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How long for reply?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by Doitforfree, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I wrote to the governers of my son's school a month ago about a fairly serious issue regarding GCSEs, which hadn't been satisfactorily addressed by anyone, including the head. I've not had even an acknowledgement. i know the governers only meet every so often, but how long should I expect to have to wait for a response?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    You may have run into the complexities of the complaints procedure - or rather of not following it. Have you checked up on the official procedure and policy of the school, and followed it? It's probable that there is some sort of timescale in the policy.
  3. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Sounds like a gatekeeping exercise! It didn't occur to me that I might have to check a policy, having been brushed off first by the teacher concerned and then by the head! I'll have a look and see if there are other hoops I should have jumped through. Of course, as all this time elapses, year 11 is ticking away for my son and his peers and the available time for the school to put right their massive error (which they've admitted but refuse to do anything about) is diminishing.
  4. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Turns out the governors didn't get my letter. Very strange. But they have it now, and the lady was very nice and is going to get back to me soon. I don't imagine I'm the only person to have written.

    The complaints procedure appears to be half missing on the school website, so no one would know how to follow it even if they wanted to. It's big on what the procedure must do but empty of content about what it actually is!
  5. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Sorry to keep asking questions! I've just received a reply from the Chair of Governors. She has replied alone, rather than taking the letter to a meeting for a response from the whole board. Is that normal? And her reply is almost entirely, apart from the odd changed word, a copy and paste of the letter we received from the head, which I forwarded to the Chair of Governors with my letter. This feels very wrong to me, but is it just a normal response in this kind of situation basically saying, 'I agree with the head, end of story'? It feels extremely rude and dismissive!
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You need to read the (missing!) complaints procedure to see what exactly happens at your school. The procedure is often that if you are dissatisfied with the head's response your complaint is then reviewed informally by the Chair to see if they can resolve the matter with you without a formal complaints hearing. Which sounds like what's happened so far. If you are still not satisfied you say so in writing and request a formal complaints panel meeting, normally that's a panel of 3 governors (not the whole governing body). The complaints procedures should set out the time-scales for holding that meeting.
  7. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    That sounds like a very generous interpretation of the case as presented, RW. This does seem like a matter that should be put on the agenda for the next meeting of the FGB or a committee.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Isn't that what I said harshie? That the next step should be for it to go to the complaints committee?

    When I said "Which sounds like what's happened so far" that referred to the point OP had got to in the procedure, not that it was resolved. Clearly it isn't as far as OP is concerned.
  9. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Harshie were you perhaps suggesting, as I had thought, that the governors ought already to be thinking about what happened, given that it affected a lot of students very badly, not just my son?

    Thanks for the information. I've requested a copy of the complaints procedure. In their 'policy about the complaints procedure' it says that ti will be freely available, for example, on the website and sent to parents. Easy to say! harder to do, it seems. I think you're right about the procedure. I looked up another school's and that is how it works. So our next step is to ask for a formal complaint to the governing body. These poor children. They are being so badly served. I just wish they would spend their time educating them instead of putting them in for endless and pointless exams.
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That still doesn't mean it will feature ar a full GB meeting, because that's not how governing bodies work. A small committee - usually 3 governors - will examine the issues, investigate as necessary and report back. If, for example, it's a curriculum issue (which it sounds as if this might be), the next step might be to take it to the curriculum committee for action.

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