Complaints Policy

Complaints (Parents)

Statement

Avicenna Academy recognises that parents will, from time to time, have normal and legitimate concerns about the progress, achievement, behaviour or welfare of their son or daughter. Parents are encouraged to make those concerns known to staff so that they can be addressed in partnership with the Academy.

(For the purpose of our Complaints Policy and procedures the term parents includes guardians and the parents of prospective pupils)

At Avicenna Academy we:

  • Take all concerns and complaints seriously.
  • Make every effort to deal with complaints informally and at an early stage, in the spirit of partnership.
  • Resolve all complaints within 28 working days of the complaint being received.
  • Ensure that complaints are dealt with in line with the procedures set out in this document.
  • Ensure that complaints are resolved either to the complainant’s satisfaction or with an otherwise appropriate outcome which balances the rights and duties of pupils.
  • Ensure that, where appropriate, a full and fair investigation of the issue is undertaken.
  • Ensure that no-one, including pupils, are penalised for making a complaint in good faith.
  • Keep a written record, for at least three years, of all complaints, the action taken and at what stage they were resolved. (Note: This information is provided to Ofsted at their request)
  • Review regularly at senior leadership level the written record of complaints and their outcomes
  • Keep confidential all records relating to individual complaints except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 162A of the 2002 Act, as amended, requests access to them.

A record of formal complaints and their outcomes will be kept by the Principle in both electronic and hard copy in the office. The record is reviewed regularly by the Principal and the Admin staff.

Parents are also free to make a complaint to OFSTED if they so wish. Relevant contact details are set out below.

OFSTED: Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann’s Square, Manchester M2 7LA
Phone: 0300 123 4666 or e-mail: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

National Care Standards Commission: 58 Uxbridge Road, London W5 2ST Phone: +44 (0)208 280 0347

This policy is applicable to all pupils in our Academy.  It is available to staff, pupils, parents and the parents of prospective pupils on the Academy’s website and paper copies are available on request from the Academy office.

Concerns and Complaints procedure

A vital aspect of working in a close partnership with parents is that we want to know when things are, in the view of parents, not going right.  If you have any concerns about any aspect of your child’s life at Academy, please contact an appropriate member of staff as soon as possible. We will take all such expressions of concern seriously and follow them up courteously and promptly. In any Academy things can go wrong but we want to do all we can to sort those things out.

Two things tend to make parents and pupils reluctant to express concerns:

  • A fear that the Academy will not see the issue to be important. Please be assured, if it is important to you, it is important to us.
  • A fear that a complaint may lead to repercussions for the pupil. Please be assured that under no circumstances will the Academy discriminate against a pupil because of expressions of concern or complaints. We are also very experienced in ensuring that, if other pupils are involved (e.g. in an allegation of bullying), there are no repercussions from other quarters.

Who should you contact?

Stage 1 – Informal Resolution

It is to be hoped that most complaints can be made and considered on an informal basis.

  • For a minor day to day, subject, academic, curriculum issues/concerns please contact the relevant teacher or Tutor.
  • For any other pastoral or disciplinary concerns, please contact the Head of the Secondary School.
  • In matters regarding finance, fees and non-academic services please contact the Admin.

We will do all we can to ensure that we respond to complaints in a highly professional manner. However, if you feel that an expression of concern has not been handled properly by a member of staff, please contact the Head of the Secondary School.

The staff concerned will make a written record of every complaint; this record will include the date on which the complaint was received. We will endeavour to acknowledge a written notification by telephone, fax, e-mail or letter within five working days of receipt during term time and as soon as practicable in the Academy holidays. Should the matter not be resolved within a reasonable period (one not normally exceeding two term-time weeks) or in the event that the relevant staff and the parents fail to reach a satisfactory resolution, then parents will be advised to proceed with their complaint by writing directly to the Principal.

What to do if you remain dissatisfied?

Stage 2 – Formal Resolution

If you remain unhappy, please contact the Principal. This should be in writing. The Principal may ask to meet you for a discussion of the problem. The Principal 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.

Full written details of the nature of the complaint, any relevant documents and full contact details should be sent by the parents in an envelope addressed to the Principal. It would be very helpful if parents could also indicate what they envisage as the desired outcome.

The Principal will decide, after considering the complaint, upon the appropriate course of action to take. In most cases, the Principal will speak to and/or meet with the parents concerned to discuss the matter, normally within ten days of receiving the complaint. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage.  It may be necessary for the Principal to carry out further investigations that may delay a resolution. The Principal may ask a senior member of staff to act as investigator and/or may involve one or more of the Academy Trustees.

Written records will be kept of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint.

Once the Principal is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all of the relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and parents will be informed of this decision in writing. The Principal will also give reasons for his decision.

Stage 3 – Panel Hearing

If having discussed the matter with the Principal, you still feel dissatisfied then please contact the Chairman of Trustees who will convene a panel of at least two Trustees and one person independent of the management and running of the Academy to consider the complaint. No member of the panel may have any involvement with any matter detailed in the complaint.  You can write to the Chair of Trustees in confidence by adding FAO Trustees to any correspondence.

If possible, the Panel will resolve the parents’ complaint immediately without the need for further investigation.

Where further investigation is required, the Panel will decide how it should be carried out.

At the Panel Hearing, the complainant(s) may be accompanied by one other person e.g. a relative or friend. Legal representation will only be permitted if the Chairman considers it appropriate. If it is considered appropriate the Chairman will inform the complainant(s) to that effect so that they may chose to be legally represented at the Panel Hearing if they so wish. Should they decide to be so represented they shall inform the Chairman at least 7 days before the date set for the Panel Hearing that that is their intention. If the complainant(s) chose to be legally represented the Chairman will notify the other parties of that decision to enable them to have legal representation at the Panel Hearing should they so wish.

After due consideration of all facts they consider relevant, the Panel will reach a decision and may make recommendations, which it shall complete within seven days of the meeting or Hearing or as soon as reasonably practicable. The Panel will write to the parents informing them of its decision and the reasons for it within seven days of reaching this decision. The Panel’s findings and any recommendations will be sent in writing to the parents, the Principal, Trustees and, where relevant, the person(s) about whom the complaint was made. The decision of the Panel will be final.

Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. Correspondence, statements and records will be kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 162A of the 2002 Education Act, as amended, requests access to them; or where any other legal obligation prevails.

Parents are always welcome to address their serious concerns on any matter to the Principal. Written records of all serious complaints and their outcomes (including at what stage they were resolved) will be kept and reviewed at least annually by The Principal, The Deputy Head, The Head of the Preparatory Academy and The Head of Boarding as appropriate to identify whether review or change in practice is needed so that patterns can be identified and so that appropriate intervention is made in accordance with the National Minimum Standards, Sept 2011, Appendix 3.

 

Complaints (Pupil)

In accordance with the requirements of the Children Act (1989), the School has a “Complaints Procedure” which is given to all pupils which highlights the routes they can follow if they feel that they are fed up or unhappy, if they feel they are being treated unfairly, if they are being bullied, if there are problems at home, if they are being subject to improper physical advances etc.

Our complaints procedure incorporates the following elements:

1. Something is making you unhappy or worried. What can you do?

Is there a friend who can help?

Is there an older student you can talk to?

2. What about someone who is pastorally responsible for you?

Can you talk to your Form Tutor, Year Head, or House Head? They are here to help you.

3. Is there any other member of staff you can trust?

What about the Imam or the Academy Nurse? You may always go directly to the Deputy Head or to the Principle.

4. There may be circumstances when you would find it easier to talk to someone who is not a member of staff.

This could be your parents. Alternatively you might consider Childline (telephone: 0800 1111) or the NSPCC (telephone 0800 800 5000).

5. Suppose you are still worried. You may feel that the matter is so important you wish to take it further. What do you do?

Speak to any member of staff or adult whom you trust. You do not need to be on your own when you do this; you can have a friend with you, an older pupil or another member of staff.

6. If the matter is not dealt with to your satisfaction, you can make a formal statement.

Write to your Vice Principal or Principal. Your “complaint” will be registered in the Record Book held by the Vice Principle. You will be invited to talk the problem through (you may have a friend or adult with you). You will be advised of the course of action to be taken.

About Avicenna Academy

Avicenna Academy incorporates Primary and Secondary Education. It is the first academy to revive the teaching of neglected sciences such as Herbal Medicine and Islamic Creed (Aqeedah). We hold a broad, open-minded view and approach to knowledge and therefore Avicenna Academy provides a holistic education fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

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