How to have your say
How to have your say in what happens in school
Parents and carers have a very important role in the education of their children. All schools in Knowsley want to work in partnership with you, as this is vital to your child’s progress.
Your views are very important to us and we aim to help you with the process of making your views known.
How do I let the school know my views?
Comments or Compliments - Are you really pleased with something the school has done? Do you have a good idea for improving any aspect of school life? Let us know! You can ring or drop the school a brief note. The school will always welcome your feedback or comments. If you would like a reply please indicate this and supply your name and address.
Concerns - Are you unhappy or worried about a school matter? An informal discussion with the school would be the first step to resolving the situation. Please make contact with the school as soon as you feel concerned.There are more formal complaint procedures where needed.
Every year schools will conduct a survey to collect views of pupils and Parents. These surveys help schools to ‘get it right first time’ - please take part as the more responses received the more realistic the results!
What do I do if I am concerned about something?
Sometimes you may feel things have gone wrong or perhaps you are unhappy about something that has happened. It may be to do with your child’s progress, actions of a member of staff or another pupil’s conduct. We know it can be difficult to question what a school is doing, but if you do not tell them what is worrying you, they cannot explain their actions or put things right. Their support for you and your child will not lessen in any way.
The school's promise to you:
- We will deal with your concern or complaint honestly, politely and in confidence
- It will be looked into thoroughly, fairly and as quickly as possible
- You will be kept up to date with progress
- An apology will be made if a mistake has been made
- You will be told what will be done to put things right
What to do first
First of all try to go to the member of staff or your child’s teacher who will deal with the issue or pass you on to someone more able to help you.
You can contact the school in person, by telephone, letter or email. If you feel any of these would be difficult for you, a friend or adviser can speak to the school on your behalf. Most concerns or complaints will be sorted out quickly by putting something right, or by giving an extra explanation of the school's actions.
Making a complaint
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive to your concern you may wish to make a complaint. There is a procedure in place in each school for this to happen. It will tell you exactly what will happen and how long it should take.
Please contact the school for a copy of the procedure. There are also sample letters available from the school that may assist you in taking this next step.
Briefly, the procedure will be:
- Write to the Headteacher with your concern
- The Headteacher will acknowledge your letter within five school days and may invite you in to discuss things further.
Before you contact the school it may be helpful to think through what you would like the school to do about the matter—what would resolve the matter for you? Be realistic about what would help move matters to your satisfaction. It may help to make a few notes before going in.
Please remember that the beginning and end of a school day are very busy times. If you talk to a teacher at these times it may not be possible to sort things there and then. Be ready for the teacher to say he or she will make an appointment for you to return or agree they will ring you as soon as possible.
You should not have to wait more than a week for this to happen. This will ensure you receive the attention required to address your worries fully and put things right where necessary.
- You will receive a letter within 15 school days with an explanation or with the actions the school will take to put things right.
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, you can write to the Chair of Governors who may investigate themselves initially or invite you to a panel of three school governors, to be arranged at a time to suit you. This will take place within 29 days of receiving your letter.
If the complaint is about the Headteacher, Chair or a governor, these steps will be amended slightly, and further details are in the school’s policy and procedures.
A full copy of the Complaints Procedure is available on request from school.
Copies of all correspondence about concerns and complaints are kept in schools. These are treated with the utmost confidence. All complaints are reported to the governing body to enable the school to learn from them. Names and more detailed information is not shared.
Matters relating to the National Curriculum, Collective Workshop in schools (in the case of denominational schools, concerns relating to worship and spiritual matters may be referred to the relevant Diocesan Authority), provision of support services such as Special Educational Needs, Attendance or Educational Psychology are dealt with by the Local Authority.
Complaints about these matters should be referred to the Complaints Manager in the Directorate of Children and Family Services.