Complaining about education services from the Children's Services Department
Hampshire County Council Children's Services is responsible for providing a range of services to pupils and their parents or carers such as:
- assessments, support and advice by the educational psychology, education welfare and behaviour support services;
- education other than at school (EOTAS), for pupils unable to attend school;
- admission and transfer arrangements;
- countywide planning of school places;
- Youth Services.
Appeals and Tribunals
In some cases there may be a legal right of appeal to an independent tribunal or panel. These include
- Special educational needs assessments;
- Home to schools transport.
If you think this may apply to your situation you should, in the first instance, talk to the relevant worker or manager and they will be able to explain the relevant procedure to you.
For all other complaints about education services, the local authority's Corporate Complaints Procedure will apply. The Children’s Services Complaints Team will remain responsible for managing your complaint and will be your point of contact.
Most complaints are resolved at this stage.
If you have concerns about a service please speak to the appropriate member of staff as soon as possible. You could also contact their manager to discuss your dissatisfaction. Most concerns and complaints are quickly and successfully resolved in this way.
If it has not been possible to resolve your complaint at Stage 1, you may wish to consider progressing your complaint to the next stage. To do this you should contact the Complaints Team direct.
Your complaint will be referred to a senior manager who will look into the issues raised, try to resolve them and respond to you in writing. We aim to resolve your complaint within 10 working days and by 20 working days at the latest.
Whilst we cannot guarantee to meet your expectations, being explicit about the outcome you are looking for will enable us to respond more appropriately to your complaint.
If you are unhappy with the outcome at Stage 2 and before moving to Stage 3, a member of the Complaints Team will contact you. This will help to establish if there is anything further that can be done to resolve your complaint. The Complaints Team may arrange to meet with you to discuss your complaint in person.
If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome at Stage 2, you can request to take your complaint to Stage 3 of the Corporate Complaints Procedure. Please contact the Complaints Team for further information.
Local Government Ombudsman
Once your complaint has been through the above stages, you have completed the complaints process. If you are still dissatisfied with the way we have dealt with your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will usually expect you to have taken your complaint through our complaints procedure first.
You can contact us and make a complaint by:
- using the online complaints form
- phone Hantsdirect on 0845 603 5620 (open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 9:30am-4pm Saturday. See call charges)
- writing to us at the address below.
Children's Services Complaints Team
Elizabeth II Court East
You can record your complaint on video, DVD, CD or audio tape if you wish.
The Corporate Complaints procedure for investigating and responding to complaints is available online on the complaints section of the website.
You can also pick up a leaflet, 'Comments, suggestions and complaints', which includes a complaints form, from County Council Information Centres and local education offices.
For further advice about making a complaint or if you have any concerns about making a complaint please contact the Children's Services Complaints Team on 0845 603 5620.