This page explains how Portfield School’s Complaints Procedure operates.
We aim to deal with complaints in an efficient and understanding way.
To do this, we will:
  • Acknowledge complaints within 24 hours
  • Investigate complaints thoroughly
  • Treat complaints in confidence
  • Make sure complainants get a letter explaining the outcome of their complaint
If you do have a complaint you want to raise with us you should follow Stage 1 below.
If your complaint is about the Head Teacher you should go directly to Stage 3 and contact the Governing Body of the School.
Stage 1
Where possible we try to deal with your complaint as near to its source as possible. This usually means raising your complaint with the relevant Teacher, or support staff, depending on the nature of the complaint. You can make your complaint in person, on the phone or in writing which includes by email.
Stage 2
If you are unhappy with the way your complaint has been dealt with at Stage 1 you should contact the Head Teacher and explain the nature of your complaint. The Head Teacher will arrange for your complaint to be investigated and contact you with a reply. Unless there are exceptional circumstances a response will be provided within 15 working days of the complaint reaching Stage 2. If there are exceptional circumstances you will be notified of this and told when a substantive response can be expected. A log of all complaints from Stage 2 onwards is maintained and reviewed by the Governing Body.
Stage 3
If you are still unhappy you can write to the Chair of Governors c/o the School to request that your complaint be investigated. The Chair of Governors will look at the evidence collected by the Head Teacher and if necessary conduct further investigations to make sure all aspects of your complaint have been thoroughly examined. The Chair of Governors will examine both the process and the outcome of your complaint at the earlier stages. The Chair of Governors will write to you with a reply. Unless there are exceptional circumstances a response will be provided within 21 working days of the complaint reaching Stage 3.
Stage 4
If you are still unhappy at this stage the Chair of Governors will arrange for a panel to hear your complaint. This will comprise three people not directly involved in the matters detailed in your complaint, and one will be independent of the management and running of the school. At this meeting, you will be invited to make written and oral representations to the panel and to be accompanied/represented if you wish. The panel will communicate their findings and recommendations to you in writing. Their findings will be communicated both to the complainant and the person complained about, if relevant.
Vexatious Complaints
We hope that this procedure will limit the number of complaints that become protracted and that it will ensure that all complaints are dealt with efficiently and speedily. However, there will be occasions when, despite all stages of the procedures having been followed, the complainant remains dissatisfied. If the complainant tries to reopen the same issue, the Chair of the Governing Body is able under this policy to inform them in writing that the procedure has been exhausted and that the matter is now closed.
If you wish to take your complaint further you may write to the Chief Executive Officer of Autism Wessex and the complaint will be dealt with under the Charity’s formal complaints procedure.
If you continue to feel that your complaint is unresolved you are entitled to complain to the Secretary of State for Education.
Parley Lane, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 6BP
T: 01202 573808

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