Parents are extremely unlikely to complain about bad teachers and Heads due to fear of retribution and lack of access to an Easily Accessible Complaints procedure.
What do you do when you have exhausted all avenues? Shockingly most parent's don't know where to turn. Even more surprisingly, We're a nation that's so quick to complain about inadequate customer services, yet we NEVER complain about the most important thing in our lives, our children's education.
In the playground and on social media, I see parents complaining all the time about different issues pertaining to their children's teachers, most frequently is bullying, and how the teachers or head don't seem to be tackling the problem correctly. Parents actually opt to move their child to a different school rather than take it further. The thing is, this then has a ricochet effect, the next parents facing the issue will continue to do the same, the head with never be held accountable and as far as the governors are concerned the head is doing a fantastic job.
Another issue I hear day in day out is teachers talking to parents like children, or having an answer for everything, or cutting them short. Why do we put up with this?
At present the school governors deal with any complaints that parents feel the child's teacher or head of school haven't or can't deal with properly but they receive very few.
If a parent feels the need to take a complaint further, they're advised to put it in writing and send it to the board of governors via post or hand it in to the head. Now in this day an age where we work long hours and struggle to fit everything in, these letters often go unwritten.
Places with a letter only complaints procedure, have a 98% lower complaints rate.....does it mean it's not happening? Of course not, it simply means that people can't be bothered to go through the rigmarole of the complaints procedure so let it go.
All schools have websites, yet very few have readily available details for contacting the governors.
Things need to change, teachers need to be accountable for their actions and at the moment no ones saying anything. We can all think of a time when certain teachers haven't dealt with a problem correctly, or have made us feel like idiots and 99% of us didn't do a thing about it, other than tell our friends.
I have started a petition to outline way the school complaints system is flawed, and get it changed:
- Make every schools website have an easily accessible complaints procedure. With names of Governors and all addresses, phone numbers and E-mail addresses.
- Provide all parents with a written copy of the complaints procedure yearly, encouraging them to voice their concerns.
- Provide an email address for parents to direct complaints to, so that we don't have to hand over a written complaint to the person we're complaining about, and to enable an easier method of contact.
- Enable anonymity, where applicable, to allow parents to address concerns without having to worry about repercussions for their children or themselves.
Things will never change unless we stand together and make them change. Please sign and share the petition at Change.org HERE
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