The Connected Learning Centre is dedicated to providing the best possible education and support for pupils and young people. This means having a clear, fair, and efficient procedure for dealing with any complaints so that any issues that arise can be dealt with as swiftly and effectively as possible.
All staff are made aware of complaints procedures and are expected to review this document regularly. We expect staff to provide appropriate assistance when an issue is brought to their attention.
This document explains the procedure that pupils and their parents should follow if an issue arises that causes them concern. If it becomes necessary to alter the time limits and deadlines set out within this procedure, those making a complaint will be advised accordingly, given an explanation and provided with revised timescales.
Anonymous complaints will not be examined under this document. However, they will be recorded and where necessary action deemed appropriate will be taken.
If the complaint involves an allegation or concern about physical or sexual misconduct or any form of abuse towards a child, or there is a belief that a child may be at risk of serious harm, the CLC will inform the child’s school and it is likely that the child’s school will immediately refer the case to child protection and welfare services. The CLC will also follow the Education Development Trust global safeguarding policy and local policy and procedures to ensure an appropriate referral is made.
If the complaint is about the way that an allegation or safeguarding concern has been handled, the school’s action takes priority, except in the situation where the CLC has endeavoured to act in a child’s best interests when the child is not accompanied by a school member of staff, for example out of school hours or during the school holiday period.
Where the complaint relates to a safeguarding referral made by a member of staff at the CLC, the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Director will refer the complaint to the Education Development Trust Corporate Safeguarding Advisor and Committee.
See the CLC’s safeguarding policy.
If you have a concern that you would like to take up with the CLC you should initially inform a member of staff either in person, over the phone or in writing by letter or email.
If you are a child please talk first to your teacher. If no teacher is present please inform a member of CLC staff.
We encourage parents to approach staff directly or through any school teacher or member of staff present with any concerns they may have and we aim to resolve all issues with open dialogue and mutual understanding as soon as possible.
If your complaint is about the conduct of a member of staff, please raise this with the CLC’s director, Sarah Horrocks, either in person or in writing, and if needed a meeting can be arranged to discuss the issue at hand. You can email Sarah; [email protected] or call the office on 0207 720 7514.
Once a concern has been raised you may be invited to attend an informal meeting with a member of staff or the director to discuss your concerns.
You are welcome to bring a friend, partner or, in the case of a child who has raised a concern, a parent to this meeting. It may be appropriate for a child to attend the meeting if their parent has raised a concern, depending on the nature of the issue.
Safeguarding issues will be dealt with through the school’s and the CLC/Education Development Trust safeguarding procedures, in which case such a meeting may not be appropriate. The child’s best interests will always be paramount.
Staff will make a record of what is discussed and any outcomes including plan of action if agreed, and have a duty to ensure that you are aware of these.
All staff will do their best to ensure that your concerns are dealt with appropriately and efficiently but if you cannot come to an agreement, or are dissatisfied with the outcome of your meeting, you can make a formal complaint in writing to the director.
There is no suggested time-scale for resolution at this stage given the importance of dialogue through informal discussion although it would be expected that most issues would be resolved within 15 working days.
In order to ensure that complaints are processed efficiently and effectively, the CLC deals with formal complaints in two stages:
If you do not feel that your concern has been dealt with as you would like, are unhappy with the outcome of your informal meeting or feel that the issue is serious enough that it warrants it, you can make a formal complaint in writing to the director.
If your complaint is about the director you should go straight to Stage 2 of this procedure.
The director should acknowledge your complaint in writing within 5 working days, and may already be aware of the situation. You will be informed of any decision or other action to be taken as a result of your complaint.
The director may call you in for a meeting to discuss the outcome, possible solutions, or to explain what has or will happen as a result of your complaint. The director will keep a record of all interactions with you and other staff, meetings and decisions made in reference to your complaint.
If the complaint is against a member of staff, the director will talk to that employee.
If it is an allegation of abuse, the director and Designated Safeguarding Lead will follow the CLC/Education Development Trust safeguarding procedures and the member of staff may be suspended during a formal investigation which may involve the school, the police and or other external agencies.
The director will respond to you in writing within 5 working days outlining their response to your concern, and any action that has or will be taken. If they have decided not to take any further action on the issue, they will explain what they have decided, how they have reached this decision, and will outline your right to take the matter further and the steps to be taken.
If, having spoken to the director, you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint or your complaint is about the director, you may lodge your complaint with Education Development Trust, the parent organisation of the CLC. The complaint must be in writing and it should explain your concern and the steps that have led to you taking this course of action.
If the complaint is against a member of staff, that employee will be given the opportunity to write a response, which will be sent to the Education Development Trust within 10 working days of the complaint being lodged with them.
Education Development Trust will respond to you in writing within 30 working days outlining their response to your concern, and any action that has or will be taken. If they have decided not to take any further action on the issue, they will explain what they have decided, how they have reached this decision.
Whilst it is hoped that the complaints procedure will address issues raised with the services provided by the CLC, it is acknowledged that there may be rare occasions where a complainant continues to be dissatisfied with the organisation and the outcomes achieved under the complaints procedure.
Where a complainant attempts to re-open an issue which has already been dealt with under the complaints procedure, the director will contact them to inform them that the matter has already been dealt with and that either that stage of the policy has been exhausted or that the complaints procedure has been exhausted and the matter is considered closed. Where further correspondence is received on the same matter, this may be considered vexatious and The CLC will be under no obligation to respond to that correspondence.
Staff who have a concern about a colleague or a volunteer member of staff should refer to our whistleblowing policy (currently under review and due for update in 2021).