What should I do if I am concerned about something at Northmead?
From time to time, parents will find themselves concerned about something that has happened involving their child at school. It might be a problem related to the work set, homework, their wellbeing, falling out with friends or a sanction imposed.
It's in everybody's best interests that any issues are resolved as quickly as possible.
If you do have an issue or concern that relates to your child, then you shouldn't hesitate to approach the school directly.
Almost all issues can be dealt with informally, simply by parents talking through their concerns with teachers or relevant school staff, and this may also help to prevent a similar situation arising again.
The following guidelines have been written to help you know the best course of action;
1. Talk to your child if they're unhappy at school or you're worried about their education. Find out as much as you can.
2. Reach out to the school as early as you can to avoid things building up.
The first point of contact needs to be your child's class teacher. This can be done via the class email address or a phone call via the school office. Alternatively an email can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Your child’s class teacher will then contact you via email, phone or by arranging a meeting to discuss the concerns.
Make sure you fully explain the problem to the teacher
Ask what they can do to help
Ask when they'll give you an update
The class teacher may sign-post you to other members of staff (the school's special educational needs co-ordinator or home school link worker) who may be in a better position to find a solution to the concern.
4. Work with the class teacher and other key staff to improve the situation.
5. If you are not happy with the response of the class teacher or if you have difficulty discussing a concern with this particular member of staff, we will respect your views and ask you to make an appointment to speak to a more senior member of staff.
You may like to speak to the year leader:
Miss Ramsay in Year 3
Miss Webster in Year 4
Mrs Richardson in Year 5
Mr Kemp in Year 6
Or Speak to Miss Lewis our Deputy Head teacher.
Mrs Brown, our Head teacher is available and you can make an appointment to see her by phoning or emailing the office.
We do understand that on rare occasions, or for more serious breaches of trust, it may unfortunately be necessary for parents to raise a formal complaint. This should be viewed as a last resort, and it should also be understood that a formal process is likely to take longer to resolve, and once initiated, can be time-consuming and stressful, so it is best to exhaust all other options in seeking an amicable solution.
If you do still wish to make a formal complaint, please follow the procedures as outlined in Athena Complaints Procedure Policy: (If you require a free paper copy of this policy please contact the school office (01483 529870).) The complaints policy and procedure can be accessed from our website.
A concern may be defined as ‘an expression of worry or doubt over an issue considered to be important for which reassurances are sought’.
A complaint may be defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’.
Athena Schools Trust Policies - Complaints
Our school aims to meet its statutory obligations when responding to complaints from parents of pupils at the school, and others. When responding to complaints, we aim to:
- Be impartial and non-adversarial
- Facilitate a full and fair investigation by an independent person or panel, where necessary
- Address all the points at issue and provide an effective and prompt response
- Respect complainants’ desire for confidentiality
- Treat complainants with respect
- Keep complainants informed of the progress of the complaints process
- Consider how the complaint can feed into school improvement evaluation processes
We try to resolve concerns or complaints by informal means wherever possible. Where this is not possible, formal procedures will be followed. The school will aim to give the complainant the opportunity to complete the complaints procedure in full. To support this, we will ensure we publicise the existence of this policy and make it available on the school website.