St Sophia’s School has long prided itself on the quality of the teaching and pastoral care provided to its pupils. However, if parents do have a complaint they can expect it to be treated by the School in accordance with this Procedure. St Sophia’s makes its complaints procedure available to all parents of pupils and of prospective pupils through the school website.

What Constitutes a Complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a real or perceived problem. It may be made about the School as a whole or about an individual member of staff Any matter about which a parent is unhappy and seeks action by the School is within the scope of this procedure. A complaint is likely to arise if a parent believes that the School has done something wrong, failed to do something that it should have done, or has acted unfairly. Parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially. The School is here for your child and you can be assured that your child will not be penalised for a complaint that you or your child raises in good faith.

Stage 1 – Informal Resolution

It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally.

If parents have a complaint they should normally contact their child’s form teacher. In many cases, the matter will be resolved straight away by this means to the parents’ satisfaction. If the form teacher cannot resolve the matter alone, it may be necessary for him/her to consult the Deputy Head if the complaint concerns the Junior School or the Head Teacher if the complaint concerns the Senior School.

Complaints made directly to the Deputy Head/Head Teacher will usually be referred to the relevant form teacher.

If the complaint is against a specific member of staff, the Deputy Head/Head Teacher will have the right to decide whether the member of staff’s presence is appropriate at this stage.

In the event that the form teacher/Deputy Head and the parents fail to reach a satisfactory resolution then parents will be advised to proceed with their complaint in accordance with Stage 2 of this Procedure.

Stage 2 – Formal Resolution

If the complaint cannot be resolved on an informal basis, then the parents should put their complaint in writing to the Head. The Head will decide, after considering the complaint, the appropriate course of action to take.

The Head will respond in writing to the written complaint, and may also meet with the parents in person again, in order to resolve the matter.

If the complaint is made against a specific member of staff, that member of staff may be present at this meeting. The Head will have the right to decide whether the member of staff’s presence is appropriate at this stage.

It may be necessary for the Head to carry out further investigations.

Once the Head 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 Head will also give reasons for her decision.

If parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this Procedure.

If the complaint is about the Head and it has not been resolved informally, the parents should send a complaint in writing to the Governors, whereupon the procedure described in Stage 3 below will be followed.

Stage 3 – Writing to the Governors

If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 (following a failure to reach an earlier resolution), they will need to write to the Chairman of Governors.