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Complaints Process

Complaints Process

How to handle a complaint made by a pupil against a member of the ESL Team

ESL is a proud holder of the REC Audited Education Standard and this means that every member of our team has been through a rigorous face-to-face interview and all of the required checks including, references, qualification and identity checks and the DBS process. All of these vetting procedures serve to reduce the risk to your school. Nevertheless, just occasionally, allegations of improper conduct are made against team members.

In September 2016, the DfE revised their guidelines, Keeping Children Safe in Education. These guidelines have statutory force and Part Four spells out the specific obligations upon schools to investigate allegations made against adults in school.

The guidance highlights the three strands of any such investigation and these are:

  1. A police investigation of a possible criminal offence.
  2. Enquiries and assessment about whether a child is in need of protection or other services.
  3. Consideration of any disciplinary action against the adult involved.

Should any allegations of improper conduct be made against team members we suggest you follow these simple rules:

  1. Contact your local authorities designated officer to alert them to the circumstances; talk through the issues and act upon any advice they may have to offer. There will be a pre-designated procedure to follow which will relate to child protection which, if followed, will support all concerned.
  2. Treat the allegation in exactly the same way as if it had been made against a permanent member of your staff.
  3. Contact the ESL Office, as soon as is possible, and alert us of the circumstances surrounding the issue. It is standard company practice in such situations for us to suspend the supply team member. This means that we will not offer them any further work until the matter is resolved satisfactorily. We will interview the person in question and get them to make a written statement whilst the events are fresh in their memory. We will provide you with a copy of this statement.
  4. ESL will fully co-operate with the investigation.
  5. It may be that the authorities decide to hold an initial evaluation, ‘strategy’ or ‘POT’ meeting (in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures) where all the relevant statutory agencies can meet to decide on an appropriate course of action. In such cases, and if invited, a senior member of the ESL Office Team will attend and provide appropriate and relevant information to support the decision making process. We will always co-operate fully at these meetings and will assume responsibility for keeping the individual informed of progress as appropriate.
  6. At the conclusion of an investigation we shall make a decision as to whether we feel the individual is someone who is an acceptable risk to be working in schools in our name. If we conclude that they are not, we will report all of the circumstances leading to our decision, to the Independent Safeguarding Authority. We will copy this report to you for your information. They will decide whether the person should be placed on List 99 or whether the circumstances warrant a referral to the GTC's disciplinary committee.
  7. If we conclude that there is no case to answer, we will debrief the candidate and discuss their future options.

The risk of frivolous or malicious complaints made against supply staff.

Supply staff can be vulnerable to frivolous or malicious complaints made by pupils. We take trouble to alert our people to this risk and give them explicit written advice (e.g. on the physical handling of children and the use of ICT equipment in schools). They are told that if any incident occurs it is their responsibility to alert the school and our office as to the circumstances.

Ultimately, however, we are reliant upon your judgment as to whether a complaint may be frivolous or malicious. You will know the characters involved. As a matter of policy we will always err on the side of caution and assume the complaint to be genuine unless or until it is proven otherwise.

Committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all team members to share in and support this commitment.

Committed to Equal Opportunities in Employment and positively welcome your application irrespective of your gender, race, disability, colour, ethnic or national origin, marital status, religion or age.