The Catholic Church regards parents as the first educators of their children. At St Robert Southwell, all members of staff are fully committed to this viewpoint and seek to work in close collaboration with you over all aspects of your child’s education and pastoral care.
Most of the time, things go smoothly. However, on occasions we recognise that you may have a concern over something that has happened at school. In these instances, we never want you to worry unnecessarily and encourage you to make contact with us to discuss your concern as soon as possible. It is difficult for us to investigate properly an incident or problem that has happened some time ago.
We always welcome suggestions for improving our work in the school. Be assured that no matter what you want to tell us, our support and respect for you and your child in the school will not be affected in any way.
Your initial contact is likely to be with your child’s class teacher, though she or he may suggest another member of staff is better placed to deal with your concern. Please contact the class teacher in the usual way (via the school office or email –firstname.lastname@example.org). It is helpful if you can give an overview of your concern at this point so that the teacher can prepare for a meeting with you.
Once you have met the class teacher, you or she may decide that a more senior member of staff needs to become involved; this will usually be Mrs Cousins, Assistant Headteacher or Mrs Hargrave, Headteacher. More time may also be needed to properly investigate your concern before it can be satisfactorily resolved.
We recognise the need to be clear about the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage reduces the number that develop into formal complaints. We aim to ensure that concerns are handled, if at all possible, without the need for formal procedures. Our complaints procedure is only necessary if efforts to resolve the concern informally are unsuccessful. In most cases, the process outlined above will effectively address your concerns.
We follow the complaints procedure developed by West Sussex County Council. Once you have given the opportunity to the relevant member of staff to resolve your complaint but you are unhappy with the outcome, the next stage is to refer the complaint to the headteacher, Mrs Hargrave. She will investigate and report back to you. If you are still unhappy at this point, governors become involved. You can find full details of our complaints procedure below.