Releasing Potential Complaints Policy (General) 2022-2023
This policy is intended to set out how Releasing Potential deals with complaints. All members of the Releasing Potential community should feel able to express their views in the full knowledge that they are dealt with fairly.
We welcome suggestions for improving our work. All concerns or complaints are important to us and are investigated with due urgency and thoroughness. Our primary concern is the education and welfare of the young person.
Whenever a complaint is upheld, every effort is made to rectify the issue and, if necessary, action is taken to try to prevent a recurrence of the problem. Releasing Potential does not investigate anonymous complaints or allegations.
- To provide an accessible and easily understood procedure for complaints.
- To encourage parents, social workers from the placing authority and members of the Releasing Potential community to express their views at the earliest opportunity through the appropriate channels.
- To increase mutual understanding between all parties.
- To create an ethos where all are committed to working together for the benefit of each young person.
Whether a complaint is made informally or formally all parties involved should ensure that every effort is made to respect confidentially and ensure that all documentation remains confidential to those parties directly involved in the complaint being investigated. Parents/Support Workers/Carers/Social Workers should be assured that making a complaint does not adversely affect the student.
17.4 How we manage our Concerns and Complaints:
17.4.1 Stage 1 – Informal complaint:
Most concerns and complaints can be resolved informally. There are many occasions where concerns are resolved straight away through direct contact with the student’s tutor or course leader. We aim to resolve any informal complaint within one working day. If the person first contacted cannot deal with the matter immediately, they will refer to the person with responsibility for the issue raised. This person will continue to follow the issue through until it has been fully addressed and the matter is resolved either at a face-to-face meeting or by telephone.
On certain issues the tutor/course leaders may decide to deal with the concerns directly at this stage. If the concern relates to the tutor/course leader, the complainant is advised to contact the Senior Executive Officer. Where no satisfactory solution has been found, complainants are asked whether they wish their concern to be considered further. If so, they are given clear information about how to make a formal complaint as outlined in the procedure.
A written record is made by the person dealing with the informal complaint and kept in a file in the office. A copy may be kept in file of young person if relevant.
17.4.2 Stage 2 – Appeal to the CEO:
The complainant makes a written appeal to the CEO detailing the original complaint and reasons why they remain unsatisfied after SEO’s ’s investigation. The CEO writes to the complainant to acknowledge receipt within 5 working days.
The CEO investigates the complaint by speaking with relevant parties and reviewing documents. The CEO will confer with two or more other Trustees if necessary and will make a decision.
The CEO will write to the complainant to advise them of the outcome and any actions arising. In the case of a complaint against the SEO or CEO, the final recourse will be to the Chair of Trustees.
A record will be kept of all complaints.
Regardless of whether the complaint is upheld or not, a review of working practices will be held to determine what action needs to be taken to reduce the risk of this happening in future.
17.4.3 Stage 3 – Appeal to Independent Complaints Adjudicator:
- The complainant makes a written appeal via the Chair of Trustees to the Independent Complaints Adjudicator, detailing the original complaint and reasons why they remain unsatisfied after the CEO’s investigation. The Chair of Trustees writes to the complainant to acknowledge receipt within 10 working days.
- The Chair of Trustees contacts the Chair of the Independent Adjudicator who will carry out an investigation.
- The Adjudicator investigates the complaint by speaking with relevant parties and reviewing documents and will make a decision.
- The Independent Complaints Adjudicator will write to the complainant to advise them of the outcome and any actions arising. This letter will also advise that there is no further recourse to appeal the decision.
- The complainant has the right to be accompanied by a friend or family member at all meetings arising from their complaint.
- Confidential records of all complaints, their investigations and outcomes will be kept at Releasing Potential Head Office, 7 Kingscroft Court, Ridgway, Havant, PO9 1LS.
Review date: 1st August 2023
 Independent Adjudicator is Josie Payne, Deputy Head Teacher, Prospect School, Havant