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Inge
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just thought you may like to know that there is currently new regulations being consulted on that will, if agreed, require providers to keep a log of all complaints and share them with parents.

 

its a long story but it has been recommended that we do this from now.

we do have ths log but it is not currently available for all parents and on asking I have had one say she does not want her comments revealed to the other parents as it relates only to her child and not the provision of care, which she is extremely happy with.

 

Must go to make up a relevant document for parents and book for them to see......if only they ever looked at them!!!

 

we are also considering a comments book for positive feedback from parents for all to see to balance the picture a little....

 

Inge

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Interesting Inge. How long would the complaints go back? There was a complaint at out playgroup about 8 years ago, would complaints be kept that long? Would there be a system by which people could check that complaints had been logged? If not, it would be easy to have an empty book! And how can you back up complaints or positive feedback if that person didnt want their comments named? Where have you heard this from? :D

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Yes, I'd be interested to know where that information is from Inge! I think it would be very hard to police, and there would certainly be issues of confidentiality.

 

Also, it would hardly be fair without a full record of the resolution of the complaint. Just because someone has complained it doesn't mean it's justified...

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What happens, as there was for us today, if there is a complaint about another child. We have a boy with behaviour problems who tends to target a child for a length of time. So today was the last straw for the mum of the particular child who is his chosen one at the moment and she rang me to complain. I realise that we wouldn't be able to name him, or her child come to that, but then how does anybody know what is and isn't genuine? I don't see how this would help anybody, let alone the children.

Are they going to be complaints about the running of the setting or any complaints that are made?

Linda

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heard direct from Ofsted in letter last week. they say it is still to be agreed but from the letter I had seem likely to be approved, particularly as they have recommended we start this now.

 

i too can see lots of pitfalls , plus as linda says how do we know what is a genuine complaint, the parent in our setting who does not want it reported to others is aware that it may be just be the way her child sees things and not what actually happened (as it was in this case) and she is very satisfied with our care.

 

how will we decide what to be put in the log or will settings begin to not log the day to day complaints...eg jonny says sam hit him yesterday ... but sam was not there (we had a run of these last term... the child who was supposed to be causing problems was away on holiday)

 

I believe it has something to do with parents not knowing if a setting has any complaints made about it and being able to make an informed choice of childcare provider.

 

My other concern is that if we have to do this , will schools/ or all providers of childcare/ after school clubs etc. etc. or is it just another one for us poor independant providers.

 

Inge

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All good points Inge! Can I ask you to let me know the contact details of the Ofsted letter? We haven't yet had one and I'd be interested in following it up on behalf of the FSF.

 

Feel free to PM me the details if you don't want to post them! :)

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Just my initial thoughts on the matter..... I quite like the idea of having a "professional" log of any complaints. I have a sound complaints policy and procedure. The first procedure is to respond to a complaint, in writing, of the 4 complaints I have had in as many years, not one complainee has responded to my response. :o

 

I think that if it is made clear that any complaint is listened to and recorded objectively, stating the facts (and not fiction) and that these will be available for all parents to see then it will;

 

1. Show that we take complaints seriously and can respond to them openly.

2. Show that any complaints which require action are dealt with.

3. Ensure that parents are accountable for their role as partners, as stated in our terms and conditions, to adhere to policy and practice. For example our positive behaviour management policy, if the complaint is about behaviour then we can justifyably demonstrate how we have adhered to the policy and ask that parents support their children, and us by doing the same.

4. It provides a system that may deter tittle tattle gossip as this will now be dismissed as obviously not serious enough to take to management as a complaint.

 

and as an afterthought, will we be able to record and make available complaints made to parents...poor timekeeping on arrival/collection, late payment of fees, etc xD

 

Peggy

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As far as I am aware from the briefings we have been giving to our providers, the complaints log is still under consultation as part of the Every Child Matters Inspection Framework.

The idea is that there is going to be a generic complaints form devised with support/input from NDNA, NCMA etc which will then be cascaded to all providers.

You will then be under a legal duty to keep a log of all complaints, how they were investigated and how the complaint was resolved and fed back to the complainant.(sp?)

You should be able to keep this anonymous to an extent by saying 'a child' or 'a member of staff' and at least you will be able to demonstrate your full circle approach to dealing with compalints.

The logs would have to be available on request to parents and like some people have said already, not all parents are that interested anyway.

Sure, yoou will always get those with petty grumbles, but parents that have a real interest in reading logs such as this will be able to make up their own minds when they see how you approached these in a professional manner and gave it the attention it (may or may not) deserve.

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You will then be under a legal duty to keep a log of all complaints, how they were investigated and how the complaint was resolved and fed back to the complainant.(sp?)

That sounds much less worrying. As Peggy says, a formal procedure for investigating complaints, with a log of meetings, responses and resolution should be held anyway. What sounded much less acceptable is that a book should be held with the raw letters from disgruntled parents, which might be very distorting and an unfair reflection of the setting.

 

I had in mind a complaints version of the folder (very big and full I'm happy to say! :) ) which holds all the letters saying very lovely and complimentary things about Helen's nursery!

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We keep all our thank you letters and cards and put them in a folder which we keep on our welcome table so that parents/prospective parents can read them and see what a fantastic job we're doing!

 

Maz

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  • 1 month later...

we provide a comments book on our welcome desk where parents are welcome to write compliments AND complaints all parents are free to read this book it is set out like a visitors book however no parent has written anything yet and the book has been available since May

 

I understand the problem of little johnny (Johnny being a made up child obviously) going home and saying fred hit him and fred wasnt even there that day, we have had very similar incidents at our settings we have noticed that this tends to happen when little Johnny had been naughty himself probably told off at some point during the session...then mum comes in next session and complains... surely Ofsted done want every petty complaint?

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We have an incidents book where we log er incidents! Sometimes this is a behaviour thing and we log how we dealt with it and if appropriate, what the parent will do. For example if a child has had several incidents together we may advise the parent to see the HV for advice then this is logged so if in the future a complaint is made about the child, with the parents permission we could show what we have been doing (not that we ever have had to!)

We had an occasion recently where a child was bitten quite badly, the biter is new, young and overexcited and we are working with mum on this. The bitten child's mum is usually quite 'vocal' and I was worried to tell her but showed her the mark and asked her to sign the book where it said what had happened (not naming the biter but we knew the child would tell her mum later.. :( ) what we had done etc. She signed it nad that was that. Until... during the afternoon session she rang up shouting at me about her child being picked on cos he'd already pulled her hair last week etc etc. I explained again what had happened and that I had told her and shown her the book and her response 'yeah well I never read them things' Ok then... :o

3 weeks later at her key meeting she complained that I hadn't dealt with it properly (not to me) that I hadn't told her it was a bite, I hadn't shown her the mark and that I'd covered up the book so she couldn't read it!!! My staff member said she would have to tell me as her supervisor anyway and the mum said no because I'd know it was her who had complained.... xD

 

So moral of this is I'd welcome a complaints log as a)parents will see what we have done to try to remedy situations and b)only real concerns will be raised not just somebody ranting.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'd be upset if my daughter had a big bite on her arm but I wouldn't be horrible to the parent of the biter when they got him to apologise (yes, really - she turned her back and said it was a bit late...) and if I had been that concerned about the dealing of the incident I wouldn't have waited 3 weeks.

 

Phew sorry back to your debate!

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I was under the impression that as part of the reorganisation with Every Child Matters that Ofsted will automatically be giving details of complaints against a setting along with other details when enquiries were made by members of the public, or if enquiries simply about complaints were made. That sounds a bit 'off' as it would be open to abuse by anyone hoping to obtain ammunition against the 'competition'? Have I got it round my neck?

 

Sue :o

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You are right in that Ofsted are going to be 'up front' with complaints and as from April this year, any complaints are being shown on Ofsted reports. I am yet to see a report with a complaint on it, so do not know how it is prsented, but I am sure that few parents are going to make a prior judgement on a setting on the basis of one complaint.

 

If it were me, I would want to go to the setting, see the complaints log to see how it was dealt with and resolved, and then make a judgement on what I saw when I was there. Okay, I have insider knowledge and know what I'm looking for in a good quality setting, but the fact that a complaint was dealt with professionally would hold a place in high esteem for me.

 

However, I guess it all depends on the nature of the complaint and I would hope (!) that Ofsted would be wise to the competition complaining... not sure if you are allowed to be anonymous when making a complaint or not?

 

A bit waffley, but I think you catch my drift? :o

Edited by Running Bunny
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  • 2 months later...

just to let every one know that the new complaints on Ofsted reports are only the complaints that Ofsted has investigated from your last inspection. if between inspections you get know complaints then your Ofsted report is clear. they seem to write just the basics on what the complaint was and the outcome. :D:D going of to do some planning so have a nice day everyone :oxD

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I agree with Steph. Since April all OFSTED reports will detail any complaints but these are complaints that OFSTED have received. By way of example I have read a report on the OFSTED website (inspection done in June) and under a heading 'Complaints since last inspection' it says 'OFSTED received information from two separate complainants that raised concerns about management of children's behaviour, numbers of children cared for and keeping children safe when away from the premises. These concerns relate to National Standards 2, 6, & 11. OFSTED investigated by carrying out an unannounced inspection and as a result raised 3 actions under National Standards regarding ratios and record keeping. The provider responded appropriately to the actions letter within the required timescale

and remains qualified for registration.

 

I am wondering what exactly constitutes a 'complaint' in terms of what we need to record? I am also concerned that if parents know their complaints will be recorded it may make them think twice about speaking up. Surely any records would have to be annonymised for confidentiality reasons so I am at a loss as to quite what such a record would achieve?! We do have a complaints policy and parents are happy with it - very few go as far as written correspondence - but then we get very few complaints :D

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I might be completely barking up the wrong tree (not unheard of) but Ofsted introduced a complaint form at the beginning of October along with the other revisions to certain criteria to the National Standards. You don't have to use this form but any form you use must contain this information. Ofsted also give guidance on how to complete the form.

 

Below is a link to the Ofsted web site (I hope).

 

Day care and childminding: guidance to the National Standards - revisions to certain criteria October 2005

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/publications/inde...summary&id=4007

 

Below is our new complaints form which I copied and pasted from the Ofsted site.

 

Sorry if I've lost the plot!

Deb

Complaints_Record_Form_for_FSF.doc

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Deb, you are not barking up the wrong tree.... as from 3rd October, it is now a legal duty for all providers to keep a record of any complaint received. Providers must respond to the complainant within 28 days and keep records of correspondence.

 

If Ofsted receive a complaint about a provider, they will automatically refer it back to the provider for them to investigate, unless it is serious enough for them to investigate i.e. Child Protection or an issue with the manager/owner. Ofsted will only get involved (except in the above instances) when a parent feels that the provider has not investigated the complaint to a satisfactory level and the parent again complains to Ofsted.

 

As Geraldine commented, if parents know that the provider is going to have to investigate, they may think twice about 'grumbling' and being 'picky' and using a complaint to try and get out of a contract/payment (as is usually the case in my experience!)

 

As Deb rightly said, there is a form at the back of the revised standards as a guide but providers can devise their own as long as they include all the information in Ofsted's version.

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Aha! I think things are clearer now! I had read the latest info on the OFSTED website but obviously hadn't read it properly! :o

 

I have been trying to work out what constitutes a 'complaint' does it include the parental 'niggles' or 'little moans' which are taken on aboard and addressed promptly or is it only serious stuff??

 

Having read the guidance again it seems to me that the recording of complaints only relates to those received in writing or by email and we have, thankfully never had any of those.I may of course still be not 'reading it correctly' and am happy for anyone to shoot me down but this is what I have just read on the OFSTEd website

 

'At times parents may have concerns about the service you provide. Most of these can be resolved by talking to the parent and taking appropriate and prompt action. However, there may be occasions when parents make a formal complaint about your service in writing or by email. If the complaint relates to one or more of the national standards, it is now a mandatory requirement for you to investigate the complaint, take any necessary action and tell the parent the outcome of your findings. You must also keep a record of such complaints.'

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I think you're right, the key wording is if you receive 'a formal complaint in writing or via email' which 'relates to one or more of the national standards'

which I suppose most would, wouldn't they? Hope we don't need to find out!

 

Deb :o

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I'm on the same wavelength as you Geraldine ( is that good or not?? :o ). No seriously, it is the terms "formal" and "relevant to compliance of the National Standards"

 

Which Standard would cover "You raised the fees to high this year" I think I'll cause you hassle. :(

 

Deb, Thankyou so much for your attachment, saved me the job and I must admit I put the letter in my Ofsted file and forgot all about needing to print some off (just in case xD )

It's also worth mentioning to everyone that this change should be amended in your complaints policy and procedure. depending how you work this may mean putting this on the agenda for next staff / committee meeting to be minuted, amended and signed - and shared with parents if this is your system of reviewing policy and informing changes.

 

 

Peggy

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