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Who to complain to about the behaviour of a head teacher

(20 Posts)
TooPissedtoTalk Fri 26-Jul-13 09:58:38

There was an incident between DC and head teacher at school. We wrote to the head to ask for clarification and are not satisfied with her response. We are referring the matter to the governors but should we not receive a suitable response from them who would be the next in line to complain to? I'm asking because the school is in a bit of turmoil and we're not sure that the governors are being effective and doing their job at the moment.

soapboxqueen Fri 26-Jul-13 10:47:07

is it an LEA school or academy?

TooPissedtoTalk Fri 26-Jul-13 10:55:17

Faith based foundation, LEA. Not Academy.

soapboxqueen Fri 26-Jul-13 11:15:28

your route is, complaint to the head in writing, then complaint to the governors in writing, then the LEA. Do not attempt to jump a stage as they will direct you back to the stage you should be at.

However, I believe after the head the governors and LEA only judge a complaint against the school's own policies. So if the head had followed policy even if you don't agree with it, you probably won't get that far.

TooPissedtoTalk Fri 26-Jul-13 12:47:07


McFluffy Fri 26-Jul-13 12:52:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TooPissedtoTalk Fri 26-Jul-13 14:05:35

Have complained to the Head. Her response was completely unsatisfactory. Have now escalated to the governors. Not expecting much but wanted to make them aware of what is going on in the school.

Billionairewannabe Sun 28-Jul-13 07:50:21

Soapboxqueen has given the correct sequence. It seems that this problem is perhaps more widespread than we think? In my experience the HT acted illegally, and did not conform to the school's policies. Sorry to report that the Governors simply side with the HT and the LA closed ranks as well. It is far easier for Governors to 'label' a child and/or a parent than to challenge a HT! Ofsted have an online parent view form - fill one in so that it will be looked at at their next inspection. It seems like these schools are failing our children. Is there nothing we can do about this corrupt system?

soapboxqueen Sun 28-Jul-13 11:50:44

Not really billionaire and it is only getting worse. People don't realise the power heads have until they come up against it.

LEAs and governors can only judge the head in the policies the school has in place. Policies which the head will have created and the governors signed off on. LEAs will be out of the picture totally soon.

In all honesty, it isn't much better for staff. If you happen to have a rubbish head teacher, there is nothing you can do about it. If you stand up to the head or the head just doesn't like you, they can make your life unbearable and make it very difficult to get work elsewhere. Exactly the same as pupils and parents if they get on the wrong side of them.

ShoshanaBlue Sun 28-Jul-13 18:05:01

McFluffy - a similar story here when school wanted to get rid of an autistic child. The downside was that the Social Services people who came out had no training in autism or any other special needs (and imo, probably not in children either) so that then my child became physically ill and we had to move very quickly to stop my child becoming more ill. The only way I know we're not talking of the same head is because our old head is alive and well and still being a head, continuing to bully the parents of SEN kids. It is now nearly 2 years on and my child has still not returned to her normal self......

Billionairewannabe Sun 28-Jul-13 18:59:56

Soapbox you have confirmed what I have been unravelling over the past year. In our case the HT did breach her own policies AND statutory guidance but still The Governors have not even attempted to uphold the complaint. I have been whitewashed with bland sweeping statements saying "The HT has acted entirely appropriately..etc"! How, if it is totally contrary to their own policies?? Having got nowhere with the complaints process, I am now about to use the online DfE complaint form, but am not holding my breath! OP - I hope you have better luck than I have. I know a lot of people simply move schools but that option is simply not a practical one in my case. I also think it unfair that the children should have to leave their friends etc when the fault lies with the HT! I have been at screaming point with the frustration and unfairness of it all. How on earth are these people in a position to educate our children, if they cannot treat others fairly, transparently, and above all abide by their own policies and procedures?
Someone needs to make these people accountable - Governors are simply paying lip service to the role and provide no substance whatsoever. Sorry OP that probably doesn't help but forewarned is forearmed!

limejuicecordial Sun 28-Jul-13 19:50:20

Similar problems here with school wanting rid of a 'challenging' child with ASD. Governors just backed HT and threatened legal action if any claims were repeated. Have an ongoing court case now.
I find that if you dare to challenge a HT or the LA your card is marked as a 'troublemaker'.Makes no difference if you have all the evidence to back up your complaint - they just don't want to see it. Shocking state of affairs really.

Billionairewannabe Sun 28-Jul-13 21:39:44

Limejuice- Did you contact the DfE and/or Ofsted? Did you get any kind of fair hearing along the way? It seems that giving a child a label is far easier than addressing any real underlying issues that there may be. And you're right - it is utterly appalling.

limejuicecordial Sun 28-Jul-13 22:09:44

Neither body was really of any use. The DfE said to contact the LA but when I said that the LA was involved and had supported what school had done I was told to contact the LGO. They said it was a school issue which they don't deal with!
When I first called Ofsted I was advised that it was a child welfare and leadership issue and told to send in a formal complaint. Then was eventually told that it was an individual child issue and they don't look into these. So basically no one can help and these people can just carry on damaging other children with no fear of any consequences.
No chance of a fair hearing or anyone listening as the school has such a good reputation that nobody wants to dare risk damaging it.Their aim is to be outstanding at the next Ofsted inspection.

Billionairewannabe Tue 30-Jul-13 14:27:17

OP - good luck and keep us posted. It would be helpful and interesting to hear if anyone has managed to make a successful complaint about a HT and how far they had to go with it?

ABofDoncaster Sat 03-Aug-13 20:36:52

What happened - why are you wanting to make a complaint?

TooPissedtoTalk Sun 04-Aug-13 11:28:14

DD was hurt at school by another child. The incident was reported to the head teacher who came to investigate. While Head was talking to the DCs DD started to cry as she was still upset. Head teacher shouted at her so loudly (even though she wasn't the one in trouble) that she cried even more. Head teacher shouted even louder. DD was very upset and several teachers who were witnesses told me that it was completely OTT.

ukjess Sun 04-Aug-13 11:39:47

perhaps the HT felt your child was 'turning the taps on a bit' in order to further incriminate her tormentor.

Its very common for kids to do that.

Perhaps the HT was spot on or maybe he/she misjudged.

Either way, sounds like a non- complaint to me. Sorry.

clam Sun 04-Aug-13 11:52:35

Teachers told you that? Risky on their part - unprofessional, I'm afraid. I hope for their sakes the HT doesn't get to hear about that. And I'm not sure mentioning it would help your case either, come to that.

From what you've said, I don't think you're going to get anywhere with this, because it basically boils down to you objecting to the HT's manner when dealing with an incident. Even if she's widely reputed to be the biggest bitch on the planet, the LEA aren't going to bother themselves with it as long as she's doing the job reasonably effectively in the main. It's not easy to fill HT jobs these days.

bamboostalks Sun 04-Aug-13 12:00:55

You're on a hiding to nothing with this complaint. Don't waste any further time on it. The teachers will quickly retract anything they may have said and the head will have sensible sounding reasons for her actions.
Honestly, take my word for it, there is no case to answer here.

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