Complaints procedure

 

Policy statement

 

Little Lambs Pre-school 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 setting and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting.  We anticipate what 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 to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved.

 

Procedures

 

Little Lambs will keep a written record of any complaint that reach stage two or above, and their outcome.

 

Stage 1

 

  • Any parent that has a concern about any aspect of Little Lambs’ provision should speak to the manager.  Most complaints should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.

    Stage 2

  • If it does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem reoccurs, the parent should put the concerns or complaint in writing to the manager.

  •  The complaint will be stored in a complaints file and will be investigated.

  • When the investigation is complete, the manager will meet with the parent to discuss the outcome.  This must be done within 28 days.

    Stage 3

 

  • If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he or she can request a meeting with the manager.  The parent may have a friend or partner if they prefer, likewise the manager may have support from a member of the staff team.

  • An agreed written record of discussion is made, as well as any decision or action to take as a result.  All parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy.  This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

    Stage 4

 

  • If at stage three meeting, the parent and setting cannot reach an agreement, an external mediator is invited to help 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. 

  • Little Lambs Pre-school would request that a member of the Lewisham Pre-school Learning Alliance or Lewisham Early Years Improvement team acts as mediators.

  • The mediator will keep all discussions confidential.  S/he can hold separate meetings with the setting and parents, if it is decided helpful.  The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he gives.

    Stage 5

 

  • When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between parent and manager 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 the conclusion.  The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.

  • A record of the meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy.  The signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

    The role of Ofsted and the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB)

 

  • Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure.  In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach in Little Lambs Pre-school’s registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted, as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are adhered to.

  • The number to call Ofsted with regard to a complaint is: 0300 123 4666

  • If a child appears to be at risk, Little Lambs Pre-school follows the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board

  • In these cases, both the parent and Little Lambs Pre-school are informed and the manager works with Ofsted or LSCB to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint, followed by appropriate action.

    Records

 

  • A record of complaints in relation to our setting, or the children or the adults working in the setting, is kept, including date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed, along with the outcome

  • All records of complaints are available for parents and Ofsted inspectors on request.

September 2017