Each school is responsible for resolving its own complaints. If you are unhappy about something that has happened at St Stephen’s School, you have the right to make us aware of your concerns.
This page is designed to give you a brief overview of our complaints procedure. A full copy of the procedure can be obtained from the school office or by using the link and this will explain the procedures that the school follows in more detail.
Whilst there may be exceptions and/or variations, the general process is as follows and if you are not sure how or who to contact at any stage, please contact the school office by dropping in or calling 020 3351 4488
Stage 1: Talk to the teacher concerned
Most concerns and complaints can be sorted out quickly by speaking with your child’s class teacher. Please do not try to see the teacher during the school day when they are taking or preparing lessons. You may need an appointment and you can take a friend or relative with you if you wish. All staff will make every effort to resolve your problem informally, make sure that they understand what you feel went wrong, explain their own actions to you and ask what you would like the school to do to put things right.
Whilst we may not come round to your point of view in every case, it will help both you and us to understand both sides of the issue in question. It may also help to prevent a similar problem arising again.
Stage 2: Complaint to the Headteacher
If you are dissatisfied with the teacher’s response you can make a complaint to the Headteacher. You should try to talk to the Headteacher first but if you want to make a formal complaint, this should be made in writing. Please contact the school office if you need assistance with this.
The Headteacher may ask to meet you to discuss the problem. Again you can take a friend or someone else with you if you wish. The Headteacher will arrange an investigation of the complaint and any members of staff or pupils involved may be interviewed. You will then receive a written response to your complaint.
If your complaint is about an action or decision of the Headteacher, then you should refer it to the Chair of school Governors (see below).
Stage 3: Contact the Chair of Governors
The problem will normally be resolved by this stage but if you are still not satisfied you may wish to contact the Chair of school Governors to ask for a review or referral of your complaint to a School Governors’ Complaints Panel.
You can contact the Chair via letter and your correspondence should be handed to the school office in a sealed envelope marked ‘Private and Confidential’ and ‘for the attention of the Chair of school Governors’.
Your complaint may then be heard by a group of three governors who have no previous knowledge of the problem and so will be able to give it a fresh and impartial assessment.
You will be invited to attend and speak to the panel at a meeting which the Headteacher will also attend. The School Complaints Policy explains how these meetings operate in more detail.
Complaints about school problems are almost always settled internally but in exceptional cases it may be possible to refer the problem to an outside body once the three stage process listed above is completed such as the Secretary of State for Education.
Some education matters have their own complaints or appeals procedures such as curriculum and admissions.
If your complaint is about something which the local authority’s is responsible for (such as, Special Educational Needs appeals or Education Welfare) you should contact their complaints unit for advice instead. Our local authority is the City of Westminster and the education department is part of the Tri-Borough Education Service.