Complaints Policy (2023)
- Approved by Trust Board - 19/10/23
- Applicable from - 20/10/23
- General Principles
- The Complaints Procedure
- Stage One - Resolution at a Local Level
- Stage Two- Investigation by a Nominated Individual
- Stage Three - Resolution via Complaints Panel Meeting
- Record Keeping
- Department for Education (DfE)
- Submitting a complaint to Ofsted
- Serial or persistent complainants
- Complaints Relating to Fulfilment of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Requirements
- Appendix A - Contact Details
- Appendix B - Complaint Form
- Appendix C - Complaints subject to statutory procedures or out of the scope of this policy
- Appendix D - Complaints from those who are not parents/carers of a pupil on roll at an academy within Co-op Academies Trust
- Appendix E - Policy for unreasonable complainants
- Appendix F - Barring from the School Premises
- Appendix G - Order of Proceedings (Stage Three Panel)
- Appendix H - Raising a Complaint Against a governor, a trustee, the Central Trust, or a Member of Central Team Staff
- Appendix I - Timescales
This policy statement and procedure sets out the approach of The Co-operative Academies Trust (the Trust), and all of its academies, to dealing with concerns and complaints. The procedure is intended to allow a concern or complaint relating to the Trust or one of its academies to be raised by a parent, carer, or anyone else.
We value good relationships with parents and carers and our wider communities, and will do everything we can to establish and maintain these. This includes seeking to resolve any concerns or complaints promptly, and with the aim of reaching resolution wherever possible.
All staff, along with members of each school’s Academy Governing Council (AGC), will be familiar with this procedure and all those involved with dealing with complaints under this procedure will receive support, advice and appropriate training.
This procedure is available on request, and is accessible via each academy’s, and the Trust’s, website. It will be reviewed regularly and updated as necessary.
Some complaints might be dealt with in other policies, for example, complaints involving pupil admissions, child protection or pupil exclusions. A full list of issues excluded from the scope of this procedure can be found in Appendix C. Where necessary, an academy will exercise its discretion.
The third stage of this policy does not apply to those who are not parents/carers of pupils on roll at an academy within the Trust. Complaints that fall into this category will be handled via a separate procedure outlined in Appendix D, although the general principles of this policy will be applied.
Anonymous complaints or complaints sent as part of a complaints campaign will not usually be investigated. However, the Trust will determine whether the complaint warrants an investigation.
Employees of the Trust should raise any concerns relating to their employment through the appropriate staffing procedure, not through this process.
Where a complaint is against the Central Trust, a member of the Central team, a trustee, a governor, or the Trust Board as a whole, please refer to Appendix H.
We will treat all concerns and complaints seriously and courteously and will advise complainants of the procedures for dealing with their concerns. In return, we expect complainants to behave respectfully towards all members of the Trust’s community. In particular, any disagreement with an academy should not be expressed inappropriately or in front of pupils.
We aim to ensure that any complaint is managed sympathetically, efficiently, at the appropriate level, and is resolved as soon as possible. We will try to resolve every complaint in a positive way with the aim of putting right a matter which may have gone wrong. Where necessary, we will review our systems and procedures in light of the circumstances of the complaint.
If a complaint centres on a pupil, we may talk to the pupil concerned and, where appropriate, others who were present at the time of any incident in question. We will usually talk to pupils with a parent or carer present, unless this would delay the investigation of a serious or urgent complaint, or where a pupil has specifically said that they would prefer the parent or carer not to be involved. In such circumstances, we will ensure that another member of staff, with whom the pupil feels comfortable, is present.
If a complainant wants to withdraw their complaint, they will be asked to confirm this in writing. If they do not respond to this request within 15 school days the matter will be judged to be closed.
All references to ‘headteacher’ in this procedure include ‘executive headteacher’ or ‘head of school/college’, depending on the leadership arrangements in place in the academy at the time of the complaint.
We do not normally accept electronic audio or video recordings as evidence when we are asked to consider a complaint. If we do accept a recording, we may also ask for the written consent of all recorded parties before it is viewed. We may accept independently notarised transcriptions of recordings. We do not accept, as evidence, recordings of conversations that were obtained covertly and without the informed consent of all parties being recorded.
Complaints must be raised within three months of the incident complained about occurring or, where a series of associated incidents have occurred, within three months of the last of these incidents. Complaints made outside of this time frame will only be considered if, having taken advice, the Headteacher or Chair of Governors is of the view that exceptional circumstances apply.
Unless otherwise stated, time-scales in this procedure refer to school working days for the relevant academy, excluding school holidays, In Service Training (Inset) days and bank holidays. Any complaints made outside of term time will be considered to have been received on the first school working day after the holiday period.
There may be times when the investigation takes longer than the timescales outlined in this policy. Where this is the case we will keep the complainant informed of the revised timescales and the reasons for this.
The Complaints Procedure
The procedure is divided into three stages. How each of these stages operates is explained below.
Stage One - Resolution at a Local Level
This stage of the policy will apply to all concerns and complaints raised directly with the Academy. Concerns must be raised initially with the relevant Academy, before they are escalated to formal stages, other than in exceptional circumstances. This might be where the substance of the complaint directly concerns the conduct or actions of the Headteacher; in such a case the Chair of Governors will take overall responsibility for Stage One of the process, involving the Regional Director as appropriate.
The Headteacher is responsible for overseeing Stage One of the process, but this may be initially or fully delegated to an appropriate member of academy staff. The member of staff dealing with the concern should ensure they have a clear understanding of the issue(s), what it is that the complainant considers should have been done, or where they feel the Academy has not met reasonable expectations, as well as the resolution being sought.
Stage One gives all parties the opportunity to explore the issues causing concern and to seek to resolve them without recourse to formal stages. The Headteacher, or relevant member of academy staff, may attempt resolution directly through meetings or other conversations with the complainant, or in other ways which may include involving other members of staff, the Chair of Governors or Regional Director in discussions.
The Headteacher or relevant staff member should make a judgement on whether a written outcome is required at Stage One, in conjunction with the complainant. This is unlikely to be required if the complainant is satisfied with the response and outcome, and the situation has been resolved verbally.
In normal circumstances this stage will last no longer than twenty school working days from the date the concern was first raised, either verbally or in writing, with the Academy. During this period every effort should be made to resolve the situation on an informal basis and all parties will be expected to fully engage with efforts to achieve this resolution.
Despite the best efforts of all parties there may be occasions where informal resolution is not possible, in which case the complainant may elevate the issue to Stage Two, as set out below.
Stage Two- Investigation by a Nominated Individual
If the complainant wishes to elevate their complaint to Stage Two, they should notify the regional Governance Manager (see Appendix A) in a timely way following their engagement with the school at Stage One, and in any case no more than 3 months after the relevant incident(s) took place. This request must be set out in writing, stating where the complainant remains dissatisfied and what remedies are being sought. A complaints form to assist with this is included as Appendix B but it is not a requirement that it is used. The Governance Manager will also ask the Academy to provide a summary of the response arising from Stage One.
An investigation will then be carried out by a nominated individual identified by the Governance Manager as appropriate. This may be a member of the Academy’s Governing Council (AGC), a governor of another of the Trust’s academies, or a Trust employee either from a different academy or from the Trust’s central team. In exceptional circumstances, as judged by the Governance Manager, a trustee may investigate or an external investigation may be commissioned. The investigator may seek to meet with the complainant and will speak to others involved as they deem necessary.
Once all the relevant facts have been established, the investigator will put their findings in writing. This will give an explanation of the decision and the reasons for it. If follow-up action is needed, they will indicate what they are proposing to do. Whenever reasonably possible, this will be done within 10 school working days of any meeting with the complainant. If no meeting is arranged, it should be within 20 school working days of the written complaint being received. If a meeting is arranged at Stage Two, the complainant may ask someone to accompany them to help them explain the reasons for their complaint and to support them. The investigating officer may also be accompanied by a suitable person if they wish.
The investigating officer will keep records of all meetings and telephone conversations, and other related documentation. They may be supported in note-taking by a member of the Trust’s Governance Team.
Where the matter is not resolved at this stage, the complainant may elevate it to Stage Three, as set out below.
Stage Three - Resolution via Complaints Panel Meeting
If the complainant wishes to elevate their complaint to Stage Three, they should notify the Governance Manager for their region in writing within 10 school working days of receiving the Stage Two findings. Any such request must be set out in writing, stating where the complainant remains dissatisfied and what remedies are being sought. This request will generate a meeting in front of a complaints panel.
On receipt of the request to have a complaint heard by a panel, we will confirm that we have received the correspondence and will make arrangements for a panel to be convened.
As soon as possible following this we will inform the complainant of a date for the panel meeting. This date will take into account their availability to attend. The meeting will be held as quickly as practicable given the need to find a date that is reasonably convenient for the complainant, the academy and panel members. The aim will be for the panel to be convened within 20 school working days of receiving the request for a hearing. The complainant will be notified by letter and this letter will inform them of the date, time and location of the meeting, and provide an explanation of what will happen at the hearing. With agreement from all parties this meeting may take place via an electronic meeting platform such as Google Meet.
The complainant will be asked whether they wish to provide any further written documentation in support of the complaint. If they do, then this will need to be received at least ten school working days before the meeting. If a significant amount of additional information is submitted after this deadline, the panel may decide to adjourn if it is in the best interests of both parties that the panel gives the information full consideration.
The panel will comprise three members who have not been directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint so will be able to consider it without prejudice. These members may be governors from the Academy concerned, governors from another of the Trust’s academies, trustees or members of the Trust’s central team. At least one of the members of the panel will be a person who is independent of the management and running of the Academy.
The meeting is not a court case; it will be held in private, and will be as informal as circumstances allow. The Chair of the panel will bear in mind that the formal nature of the meeting can be intimidating, and will do their best to put all parties at ease.
Electronic recordings of meetings or conversations are not permitted unless a complainant’s own disability or medical needs require it. Prior knowledge and consent of all parties attending must be sought before the recording of the meeting takes place. Consent will be recorded in any minutes taken.
The complainant will have the opportunity to put their reasons for dissatisfaction and to enlarge on them but may not introduce reasons that were not previously put in writing. The Academy will have the opportunity to put its side of things and each side, as well as the panel members, will be able to ask questions.
The order of proceedings for a Stage Three panel meeting can be found in Appendix G.
The panel can request additional information from other sources if necessary. All parties will receive copies of these papers at least five school working days before the meeting.
The complainant will be entitled to bring a companion along to provide support. They are there to provide support, rather than to speak on the complainant’s behalf, and will not usually be permitted to speak during the meeting except with the permission of the Chair. Legal representation representing the complainant will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and with prior agreement from the Trust. It may sometimes be appropriate for the panel to take advice from a legal adviser, but this adviser will not attend the panel meeting.
If the complainant fails to attend on the day without compelling reasons, their complaint will be judged to be withdrawn (and the matter closed), from the Trust’s perspective.
Should the person representing the Academy and/or the complainant wish to invite relevant witnesses to present their evidence directly to the panel and to be questioned, they should inform the clerk to the panel of this at least 5 days before the hearing. Whether the panel allows such witnesses to be invited to the hearing will be decided by the Chair. Witnesses should attend the meeting only while they give their statement and take questions.
As a general rule, no evidence or witnesses previously undisclosed should be introduced into the meeting by any of the participants. If either party wishes to do so the hearing will be adjourned so that the other party has a fair opportunity to consider and respond to the new evidence.
Other than in exceptional circumstances pupils or other children/young people will not be permitted to attend panel meetings.
The person who investigated the matter at Stage Two may be accompanied by someone from the Trust central team.
The meeting will be minuted, usually by a member of the Trust’s Governance Team. The panel may make findings and recommendations and a copy of those findings and recommendations will be sent by electronic mail or otherwise given to the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about.
The following people will be entitled to attend the panel meeting:
- panel members
- an adviser to the panel who may also take notes of the meeting, or may be accompanied by a minute taker
- the complainant(s) and their companion if they choose to bring one
- the investigator and their companion if they choose to bring one
- any witnesses (for the duration of their evidence)
In addition, if the investigator is external to the Academy, they may be accompanied by a senior member of academy staff or a Regional Director for the Trust.
All parties will withdraw, other than the panel members, the advisor to the panel and the note-taker (if this is a different person), while the panel reaches a conclusion, which may be that the complaint is upheld or rejected in full, or upheld in part. If time constraints, or other factors, mean that a decision cannot be reached immediately then the panel will reconvene as soon as possible. This subsequent meeting will include panel members, the advisor to the panel and note-taker only and may take place via an on-line meeting platform. The outcome and the reasons for the panel’s decision will be communicated in writing to all relevant parties within five working days of the hearing other than in exceptional circumstances. A copy of the written outcome, inclusive of findings and recommendations, will be kept in Academy and central Trust records, and will be available on the Academy’s premises for inspection by both the Trust and the Headteacher.
A digital record will be kept of all complaints that were resolved at Stages Two or Three of the complaints procedure for a period of 12 months. Records will contain details of the stage at which the complaint was resolved, closed, or withdrawn. The action taken by the academy or the Trust as a result of a complaint (regardless of whether it is upheld) will also be recorded.
Correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints will be kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 109 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 requests access to them.
Department for Education (DfE)
Once the complaints process is concluded (or a complaint has been terminated due to undue delay or failure to lodge a request for a Stage 3 Panel Meeting within the time stated in the policy) the matter is closed. If the complainant is still not satisfied then they may contact the DfE. There is an online procedure for doing so at: https://form.education.gov.uk/service/Contact_the_Department_for_Education or the complainant may write to the DfE at: The School Complaints Unit (SCU), Department for Education, 2nd Floor, Piccadilly Gate, Manchester M1 2WD.
Submitting a complaint to Ofsted
Ofsted advises that “you should complete all steps in the school's complaints procedure before you contact Ofsted”. Their advice can be accessed directly here: https://complain.ofsted.gov.uk.
Ofsted cannot resolve disagreements between a complainant and a school, or affect the results of a school’s complaints process.
Serial or persistent complainants
If at any level a complainant attempts to reopen an issue or a closely related issue that has already been dealt with under this complaints procedure, the Trust may write to the complainant to inform them that the procedure has been exhausted and the matter closed. Continued correspondence on the same matter would be judged as unreasonable and the Trust would not respond to communication(s) on that issue, or a closely related issue.
Complaints Relating to Fulfilment of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Requirements
In order to comply with the statutory framework, written concerns or complaints relating to the fulfilment of the EYFS Requirements will be dealt with in accordance with the following process:
The written concern/complaint will be acknowledged within 5 school working days;
The Headteacher will investigate the concern or complaint which may include meeting with the complainant and the Head of Early Years. A written response notifying the complainant of the outcome of the investigation will be sent within 28 school working days of the complaint being received.
Where the complainant remains dissatisfied, the governance team will ensure that a formal Complaints Meeting will be convened in accordance with Stage 3 of this policy.
A record of the written complaints and their outcome will be maintained and made available to Ofsted on request.
The EYFS statutory framework can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2
Parents are further advised that where they have concerns regarding the Academy meeting EYFS requirements they may contact Ofsted on 0300 123 4666.
Appendix A - Contact Details
Please address all correspondence relating to Stage One complaints directly to the academy in question. Contact details are on all academy websites, accessible via https://www.coopacademies.co.uk/. For the escalation of complaints to Stage Two and/or Three please notify us via the contact details below.
Staffordshire and Merseyside academies:
Co-op Academy of Stoke-on-Trent
Greater Manchester academies:
Co-op Academies Trust (X99)
1 Angel Square
West Yorkshire academies
Co-op Academy Parkland
Old Park Road
For complaints relating to the following individuals/groups:
- a governor
- an Academy Governing Council
- a headteacher
Co-op Academies Trust (X99)
1 Angel Square
For complaints relating to the following individuals/groups:
- a trustee
- the Trust Board
- the Chief Executive Officer
- an employee of the Trust central team
Head of Governance firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-op Academies Trust (X99)
1 Angel Square
Appendix B - Complaint Form
Appendix C - Complaints subject to statutory procedures or out of the scope of this policy
Some areas of complaint are subject to statutory procedures and there is clear guidance on how such issues should be dealt with, which lie outside this procedure. These include:
- child protection
- data protection and freedom of information
- equal opportunities
- health and safety
- National curriculum
- religious education and collective worship
- sex education
- statutory assessments of special educational needs
- staff capability
- staff discipline
- staff grievance
- racist incidents1
- withdrawal from the curriculum
- complaints about services provided by external suppliers who may use school premises or facilities (these should be directed to the provider's own complaints procedure)
- matters likely to require a child protection investigation
The Trust will in most cases determine which, if any, statutory procedures apply.
If a statutory procedure needs to be invoked at some point during the investigation of a more general complaint, the complaints procedure may be suspended until the statutory procedure has been concluded.
Although racist incidents are subject to a statutory procedure, the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, this does not necessitate the complaints procedure being suspended. However, there is a duty for local authorities to monitor racist incidents and so academies must follow local authority procedures for recording such incidents.
Appendix D - Complaints from those who are not parents/carers of a pupil on roll at an academy within the Co-operative Academies Trust
Only stages One and Two of this policy will apply.
Trust staff may seek to meet with the complainant in order to resolve the concerns, but are not obliged to do so.
- Stage One:
Complainants should first address their complaint to the relevant academy or Trust (as appropriate) informally. If this fails to resolve the situation, the complaint may be submitted in writing to the regional office.
- Stage Two:
The escalation request should be submitted in writing to the regional office. It will be acknowledged in writing within 3 school working days, with a final written response issued within 20 school working days.
Contact details for the regional offices are in Appendix A.
There may be occasions where an individual raises a complaint while they have a child or children on roll at an academy and, during the course of the complaint process, their child is removed from roll. If this occurs prior to the Stage 3 process starting, the complainant will not be eligible to escalate their complaint to Stage 3.
Appendix E - Policy for Unreasonable complainants
We are committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially, and to providing a high quality service to those who complain. We will not normally limit the contact complainants have with the school. However, we do not expect our staff to tolerate unacceptable behaviour and will take action to protect staff from that behaviour, including that which is abusive, offensive or threatening.
Our trust defines unreasonable complainants as
‘those who, because of the frequency or nature of their contacts with the school, hinder our consideration of their or other people’s complaints or are having an unreasonably high detrimental impact on key staff being able to fulfil their duties to students’.
A complaint may be regarded as unreasonable when the person making the complaint:
- refuses to articulate their complaint or specify the grounds of a complaint or the outcomes sought by raising the complaint, despite offers of assistance;
- refuses to cooperate with the complaints investigation process while still wishing their complaint to be resolved;
- refuses to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of a complaints procedure;
- insists on the complaint being dealt with in ways which are incompatible with the adopted complaints procedure or with good practice;
- introduces trivial or irrelevant information which the complainant expects to be taken into account and commented on, or raises large numbers of detailed but unimportant questions, and insists they are fully answered, often immediately and to their own timescales;
- makes unjustified complaints about staff who are trying to deal with the issues, and seeks to have them replaced;
- changes the basis of the complaint as the investigation proceeds;
- repeatedly makes the same complaint (despite previous investigations or responses concluding that the complaint is groundless or has been addressed);
- refuses to accept the findings of the investigation into that complaint where the school’s complaint procedure has been fully and properly implemented and completed including referral to the Department for Education;
- seeks an unrealistic outcome;
- makes excessive demands on school time by frequent, lengthy, complicated and stressful contact with staff regarding the complaint in person, in writing, by email and by telephone while the complaint is being dealt with.
A complaint may also be considered unreasonable if the person making the complaint does so either face-to-face, by telephone or in writing or electronically:
- using threats, intimidation or violence;
- using abusive, offensive or discriminatory language;
- knowing it to be false;
- using falsified information;
- publishing unacceptable information in a variety of media such as in social media websites and newspapers.
Complainants should limit the number of communications with a school while a complaint is being progressed. It is not helpful if repeated correspondence is sent (either by letter, phone, email or text) as it could delay the outcome being reached.
Whenever possible, the Trust will discuss any concerns with the complainant informally before applying an ‘unreasonable’ marking.
If the behaviour continues, the Trust will write to the complainant explaining that their behaviour is unreasonable and asking them to change it. For complainants who excessively contact an academy or the Trust causing a significant level of disruption, we may specify methods of communication and limit the number of contacts in a communication plan. This will usually be reviewed after 6 months.
If a complainant’s behaviour is deemed to be vexatious and/or unreasonable under the terms of this policy, we may write to them to inform him/her that their complaint is closed and that the Trust will not respond to any further correspondence on the issue, or a closely related issue. In these circumstances records of the unreasonable or vexatious communications would be made available to the DfE on request.
In response to any serious incident of aggression or violence, the concerns and actions taken will be put in writing immediately and the police informed. This may include barring an individual from the Trust’s premises.
Appendix F - Barring from the School Premises
Although fulfilling a public function, schools are private places. The public has no automatic right of entry. Schools will therefore act to ensure they remain a safe place for pupils, staff and other members of their community.
If an individual’s behaviour is a cause for concern, a school can ask them to leave school premises. In serious cases, the Headteacher or the Trust can notify them in writing that their implied licence to be on school premises has been temporarily revoked subject to any representations that the individual may wish to make.
This is a Headteacher decision but subject to review by the Chair of Governors. We will always give parent/s the opportunity to formally express their views on the decision to bar in writing.
The decision to bar should then be reviewed within 5 school days, taking into account any representations made by the parent. The decision will then either be confirmed or overturned. If the decision is confirmed the parent should be notified in writing without delay, explaining how long the bar will be in place.
Anyone wishing to complain about being barred can do so, by letter or email, to the Headteacher or Chair of Governors.
Appendix G - Order of Proceedings (Stage Three Panel)
- A round of introductions and an explanation of the purpose of the hearing.
- The complainant will explain their case and their reasoning for why they remain dissatisfied.
- The complainant may call witnesses, if agreed in advance with the Chair of the panel. Witnesses will present their evidence, take questions from all parties and then leave the meeting.
- The panel will hear from the person who investigated the complaint at Stage Two, in response.
- The person who investigated may call witnesses, if agreed in advance with the Chair of the panel. Witnesses will present their evidence, take questions from all parties and then leave the meeting.
- The complainant can pose questions, via the Chair.
- The investigating officer at Stage Two can pose questions to the complainant, via the Chair
- The panel members, and their adviser, can pose questions to both parties.
- The panel will hear closing statements from both parties.
- In closing the meeting, the Chair will explain that the panel will formulate its response as quickly as reasonably possible, aiming to do so within five school working days. The Clerk will notify all concerned.
- All participants other than the panel members, and the Trust adviser to the panel (and the note-taker if this is a different person) will then leave.
- The letter will also explain the complainant’s entitlement to have the handling of their complaint reviewed by an external body.
- The written outcome, which will be inclusive of findings and recommendations, will be shared with the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about. It will also be available in the Academy’s and central Trust’s records, and be available on Academy premises for inspection by the Trust and the Headteacher.
Appendix H - Raising a Complaint Against a governor, a trustee, the Central Trust, or a Member of Central Team Staff
Where a complaint is about a matter relating specifically to the persons/groups below, whilst the general principles of this policy will be applied, the complaint will be considered immediately at Stage Two of the policy.
- a central Trust employee (including the CEO)
- a governor
- a trustee
- the Academy Governing Council (as a whole)
- the Trust Board or Multi Academy Trust (as a whole)
The investigating officer/body may differ depending on the subject of the complaint (see Appendix A). In exceptional circumstances an independent investigator may be commissioned, who will submit a report on completion of their investigation.
Where such a complaint is not made by a parent / carer of a pupil on roll at one of the Trust’s academies Appendix D will apply.
Appendix I - Timescales
(NB There may be times when the investigation takes longer than the timescales outlined. In this scenario, the academy should keep the complainant informed of the revised timescales and the reasons for this).
Raising a complaint:
Complaints must be raised within three months of the incident complained about occurring or, where a series of associated incidents have occurred, within three months of the last of these incidents.
Academy to respond within 20 school days of the complaint being raised, in usual circumstances.
The complainant may escalate their complaint to Stage Two within 3 calendar months of the incident complained about occurring, if their concerns have not been satisfactorily addressed at Stage One.
The investigating officer should respond either within 10 school days of any meeting they hold with the complainant, or within 20 school days if they do not hold a meeting.
The complainant may escalate their complaint to Stage Three within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of Stage Two if they remain dissatisfied.
A panel should be convened within 20 school days of the Stage Three request being raised.
An outcome letter should be provided within 5 school days of the panel taking place.
Complaining beyond the school
At the conclusion of the process, if the complainant remains dissatisfied they have the option of raising concerns with the Department for Education (see Section 11 above) and/or with Ofsted (see Section 12).