Complaints Procedure

This policy should be understood in the context of the College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and an equitable service and provision for all.  We seek to ensure that all College practices operate in an inclusive manner and to a consistent standard.  Implicit in all our policies and procedures is an awareness of issues relating to gender, race, faith, age, sexuality, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership and disability.  This procedure has been drawn up with reference to the ESFA[1] procedure for complaints.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service, education or aspects of work-related experience or training you have attended as part of your course you may use this procedure to raise a complaint. Likewise, if you experience sexual harassment, racism, bullying or other forms of discrimination or unacceptable conduct you may:
  • Lodge a complaint within ten working days of the incident or matter for complaint occurring. Your complaint will be acknowledged within two working days of receipt.
  • We ask that you discuss your complaint in the first instance with your personal tutor, subject teacher or the Head of Department if it is a matter related to your course of study. If it is a matter related to your wider learner experience, please discuss it in the first instance with your tutor or Head of House. It may be that the matter can be resolved easily at this informal stage.
  • Where this is not possible, or you feel that you can neither take the matter up in person with your tutor, teachers nor Head of House, any matter related to your course of study should be submitted to Ms Griffiths Assistant Principal, Curriculum. If it relates to other matters it may be submitted in writing to Mr Hull, Assistant Principal with cross-College responsibility for Student Welfare. A complaint form for this purpose can be obtained from the College Reception or you may prefer to submit your complaint in the form of a letter or an email. If you have difficulty submitting details in writing, a member of the College Reception Team or the College Chaplain will be happy to assist you.
  • If your complaint concerns, or involves, the Assistant Principal for Student Welfare please refer the matter to Mr C Graham, Associate Principal for Welfare or Ms Foan Associate Principal for Curriculum.
  • Your complaint will be investigated in the first instance by Mr Hull, Ms Griffiths or Ms Foan, respectively. You may be invited to offer further detail and any staff members involved in the source of the complaint will be interviewed and asked to make a formal statement about the matter. Such responses will be recorded and summarised in writing. The investigating staff member will also consider if there is a need to collect witness testimony.
  • Following this, the investigating senior staff officer will refer his/her findings to Mr Thompson, Principal, for formal deliberation. Mr Thompson may invite you and a representative parent or guardian to meet with him to review your complaint in person.
  • Following that review Mr Thompson will determine the complaint and his findings may be:

 - Complaint upheld
 - Complaint partially upheld
 - Complaint not upheld
 - Insufficient evidence to arrive at a judgement

  • You may expect that your formal complaint will be considered fairly and quickly, and that you will receive a written response within ten working days of submitting the complaint.
  • If your complaint is partially or fully upheld, Mr Thompson will liaise with you about an appropriate act or level of reparation with respect to you personally and/or any adjustment to the College’s service made as a consequence of your complaint.
  • If your complaint is not upheld you will be given an explanation of the reasons for this judgement.
  • If you remain dissatisfied with the handling or outcome of your complaint after you have received the written response from the Principal, you may lodge an appeal with the Chair of Governors who will review the complaint, the investigative process and the findings and, as necessary, convene an Appeals’ Committee to hear the appeal. An appeal must be received in writing within ten working days of receipt of the written response to your complaint. The appeals’ procedure ends the internal procedures.
  • If you remain dissatisfied and your complaint relates to the matter of service delivery, you may be able to refer the matter to the ESFA. Information about the ESFA complaints procedure can be found on the agency website.
  • All verbal and written communication related to the complaint, together with action taken, will be logged in the departmental complaints file, for future reference and reviewed as part of our commitment to continuous quality improvement. For this purpose, identities will be anonymised. All verbal and written communication will be clear, concise, courteous and in plain English.
 Last revised: February 2020
Post holder names updated September 2020
Routine review: February 2022. Approved by Governing Body 22nd March 2022 without change
Next routine review: February / March 2024
Download a copy here
[1] Education & Skills Funding Agency