How do you complain about a head teacher?

(21 Posts)
Mumtogremlins Mon 18-Feb-13 08:01:40

I have several issues with the head teacher at my DSs junior school. A lot of parents are not happy and the school is on the decline. The last ofsted was very critical and was classed as satisfactory, it used to be good. The head is never seen by parents and rarely by the children, and has no interest in learning their names. Loads of teachers have left and more are planning to, and they just seem demoralised. Academically, there are new initiatives which just don't make sense. Parents bypass the head and go to the deputy with any problems as he just doesn't sort anything out.
He currently has another head in to mentor him so does that mean the local authority are aware he's rubbish? Does anyone have any advice on whether its worth complaining, and to who? I would love him to be replaced because it could be such a good school

Thanks

TheChimpParadox Mon 18-Feb-13 08:17:49

Write down and evidence your concerns and send it to Chair of Governors .

The 'mentor' head is probably in to give general advice to the school as it is on the decline as you say . If a school is not satisfactory then an outstanding school will be chosen to mentor it and get it through its next OFSTED . So the mentor may not be mentoring the head as such but helping the school in general.

eatyourveg Mon 18-Feb-13 08:20:05

I'd write to teh chair of governors too but also send a copy to the LA

Mumtogremlins Wed 20-Feb-13 20:57:18

Does the school get more help if it goes into special measures? Does anyone know of any heads that have eventually left due to parents complaints? I'm not sure if any issues I raise will be taken seriously

prh47bridge Thu 21-Feb-13 00:18:24

The LA will be involved if the school goes in to special measures. How much actual help they will provide varies from LA to LA. I don't know of any cases where a head has left due to complaints but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. There are, of course, many cases where a head has left after the school has gone into special measures.

TheChimpParadox Thu 21-Feb-13 09:56:50

The Governors have no powers to sack the HT but as they review his pay and performance they can certainly put some performance review and targets in if they feel he is not up to scratch.

The Governors need to know the parent complaints.

someoftheabove Thu 21-Feb-13 21:18:21

Some heads are female, chimp.

Ragwort Thu 21-Feb-13 21:20:45

some - have you read the thread? The OP clearly refers to the Head as 'he'.

Parisbanana Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:17

OP said "he"

ChaChaDigregorio Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:24

The one OP is talking about is a man.

someoftheabove Thu 21-Feb-13 21:23:38

Yeah, you're right. Shouldn't have had that second glass of wine.

Mumtogremlins Thu 21-Feb-13 21:25:03

Definitely a 'he'! I think I will write a letter and get others to do the same. It can't be right for teachers to be leaving in large numbers and for parents to be so unhappy they want to move their children. The school was good until about a year or so ago , so its going downhill fast sad

DewDr0p Thu 21-Feb-13 21:37:50

The Chair of Governors is definitely the person to write to.

When was the last Ofsted inspection? The usual process following a "satisfactory/requires improvement" judgement is that there will be a follow up monitoring visit by Ofsted (quite different in tone to an inspection but conducted by an inspector) Has that happened at your school? There should be some kind of report issued following it (used to be in the form of a letter, might have changed recently)

DewDr0p Thu 21-Feb-13 21:39:21

Do you know who the parent governors are gremlins ? They might be another avenue in for you (I am one!!) as presumably they will empathise with your concerns?

LatteLady Thu 21-Feb-13 22:17:22

Firstly if your Ofsted was done in the last couple of years, you need to be aware that is politically motivated and that the goalposts have moved considerably.

Secondly mentoring by another head is not a sign of weakness... the vast majority of HTs in my LA do this and also have business mentors.

What I have read in your post is conjecture and gossip... if you have an actual complaint then raise it through the right channels. Go to the school secretary and ask for a copy of the school complaints system and follow it assiduously but do not go on a hunt for a scapegoat.

I understand your concerns about staff leaving, but how do you know that they have not been coasting and your HT has managed them out? Unfortunately you only have part of the story and not all of it.

MM5 Fri 22-Feb-13 05:48:12

If you are making a complaint it needs to go to Chair of Governors. However, the complaint needs to be specific and not general.

But, there are a few things.

1- how would you know the ht has a mentor? Mentoring is very normal in my area of the country and that goes for all levels and doesn't always have anything to do with ability.

2- teachers leaving is not always a bad thing. It could be a sign of bad management. But, it also can be a sign of good management to weed out the bad or coasting teachers that don't want to make the changes neccessary to improve the school. I have known,on several occassions, parents to think that some of the worse teachers were the best! Also, when you said loads of teachers leaving, how many is that. It is normal to have teachers come and go in a school. They move, get promoted, want new challenges, etc.

I think what I am trying to say that complaining about the ht because you think the school is in decline is fine. However, be specific about what you are complaining about and specific and realistic about what you want the outcome of your complaint. They won't get rid of a ht on the balance of your letter or even several letters. Maybe what you want is to have a meeting with the chair of governors to discuss your concerns.

EvilTwins Fri 22-Feb-13 07:47:01

Just to add, be careful about using the fact that he doesn't know children's names as proof of incompetence. The ex-HT where I work was a dreadful head- took the school into special measures, then he left and the governing body was dissolved. It was a pretty awful time for the school. However, if you ask the kids, they say that he was great- always out and about, knew all of them by name, very personable.

Mumtogremlins Sat 23-Feb-13 14:42:23

Thanks for your replies. A lot of things I do hear from other people, but every parent I speak to has a problem with either the head or how the school is run. Good teachers are leaving and are being replaced by newly qualified - not a bad thing - but my DSs teacher really doesn't know what she's doing and has no interest in helping my DS when he has a problem. I don't expect the head to know names but he shows no interest, is very hard to get hold off and is rude and unhelpful to parents when they go in to see him.
Ofsted came last summer so hopefully won't be too long before they visit again. I don't know any governors unfortunately
Results aren't too bad, which is positive, but that's mainly because the head keeps making decisions purely on what will get him the best SATs.

bumpkin32 Tue 04-Jun-13 21:46:53

Following on with this thread, my ds is at a school where there are a lot of concerns with the HT and their management of the school. The Governors have been approached on a number of occasions but are not taking the parents concerns seriously or indeed addressing them at all.
Should the parents persist at raising their concerns with the Governors when they apparently don't want to know?

DeWe Wed 05-Jun-13 11:54:28

A mentor is usual in this area. Dh is on a (small) panel who mentor a local head of an outstanding school. It's common to have other heads on the panel too.

bumpkin32 Wed 05-Jun-13 17:05:29

Thanks very much. I will try to find out what support the HT gets, if any.

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