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Complaint to Ofsted


MegaMum
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Hi

I have been dealing with a very awkward situation with a parent's behaviour and it became so bad I had to terminate the child's place. (it's in our policy) The parent then made a complaint to Ofsted which I was waiting for as the parent constantly threatened me with that.

Ofsted came last week and had no cause for concern. I am however really ready to hang up my hat as earlier this year, I had a situation with a staff member who needed a warning and she went out on the sick for weeks, found another job and of course then put in a complaint. Again, no cause for concern. So here we go again, inspection number 2 in 6 months.

I really am so fed up with it all and the stress. Remind me again, how much do we get paid for all of this?

I now am spending my half term, preparing for another visit and updating the SEF too.

 

I read somewhere that I should keep a copy of complaints. Is this true? The complaints were never addressed to anyone at Pre-school nor was one of our complaints form filled in. Do I have to record it and if so does anyone have a format I could look at please? Just dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's.

Thanks

Edited by Beau
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If the complaint wasnt made to you all you can really do is log that a complaint was made, what details you know if any and what the outcome was.

Ofsted will have more details if the complaint went stragh to them. But its always best to keep a record of everything and anything that lead up to the complaint being made.

Hope everything goes well :1b

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Hi MegaMum

 

I understand completely how you feel regarding hanging up your hat as we faced 2 inspections exactly 1 month apart. 1st was scheduled inspection, 2nd due to a complaint that had no foundations. The new schedule really needs to be looked at as many complaints can be due to somebody trying to hurt you or your setting because of personal reasons. In terms of recording complaints I do record any that are brought to my attention however in your position I presume you must have documentation from Ofsted and this should suffice as your record.

 

I understand that Ofsted need to investigate complaints but I feel that it was handled better previously when it was only the complaint being investigated and not a full inspection as this just cases unnecessary stress, especially when a setting has recently been inspected.

Keep your chin up.

 

Angela

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Records of all complaints have to be kept and made available to your ofsted inspector. I've just been through this process myself and can empathise completely but just think about how many children have gone through your setting happy and ready to move on to reception and let it go, thats what I did. I followed my complaints procedure to the letter and used ofsteds complaints proforma to answer the parents complaint within the regulation 28 days. I made sure I recorded all conversations/emails/correspondence and filed it in an individual case file in chronological order. Best of luck and chin up.

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Thanks. I have kept records of all events with the parent and Ofsted were very impressed with the documentation. I am just so fed up that the system allows anyone to make false complaints and we are put under the hammer. I have nothing to hide, was very relaxed with the inspector, but of course now we have a full inspection looming again and no matter what we all want to do our best. The system is so wrong and what a waste of money.

A complaint should be investigated and if no cause for concern is found - as in both my cases that should be the end of it as far as I am concerned.

I just have had enough. We work for peanuts, work many unpaid hours to try and provide a great environment for the children, yet it is never good enough.

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Oh Megamum,didn't want to r&r.

Really feel for you, and is a reminder of just how vulnerable we all are when faced with difficult situations.

Hard to comment on your particular situation. You mention the parent hasn't complained to you so...if not I'd be logging all difficulties chronologically as they happened etc.and what action you have taken...

If the parent had complained then...Yes,you should have a complaints file, it's a stat. requirement of EYFS I'm pretty sure.

Basically you should record everything including time frames of your response to complaints etc.Action taken and so on

Write everything down,as it happens...

I'm sure someone will be along soon with a proforma for you. The PLA have a complaints book you could buy cheaply but to be honest it's just as easy to make your own.

Best wishes x

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Thanks. I have kept records of all events with the parent and Ofsted were very impressed with the documentation. I am just so fed up that the system allows anyone to make false complaints and we are put under the hammer. I have nothing to hide, was very relaxed with the inspector, but of course now we have a full inspection looming again and no matter what we all want to do our best. The system is so wrong and what a waste of money.

A complaint should be investigated and if no cause for concern is found - as in both my cases that should be the end of it as far as I am concerned.

I just have had enough. We work for peanuts, work many unpaid hours to try and provide a great environment for the children, yet it is never good enough.

When i had the complaint against my setting (and me personally), I rang ofsted straight away as I had no idea the parent was going to complain to them and she only told me as a throw away comment as she left. The first thing the adviser at ofsted told me was that they were always on the side of the setting and if they felt it was a malicious complaint then they would just inform the parent, via a letter, that the matter was being looked into and that was that, however if the complaint was safeguarding or child protection related then they would be duty bound to carry out an inspection. If there is nothing to hide and the accusations are unfounded then I don't have a problem with ofsted inspecting me as many times as they like, they are, after all, only looking out for the children we care for and I for one, as a parent, am somewhat reassured by that proactive attitude. Most jobs and workplaces operate spot check or unannounced audit systems as well so why should early years be any different.

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I've looked into the issue of complaints a few times, trying to figure out what defines a complaint. I've been informed that you have to record any written complaint as well as anything that has been reported to Ofsted. As much communication happens via e-mail, because children are in bed at a time and we're not available over the phone, something which could have been a verbal, informal comment becomes a written complaint.

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We had a full inspection recently following a complaint to OFSTED about our behaviour management. Unfortunately I spent the morning and a 20 minute discussion with the inspector talking about a complaint that I thought a parent had made and one that we had all the paperwork for but found out that it was another complaint that I knew nothing about!

 

I am still waiting for the inspection report 2 1/2 weeks later. The inspector wouldn't let me read the complaint, so I still feel unsure what the parent felt we did wrong. But we will be down graded over it.

 

In the good old days, the inspector used to come out to discuss the complaint, which I feel benefitted everyone a lot more.

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3.73 Providers must put in place a written procedure for dealing with concerns and complaints from parents and/or carers, and must keep a written record of any complaints, and their outcome. Childminders are not required to have a written procedure for handling complaints, but they must keep a record of any complaints they receive and their outcome. All providers must investigate written complaints relating to their fulfillment of the EYFS requirements and notify complainants of the outcome of the investigation within 28 days of having received the complaint. The record of complaints must be made available to Ofsted on request. (My italics.)

Edited by Wildflowers
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Hi

 

We have in place a complaints policy and full procedures to follow. I was referring to Ofsted coming with the complaint and whether I needed to record it for Mrs O when she comes to inspect.

To tell you the truth.... at this point if we don't get a good or better, so be it. Sick of jumping through hoops for them to perpetually keep raising them.

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big hugs to all out there who have suffered from these complaints :-( I think there shouls be a fine for these people who complain over things not going there way!

 

I have seen a number of childminders have complaints over the years , me included (back in 2006, inspector was brilliant, I was 'over' my numbers according to the complaint, but had a variation in place from ofsted!! If the person who complained had just asked then I wouldn't of had to go through that!)

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Thanks Teahead. I have one very similar to that. A complaint was never raised to Pre-school, therefore how can I have a record of it for Ofsted?

It just seems such a waste of money to have a full inspection now. I could understand it if after my 3 hour meeting with Ofsted there were cause for concerns etc but she clearly said there wasn't and saw if for what it was... a grumpy parent being vindictive. I think they need to change the system as we shouldn't be put into a situation where we have to tread on eggshells so much because Parents now know if things don't go their way they can make a silly complaint which triggers an inspection. I'm sure you are all the same as us... we work hard and bend over backwards to please parents and constantly reflect how we can be better, but we all know, you can't please everyone all the time.

 

Ofsted did tell me that they were going to post complaints again on the website at some point (she didn't know when) as parents had requested it.

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[...] A complaint was never raised to Pre-school, therefore how can I have a record of it for Ofsted? [...]

Ofsted did tell me that they were going to post complaints again on the website at some point [ ...] as parents had requested it.

You need to record any complaints, made to you and/or Ofsted and keep it until the following inspection.

Isn't it so that they only will publish valid complaints?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi MegaMum when we had a complaint against us the first I knew of it was when Mrs O turned up on our doorstop "Good Morning I am here to investigate a complaint we have recieved about your preschool" :o I got this form out to fill in why she was there and she told me it was an anonymous complaint to them re a safeguarding issue and what the issue was, this covered section A and B. C and D I filled out after she informed me that the complaint was completely unfounded and that she felt it was someone just being malicious and I attached the letter they sent me a short while later. She did say that she was pleased that I did the form while she was there as it proved we did have a proper complaints procedure even though we didn't know anything about the complaint in advance. Hope this helps you xxx

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I just read somewhere that a recent study found that 29% of nurseries that have been inspected due to a complaint have now lost their "Good" rating.

 

I know exactly what you mean, we are a new nursery and were absolutely delighted to have recieved good, especially after the harrassment I recived from my past emploiyer when I decided to set up on my own. I have since heard that they have had a few inspections sparked by complaints and that I was being blamed for making these (like I had time for this!!). my worry now is that they make malicious complaints about my setting, which they have been threatening to do. And also it does leave us vunerable to other people doing this, for example people not wanting to see others do well due to personal differences, or parents who may not have a genuine complaint. I agree, its not like we have anything to hide but it is very unsettling and frustrating to always have this hanging over us.

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I just read somewhere that a recent study found that 29% of nurseries that have been inspected due to a complaint have now lost their "Good" rating.

 

I know exactly what you mean, we are a new nursery and were absolutely delighted to have recieved good, especially after the harrassment I recived from my past emploiyer when I decided to set up on my own. I have since heard that they have had a few inspections sparked by complaints and that I was being blamed for making these (like I had time for this!!). my worry now is that they make malicious complaints about my setting, which they have been threatening to do.make any notes of this and report it to ofsted, if they see a trail it can really help you And also it does leave us vunerable to other people doing this, for example people not wanting to see others do well due to personal differences, or parents who may not have a genuine complaint. I agree, its not like we have anything to hide but it is very unsettling and frustrating to always have this hanging over us.

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We had a full inspection recently following a complaint to OFSTED about our behaviour management. Unfortunately I spent the morning and a 20 minute discussion with the inspector talking about a complaint that I thought a parent had made and one that we had all the paperwork for but found out that it was another complaint that I knew nothing about!

 

I am still waiting for the inspection report 2 1/2 weeks later. The inspector wouldn't let me read the complaint, so I still feel unsure what the parent felt we did wrong. But we will be down graded over it.

 

In the good old days, the inspector used to come out to discuss the complaint, which I feel benefitted everyone a lot more.

any follow up from this?

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I can only add to what everyone else has said. Keep a log of it and every thing attached to it e.g. phone calls, emails, letters etc...

we have been in the exact same position

big hugs to all of you in this position and hang on in there

xxx

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