Complaints procedure for parents Policy

Working in partnership with parents and other agencies procedures

      Complaints procedure for parents

There is a fair way of dealing with issues as they arise in an informal way, but parents may wish to exercise their right to make a formal complaint. They are informed of the procedure to do this and complaints are responded to in a timely way. At St Andrews we believe that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention of their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our setting and we give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting. Most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informed approach to the appropriate member of staff, ie a keyperson and they will offer an explanation and an apology if appropriate If this does not achieve the desired result, we have set procedures for dealing with concerns. For allegations relating to serious harm to a child caused by a member of staff or volunteer, procedure Allegations against staff, volunteers or agency staff will be followed.


Making a complaint

Stage 1

Any parent who has a concern about an aspect of the settings provision talks over, first of all with the setting manager. Most complaints should be resolved amicably at this stage.

Stage 2

If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or the problem recurs, the parent puts the concerns or complaint in writing to the setting manager and the chairperson of the committee. The setting stores written complaints in the complaints book.

When the investigation is completed, within 14 days, the manager meets with the parent to discuss the outcome.

Stage 3

If the parent is still not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he/she requests a meeting with the manager and chairperson of the committee. The parent should have a friend or partner present if required and the manager will have support from the chairperson.

1.    An agreed written record of the discussion is made as well as any decision or action to take as a result. All parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy.

2.    The signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded, when the complaint is resolved, at this point the summative points are logged in the complaints book.

Stage 4

·         If at this stage the parent and setting cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved

·         The mediator keeps all discussions confidential. Staff from pre-school learning alliance are appropriate persons to be invited to act as mediators.

·         The mediator keeps all conversations confidential and keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and advice they give.


Stage 5

·         When the mediator has concluded their investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the setting manager and the chairperson is held. To reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint.

·         A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.


Childrens safeguarding

Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints process. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of the settings registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering body and inspection body with duty to ensure the welfare requirements of the EYFS are adhered to.

The number to call Ofsted with regard to a complaint is       0300 123 1231

·         These details are displayed on our parent notice board

·         If a child appears to be at risk, our setting follows the procedure of the local safeguarding children’s board to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint, followed by appropriate action.


A record of complaints against our setting and/or the children and/or the adults working in our setting is kept, including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how it was managed.


The outcome of all complaints is recorded in the summary complaints book record which is available for Ofsted inspectors on request.


§  If an individual from another agency wishes to make a formal complaint about a member of staff or any practice of the setting, it should be made in writing to the setting manager.

§  The complaint is acknowledged in writing within 10 days of receiving it.

§  The setting manager investigates the matter and meets with the individual to discuss the matter further within 28 days of the complaint being received.

§  An agreement needs to be reached to resolve the matter.

§  If agreement is not reached, the complainant may write to the setting manager’s line manager, who acknowledges the complaint within 5 days and reports back within 14 days.

§  If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, they are entitled to appeal and are referred to the trustees




  Ofsted complaints record

·         Legislation requires settings to keep a record of complaints and disclose these to Ofsted at inspection, or if requested by Ofsted at any other time.

·         The record of complaints is a summative record only.

A record of complaints will be kept for at least 3 years.

·         In all cases where a complaint is upheld a review will be undertaken by the owners/directors/trustees to look for ways to improve practice where it is required.

·         The setting manager ensures that parents know they can complain to Ofsted by telephone or in writing at any time as follows:

Applications, Regulatory and Contact (ARC) Team, Ofsted, Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD or telephone: 0300 123 1231