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Press release!

Children’s Complaints Procedure - for members



The Children’s complaints procedure is statutory, and determined by ‘The Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure (England) Regulations 2006’. The related government guidance on implementing the procedure is called ‘Getting the Best from complaints’. This guidance states that complaints which have already been dealt with at all three stages of the procedure do not need to be investigated further. It offers instruction on dealing with unreasonably persistent complainants, where the same complaint is raised repeatedly with minor differences, or where unrealistic outcomes are being sought. It also gives directions in regard to accepting complaints where the grounds for the complaint took place more than one year ago. Such complaints need to be reviewed on a case by case basis, considering whether or not it is reasonable to expect them to have been made within the year timeframe. The question of whether the complaint can be considered fairly and effectively, given the passage of time, also needs to be taken into account.

Where former complainants have raised those complaints again as a result of the recent Ofsted report, these need to be considered in line with the principles laid out above. In the response they were given at Stage 1 of the complaints procedure, the complainants will have been advised to request further investigation of their complaint within 20 working days so the momentum in resolving their complaint is not lost. If the complainant has not pursued their concerns after receiving a response at Stage 1, we need to establish why they want their complaint to be investigated further and whether there is any new and substantial information relevant to their complaint.

As is the case at all stages of the process, the Children’s complaints service will be open to looking at alternative ways of resolving concerns. This might involve arranging a meeting with the complainant, negotiating for a new assessment or review of a contested decision to take place, providing a further explanation as to why the local authority has taken certain actions and the legal basis for doing so, or asking that a senior manager offer a formal apology.

The Complaints Management function is independent of operational line management of Children’s Services.    

Caroline Jones

Children’s Complaints Manager

31st July 2017

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