Complaints Policy

Cambridge Leadership College will work collaboratively in partnership with students and parents. If there is something that a student or a parent are not happy about then the first step would be to raise it with the person most closely associated to it.
It is hoped that most matters can be resolved quickly and informally.
Any matter about which a pupil or the parent of a pupil is unhappy and seeks action by the school is a complaint, and in the scope of the procedure, whatever the school or college labels it as. However it is recognised that there are times when there will be issues that are not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, or the parents and that they will wish to make a formal complaint.
If parents or students do have a complaint, the school will treat it in accordance with the policy and procedures detailed below. A copy of this procedure is also available on our website or in hard copy from the College.
Responding to complaints will be given the highest priority by the school or college and will be dealt with comprehensively.
The days specified in this policy refers to days that the college is in session. Complaints will be acknowledged within 1 working day if received during term time and as soon as practicable during holiday periods.
The school’s target is to complete the first two stages of the procedure within 28 days if the complaint is lodged during term-time and as soon as practicable during holiday periods.

Stage 1 – Informal Resolution

If parents have a complaint they should normally contact the Vice Principal. In many cases, the matter will be resolved immediately by this means to the parents’ satisfaction. If the person contacted cannot resolve the matter then it may be necessary to consult the Vice Principal.
Complaints made directly to the Vice Principal will usually be referred to the person mostly closely connected to the matter unless the Vice Principal deems it appropriate to deal with the matter personally.
The person initially contacted will make a written record of all concerns and complaints and the date on which they were received. Should the matter not be resolved immediately, receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within 5 days and a response provided within 10 working days. If a response cannot be provided within that time, or in the event that the person most closely associated with the matter and the parent or student fail to reach a satisfactory resolution then parents/student 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 Vice Principal who will then decide, after considering the complaint, the appropriate course of action to take.
In most cases, the Vice Principal will meet with the parents concerned either in person or via Skype, normally within two days of receiving the complaint, to discuss the matter. If possible, a resolution will be reached at this stage.
It may be necessary for the Vice Principal to carry out further investigations, in which case a definitive answer will be given within 10 further working days.
The Vice Principal will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the complaint.
Once the Vice 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 Vice Principal will also give reasons for their decision.
If the student/parents are still not satisfied with the decision, they should proceed to Stage 3 of this Procedure.

Stage 3 – Panel Hearing

If parents seek to invoke Stage 3 (following a failure to reach an earlier resolution) the matter will then be referred to the Complaints Panel for consideration.
The panel will consist of the Principal, an independent listener and the Bursar.
The Principal on behalf of the Panel will then acknowledge the complaint and schedule a hearing to take place as soon as practicable and normally within 14 days.
If the Panel deems it necessary, it may require that further particulars of the complaint or any related matter be supplied in advance of the hearing. Copies of such particulars shall be supplied to all parties not later than three days prior to the hearing.
The student/parents may be accompanied to the hearing by one other person. This may be a relative, teacher or friend. Legal representation is not permitted.
If possible, the Panel will resolve the student/parents’ complaint immediately without the need for further investigation.
Where further investigation is required, the Panel will decide how it should proceed.
After due consideration of all facts considered relevant, the Panel will reach a decision and may make recommendations, which it shall complete within 14 days of the Hearing. The Panel will write to the student/parents informing them of its decision and the reasons for it.
The Panel’s findings and recommendations will be sent in writing to the complainant and, where relevant, the person regarding whom the complaint was made. A copy of any complaint and findings / recommendations will be made available to Inspectors, on request.
This exhausts the complaints procedure after the decision has been communicated in writing.

Recording of Complaints

All complaints which have reached stages 2 or 3, and the outcome of the individual complaint, are duly recorded in the Complaints Register. The stage at which the complaint is concluded is recorded; whether at stage 2 (Formal Resolution) or Stage 3 (Panel Hearing).
Students and/or parents can be assured that all concerns and complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially.
Correspondence, statements and records will be kept confidential; the exceptions to confidentiality are the Secretary of State and an inspection body under section 109 of the 2008 Act.
The School will provide OFSTED and ISI on request with a written record of any complaints made during a specified period and the action which was taken as a result.

Contact details:

OFSTED

Address:
Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD
Education: 0300 123 4234
Other enquiries: 0300 123 1231

ISI

Address: Schools Inspectorate
CAP House, 9 – 12 Long Lane, London EC1A 9HA
Tel: 020 7600 0100
Fax: 020 7776 8849

Interpretation

In this policy:
“parent” includes a guardian or carer.
“pupil” includes “student.”

Status of the Policy

This policy was approved by Cambridge Leadership College’s Senior Management Committee (SMC) on 1st July 2017. It will be reviewed by Cambridge Leadership College SMC no later than 1st July 2018.

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