to reflect the changing dynamic of the school and the views of pupils and staff.

The primary interface between pupils and our behavioural modification system is the Pupil Achievement Sheet (PAS). Pupils earn a mark out of five in three key areas for every activity in the school day. These areas are

  1. Effort to learn
  2. Getting on with others
  3. Behaviour choices

During the lesson staff explicitly link positive behavioural features with the PAS mark in order that good choices are linked with reward in the minds of pupils. The final mark is discussed with each pupil at the end of the activity and recorded. PAS scores are converted to percentages at the end of each day and a running total is printed on the PAS the next day if the individual student so chooses. PAS marks are directly linked to token rewards. These range in value and frequency- they currently include:

  • House points
  • Certificates
  • Postcards home
  • Raffle tickets for a prize draw
  • Medals
  • Invitation to tea with the head teacher
  • Mid-term and end of term reward trips

The Importance of ‘Effort to Learn’

Effort to learn has been identified as a key component of successful students and is afforded extra significance. The last lesson of the day is timetabled alongside social activities. Pupils who score an average mark of three or above in this column for the day are deemed to have earned a social activity. Other pupils attend their timetabled lessons as normal.

Pupils who choose to remain outside the lesson can earn a maximum mark of two in any column (except in cases where they are taking a short time out to self –manage or have been asked to remain outside by a staff member). In this way attendance at lessons is promoted and pupils are less likely to choose to spend he lesson in a reflection room.

Each pupil is also set personal behaviour and learning targets. They are set and administered by subject leaders because the behaviour and learning profile of a pupil might vary significantly between different subjects and different teachers. Subject leaders are responsible for the administration, review and reward of these targets and this is quality assured by the Senior Leadership Team on a half termly basis.

Post Event Learning Opportunities

This policy is designed to promote the modification of behaviour by improving the capacity of learners to make positive choices. Pupils will inevitably make negative choices on occasion. The absence of sanction will increase the likelihood that pupils engage with the post event learning opportunities that will take place after an incident. The type of learning opportunity will depend on:

  • The nature of the event
  • The nature of the pupil and the likelihood of a positive interaction
  • The emotional state of the pupil

Only staff with training in post event learning (PEL) will administer the process.

Each incident will be analysed on a case by case basis so that the appropriate time, venue and staff can be arranged. Some situations will require ‘cooling off’ time whilst it may be appropriate for an immediate response in some situations. A brief discussion may suffice but some will involve a more lengthy process. Some PELs will therefore be administered on an ad-hoc basis. Others will be administered during lesson 2 (giving time to settle in the morning and with the prospect of break approaching) or the lesson immediately prior to socials (giving time to settle after lunch and with the immediate prospect of socials approaching).

Characteristics of Post Event Learning

Post event learning will generally involve the pupil discussing the event around the following headings:

What happened?

The question does not have to be phrased in this way but must not be presented in a way that implies blame or personalises the incident. Other opening questions could be

‘What caused that situation to arise?’

‘What caused the behaviours that we saw today/yesterday?’

When pupils reply our response is crucial. Skilful questions that avoid blame and confrontation will be required should the initial answer need to be explored.

Questions to avoid include:

‘Why did you do …?’

‘What did you do…’

The purpose of the questions are to help pupils analyse the antecedents to an event so they can link their behaviours to feelings, feelings to experiences and then develop alternative strategies when they recognise similar feelings in future. Simply asking for an explanation or reliving the event is, at best, unhelpful. At worst it can make a pupil feel that they are being blamed rather than helped or encourage them to simply relive the event, thus triggering negative emotions and promoting negative behaviours.

How did that make you feel?

This question is key if pupils are to develop strategies to make better choices the next time they feel the same way. Most pupils will not have a wide vocabulary to express their emotions and will need support to do this. A number of tools are available and more are being produced. Some pupils will not be able to recognise simple emotions such as anger or fear. They will not be able to develop strategies until they are supported to develop this emotional literacy and therefore improve their emotional intelligence. This is a key function of post event learning.

What can you do whenever you feel that way?

A number of strategies will be explored so that pupils will be able to find, over time, the ones that work best in different situations.

Restorative Justice

The use of restorative justice (RJ) techniques and RJ type questions should be carefully considered and their appropriateness will depend on the students involved. Pupils who display CU traits may well have the empathic ability to understand the effects of their actions on others but may not care about their feelings sufficiently to modify their behaviour. In the worst cases they may use information gained during the process to negatively manipulate future situations.

RJ techniques and questions are beneficial for some pupils. This is especially true of those who care about the feelings of others but lack the ability to understand the emotional impact of their actions on them. Carefully administered RJ sessions may be especially beneficial for some learners on the autistic spectrum when combined with work to recognise feelings in others and self.

Creating the Conditions for Positive Behaviour

Pupils are more likely to make positive choices if staff are proactive in creating the optimum conditions for this to happen. When negative interactions do occur staff are expected to intervene rapidly to prevent them from developing. The table below highlights some of the expectations of teaching and support staff. This table is meant to be indicative rather than exhaustive.

Situation/Issue

Expectation

A staff member is observed acting outside the parameters of agreed policy All staff are responsible for their own actions and the actions they may observe in others. Staff who observe others acting outside the letter or spirit of school policy and ethos should feel able to discuss the matter openly and honestly in support of the schools Mission Statement and in accordance with the Policy for Acceptable Behaviour.

A culture of continuous improvement requires honest feedback. It is the responsibility of the person delivering feedback to do it fairly and with sensitivity. It is the responsibility of the recipient of such feedback to accept it with good grace. They should carefully consider whether or not they need to amend their practice as a result and do so if necessary. This should be the case whatever their relative positions in the school hierarchy.

If the observer does not feel comfortable discussing the matter face to face then they must discuss it with the appropriate line manager .

Pupil behaviour outside lessons. It is the responsibility of staff to deal with any instance of unacceptable behaviour that they observe. The simple rule is that ‘if you see it you own it.’ The behaviour should be addressed immediately if it is possible and if this is not possible then it should be followed up later using agreed procedures.(eg contribute to the marking of the PAS for that lesson) If this is not practicable then information should be communicated to the appropriate people via duty. Basic expectations are that pupils:

  • walk calmly on the left
  • line up calmly outside lessons
  • keep hands and feet to themselves
  • make no negative comments to or otherwise antagonise others
  • use appropriate language
  • follow staff instructions

Staff may feel that a pupil’s behaviour on the corridor makes it inappropriate for them to enter the room at the start of the lesson. Every effort should be made to communicate this to the member of staff at the door.

Proactive engagement In any situation, including social situations, staff members should always be engaged with pupils either directly in learning, building relationships or distracting/deflecting. This should begin from the moment that the pupils arrive until the moment they leave.
Proactive planning. Staff should plan their actions carefully, taking into account the pupils who will be present, the learning situation and any other information that has been communicated. Teaching and support staff should consider:

  • how to ensure they will arrive in a timely manner
  • what they will do and say to engage pupils as they arrive
  • what activity pupils will be asked to do to immediately engage them
  • who is likely to need immediate support to achieve a positive start
  • what differentiation is in place to ensure appropriate stretch and support
  • where pupils will sit and how their movement to their places will be managed
  • how they will position themselves in the room and in relation to likely behaviours
  • what they will do in response to events in the room
  • the type of learning activity, how pupils are likely to respond to it and the appropriate interventions
  • how pupils leave the room and are supported to arrive at the next lesson ready to learn
  • how they will build in time for marking and feedback
  • non-verbal and verbal cues to signal the need for intervention
  • how departure from the room will be managed
  • if any pupils are showing themselves unready to learn in the following session
Communication Whilst one person is responsible for leading a lesson, its successful implementation is the responsibility of all staff who are present or become involved in any way.

The lesson leader is responsible for directing and communicating with support staff. Equally they are responsible for creating an environment where support staff feel comfortable communicating information to them and acting with appropriate independence.

Support staff are responsible for communicating issues to the lesson leader. This might be information about pupil learning/behaviour or might be feedback about the application of agreed policy.

All are responsible for communicating in a timely way with Duty staff. This will not include an account of negative behaviours in the hearing of the pupil concerned or any other pupil. Duty staff will communicate with lesson leaders before pupils are returned for reintegration to a lesson. They will pass information arising from the lesson to other staff if it becomes necessary

Serious incidents should be communicated to a member of SLT so that an appropriate response can be planned and implemented.

Positive Handling

Pupils will, from time to time, make choices that compromise the safety of others, their learning or cause unacceptable damage to the fabric or fixtures of the building. At such times it may be necessary to use ‘Team Teach’ positive handling techniques. These are the only techniques that will be used and this will only occur when de-escalation techniques have been exhausted or a situation has developed rapidly which demands immediate physical intervention. Staff members will judge when this is necessary but each episode will have one of the following features:

  • The pupil concerned will be at risk of harm or of harming others.
  • The pupil is causing extreme disruption or making it impossible for the school to operate effectively.
  • Staff deem that the pupil’s behaviour is likely to escalate to a point where they and others may be at risk of harm .
  • The pupil is likely to commit a criminal offence.

Only staff who have appropriate ‘Team Teach’ training will become involved in positive handling and they will ensure that their intervention is reasonable and proportionate to the situation. Staff who are not appropriately trained will not become involved in positive handling but will call for assistance using the word ‘staff!’

Staff who are appropriately trained should only intervene physically when it is safe to do so. If it is unsafe to use positive handling they can loudly instruct pupils to stop the activity and use the word ‘staff’ to call for assistance.

Exclusion

Exclusion from school, from activities, from particular locations or from trips is still available for use by staff. They will not, however, be used in a punitive way and the language used when exclusion is awarded will not be punitive in nature.

Exclusion is available when behavioural choices become a matter of health and safety or when learning is compromised to an unacceptable level by persistent and extreme disruption. Exclusion of any kind, however, will only be used when sanctioned by a member of the senior management team.

The behaviours in question rather than the individual in question will be tackled when an exclusion is applied. For example a script may run: It’s great when you’re involved with this activity because you bring a real sense of purpose to the group. The group can’t function with these behaviours though. You are welcome to be involved as soon as I’m sure that the behaviours aren’t going to come back’. This type of script can be adapted to many different situations.

There are times when a member of staff may judge that a pupil needs to leave the room or is not ready to join a group at the start of an activity. Teaching staff, in conjunction with duty staff are best placed to make a decision about this and pupils will not be allowed to join the group if their behaviours show that they are not ready to learn or to allow others to do so. The pupil will be allowed to re-join as soon as they show appropriate choices. This does not constitute an exclusion and the strategy can be used by any member of staff as the need arises.

The Personal Achievement Sheet (PAS)

Each category is marked out of five at the end of each lesson and reasons for the scores awarded are explained to pupils at this time.

Pupils are told when a behaviour impacts positively on the PAS marks as soon as the behaviour is observed. Examples of these behaviours are available to all staff and are being produced in a pupil friendly format.

Scores are converted to percentages at the end of each day and are average PAS scores are displayed at the top of the PAS sheet. These are reset to zero at the end of each term. Some pupils do not wish to see the average PAS mark because a drop in the mark causes them anxiety. The average PAS mark is not displayed for these pupils.

When house points are awarded these are put onto the PAS sheet and collected and recorded at the end of each day. House points contribute to rewards. Staff and pupils are aware of the criteria for awarding house points.

 

 

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Charging & Remissions

Introduction

The Governing Body of Kilgarth School acknowledges the right of every student to receive free school education and understands that activities offered wholly or mainly during normal teaching time must be made available to all pupils regardless of their parents’ ability or willingness to help meet the cost.

 

The Governors also recognise the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, trips and residential experiences can make towards pupils’ education, and aim to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the pupils of the school and as additional optional activities.

 

School Policy

Parents are made aware of the Policy, and where they can consult it.

 

Permitted charges

Charging is never a statutory requirementif a charge is permissible and is to be made, parents are always informed of the charge in advance.  Where a charge is made for board and lodging, parents of pupils who are in receipt of free school meals entitlement will also be entitled to the remission of charges

 

For more information regarding eligibility criteria, refer to https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals.

 

A similar entitlement applies where the trip takes place outside school hours but is necessary for the National Curriculum, forms part of the syllabus for a prescribed examination, or the syllabus for Religious Education.

 

From the beginning of Academic Year 2011/12, funding for Music tuition was withdrawn, except for Looked After Children.  At the meeting of the Finance Committee on  09 November 2011, (Minute 12.12), Governors approved the funding of Music tuition from school resources.

 

The school does not charge for:

  1. Admission to school
  2. Education in school hours
  3. Entry for any prescribed public examination for which a pupil has been prepared at the school, unless, without good reason, the pupil:
  • does not attend school and/or the subject lessons
  • does not complete independent study work, including homework and coursework
  • does not perform at a level equivalent to a GCSE grade in the mock examinations

4.   Books, materials, instruments, equipment or incidental transport, for use in connection with education during school hours or within the national

curriculum, or for statutory Religious Education.

 

Parents may be asked for voluntary contributions for any visits/activities in school time and outside it, but no child will be excluded on the grounds that a contribution has not been made.

 

Recovery of the cost of breakages and fines is permitted.  Kilgarth School policy is that:

  1. All intentional damage will be costed, work undertaken and parents/carers billed for a specific amount.  With effect from January 2007, for deliberate damage costing up to £10, parents are asked to pay the full amount of repair or replacement.  For damage costing more than £10, parents are usually asked to pay £10 plus 10% of any amount in excess of £10.
  2. At its meeting on 07 March 2012, (Minute 12.25), the Finance Committee of the Governing Body agreed to the introduction of a ‘restorative justice’ system whereby, if a debt for deliberate damage remained outstanding, the pupil involved would be invited to make reparation by helping with work around school.
  3. In cases where the cost of deliberate damage is more than £10 and no attempt has been made to settle the debt, or where an agreed and noreparation arrangement to reimburse has not been complied with, parents will be asked to contribute towards the cost of school activities or external accreditation.
  4. If an undertaking to pay by installments is made, parents should be warned that they must honour their agreement to make regular payments and that, if they fail to do so, the Governing Body of Kilgarth School will be left with no alternative than to take action to recover the full cost of the damage through the Small Claims Court.
  5. All accidental damage is usually covered by the school’s Repairs and Maintenance allocation.

 

Monitoring and Review

The Headteacher will report to the Governors’ Finance Committee on any relevant aspects of the working of the Policy as appropriate.  The Governing Body will review the document every year.

 

Kilgarth School follows the Wirral Education Authority guidance on the letting of school premises as outlined in their Scheme for Financing Schools.

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Special Educational Needs

 

1. Context and Aims

The new Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice came into force on 1 September 2014. It applies to both mainstream and special schools.

“Special educational needs (SEN) that affect a child’s ability to learn can include their:

  • behaviour or ability to socialise, eg not being able to make friends
  • reading and writing, eg they have dyslexia
  • ability to understand things
  • concentration levels, eg they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • physical needs or impairments”

https://www.gov.uk/children-with-special-educational-needs/overview

 

All pupils at Kilgarth School have a Statement of Special Educational Needs for Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties or an Educational Health and Care Plan for Social Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties. Some pupils at Kilgarth have additional needs including Autism, Speech and language difficulties, and Specific Learning Difficulties.

Details of what Kilgarth offers to children with special educational needs and disabilities are in the School Offer on the school website: http://kilgarthschool.co.uk/send-information-report/ .

The SEN policy illustrates how Kilgarth delivers the provision.

  1. The objectives of our policy are:
  • To identify and monitor children’s individual needs from the pre-admission so that appropriate provision can be made and their attainment raised;
  • To plan a personalised curriculum to meet the needs of pupils and ensure that targets set are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time related.
  • To involve children and parents/carers in the identification and review of the targets set for individual children as identified in the Pupil Centred profile and Annual Review.
  • To work in close partnership with parents/carers and where appropriate, with outside agencies.
  • To ensure that all who are involved with children are aware of the procedures for identifying their needs, supporting and teaching them.

 

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

3.1 Role of the Leadership Team

To ensure that procedures are in place to identify and accommodate a pupil’s needs, including:

  • The day to day implementation of the SEN policy.
  • That all staff are supported in the teaching of pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • Working alongside staff to assist them in identifying, assessing and planning for children’s needs.
  • Liaising with teaching staff regarding the performance of all pupils.
  • Overseeing and maintaining specific resources for a range of identified special educational needs.
  • Co-ordinating the range of support available to children.
  • Reviewing pre-admission documentation.
  • Ensuring appropriate liaison and the establishment of a genuine partnership between parents/carers, pupils and the school.
  • Contributing to and where necessary, leading the continuing professional development.
  • Working in close partnership with external support agencies, as necessary
  • Monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the provision for all pupils to the governing body.

 

3.2 Governors’ role

The governing body of our school will:

  • Ensure that the necessary provision is made to meet the needs of all our pupils.
  • Ensure that teachers in the School are aware of the importance of identifying and providing for all pupils in their care.
  • Ensure that parents/carers are notified of a decision by the School that specific provision is being made for their child.
  • Have regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014) when carrying out its duties towards all pupils in the school.

The governors play an important role in ensuring that:

  • They are fully involved in developing and monitoring the School’s SEN policy.
  • They are up to date and knowledgeable about the School’s SEN provision, including how funding, staffing and resources are deployed.
  • The quality of provision is continually monitored.

 

  1. Admission Arrangements

Pupils are admitted via Wirral Authority Admissions team following the issue of a Statement of Special Educational Needs, although exceptionally, and in consultation with the Headteacher, arrangements may be made for a pupil to be admitted for the purpose of assessment.

Parents/carers are actively encouraged to view Kilgarth School before a pupil is admitted. All admissions are carefully planned to attempt to ensure a successful integration and maintain a well-ordered learning environment.

 

  1. Criteria for evaluating the success of our policy

The SEN policy is evaluated against the objectives stated on page one by:

  • analysing the curriculum, support and resources that are deployed to meet the pupil’s needs.
  • analysing the pupil’s academic and behaviour data.
  • analysing the pupil’s social and emotional performance (attendance and exclusions data, Pupil Attendance and Well-being meetings).
  • analysing data for reasonable physical interventions.

ensuring that pupils, parents/carers and outside agencies (where appropriate) have their comments and recommendations recorded in Annual Reviews and are involved in a pupil’s development.

Literacy and numeracy targets being monitored ensure that children progress through SMART targets (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound)

 

  1. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Through the monitoring and evaluating of our provision, the Headteacher, with the leadership team, will identify any particular professional development needs of the staff. This will be linked closely to the school’s development plan and/or performance management objectives.

Staff who attend courses will feedback to colleagues at staff meetings and the effectiveness of such professional development will be monitored and evaluated by the leadership team.

 

  1. Partnership with parents/carers and children

At Kilgarth we endeavour to develop outstanding working relationships with parents/carers as partners in their child’s development. Key to the sharing of information is the atmosphere and culture of the school, which is open and welcoming, and allows parents and pupils to feel comfortable and confident when discussing any areas of concern.

  • Reports are sent home weekly and parents/carers are actively encouraged to keep in regular contact with the school by appointment or telephone.
  • School report cards are completed on a termly basis.
  • Parents may be contacted by telephone at the end of the school day, following the staff meeting.

All children are involved in making decisions, where possible, as soon as they start at the school:

  • A Pupil Centred Profile is completed for each pupil which records likes and dislikes as well as what he finds difficult.
  • We use the PASS questionnaire (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School) which provides a measure of a student’s attitudes and baseline data.

We encourage pupils to have a voice through the school council.

 

  1. Complaints procedure

If parents/carers have a complaint concerning provision for their child they should contact the school who will issue a copy of the School’s complaints procedure.

Equality and Diversity

CONTENTS
  1. Wirral Council’s Vision
  2. Legislative Context
  3. School Context
  4. Ethos, Attitude and Environment
  5. Policy management and responsibility
  6. Publishing of information
  7. Equality Objectives
  8. Appendix A – Equality Impact Assessment Form

1. Wirral Council’s Vision

Wirral should be a place where the vulnerable are safe and protected, where employers want to invest and local businesses thrive, and where good health and an excellent quality of life is within reach of everyone who lives here.

2. Legislative context

The Equality Act (2010) is now the principal equality legislation and refers to “relevant protected characteristics” which covers:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Maternity and pregnancy
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Race, ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality
  • Religious or other philosophical beliefs (and people without such beliefs)
  • Gender
  • Sexual Orientation

 

3. School Context

  • Kilgarth School provides for 52 pupils, all boys, between 11 and 16 years who have education care plans or statements of special educational needs because of their behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
  • Many pupils have additional and complex needs such as attention hyperactivity disorder, autistic spectrum disorders, moderate learning difficulties, and medical or health-related needs.
  • The vast majority of pupils are of White British heritage.
  • The proportion of pupils who are supported through the pupil premium is above average.
  • Staff include men and women.
  • The staff age range is wide.
  • All our pupils are taught in small groups.
  • The ratio of staff to pupils can vary due to a number of factors including:

 – demands of the activity

– location

– 1-1 support

– information regarding a particular pupil

– Information about a particular staff member

– dynamics of the group at the time

4. Aim and Principles at Kilgarth School (Equality and Diversity)

 4.1       Equality of opportunity is paramount and provides equality and excellence for all in order to promote the highest possible standards of achievement.  Equality of opportunity applies to all members of the school community – pupils, staff, parents, carers and Governors.

4.2       Kilgarth School takes positive action to prevent all forms of bullying & harassment, working within its existing school policies and procedures.  The school openly encourages diversity and actively promotes good personal and community relations.

4.3     Diversity is recognised as having a positive role to play within school and is based on the following principles in line with the school’s vision:

  • to create a caring environment where pupils can be encouraged to overcome their difficulties.
  • to ensure that all pupils and staff, including those with protected characteristics, are able to achieve their full potential
  • to provide a climate that encourages learning.
  • to prepare pupils to be contributing members of society.
  • to provide a broad and balanced curriculum
  • to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.
  • to prepare pupils for the world of work and further education.
  • to ensure there is no discrimination in the school or the wider community on the grounds of all protected groups under the Equality Act 2010.
  • to give due regard to all considerations relating to access.

 

4.4  These principles are designed to ensure that the school meets the needs of everyone, taking into account the protected characteristics. We strive to achieve equality of opportunity by removing direct and indirect discrimination wherever it may exist

5. Policy Management and responsibilities

Governing Body
  • Ensure that the school complies with Legislation
  • ensure that the school publishes information and        produces policies which demonstrate how it is meeting the aims of the general public sector equality duty.
  • draw up and publish equality objectives

 

Headteacher
  • have due regard for the aims of the public sector equality duty.
  • ensure all staff are aware of the school’s equality objectives
  • ensure all staff are aware of their  responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support
  • take appropriate action in any cases of discrimination, victimization and harassment
  • deal with reported incidents of all Hate Crime
All Staff
  • advance equality of opportunity and good relations objectively
  • deal with all Hate related incidents appropriately and challenge bias and stereotyping
Visitors & Contractors
  • be aware of, and comply with, the school’s Principles under point 4 of this Equality and Diversity Polic

 

6. Publishing of Information

             Information is obtained from the school census and published by Gov.uk:

            Kilgarth Pupil Population Data published by Gov.UK

Additional Information is also available within the School Information section of the school website.

 

7. Equality Objectives

 7.1 The following Equality objectives were agreed by Full Governors on 07/12/16 and progress against objectives will be reviewed in December 2020 when new objectives will be set.

Protected CharacteristicObjectiveHow will the objective be measured    
AllEnsure that the curriculum promotes role models and heroes that young people positively identify with, which reflects the school’s diversityPSHE lessons
AllEnsure that displays in classrooms promote diversity in terms of race, gender and ethnicity. Visual
Race/Sexuality/AllReduce prejudice-related bullying and the use of derogatory language. Record incidents. Staff training on how to handle
AllActively consider equality duties when making key decisions Use Equality Impact Assessment form (for strategic decisions); SMT minutes of meetings
AllEncourage non-stereotyped career optionsLeavers' destinations
RaceMulticultural days outFeedback from pupils and staff

 

 

8. Appendix A

TEMPLATE FOR  EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT FORM

(to be used before and after embarking on strategic changes and/or amending policies)

  1. Type of change/policy being introduced:
 

 

 

 

 

  1. Purpose

What is the change/policy intended to achieve? (please give a brief description of the purpose of this change in procedure/ policy)

 

 

 

 

 

Who will be affected by the implementation of this change/policy? e.g. pupils, staff, public generally, specific section of the public)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Impact on students, staff, parents and other stakeholders

How will those with protected characteristics be affected by this change/policy?

 

 

 

 

What are the consequences of the change/policy for the particular groups?

 

 

 

 

  1. Consultation

What consultation has taken place? (Have persons with protected characteristics been consulted?

 

 

 

 

  1. Monitoring and review

How will the change/policy be monitored and evaluated and what has been learned to help ensure that everyone’s needs will be better catered for in the future?)

 

 

 

 

Completed By:………………………………………………………  Date: ……………………………

 

 

————————————————————————–

 

Complaints

 

The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires schools to establish a formal complaints procedure to make provision for complaints from different categories of person i.e. Governors, parents, guardians, pupils and the general public.  Kilgarth School has a four-stage complaints procedure to manage complaints from parents, guardians and members of the general public starting with an informal stage for concerns and ending with an appeal to the Governing Body.

 

The first stage deals with concerns that have the potential to be managed by the majority of the staff during the course of their duties.  Complaints dealt with at Stage 2 would be managed either by the Headteacher or a senior member of staff.  When a formal complaint arises and is not dealt with to the satisfaction of the complainant, it will first be addressed by the Headteacher at Stage 3, if he has not been involved at Stage 2, then subsequently by the Governing Body at Stage 4.

 

Complaints not Covered by the Procedure

The procedure does not apply to complaints that fall to be dealt with under other statutory provisions.  Complaints regarding the curriculum, sex education, admissions, exclusions or SEN are already subject to separate statutory processes.  Staff grievance and capability proceedings, along with child protection investigations, are also outside the process.

 

The Range of Complaints

It is accepted that concerns raised are likely to be wide-ranging and varied and could include complaints concerning:

  • pupil’s lack of progress at school
  • disagreements over school policy, e.g., homework
  • health and safety issues, cleanliness of facilities and state of repair
  • inappropriate discipline
  • an individual teacher’s actions or attitudes toward a parent or pupil
  • lack of effective action, e.g., over bullying
  • playground supervision
  • racist behaviour
  • sexual harassment
  • a teacher’s failure to keep order
  • unfair treatment of a pupil.


GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE PROCEDURE

 

A leaflet explaining how concerns are dealt with and how the complaints procedures works is at Appendix A.

 

Timescale

Many concerns can be dealt with at the first stage and resolved immediately.  Where a concern cannot be dealt with immediately, the member of staff dealing with the issue will note a response date for the complainant and will record it to ensure a reply is communicated.  (The Governing Body recommends a response time of no more than fifteen school days).  If a decision cannot be communicated within the deadline, then a letter will be written to the complainant indicating a date by which a decision will be made.

 

Support for Complainant

As part of the general publicity about the complaints procedures, it is important for complainants to know where they can go for information, advice and advocacy.  Support could be offered from individuals and organisations who are clearly separate from those complained against, such as Parents’ Advice Centres, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, Community Relations Councils, refugee support organisations, etc. or, if appropriate, LA education officers such as those from Education Social Welfare Service, Principal Officer Customer Care.

 

Parents or others raising concerns or complaints should be aware that if they consider it appropriate they may be accompanied by a friend, a relative or a representative at any stage of the procedure.

 

Support for a Person Complained Against

Staff who may be questioned as part of a complaints procedure investigation must feel they are being treated in a fair way and that they will have an opportunity to put their case.  They should be told about the procedure and be kept informed of progress.  There is a crucial balance to be maintained between supporting the individual so that his/her rights and reputation are protected, and investigating a complaint thoroughly and impartially.

 

The complaints procedure is distinct from formal disciplinary proceedings for staff and this should to be made clear to all concerned.  There may be occasions where a complaint launches a disciplinary procedure that puts the complaints procedure on hold.  If so, the complainant should be informed of this and any non-disciplinary aspects of the complaint should be dealt with by the usual complaints procedures; the complainant should be updated on likely further delays to a response.  It may be clear after the disciplinary procedures have been completed that particular responses to the complainant are required.

 

Confidentiality

All conversations and correspondence will be treated with discretion.  A complaint will not in any way penalise the pupil.  However, from the outset all parties to a complaint must be aware that some information may have to be shared with others involved in the operation of the complaints procedure.  Headteachers and members of the Senior Management Team may feel it appropriate to be accompanied by another member of staff when dealing with some complaints.  Complainants should be made aware that a written record will be maintained of all meetings as part of the procedure.

 

Anonymous Complaints

It is usually proper to disregard anonymous complaints unless somebody is prepared to substantiate them, but the danger in this is that they may relate to something quite serious.  If the unforeseen eventuality occurs, to the detriment of the school, the complainant may subsequently make themselves known and say that s/he alerted the school even though the complaint was unsigned.  It is at the Headteacher’s or Governing Body’s discretion to decide whether the gravity of an anonymous complaint warrants an investigation.

 

Redress

If the outcome of the complaint procedure shows the school is at fault, it is often sufficient to provide redress in the form of an acknowledgement that the complaint is valid.  Alternatively, it may be appropriate to offer one or more of an apology, an explanation, a promise that the event complained of will not recur, an undertaking to review school policies or practices in the light of the complaint, or, in appropriate circumstances, financial compensation.  Fear of litigation should not prevent a school from admitting when mistakes have been made, but advice should be sought from the Authority’s Risk and Insurance Section if financial compensation is being sought or if litigation is a possibility.

 

Staff Awareness and Training

School staff, including non-teaching staff, should be familiar with the procedures and able to advise complainants about the process.  There are often a great many staff involved in handling complaints.  Their confidence in doing so depends on their having clear information about the procedures, reassurances that senior staff are committed to the procedures and some basic training in the practical interpersonal skills needed in dealing with people who are upset or angry.

 

However should the complainant act aggressively or in an unreasonable manner, the complaints procedure should be delayed.  All staff should be aware of the advice contained in the LA policy and guidance document

HS/ECS/024 ‘Violence at Work’.

 

 

Record Keeping

As a successful resolution of complaints may contribute to raising the quality of education, all complaints are recorded and monitored termly by senior staff and reported to the Governing Body where appropriate.

 

Recording begins at the point when a concern has become a complaint that can not be resolved on the spot but needs investigation and/or consultation with others in the school and will require a later report back to the complainant (either orally, or in writing).

 

Recording at the earliest stage is a basic record of the complaint, stating the date, name of complainant and general nature of the complaint.

THE COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

 

STAGE 1 

 1.1  The vast majority of concerns and complaints can be resolved informally. There are many occasions where concerns are resolved straight away through the teacher, office staff or Headteacher, depending on whom the complainant first approached.

1.2  Complainants must feel able to raise concerns with members of staff without any formality, either in person, by telephone or in writing.

1.3  At first it may be unclear whether a complainant is asking a question or expressing an opinion rather than making a complaint. A complainant may want a preliminary discussion about an issue to help decide whether he or she wishes to take the issue further.

 

Procedure at Stage 1

1.4  Complainants may be offered an opportunity to discuss their concern with the appropriate member of staff designated to deal with the situation, who will clarify with the complainant the nature of the concern, and reassure them that the school wants to hear about it. The member of staff may be able to explain to the complainant how the situation happened.  It can be helpful to identify at this point what sort of outcome the complainant is looking for.

1.5  If the member of staff first contacted cannot immediately deal with the matter, s/he should make a clear note of the date, name, contact address or phone number and a brief note on the nature of the complaint.

1.6  All members of staff should know how to refer a concern, if necessary, to the person with responsibility for the particular issue raised by the complainant. S/he should check later to make sure that the referral has been successful.

 1.7  The Headteacher may decide to deal with concerns directly at this stage.

1.8  If the concern relates to the Headteacher, the complainant should be advised to contact the Chair of the Governing Body, giving them details of how to do so.

1.9  The staff member dealing with the concern should make sure that the complainant is clear what action (if any) or monitoring of the situation has been agreed, putting this in writing only if this seems the best way of making things clear. However, a note should be made of the action and retained.

1.10   Where no satisfactory solution has been found within a maximum of fifteen school days, complainants should be asked if they wish their concern to be considered further. If they do then they should be given clear information, both orally and in writing, about how to proceed and about any independent advice available to them.

 

STAGE 2

2.1  At Stage 2 it has become clear that the concern is a definite complaint. In some cases the Headteacher or senior member of staff will already have been involved in looking at the matter; in others it is his/her first involvement.  In either case, it is helpful for the Headteacher (or the person delegated to investigate) to use guidelines to ensure consistency among cases, and to make sure that nothing happens at this stage which could make it difficult for later stages to proceed smoothly.

2.2  As Headteachers have responsibility for the day-to-day management of their schools, they also have responsibility for the implementation of a complaints procedure, including the decisions about their own involvement at various stages. One of the reasons for having various stages in a complaints procedure is to reassure complainants that their grievance may be heard by more than one person.

 

Procedure at Stage 2

2.3  The Headteacher (or designate) acknowledges the complaint orally or in writing, within a maximum of three school days of receiving the complaint, confirming the exact nature of the complaint. The acknowledgement should give a brief explanation of the school’s complaint procedure and a target date for providing a response to the complaint.  This could be within fifteen school days.  If this proves impossible, a letter should be sent explaining the reason for the delay and giving a revised target date for a response.

2.4  The Headteacher (or designate) provides an opportunity for the complainant to meet him/her to supplement any information provided previously. It should be made clear to the complainant that if s/he wishes, s/he may be accompanied to any meeting by a friend, relative, representative, or advocate who can speak on his or her behalf; and that interpreting facilities are available if needed.

2.5  If necessary, the Headteacher (or designate) could interview witnesses and take signed statements from witnesses and those involved. If the complaint concerns a pupil, the pupil identified should be interviewed.  The pupil should preferably be interviewed with another member of staff present and in the case of a serious complaint with their parents present.

2.6  It is strongly advised that the Headteacher (or designate) should keep a written record of interviews, telephone conversations, and other documentation.

2.7  Once all the relevant facts have been established, the Headteacher (or designate) should then produce a written response to the complainant, or may wish to meet the complainant to discuss/resolve the matter directly.

2.8  The written response should include a full explanation of the decision and the reasons for it. Where appropriate, this should include what action the school will take to resolve the complaint.  The complainant should be advised that if s/he wishes to take the complaint further s/he should notify the Chair of the Governing Body within a maximum of ten school days of receiving the outcome letter.

2.9  If a complaint is against the action of a Headteacher, the Chair of the Governing Body should carry out all the Stage 2 procedures.

  

STAGE 3

Reconciliation Stage

This stage in the procedure can follow Stage 2 where the earlier stage has been investigated by a senior member of staff other than the Headteacher.

If the complainant is not content with the decision reached by the designate in response to their complaint they may then refer the matter to the Headteacher.  An agreed period of time for this to take place could be established – within a maximum of fifteen school days.

The Headteacher should endeavour to resolve any complaint referred to him at this stage and should seek to arrange a meeting with the complainant as soon as practical.  The meeting offers an opportunity to re-assess all the issues, discuss any further findings from the Headteacher’s investigation,clarify the action to be taken by the school and allay the complainant’s worries, in order to seek reconciliation.

Should the complainant still be dissatisfied then they should be directed to put their complaint in writing to the Chair of Governors.

 

STAGE 4

Procedure for Review by the Governing Body

3.1  Upon receipt of a written complaint appropriate to this stage of the procedure or where a complainant appeals against the decision of the Headteacher (Stage 2 of the procedure) within an agreed period, within a maximum of fifteen school days of receipt of the decision letter, the Headteacher must notify the Chair of Governors so that a review can be instituted.

3.2  The committee of the Governing Body should set a timetable for the investigation and should communicate the timetable to the complainant.

3.3  The Clerk to the Governors should arrange to convene a Complaints Committee elected from members of the Governing Body. (It may be necessary for the Governing Body to appoint reserves to this committee to ensure that three Governors are available to carry out their task within the set time).

3.4  The Complaints Committee members should be Governors who have had no prior involvement with the complaint. If s/he has not previously been involved, the Chair of the Governing Body should chair the committee; otherwise the Vice-Chair should do so.  Generally it is not appropriate for the Head to have a place on the committee.

3.5  The Clerk to the Governing Body should write to the complainant to acknowledge that the Chair of Governors has received a written request for a review. The letter could also explain that the complainant has the right to submit any further documents relevant to the complaint.  These should be made available immediately so that they can be circulated to all Complaints Committee members.

3.6  The Chair/Vice Chair should ensure that the complaint is heard by the committee within a maximum of twenty school days of receiving the letter. All relevant correspondence regarding the complaint must be made available to the Complaints Committee members at least five days before the hearing.

3.7  The Chair/Vice-Chair should write and inform the complainant, Headteacher, any relevant witnesses, and members of the Complaints Committee at least five school days in advance, of the date, time and place of the meeting. The notification to the complainant should also inform him/her of the right to be accompanied to the meeting by a friend/advocate/interpreter.  The letter should also explain how the meeting will be conducted and the complainant’s right to submit further written evidence to the committee.

3.8  The Chair/Vice-Chair of the Governing Body should invite the Headteacher to attend the Complaints Committee meeting and prepare a written report in response to the complaint. The Headteacher may also invite members of staff directly involved in matters raised by the complainant to respond in writing or in person.  Any relevant documents including the Headteacher’s report should be received by all concerned – including the complainant – at least five school days prior to the meeting.

3.9  The involvement of staff other than the Headteacher is subject to the discretion of the Chair of the Complaints Committee.

3.10  It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Complaints Committee to ensure that the meeting is properly minuted.

3.11  The aim of the meeting should be to resolve the complaint and achieve reconciliation between the school and the complainant. However, it has to be recognised that sometimes it may only be possible to establish facts and make recommendations that will satisfy the complainant that his or her complaint has been taken seriously.

3.12  The Complaints Committee should remember that many complainants are unused to dealing with groups of people in formal situations and may feel inhibited when speaking. It is therefore recommended that the Chair of the Complaints Committee ensures that the proceedings are as informal as possible.

3.13  If either party should intend to introduce previously undisclosed evidence or witnesses, it is in the interests of natural justice to adjourn the meeting so that the other side has time to consider and respond to the new evidence.

 

The meeting should allow for

  • the complainant to explain their complaint and the Headteacher to explain the school’s response
  • the Headteacher to question the complainant about the complaint and the complainant to question the Headteacher and/or other members of staff (if invited to be present by the Chair of the Complaints Committee) about the school’s response
  • committee members to have an opportunity to question both the complainant and the Headteacher
  • any party to have the right to call witnesses (subject to the approval of the Chair) and all parties having the right to question all the witnesses
  • final statements by both the complainant and the Headteacher.

3.15  The Chair of the Complaints Committee should explain to the complainant and the Headteacher that the committee will consider its decision, and a written decision will be sent to both parties within a maximum of fifteen school days. The complainant, Headteacher, other members of staff and witnesses should then leave.

3.16  The Complaints Committee should then consider the complaint and all the evidence presented and (a) reach a unanimous, or at least a majority, decision on the complaint, (b) decide upon the appropriate action to be taken to resolve the complaint and (c) where appropriate, suggest recommended changes to the school’s systems or procedures to ensure that problems of a similar nature do not happen again.

3.17  A written statement outlining the decision of the committee must be sent to the complainant and the Headteacher.

 

3.18    The Chair should ensure that parents are aware that they can complain to the Ombudsman (in rare circumstances but particularly in relation to admissions) or the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if they are unhappy with the outcome of the review.

 

3.19    The school should ensure that a copy of all correspondence and notes are kept on file in the school’s records.

 

Complaints Concerning the Teacher/s with Responsibility for Investigating Complaints

Where a complaint concerns in whole or part the conduct of the teacher responsible for investigating complaints, the teacher will, on receipt of the formal complaint, immediately refer the matter to the Headteacher.

The Headteacher may either designate another member of staff to act as the teacher with responsibility for investigating the complaint, or s/he may deal with the complaint herself/himself.

 

Complaints Concerning the Head, a Governor or the Governing Body

In these cases the Chair of the Governing Body will investigate the complaint.

The complainant can appeal against the decision of the Chair within a maximum of fifteen school days of receipt of the decision letter. The Governing Body can either delegate the appeal to the Complaints Committee, or may, where they think it appropriate, appoint three other Governors to form a Complaints Panel to investigate and make a recommendation by majority decision to the Governing Body.

 

Complaints Concerning the Chair of Governors

A senior member of staff or the Headteacher, upon receiving a formal complaint against the Chair, will notify the Clerk, who will then table the complaint at an extraordinary meeting of the Governing Body. The Chair must withdraw from any discussion.  The Governing Body may either decide to refer the matter to the Local Authority or will refer the complaint to the Complaints Committee of the Governing Body.

 

Withdrawal of Complaints

Formal complaints may be withdrawn at any stage by notice in writing.

 

Complaints by Members of the Governing Body and Pupils

Governing Bodies shall establish such procedures, as they feel appropriate for dealing with complaints from members of the Governing Body and pupils.

 

A complaint by a Governor may be discussed at a full meeting of the Governing Body, who may delegate the responsibility of managing complaints by pupils to the professionals.

Complaints Register

A register of all formal complaints made under the complaints procedure is maintained. The register should include the following:

 

  1. name and address of the complainant
  2. a brief description of the complaint
  3. a record of the time taken to resolve the matter
  4. the outcome of the complaint.
Date complaint referred to Headteacher Date  
Date complainant acknowledged orally/by letter Date  
School’s complaint procedure forwarded:? YES NO
Target date for response: Date  
General nature of complaint:
Date of meeting with complainant Date  
Others present
Statements attached:? YES NO
Witnesses interviewed    
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
Pupils interviewed in presence of    
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
            Name: Date  
Meeting date with complainant or date letter sent Date  
Written response attached? YES NO
Complaint referred to Governing Body? YES NO
Date  

 

Appendix 1

If you have a concern or complaint

We would like you to tell us about it. We welcome suggestions for improving our work in the school.  Be assured that no matter what you want to tell us, our support and respect for you and your child in the school will not be affected in any way.  Please tell us of your concern as soon as possible.  It is difficult for us to investigate properly an incident or problem that has happened some time ago.

 

What to do first

Most concerns can be sorted out quickly by speaking with your child’s form tutor. Any teacher or the office staff can help you find the right member of staff.  If you have a concern that you feel should be looked at by the Headteacher in the first instance you can contact him straightaway if you prefer.  It is usually best to discuss the problem face to face.  You may need an appointment to do this, and can make one by ringing or calling in to the school office.  You can take a friend or relative to the appointment with you if you would like to so that they can support you.

 

All staff will make every effort to resolve your problem informally. They will make sure that they understand what you feel went wrong, and they will explain their own actions to you.  They will ask what you would like the school to do to put things right.  Of course, this does not mean that in every case they will come round to your point of view but it will help both you and the school to understand both sides of the question.  It may also help to prevent a similar problem arising again.

 

What to do next

If you are dissatisfied with the teacher’s response (or with the Headteacher’s initial reaction if he has already been involved) you can make a complaint to the Headteacher. This should be made in writing.  Help with this is available from any member of staff.  If your complaint is about an action of the Headteacher personally, then you should refer it to the Chair of Governors now.  You can contact the Chair by handing to the Headteacher or school secretary a sealed envelope, marked for the attention of the Chair of Governors.  You may also find it helpful at this stage to have a copy of the full statement of the General Complaints Procedure as this explains in detail what procedures are followed.  This is available from the office.

 

The Headteacher will ask to meet you for a discussion of the problem. Again you may take a friend or someone else with you if you wish.  The Headteacher will conduct a full investigation of the complaint and may interview any members of staff or pupils involved.  You will receive a written response to your complaint.

 

If you are still unhappy

The problem will normally be resolved by this stage. However, if you are still not satisfied you may wish to contact the Chair of the Governing Body to ask for referral of your complaint to the Complaints Committee of the Governing Body.  It will then be heard by a group of three Governors who have no previous knowledge of the problem and so will be able to give it a fresh assessment.  You will be invited to attend and speak to the Complaints Committee at a meeting, which the Headteacher will also attend.  The General Complaints Procedure statement explains how these meetings operate.

 

Further action

Complaints about school problems are almost always settled within schools but in exceptional cases it may be possible to refer the problem to an outside body such as the Ombudsman (in rare circumstances but particularly in relations to admissions) or the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. Again there is more information on this in the General Complaints Procedure.