Are there any official rules/guidelines for complaints procedures at FE colleges?(2 Posts)
I have had to make a complaint about aspects of my ds's treatment when he started a college course in September. Some of the information is in my other thread "disabled FE student".
Initially I was more concerned with ds transferring another course and would have let some of the other issues go had the college not responded with an account which bore no relation to either ds's or my experience of what happened. So I escalated the complaint, had a hearing and then nothing. No minutes of the meeting, no timescale given for the response and no timescale showing on the college's policy for this stage of a complaint. After sending a few more prompting emails about this I have finally got a response nearly 4 months after the date of the hearing.
And they say they are satisfied that the person who first looked at my initial complaint investigated it. Not even that they are satisfied with his conclusion, just satisfied that he investigated. No further information about this, no going through the points I raised in my submission to them.
I can't just leave this as some of it is about access to help from the learning support team and ds may need support in the future. They claimed (in the college's first response) to have assessed him but will not tell us when and where this happened, who carried it out, what assessment process was used and what conclusions they drew. Neither he nor I were aware of any assessment being carried out on the very few occasions he met someone from the team, and neither of us were informed that an assessment was taking place or of any conclusions. In other words it didn't happen or it happened without him and without his knowledge.
Any complaints procedures/appeals hearings I have ever heard of or been involved in have made at least some attempt at being open and transparent so that even if the person complaining doesn't agree with the conclusion they can see how it was reached.
The government website doesn't give much guidance and says you have to go through all the local stages (one more) before approaching them and I really don't want to have to take it that far. I just cannot believe someone can be allowed to try to get away with a statement that is basically saying, - well it looks all right to me- without giving any reasons or addressing any of the points.
Ask to see their complaints procedure in the first instance. You might also want to call or write to the principal laying out what you want as a resolution and outlining how what has happened is different from what you want and need. You might want to copy the chair of governors too.
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