Complaints procedure

Statement

Our preschool believes that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our pre-school and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the preschool. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns. We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our preschool to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.

Procedure

To achieve this, we operate the following complaints procedure. We also have a summary log of all complaints that reach stage 2 or beyond, which are available to parents and Ofsted inspectors.

Making a complaint

Stage 1

  • Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the preschool’s provision talks over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with the preschool’s class manager. Most complaints should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.

Stage 2

  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to Stage 2 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the preschool leader.

When the complaint is resolved at this stage the summative points are logged in the “summary log”.

Stage 3

  • If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation they request a meeting with the preschool managers and the chair of the management committee. Both the parent and the manager should have a friend or partner present if required. An agreed written record of the discussion is made. All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it.

This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded, and will be recorded When the complaint is resolved at this stage the summative points are logged in the “summary log”.

Stage 4

  • If at the Stage 3 meeting the parent and preschool cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help to settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice.  A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
  • The mediator keeps all discussion confidential. She/he can hold separate meetings with the preschool personnel (preschool manager/chair of the management committee) and the parent, if this is decided to be helpful.
  • The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice she/he gives.

Stage 5 

  • When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the preschool manager and the chair of the management committee is held. The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint. The mediator’s advice is used to reach this conclusion. The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.  
  • A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded. 

The role of the Office for Standards in Education, Early Years Directorate (Ofsted) and the Local Safeguarding Board.

Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of our registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the National Standards for Day Care are adhered to. 

The address and telephone number of Ofsted is:

Ofsted, National Business Unit , Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, Manchester M1 2WD 

0300 123 1231   http://www.ofsted.gov.uk

These details are displayed on our preschools notice board.

If a child appears to be at risk, our preschool follows the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Board in our local authority.

In these cases, both the parent and pre-school are informed and the pre-school manager works with Ofsted or the Local Safeguarding Board to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint followed by appropriate action.

Records

A record of complaints against our preschool and/or the children and/or the adults working in our preschool is kept, including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed. A summery log of those complaints that reach stage two or beyond is available to parents and Ofsted inspectors on request.

This policy was reviewed August 2019

Signed on behalf of the Preschool Anne Ridgway and Heather Gardner