If you are still dissatisfied after 6 to 8 weeks you should consider the options for your child as his happiness may be undermined at that pre-school if you are distracted by a lengthy and stressful complaints procedure. If you do decide to change your pre-school take advice from your child's therapist and other parents whose children attend. Be careful to really observe the other settings before you choose a new one for your child.
If you want to go to stage 3 then you obviously have very serious unresolved concerns. You can pursue these even if you have chosen to withdraw your child from that pre-school. If you feel you need further support contact your local Parent Partnership service. You can get contact details from your local authority or the web site. This service is available in every area to provide independent advice to parents of children with special educational needs and may be able to provide a volunteer worker who can support you and accompany you to any meetings. Most of these volunteers are parents themselves with experience of the issues that concern parents.
If you are definitely not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation you should write to request a meeting with the pre-school manager and the Chair of the management committee.
Model letter: head this with your name, address, date as is usual, with a contact telephone number.
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Example meeting letter
The meeting with the pre-school manager and representative of the Governing Body
At this meeting the parent and manager may be accompanied by another person, and the parent should ask a friend/partner, or advocate from the local parents partnership or similar. It is important at this stage that a parent does have the support of another person who is familiar with the case.
- The main points of the meeting should be noted down and an agreed written record of the discussion and any decision or action to take as a result given to the pre-school and the parent. All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive the same copy of it.
- Parents should be aware that it is advisable to keep confidential details of any children or staff named in the complaint. At this formal stage staff or parents of children named could consider they have been brought into disrepute if there is gossip about them, particularly if the complaint is not upheld.
- This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded. When the complaint is resolved at this stage, the significant points are logged in the Complaints Summary Record.
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Text for this page: Stage 3: What to do next
Text for this whole section: When you have to make a formal complaint