School curriculum and collective worship

There are three stages to making a complaint. These are by:

  • informal discussion
  • making a formal complaint to the governing body of a school
  • making a formal complaint to Medway Council as the Local Authority (LA) or in the case of complaints about religious education and collective worship in voluntary aided schools, to the Bishop or Archbishop.

Informal discussion

If you have a concern or complaint about the curriculum or collective worship in a school, you should talk it over first with the headteacher or other staff. You can be accompanied, if you wish, by an interpreter. If you are concerned about the actions taken by the LA, you should contact Medway Council. It is normally possible to find a solution in this way without going through any formal arrangements.

Formal complaint to the governing body

If you are not satisfied that your complaint has been settled by informal discussion, you can ask to have it considered by the governing body. The headteacher will tell you the name of the Medway Council officer responsible for dealing with complaints about the curriculum.

In writing

You should then write to this officer, explaining as clearly as possible what your complaint is and that you want it to be considered under these arrangements. The officer will confirm receipt of your letter and if the complaint should be dealt with by the governing body, will refer it to the clerk of the board of governors.

The clerk will arrange for the complaint to be investigated before it is considered by a panel of governors appointed by the governing body. The clerk will identify any urgent cases which need to be considered as a priority.

In person

If you would like to explain your complaint in person to the panel of governors, you should inform the clerk, who will arrange for you to do so. You can be accompanied, if you wish, by a friend or representative and by an interpreter, if necessary.

When your complaint has been fully investigated and considered, the clerk will write to you and to the named officer of the council, to let you know the outcome. In the letter, the clerk will explain:

  • the decision taken and the reasons for it
  • any action that has been or will be taken to resolve your complaint (including details of any request to those complained against to take particular action)
  • any further appeal you can make.

Formal complaint to the local authority

Formal complaints to the local authority are very similar to those described above.

In writing

You should write to the named Medway Council officer, explaining your complaint as clearly as possible and saying that you want it to be considered by the local authority as part of these arrangements. The officer will confirm receipt of your letter.

He or she will decide whether your complaint can be referred to the local authority and will identify any urgent cases that need to be considered as priority.

The officer will arrange for your complaint to be fully investigated before it is considered by a panel of members of the local authority. If your complaint is about the secular curriculum in a voluntary aided school (i.e. any part of the curriculum other than religious education and collective worship) the local authority panel will include a representative of the appropriate Diocesan Body.

In person

If you would like to explain your complaint in person to the panel, you should inform the officer, who will arrange for you to do so. You can be accompanied, if you wish, by a friend or representative and by an interpreter, if necessary.

When your complaint has been fully investigated and considered, the officer will write to you to let you know the outcome and will send a copy of the letter to the headteacher and chair of governors. The letter will explain

  • the panel’s decision and the reasons for it
  • any action that has been or will be taken to resolve your complaint (including details of any request to those complained against to take particular actions)
  • any further appeal you can make.

This letter ends the local authority stage of the arrangements.

The Secretary of State

Wherever possible, formal complaints will be resolved by the governing body or the local authority. However, if you have gone through all the stages in these arrangements and you are still dissatisfied, you can make a complaint to the Secretary of State for Education.