Schools are required under the Education Act 2002 to have a procedure for dealing with complaints relating to the school. At present all schools in Suffolk have adopted the county council's model procedure.
The purpose of the procedure is to resolve complaints brought against Suffolk schools. The procedure explains how to make a complaint and what to expect from the school in response. It also tells complainants what they can do if they are unable to settle the complaint with the school. This applies to maintained schools only, academies should have their own procedures agreed by governors and published to parents.
In practice, the procedure is as follows:
Step 1: Informal
Please start by telling the class teacher or head of year about your concern. This is usually the best and quickest way of resolving issues.
Step 2: Informal
If you feel dissatisfied with the outcome of discussions with the class teacher or head of year, please ask for an appointment to meet with the headteacher or, in a larger school, a member of the leadership team, a deputy headteacher or assistant headteacher.
Step 3: Formal - complaint letter to the headteacher
If you feel that the issue you have raised has not been resolved through the informal process and you wish to pursue it further you may raise it through the formal procedure. To do this you must write a formal letter of complaint to the headteacher.
Step 4: Complaints not resolved through the formal procedure
If you believe that the school has not properly followed its complaints procedure or has not acted fairly or reasonably in responding to your complaint you may refer the matter to the local authority. The local authority has no legal right or duty to deal with most complaints about schools but will provide advice to the parent/carer and governing body in the event that a complaint which has been considered under the formal procedure remains unresolved or if the complaint is specifically about the headteacher.
Finally, on conclusion of Step 4, you may ask for your complaint to be heard by a committee of the governing body.
A copy of the full procedure will be available from your child's school or can be downloaded - school complaints procedure document