How can you meet the school website Complaints Policy requirement?
If you take a look at Schudio's school website requirements guide and scroll down to section 17 you will see what you need to do in order to comply with the school website Complaints Policy requirement. The first thing to note is that this requirement is to be met by all Schools and Colleges. Meaning everyone needs to publish their school website Complaints Policy on their website. Within the school website Complaints Policy there are 4 different requirements you need to meet to comply with this section. However, each section applies for different schools types. See the image below to see what your school needs to do.
Just Maintained Schools
As you can see above the requirement states "You must publish details of your school’s complaints procedure, which must comply with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002." The key areas to focus on here is the "must comply with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002," as this is what will make you meet the requirement. All you need to do within your school website Complaints Policy is reference that your policy complies with Section 29 of the Education Act 2002. After you ensure your school website Complaints Policy complies with this act you need to add it onto your website. As it is just one policy it doesn't warrant it's own page so we recommend adding it onto your policies page. If you are a Schudio client here is a tip on how to do it using Document Groups.
Maintained schools also need to comply with section 17.3 within the school website Complaints Policy and Procedures which will be covered below.
Maintained Schools, Academies and Free Schools
To meet section 17.3 you need to publish your arrangements for handling complaints from parents with SEN children. At Schudio we recommend having this including within your SEN Report and your Complaints Policy and Procedures. When we conduct our Compliance checks we find they tend to only appear within a schools SEN Report, however we recommend for best practice to include it within both.
Academies and Colleges
There are two points here that you will need to comply with, (17.2 and 17.3). The first is a quick win. All you need to do is publish your school website Complaints Policy on your website. We recommend publishing this on your policies page.
The next point you need to cover is that if you are an academy, free school, FE or sixth-form college you also need to publish your whistleblowing policy on your website. At Schudio we recommend having this as a separate policy to your school website Complaints policy. However, we do recommend adding this onto your policies page.
All complaints should be dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner. Make sure to address all the points being raised.
Your procedure should also allow the complaint to complete the procedure in full and you need to advise the complainant of any escalation steps at every stage.
Make sure that your policy reflects what you will do as opposed to what you should or may do.
The government has published guidance on how to write your actual complaints procedure and best practice around that.
Also, you should make sure that your complaints procedure is:
- Simple to understand and use
- Enables a full and fair investigation
- Where necessary respects confidentiality
- Addresses all the points at issue and provides an effective response and appropriate redress, where necessary
- Provides information to the school’s senior management team so that services can be improved
Make sure your policy is tailored to fit your school and not just a copied standard template. Stand out from the other schools.
Lytham High School (https://lythamhigh.lancs.sch.uk/)
Here you can see they have they School Websites Complaints Policy and Procedure stored nicely within their policies page, with it clearly being labelled too.
Hill View Primary School (https://hillview.halton.sch.uk/)
With this one they have even included a little description of what their School Website Complaints Policy and Procedures will contain
After reading this blog you should be able to understand what is required of you to make your school website Complaints Policy compliant for Ofsted.
Watch this video to further your understanding
If you have any questions about this requirement your first port of call is the school website requirements guide. To go deeper join the school website managers membership where you will get access to all School Website Requirements Course updates and training.