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Listening to you, learning from you


We are always ready to hear:

  • what we are doing well
  • what we could do better
  • when concerns arise.

All compliments are valued and shared with relevant staff. All complaints are taken seriously and dealt with following the trust complaints policy and procedure.

Who can complain?  You may complain yourself, or you may get someone to support you. The person you choose to support you could be a friend, a family member or some other individual or group.

Where do I begin?  Think about the nature of your complaint and try to jot down the details. In particular write down:

  • what you are complaining about
  • when and where the incident occurred
  • who else was involved
  • whether anyone saw it happen
  • who you have spoken to already and
  • what you would like to see happen as a result of your complaint.

2. If the matter cannot be resolved at this meeting, the school may need to look into the matter and carry out an investigation. This should be dealt with in an agreed timescale by the appropriate person. When all relevant facts have been established, you should receive a written response.

3 If the school agrees your complaint is justified they will tell you what action will be taken.

4. If you are not happy with the outcome, then you should email the clerk to the trustees,

5. The Clerk will arrange a Complaints Panel to review the investigation.. The panel will consider two things: firstly whether the process has been fully and fairly followed and secondly, whether or not to uphold your complaint.

6. The Complaints Panel will inform you of its decision either to: uphold the school’s decision or ask the school to reconsider certain aspects of the decision.

What if my complaint is about the headteacher? You should contact the Clerk to trustees as above.  

What if my complaint is about the local governing body,  an individual governor or trustee?  You should contact the Clerk to trustees as above who will forward your complaint to the correct person.

How long will it take? Complaints should be handled quickly and most issues should be resolved in a few days. The school should complete most investigations within 20 school days but, if a complaint goes through all the stages listed above, it may take several months to resolve.

What can I expect to happen? You should expect to be listened to so that your complaint can be understood. If your complaint needs to be investigated you should give the investigator enough time to do this. A reasonable amount of time to carry out an investigation would be 15 school days. You should be informed if it will take longer than this. If the school agrees that your complaint is justified, they should tell you what actions will be taken. If the school does not support your complaint, they should tell you why and you can ask for these reasons to be given to you in writing.  

Who else can help me? If you feel worried about making a complaint you may involve a friend, representative or interpreter to support you.

What if I am not satisfied with the way the trust has dealt with my complaint?   If you believe the trust is acting unreasonably or failing to carry out its statutory duties properly, you should write a letter to the Secretary of State for Education asking him to look into your complaint, enclosing copies of all correspondence you have had with the school and the trust in relation to your concerns.

The address is:  

Ministerial and Public Communications Division
Department for Education
Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Further advice can be found on their website:

Stages of Complaints summary:

Stage 1 : Informal        

The school will take informal concerns seriously and make every effort to resolve the matter quickly.   

Stage 2 : Formal           

Formal complaints can be raised

  • by letter or email
  • over the phone
  •  In person
  • By a third party acting on behalf of the complainant  

Stage 3 : Appeal for review 

Submit the complaint to a review panel. This is the final stage of the complaints process.

You can read our Complaints Policy and Procedure in full below.

  • Market Field School, School Road, Elmstead Market, Essex CO7 7ET

  • 01206825195