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When things go wrong, you have the right to raise a concern or to complain formally about services we have provided.

There are times when you may come across problems, have concerns about a service or you want help resolving difficulties. It's important that you follow the correct process for making a complaint so that it gets dealt with by the right people as soon as possible.

Complaints about preschools, schools or colleges

We (Hertfordshire County Council) are not responsible for dealing with complaints about schools and educational settings.

By law, every preschool, school and college should have their own complaints procedure.You should be able to find this on their website, but if you can't find it, you can contact their office and ask for a copy.

In most cases their procedure will direct you to complain informally first to the member of staff closest to the issue, or who knows the most about it. If your complaint is about that member of staff, then someone more senior will deal with it.

If your issue is still not resolved, then the school's complaints procedure will tell you what happens next. Formal complaints are usually dealt with by the Headteacher, and after that the Chair of Governors. In most cases, they will arrange for a panel of Governors to consider your complaint.

If you have a complaint about Section F in your Education, Health and Care Plan - you can contact the Complaints Team for Children's Services.

If you go through the whole complaints procedure, and your issue is still not resolved, the next steps will depend on the nature of your issue, and the type of school you have a complaint about:

Academies, Free Schools, Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) can investigate how a complaint to an academy has been handled. They cannot overturn an academy's decision about a complaint, only check that the correct procedures have been followed.

Maintained Schools

If the school you are complaining about is a:

  • Community
  • Voluntary- Controlled
  • Voluntary-Aided
  • Foundation or Trust School
  • Education Support Centre
  • Pupil Referral Unit

You can approach the Secretary of State at the Department for Education, to request that they consider doing a further investigation.

  • Independent (private) school - You can use the Independent Schools Inspectorate Guidance on what to do if you have concerns about an independent school. You may also want to seek your own independent legal advice if the issue is to do with something in your contract with the school.
  • Local authority funded schools (mainstream or special) - There is no stage beyond the school's complaints procedure. However, if your complaint is to do with a young person's Education Health and Care Plan, you can contact the Complaints Team for Children's Services.

Complaints about Children's Services

If your complaint is to do with a service provided by us (Hertfordshire County Council), such as 0-25 Together or Families First, then first you can raise a concern informally first directly with the service.

It is really important you make the service aware of any concerns you have so that they can respond to you as quickly as possible.

If you are still unhappy, you can make a formal complaint to the Complaints Team for Children's Services. Formal complaints have strict response timescales, are logged centrally and are managed and monitored both by the Complaints Team.

To avoid frustration, it is really important to complain to the right person. For example, Hertfordshire County Council is not a housing authority, so we can't deal with complaints about housing matters. These complaints should be sent to your District or Borough council for response.

Complaints about services provided by the NHS

If you have a complaint about any services provided by the NHS, then you should contact that service first as they may be able to deal with your complaint informally.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) should be your next port of call if your complaint cannot be resolved. Every service in the NHS has it's own PALS. They offer confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. You can find contact details for the right PALS using their local branch search tool, or by calling 111.

Who can support me to raise a concern or complaint?

  • POhWER offer advocacy and support services in Hertfordshire
  • SENDIASS are an independent information, advice and support service for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and young people and children with SEND.

 

0300 123 4043 - Hertfordshire County Council customer call centre

Cookies

Like many other websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer.

Why do we use cookies?

To remember your settings, for example your language and location. This means you don’t have to keep entering these details when you visit a new page.

To find out how you use the site to help us update and improve it.

How do I change my cookie settings?

You can change the settings of your web browser so that it won’t accept cookies. For more information visit AboutCookies.org.

But, doing this may stop you from using some of the online features and services on this website. 

Cookies we use

Cookies do a lot of different jobs, and we use 2 types of cookies:

Required functionality cookies – these cookies are essential for the website to work.

Performance and feature cookies – these cookies help to improve the performance and feel of this website, for example providing you with personalised services.


Take a look at a list of cookies we use on our website:

NameTypeHow we use itHow long we use the information for

ASP.Net_Sessions

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

ServerID

 

Required functionality

An automatic cookie set by our software. 

Just for the time you are on our website.

_ga

Required functionality

To track the effectiveness of our website using Google Analytics. 

2 years

saved-pages

Performance and feature

To save the pages that you visit by clicking the heart at the top of the page. 

1 month

geoPostcode

Performance and feature

This stores your postcode (or partial postcode) when we ask you for your location.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

geoCoordinates

Performance and feature

This stores your location as a pair of latitude / longitude coordinates.

Just for the time you are on our website or 30 days (you choose this).

reckonerName-history

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of all answers submitted to the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

reckonerName-content

Performance and feature

This keeps a history of what content cards are clicked on when using the ready reckoner.

This is set in the control for each ready reckoner. If you haven't interacted with the ready reckoner for the set amount of days, the cookies are deleted.

SQ_SYSTEM_SESSION

Required functionality

This used to track user sessions on forms hosted on eservices.hertfordshire.gov.uk

Just for the time you are on our website.


Third party cookies

There are links and content from other sites and services on our website. These sites and services set their own cookies.

Below are a list of cookies that the other sites and services use:

Service namePurposeMore information

Google analytics (_utma/b/c/z)

These are used to compile reports for us on how people use this site.

Cookies of the same names are also used for the same purpose by other websites such as Building FuturesCountryside Management Service and Hertfordshire LIS.

Visit the Google Analytics website for more information about the cookies they use.

You can prevent data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by installing Google's Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Google Translation - googtrans

This cookie is used to remember which language to translate each page into if you have chosen to do so.

It expires at the end of your browser session.

Bing

We use a Bing cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Bing to find out more about their cookies.

Google

We use a Google cookie to track the success of our marketing campaigns and make them more efficient.

Visit Google to find out more about their cookies.

Facebook

We have a number of presences on Facebook, which we may link to. Facebook may set some of its own cookies if you follow these links.

Visit Facebook to find out more about their cookies.

Twitter

We have a number of presences and feeds on Twitter, which you may wish to follow or read from this website. Twitter may set some of its own cookies.

Visit Twitter to find out more about their cookies.

YouTube

We have a YouTube channel, which we may link to. YouTube may set some of its own cookies if you follow those links.

Visit YouTube to find out more about their cookies.

Netloan

This ASP.NET_Sessionid cookie is essential for the Netloan secure online payments website to work, and is set when you arrive to the site. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.

 

HotJar

This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.

Visit HotJar to find out more about their cookies.

Siteimprove

These cookies are set to help us report on how people are using the site so we can improve it.

Visit Siteimprove to learn more about their cookies.