Complaints Appeals Committee

These terms of reference are taken from the County Council’s Guidance on School Complaints Procedures for Schools.[1]

The use of italics indicates where, if adopting these terms of reference, the governing body may wish to make an alteration.

Membership

The committee will consist of a minimum of 3 governors. Neither the headteacher nor the chair of governors will be a member of the committee as they may have been involved in the matter under consideration at an early stage.

The chair of the committee will be elected by the committee. Committee members must be impartial and have no prior involvement with the complaint or the circumstances surrounding it.

Quorum

The quorum shall be a minimum of 3 governors.

Meetings

Meetings will be held when required to consider formal appeals made under the Procedures for Handling Complaints in Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School.

Responsibilities

Wherever possible the governing body would wish to see complaints resolved at an informal stage but:

  1. The main function of the committee will be to undertake the duties of the governing body in the consideration of complaints made under the Procedures for Handling Complaints in Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School.
  1. Complaints covered by statutory procedures will not be considered by this committee.
  1. The committee will seek advice from the Senior Area Human Resources Officer or Governor Services Manager, or in the case of a voluntary aided school, the Diocesan/Church Authority Education Officer, as appropriate.
  1. In considering the complaint the Complaints Appeals Committee will:
  • consider the written materials;
  • consider the complaint and the headteacher’s (or chair’s) action;
  • invite the headteacher or chair of governors (as appropriate) and the complainant to the meeting; and
  • seek advice and support as necessary;
  1. At the end of their consideration, the committee will:
  • determine whether to dismiss or uphold the appeal in whole or part;
  • where the complaint is upheld, decide on appropriate action;
  • advise the complainant and headteacher (chair) of its decision;
  • advise the complainant of any further action they may wish to take if they remain dissatisfied;
  • arrange for amendments to be made to the School’s Complaints Register and for the matter to be reported, in general terms, to the governing body.[2]

The chair of the committee

The chair of the committee has a key role ensuring that:

  • the remit of the Committee is explained to the parties and each party has the opportunity of putting their case without undue interruption;
  • key issues are addressed;
  • key findings of fact are made;
  • parents and others who may not be used to speaking at such a hearing are put at ease;
  • the rules of natural justice are followed;
  • the complainant is notified of the panel’s decision, in writing, with details of any further rights of appeal; and

the governing body are notified of any changes to procedure or reviews of policy recommended by the committee

[1]    It is assumed that the governing body has adopted the County Council’s Model Complaints Procedures

[2] Guidance on School Complaints Procedures has more detailed information on the conduct of a Complaints Appeals Committee meeting.