The school has a wide range of policies and procedures which govern its safe and compliant operation. These are drawn from guidance and good practice established across the UK and reviewed on a periodic basis by the school and approved by the Board of Governors.

The following policies are available here for your convenience . . .


We are committed to providing an accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs. We are committed to challenging negative attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

This Plan is drawn up in consideration of the Equality Act 2010 and is made available on the school’s website and is also available in large print or other accessible format if required. This plan will fall under the school complaints procedure.

The plan with be monitored by the governing body and it may be necessary to have matters relating to access as part of governing body meetings. Progress against this plan will be shared with parents annually.


Woodlands Infant and Nursery School plans to, over time, ensure the accessibility of provision for all pupils, staff and visitors to the school.

This accessibility plan has been drawn up to cover a three year period and will be updated annually.

The plan will contain relevant actions to:

  • Improving access to the physical environment of the school. This may include the environment and the resources we have to offer.
  • Increased access to the curriculum. We must ensure that pupils with disability are equally prepared for life as the able-bodied pupils. This also includes access to clubs and trips and visits.
  • Improve and adjust the written information to pupils, staff and parents. The information sent out to anyone must be also put into a format that is preferred by people with disability.

Duties on the school

  • A duty to not discriminate against disabled pupils for a reason related to their disability.
  • A duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that pupils who are disabled are not put at a disadvantage in comparison to pupils who are not disabled (the reasonable adjustment duty).

Reasonable adjustment duty

The school is committed to making reasonable adjustments* to allow pupils with disabilities to access the educational provision and related services at the school.

We plan, over time, to increase progressively the accessibility of the school to pupils with disabilities (the planning duty).

Planning duty

There are three strands to the planning duty:

  • Increasing physical access
  • Increasing access to the curriculum
  • Increasing access to written information

Increasing physical access

Improving the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to which pupils with disabilities are able to take advantage of education and associated services provided or offered by schools; for example: aids to physical access – ramps, handrails, lifts; or physical aids to access education – ICT equipment, specialist desks and chairs.

*The reasonable adjustment duty does not apply to physical alterations to schools and we are not required to make.

Access report ref.
OT report
Visibility making added to changes of height outside
Gazebo outside reception and ramps to by marked with high visibility tape
Dec '15
SFO report
Easing access to outside
Ramp to alleviate need for step in reception and step out of year 2 classroom into car park
April '16
SFO report
Ease of access to year 1 and 2
Ramps to be placed alongside steps up to year 1 and 2
Sept '16
SFO report
Ease of access from inside via fire doors
Thresholds between classroom and outside smoothed to aid transition
Sept '17
SFO report
Access to the hall from nursery
Steps changed to ramp
by Sept '19
Access report ref.
Disabled access on trips
Risk assessments and the venue thoroughly checked for access
One hour to complete assessment and pre-visit
Understanding of hearing impairment
Member of staff to attend deaf awareness course
by Dec '15
Day supply
Improved understanding and
access for children with ASD
All staff to undertake Tier 1 training with the Working Together Team on autism awareness
by July '16
Costs associated with 1 hour training
Increased contrast to support visual impairment
Ensure all redecoration supports children with visual impairments
As needed
Access report ref.
Access for parents
Use of Google Translate loaded onto iPads to help support parents who are
not able to access English confidently
Dec '15
Translate function needed on website
by Sept '15
Letters, information
Any parent who cannot access paper or electronic versions to ask at the school office for assistance
Dependent on need

The overriding policy of Woodlands Infant & Nursery School is not to discriminate against any pupil, potential pupil or parent on the grounds of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation. Other than pupils who have recently moved into the area, pupils are admitted into the main school in the September of the year following the pupil’s fourth birthday. This ensures three full years at infant school.

Woodlands Infant & Nursery School provides for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday.
The school’s planned admission number is 60.

In accordance with legislation the allocation of places for children with the following will take place first; Statement of Special Educational Needs (Education Act 1996) or Education, Health and Care Plan (Children and Families Act 2014) where the school is named. Remaining places will be allocated in accordance with this policy.

In the event that there are more children seeking admission to the school than there are places available, then the school will allocate places utilising the following criteria. It is stressed, however, that pupils at the nursery do not have automatic entry to the main school simply by being at the nursery. Application must be made on behalf of any child intending to enter the school in September of any year, regardless of whether or not the child is already at the nursery.

The admission criteria in order of priority are as follows:

  1. Children who are “looked after” (i.e. children who are accommodated by a
    local authority or who are the subject of a full or interim Care Order).
  2. Children who live in Lincoln City Council Birchwood Ward.
  3. Children for whom there is a clear medical reason for attendance at Woodlands Infant & Nursery School. The school will accept that there is such a medical reason in the event of there being a letter of recommendation from a qualified medical practitioner.
  4. Children who have a brother or sister already attending the school at the time the place is needed. For this purpose a brother or sister who lives in the same household as the applicant child and who is the child of any adult normally resident as part of that household. This does not account for brothers or sisters who have since left the school.
  5. The proximity of the child’s home to the school as measured in straight line distance (measured electronically between the post office address point of the home and the post office address point of the school), with those living nearer receiving higher priority.

Reserve Lists

For admission into Reception the governors will keep a waiting list which we call a reserve list. If you were not offered a place and you named us as a higher preference, your child is automatically put on the reserve list above the one you were offered. This list is in the order of the over subscription criteria. Names can move down the list if someone moves into the area and is higher placed on the over subscription criteria. The list is kept by the Schools Admission Team until the end of August. After this we keep the reserve list until the end of the current academic year.

We are not required to keep any lists for any other year groups. If you wish your child to join the school at other times, please contact us direct. The time you have been on the list is not taken into account.

Definition of Children in Public Care

A ‘looked after child’ is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school.

Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order).

This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Childrens Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders).

Child arrangements orders are defined in s.8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by s.12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order.

Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

As an admission authority we have the right to investigate any concerns we may have about your application and to withdraw the offer of a place if we consider there is evidence that you have made a fraudulent claim or provided misleading information, for example a false address was given which denied a place to a child with a stronger claim.

We reserve the right to check any address and other information provided so we can apply the over subscription criteria accurately and fairly.

Twins and other siblings from a multiple birth:

In these cases all the children will be considered together as one application. If one or more can be admitted within the published admission number, the school will be allowed to go above its admission number as necessary to admit all the children, unless this would make the class too large. The Government’s school admissions code makes an exception to the infant class limit in this situation.

Brothers and sisters in the same year group

Where there is only one place available in the school the children will be considered together as one application. The school will be allowed to go above its admission number as necessary to admit all the children except in cases where infant class regulations prevent this from happening. If this happens we can only legally offer one place because the government’s school admissions code makes no exception to the infant class size limit for siblings in the same year group. We will offer the parent one place for one child and a different school for the other child or children.

Nursery admissions

Admission into nursery is governed by the school and not the Local Authority. Children entering Nursery should be 3 years of age rising 4. For children to start Nursery after their 3rd birthday they should be 3 before the 31st August. If there are available spaces in Nursery after the September intake then a January intake will take children who turn 3 between the dates of 1st September and the 31st December. If there are still available spaces after a January intake we can also accommodate an Easter intake. Children will need to be 3 between the dates of 1st January and the 31st March.

Upon the initial offer of a place for their child, parents will be asked for their session preference. There is no guarantee that a place will be offered in the preferred session slot.

We have a 52 place nursery with options of part time sessions. Within this number we have allocated 8 30 hours sessions which will be allocated on a first come first served basis. A reserve list will be implemented.

Over subscription criteria for Nursery

  1. A child in the care of the local authority is provided with accommodation by them in accordance with section 22 of the Children’s Act 1989, at the time of application. A looked after child or a child with a statement of educational needs.
  2. The nearest address to the school is found by measuring the distance from your address to the school by driving distance along public highways. We do not measure to any other schools. We measure electronically along public highways using the post office address point of the home to the post office address point of the school.
  3. Brother or sister. A full brother or sister, whether or not resident in the same household. Another child normally living for the majority of term time in the same household, where an adult in the household has parental responsibility as defined by the Children Act 1989. Or any child in the household where an adult in the household is defined as a parent for the purposes of Section 576 of the Education Act 1996.
  4. The oldest child by date of birth on entry forms handed into school office.

Upon the initial offer of a place for their child, parents will be asked for their session preference. There is no guarantee that a place will be offered in the preferred session slot.

In the event that one session (eg mornings) has more applicants than places, a ballot will take place. This gives each and every child an equal chance of being allocated a place for the session that they requested. All applicant names will be placed in a box and will be drawn out and recorded one by one until all 52 session places have been filled. Twins will be treated as one application for the purposes of the ballot to ensure they can attend the same session times. The ballot committee will consist of the Head teacher, School Business Manager and a member of the Governing Body.

Fair Access Protocols

Local Authorities are required to have Fair Access Protocols in order to make sure that unplaced children who live in the home local authority, especially the most vulnerable, are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible. This includes admitting children above the published admissions number to schools that are already full.

Mid Year Admissions

The governors will accept admissions into other year groups unless this would cause an infant class to be unlawfully large or prejudice to the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. If there are more applications than places then the over subscription criteria will be used to decide who should be offered the place. If there are no places then you will be told of the independent appeal system. Parents can apply online at

Children will be inspired to find out more, and ask questions with the self-belief and confidence that they have the knowledge, understanding and skills to lead an active and positive role in society.

The Governors of Woodlands Infant and Nursery School are committed to providing a safe learning environment in which the pupils are encouraged to treat each other with respect and kindness in every aspect of their lives. The principle aim of this policy is to ensure that good behaviour assists the school to develop the potential of all pupils.

Woodlands Infants Lincoln Behaviour Reward and Discipline Policy


All education during school hours is free. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum.

Voluntary contributions for activities as part of the Curriculum

When organising school trips, visits or workshop activities which enrich the curriculum and educational experience of the children, the school invites parents to contribute to the cost of the activity. All contributions are voluntary. If we do not receive sufficient voluntary contributions, we may cancel the activity. If a parent wishes their child to take part in a school trip or event, but is unwilling or unable to make a voluntary contribution, the child is still allowed to participate fully in the trip or activity as long as parental consent has been given. If appropriate and funds allow, the school may pay a proportion of the costs in order to support a visit. Parents have a right to know how each trip is funded and the school will provide this information on request.

Examples of activities for which a voluntary contribution may be requested:

  • Theatre trips
  • School visits
  • Museum visits

Optional Extra Activities (Activities which take place wholly or mainly outside school hours and are not required in order to fulfil statutory duties relating to the National Curriculum or to Religious Education)

It is the governors’ policy to charge for such activities organised by the school. The basis for calculating the charge will be proportionate for each participating pupil for travel, board & lodging, materials, books, equipment, entrance fees and insurance. The following is a list of additional activities organised by the school, which require voluntary contributions from parents. This list is not exhaustive:

  • sporting activities which require transport expenses
  • after school clubs and activities which will include refreshments of a snack and a drink
  • outdoor adventure activities
  • visits to the theatre/ musical events
  • school trips

After School Activities

Charges may be levied for additional activities provided mainly outside school hours. The charging for these optional activities will be dependent upon the costs incurred and will be at the discretion of the Governing Body, through the Headteacher. The charge to any one pupil will not exceed the actual total cost of the activity, divided by the number of pupils taking part.

Activities not run by the school or Lincolnshire County Council

When an organisation acting independently of the school or Lincolnshire County Council arranges an activity to take place during school hours and parents want their children to join the activity, such organisation may charge parents.

Residential visits

If the school organises a residential visit in school time, or mainly in school time, which is to provide education directly related to the National Curriculum, we do not make any charge for the education element. However, parents are obliged to at least pay for the residential expenses of such trips, and we also ask parents to contribute to the full cost of the travel and activity expenses as these are beyond the scope of our main school budget. A savings scheme will operate to allow parents to spread the cost of such trips over a longer period of time.

Charging in Kind

The cost of ingredients, materials, equipment etc. needed for practical subjects such as cooking or DT is budgeted for and purchased by the school. However, the school may charge for or require the supply of ingredients and materials if the product is to be owned and taken home by the child afterwards e.g. food products, models containing electrical equipment or batteries. The school will inform parents prior to activities, giving them the choice to pay for materials or purchase their own materials for the activity.

Breakages & Fines

The Governors reserve the right to ask parents to pay for the cost of replacing any item such as broken windows, defaced, damaged or lost text books, replacement reading or homework diaries, IT equipment or any item damaged as a result of unsatisfactory pupil behaviour. Each incident will be dealt with on its own merit.

Charges for the Academic Year 2016/17

Cooked lunches at Woodlands Infant and Nursery School are charged at a daily rate of £2.20 (increase from April 2016), this includes a main meal and dessert. A charge does not apply to children entitled to Universal Free School Meals or those parents/carers that are in receipt of certain benefits entitling the children to free school meals.

Additional In-School Charges

Income from Sales
Some goods will be sold through the school with the intention of making a small profit and this often takes the form of commission. Goods include: Book Fair Sales and school photographs. Income from this is recorded in the School Fund account.

Income from Donations
Occasionally, the school will seek voluntary donations from events such as non-uniform days, sponsorships etc. The purpose for which the donation will be used is explained clearly to parents and visitors. Income from this is recorded in the School Fund account.

Income from Lettings
The Governing Body review annually and set charges for the use of school premises. The School does not charge FOWIS for the use of the school for fund raising activities.


In order to remove financial barriers from disadvantaged pupils, those parents in receipt of certain benefits may be offered assistance in paying for the trip. Alternatively a longer period of instalments will be made available to enable their child to access the activity.


This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every year, or earlier if considered necessary.

Reviewed and Agreed by Governors and Staff 20.10.2016.

To be reviewed October 2018

Reference Points

  • Education Act 1996 (Sections 496 & 497)
  • Education Act 2002 (Section 29)
  • Education Act 2011 (Section 45)
  • Best Practice Advice for School Complaints2016:Departmental guidance for maintained schools, maintained nursery schools and local authorities –DFE, January 2016
  • ‘complaints About Maintained Schools- A Model Procedure’ (see attached appendix 1)

Contact Point

LA & School Community Liaison Officer 01522 782030


At Woodlands we strive to provide a good education for all of our children. The Executive Headteacher and staff work very hard to build positive relations with all parents/guardians. However, the school is obliged to have procedures in place in case there are complaints by parents or guardians. The following policy sets out the procedures that the school follows in such cases.


Our school aims to be fair, open and honest when dealing with any complaint. We will give careful consideration to all complaints and deal with them as quickly as possible. We will endeavour to resolve any complaint through openly talking with parents/guardians and through a mutual understanding. In all cases the interest of the child will come first. We will provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed before being resolved.

Appendix 1 outlines the procedures that parents should follow if they wish to make a complaint. This may be shared with parents upon request.

Appendix 2 outlines the steps that may be taken by school if a complainant is demonstrating unreasonable behaviour.

Appendix 3 outlines the procedures that Governors should take if a complaint is made to them during the process in Appendix 1.

APPENDIX 1: Complaints Procedure Guidance for Parents

At Woodlands Infant & Nursery School the Executive Headteacher and staff are dedicated to giving all children the best possible education and caring properly for their health, safety and welfare at all times. We are committed to building close working relationships with parents/carers and believe that school and parents/carers must work together in partnership, each carrying out our own particular responsibilities to help pupils gain the most from their time in school. We also desire to have good relations with our neighbours and the wider community. If you feel that something is not going quite as you would like, that we are doing something that you are unhappy with, or not doing something that you feel we should, please tell us about it.

The First Step
Please arrange to discuss any concerns with your child’s class teacher, or with the particular teacher concerned. We hope that most problems can be sorted out this way.

The Second Step
If, after speaking to your child’s teacher, and having allowed sufficient time to deal with the issue, you do not feel that your concern has been properly dealt with, or if your concern is about the conduct of a particular teacher, then you should discuss the matter with the Executive Headteacher. In almost all cases we can sort things out satisfactorily in this way.

The Third Step
You should make a formal written complaint to the Executive Headteacher, unless the complaint is about the conduct of the Executive Headteacher. You should then receive a written response.

Taking Matters Further
If your complaint is about the conduct of the Executive Headteacher, or if you are dissatisfied with the Executive Headteacher’s response to your formal complaint letter, then you will need to contact the Governors.

You should send written details of your complaint, with any correspondence and evidence to support your complaint, to the Clerk to the Governors at the school address. If, for some reason, you do not feel able to do so, you should contact the Clerk, via the school, who will record your complaint as a statement for you to sign.

The Governors’ Complaints Committee will consider your complaint and write to advise you of the outcome.

Complaints About Governors Decisions
The decision of the Governors is usually final but if you are dissatisfied with their response or that you believe the Governors have failed to follow agreed policies or procedure – then the next stage depends on the nature of the complaint.

Some complaints will be covered by separate statutory processes such as admission and exclusion appeals or SEN tribunals. If your complaint is not covered by another process and you feel your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily by the school’s Governors you can find more information on what you can do by visiting the website below.

Please note that, unless your complaint is about the Governors response or lack of response, your complaint will generally have to be considered by the Governing body of the school.

Appendix 2

Unreasonable Complainant Behaviour

Staff and Governors are keen to ensure that all genuine complaints are dealt with fairly and promptly and in accordance with our agreed procedures. We would again emphasise that most matters can be resolved by discussing issues with our staff at the informal stages of our procedure.

Regrettably, there are times when parents raise issues with or about staff in ways which are unacceptable. This can cloud the concern at the heart of the complaint, which may result in the delay or hindrance of a resolution. It can also have an adverse effect on pupils, staff and the effective running of the school.

Examples of behaviours that we consider to be unacceptable are as follows:

  • Refusing to articulate their complaint or specify the grounds of a complaint or the outcomes sought by raising the complaint, despite offers of assistance;
  • Making excessive demands on school time by frequent, lengthy, complicated and stressful contact with staff regarding the complaint in person, in writing, by email and by telephone while the complaint is being dealt with.
  • Introducing trivial or irrelevant information which the complainant expects to be taken into account and commented on, or raises large numbers of detailed but unimportant questions, and insists they are fully answered, often immediately and to their own timescales.
  • Making unjustified complaints about staff who are trying to deal with the issues and/or harassing individual staff members in a way which appears intended to cause personal distress rather than to find a resolution;
  • Refusing to cooperate with the complaints procedure as set out in this policy; while still wishing their complaint to be resolved;
  • Refusing to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of a complaints procedure;
  • Changing the basis of the complaint as the consideration proceeds and/or making unjustified complaints about those trying to deal with the complaint;
  • Pursuing unreasonable outcomes which are disproportionate to the nature of the matters in hand;
  • Persisting in repetitious complaints when these have been previously determined under the school complaints procedure;
  • Electronically recording meetings, telephone calls and conversations without the prior knowledge and consent of the other persons involved;

A complainant’s behaviour may also be considered unreasonable if the person making the complaint does so either face-to-face, by telephone or in writing or electronically:

  • maliciously;
  • aggressively;
  • using threats, intimidation or violence;
  • using abusive, offensive or discriminatory language;
  • knowing it to be false;
  • using falsified information;
  • publishing unacceptable information in a variety of media such as in social media websites and newspapers.

The school expects that any person wishing to raise a concern or complaint will:

  • Follow the school complaints procedure.
  • Treat all members of the school community with courtesy and respect.
  • Recognise the time constraints that staff operate under and allow them a reasonable amount of time in which to respond / address any issues.

Where a parent raises a complaint in a manner which the school feels is unreasonable, actions may be taken to remedy this. The actions will be proportionate to the nature of the behaviour and may include:

  • An informal approach to inform the parent that the behaviour is unacceptable and needs to be modified.
  • A formal written communication advising the parent that the behaviour is unacceptable and appropriate action may be taken if the behaviour is not modified.
  • Setting limitations on the method and/or frequency of contact with staff / school personnel.
  • A refusal to register and process further complaints about the same or similar subject matter where the matter has already been determined, or where complaints are vexatious, or where complaints are personally harassing, or deliberately targeted at one or more members of staff without good cause.
  • Setting limitations on the parent’s access to the school site.

It should be noted that parents/carers do not have an automatic right to enter school grounds and may be banned from entering the school site with immediate effect following any incident where behaviour has been verbally and/or physically aggressive.

Any restrictions placed on a person as a result of this policy will be time limited, with a specified date as to when the restrictions will be reviewed and potentially lifted.

Again, we would emphasise that the Executive Headteacher and Governing Body are committed to ensuring a full and fair consideration of all legitimate complaints and we recognise that the majority of parents/carers and members of the wider community will conduct themselves in accordance with this policy. However, we reserve the right to take any necessary actions under this policy in those rare cases where a person does not.

Appendix 3

If a person is not satisfied with the response from the Executive Headteacher regarding a complaint or if a complaint is about the Executive Headteacher, then he/she is entitled to take the complaint to the Governing Body.

All complaints to the Governing Body’s must be in writing and should include full details of the complaint, along with any supporting evidence. This should be sent to the Clerk to the Governors, care of the school. The Clerk will then ensure the complaints process is started as soon as practicable. If for some reason you do not feel able to put your complaint in writing, please contact the Clerk to arrange an alternative means of capturing your complaint.

A minimum of three governors should be selected to form the Complaints Committee to consider the complaint. It is recommended that the Chair of Governors is not on this committee. Those governors chosen should ideally have no knowledge whatsoever of the details surrounding the complaint or of the complainant themselves. It is appreciated that this is not always possible. However, the Governing body should always try to find impartial Governors whenever possible.

Once the Complaints Committee has been formed, members of the Complaints Committee must ensure they are familiar with the school’s complaints procedure. They must then decide how they wish to consider the complaint.

Governors of LA maintained schools effectively have two options available. They can choose to deal with the complaint by means of an oral hearing or through written representations, but in making their decision they must be sensitive to any needs the complainant has. The LA advises that, wherever possible and appropriate, it should be through written representations.

If the governors of a maintained school choose to have an oral hearing, the parent will be invited to attend a meeting where they will be able to put their complaint personally to the Governors. The Executive Headteacher should also be present to be able to respond to the complaint. Other teachers should not attend; if their evidence is needed, it should either be obtained via the Executive Headteacher or where this is not appropriate, by a Governor either before or after the meeting. The Governors will only make a decision about the complaint once they have heard the parent’s and the schools evidence.

The structure of such a meeting should be flexible. However, it is anticipated it will follow a similar process to exclusion or admission appeals. The Complaints Committee should have familiarised themselves with the written complaint before the meeting. At the meeting the parent will then have an opportunity to ask questions. The Executive Headteacher will then be invited to speak and similarly there will be the opportunity for questions. Each party will then be asked to summarise their position in brief. Both parties will then be asked to leave to allow the Committee members to make their decision in private.

Both the complainant and Executive Headteacher are entitled to bring a representative with them if they wish. Although it would not normally be necessary, either party may bring a legal representative if they wish. Either party intending to bring a representative would be expected to contact the Clerk to the Governors before the hearing to notify them.

If the Governors do not wish to hold an oral hearing – that decision being at the discretion of the complaints committee – the consideration will proceed by way of written representations. The following procedure will then be undertaken:

  • The clerk to Governors will write to the complainant outlining the procedure
  • The complaint will be forwarded to the Executive Headteacher who then have 7 working days in which to respond
  • That response will then, in turn, be sent to the complainant for comment
  • Any responses to be provided within 7 working days
  • Finally, that response will go to the Executive Headteacher who has 7 working days in which to respond to the clerk
  • A copy of the Executive Headteacher’s final response should be sent to the complainant, with the advice that it is only for their information and that any further response from the parent will not be considered except in exceptional circumstances
  • All the responses are then put before the complaints committee for consideration

For the avoidance of doubt, all communication should be through the Clerk to Governors, neither party should send their responses to the other directly.

Regardless of which method is adopted, the Complaints Committee should take a robust approach and not simply endorse the decision of the Executive Headteacher without any consideration of the evidence.

The Complaints Committee must have all the necessary evidence they feel is necessary for them to make their decision. If they are not satisfied and require further evidence from either party, they should adjourn and request that information. The Complaints Committee should only make their decision if they are satisfied they have sufficient evidence with which to make a final decision.

The decision of the Complaints Committee should be given to the complainant in writing within 5 school working days of the decision. Providing the procedures as laid down in the complaints policy are followed then there is no right of appeal following this decision.

The decision letter should outline the nature of the complaint, the factors taken into consideration and the decision of the Complaints Committee. In the case of written representations, the decision letter should be sufficiently thorough so there is no need for minutes to include any other information.

Under the Data Protection Act, complainants can request to have sight of all documents relating to their complaint, subject to restrictions as detailed in ‘Section A06 – Disclosure of Information to Parents and Others’ of the School Administration Handbook.

It is important that the complaint and associated papers are not attached to the child’s file as they do not relate to the child.

The Governors support and endorse this policy.

Policy Ratified: October 2016
Policy to be reviewed by: October 2019

June 2017

1. Introduction

  • This policy sets out how pupils at Woodlands Nursery and Infant School with medical conditions will be properly supported so that they have access to education.
  • It reflects the consensus of opinion of the teaching staff and has the full agreement of the staff and Governors.

2. Aims

  • To ensure that all pupils with medical conditions, in terms of both physical and mental health, are properly supported in school so that they can play a full and active role in school life, remain healthy and achieve their academic potential.
  • To ensure that pupils with medical conditions access and enjoy the same opportunities as any other child in school.
  • Recognise that children’s health needs may change over time in ways that cannot always be predicted, sometimes resulting in extended absences.
  • In making decisions about the support which we provide, we will establish relationships with relevant health services to help. We will ensure that we as a school work together with the LA, health professionals and other support services to ensure children with medical conditions receive a full education.
  • We will aim to receive and consider advice from health care professionals and listen to and value the views of parents and pupils.
  • In making any arrangements we will ensure that the focus is on the needs of each individual child and how their medical condition impacts on their school life.
  • Arrangements in place not only show an understanding of how medical conditions impact on a child’s ability to learn but also aim to increase their confidence and promote self care.
  • We will ensure that staff are properly trained to provide the support each child needs.

3. Implementation

  • The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that sufficient numbers of staff are suitably trained (in her absence this duty falls to the DHT).
  • All relevant staff will be made aware of a child’s condition.
  • The class teacher is responsible for briefing a supply teacher on a child’s medical condition. If this cannot take place due to long term absence then this role falls to the Inclusion Leader or in her absence the HT.
  • The Group Leader is responsible for compiling a risk assessment for school visits and other school activities outside the normal timetable, liaising with the CT. The EVC is responsible for monitoring the risk assessment.
  • The Inclusion Leader is responsible for monitoring any Individual Healthcare Plans.

4. Procedures when notified a pupil has a medical condition

  • When a pupil leaves school their records will be passed to the next school and the Inclusion Leader will contact the relevant professional at the new school to discuss the child’s medical condition.
  • The Inclusion Leader will work with the HT and other health care professionals in ensuring a suitable reintegration plan is in place after periods of absence. This will also be carried out in consultation with the parents and if possible the pupil.
  • For children starting a new school, arrangements should be in place in time for the start of the relevant school term.
  • If there is a new diagnosis or the child is moving to a new school mid term, every effort should be made to ensure arrangements are in place within 2 weeks of their arrival at school.

5. Individual Healthcare Plans (IHCP)

  • The Inclusion Leader is responsible for developing an IHCP in supporting pupils with medical conditions.
  • The school, healthcare professionals and parents should agree, based on evidence, when a healthcare plan would be inappropriate or disproportionate. If consensus cannot be reached then the Headteacher has the final decision.
  • The IHCP will be drawn up in partnership between the school, parents and relevant healthcare professional. Pupils can also be involved whenever appropriate. The responsibility for ensuring the plan is finalised and implemented rests with the school.
  • The Governing Body should ensure that plans are reviewed at least annually or earlier if evidence is presented that the child’s needs have changed. They should be developed with the child’s best interests in mind and ensure that the school assesses and manages risks to the child’s education, health and social wellbeing and minimises disruption.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

  • Governing Body – Must make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions in school. They must ensure that sufficient staff have received suitable training and are competent before they take responsibility to support children with medical conditions.
  • Headteacher – Must ensure that the policy is developed and effectively implemented with partners. Also that all staff who need to know are aware of a child’s condition.
    Ensure sufficient trained members of staff are available to implement the policy and deliver against IHCPs.
  • School Staff – Any member of school staff may be asked to support pupils with medical conditions, including the administration of medicines, although they cannot be required to do so. Although administering medicines is not part of teachers’ professional duties they should take into account the needs of pupils with medical needs that they teach.
    School staff should receive sufficient and suitable training and achieve the necessary level of competency before they take on responsibility to support children wit medical conditions.
  • School Nurse- Responsible for notifying the school when a child had been identified as having a medical condition which will require the support of the school. They may support staff on implementing a child’s IHCP and provide advice and liaison.
  • Other Healthcare professionals – Responsible for notifying the school nurse when a child had been identified as having a medical condition which will require the support of the school.
    They may be able to provide advice on developing IHCP and providing support for children with particular conditions (eg asthma, diabetes).
  • Pupils – Pupils with medical conditions will often be best placed to provide information about how their condition affects them. They should be fully involved in discussions about their medical support needs and contribute as much as possible to the development of, and comply with, their individual healthcare plan. Other pupils will often be sensitive to the needs of those with medical conditions.
  • Parents– should provide the school with sufficient and up-to-date information about their child’s medical needs. They may in some cases be the first to notify the school that their child has a medical condition. Parents are key partners and should be involved in the development and review of their child’s individual healthcare plan, and may be involved in its drafting. They should carry out any action they have agreed to as part of its implementation, eg provide medicines and equipment and ensure they or another nominated adult are contactable at all times.
  • Providers of health services – should co-operate with schools that are supporting children with a medical condition, including appropriate communication, liaison with school nurses and other healthcare professionals such as specialist and children’s community nurses, as well as participation in locally developed outreach and training. Health services can provide valuable support, information, advice and guidance to schools, and their staff, to support children with medical conditions at school.

7. Staff Training and Support

  • Any member of school staff providing support to a pupil with medical needs should have received suitable training.
  • The relevant healthcare professional would normally lead on identifying and agreeing with the school the type and level of training required and how this can be obtained.
  • Staff must not give prescription medicines or undertake health care procedures without appropriate training.
  • All school staff will be made aware of this policy and their role in implementing it. Any new members of staff will have this policy included in induction arrangements. Parents will be asked for their views and to provide relevant information to school staff as to how their child’s needs can be met.
  • After discussions with parents, children who are competent should be encouraged to take responsibility for managing their own medicine and procedures.
  • Wherever possible children are allowed to carry their own medicine and relevant devices or should be able to access their medicines for self-medication quickly and easily. Children who can take medicines themselves or manage procedures may require an appropriate level of supervision.
  • If a child refuses to take a medicine or carry out necessary procedure, staff should not force them to do so, but follow the procedure agreed in the IHCP. Parents should be informed so that alternative options can be considered.

8. Managing Medicines on School Premises

  • Medicines should only be administered at school when it would be detrimental to a child’s health or school attendance not to do so.
  • No child under 16 should be given prescription or non-prescription medicines without their parent’s written consent – except in exceptional circumstances where the medicine has been prescribed to the child without the knowledge of the parents. In such cases, every effort should be made to encourage the child or young person to involve their parents while respecting their right to confidentiality. Schools should set out the circumstances in which non-prescription medicines may be administered. See Appendix 1 – Parents agreement for our staff to administer Medicine. It only requires one parent to agree or request that medicines be administered.
  • A child under 16 should never be given medicine containing aspirin unless prescribed by a doctor. Medication, eg for pain relief, should never be administered without first checking maximum dosages and when the previous dose was taken. Parents should be informed.
  • Where clinically possible, medicines should be prescribed in dose frequencies which enable them to be taken outside school hours.
  • Schools should only accept prescribed medicines that are in-date, labelled, provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include instructions for administration, dosage and storage. The exception to this is insulin which must still be in date, but will generally be available to schools inside an insulin pen or a pump, rather than in its original container.
  • All medicines should be stored safely. Children should know where their medicines are at all times and be able to access them immediately. All non-emergency medicines will be kept in the school office. Medicines and devices such as asthma inhalers, blood glucose testing meters and adrenaline pens should be always readily available to children and not locked away. These would usually be kept in the classroom in a container. This is particularly important to consider when outside of school premises eg on school trips. Any medicines kept in the refrigerator will be kept in a lockable fridge in the office, clearly labelled and in an airtight container.
  • A child who has been prescribed a controlled drug may legally have it in their possession if they are competent to do so, but passing it to another child for use is an offence. Monitoring arrangements may be necessary. Schools should otherwise keep controlled drugs that have been prescribed for a pupil securely stored in a non-portable container and only named staff should have access. Controlled drugs should be easily accessible in an emergency. A record should be kept of any doses used and the amount of the controlled drug held in school.
  • School staff may administer a controlled drug to the child for whom it has been prescribed. Staff administering medicines should do so in accordance with the prescriber’s instructions. Schools should keep a record of all medicines administered to individual children, stating what, how and how much was administered, when and by whom. Any side effects of the medication to be administered at school should be noted.
  • When no longer required, medicines should be returned to the parent to arrange for safe disposal. Sharps boxes should always be used for the disposal of needles and other sharps.

9. Record keeping

  • Governing bodies should ensure that written records are kept of all medicines administered to children. Records offer protection to staff and children and provide evidence that agreed procedures have been followed. Parents should be informed if their child has been unwell at school.

10. Emergency Procedures

  • Where a child has an individual healthcare plan, this should clearly define what constitutes an emergency and explain what to do, including ensuring that all relevant staff are aware of emergency symptoms and procedures. Other pupils in the school should know what to do in general terms, such as informing a teacher immediately if they think help is needed.
  • If a child needs to be taken to hospital, staff should stay with the child until the parent arrives, or accompany a child taken to hospital by ambulance. Schools need to ensure they understand the local emergency services cover arrangements and that the correct information is provided for navigation systems.

11. Unacceptable Practice

  • Although school staff should use their discretion and judge each case on its merits with reference to the child’s individual healthcare plan, it is not generally acceptable practice to:
    – prevent children from easily accessing their inhalers and medication and administering their medication when and where necessary;
    – Assume that every child with the same condition requires the same treatment;
    – Ignore the views of the child or their parents; or ignore medical evidence or opinion, (although this may be challenged);
    – Send children with medical conditions home frequently or prevent them from staying for normal school activities, including lunch, unless this is specified in their individual healthcare plans;
    – If the child becomes ill, send them to the school office or medical room unaccompanied or with someone unsuitable;
    – Penalise children for their attendance record if their absences are related to their medical condition eg hospital appointments;
    – Prevent pupils from drinking, eating or taking toilet or other breaks whenever they need to in order to manage their medical condition effectively;
    – Require parents, or otherwise make them feel obliged, to attend school to administer medication or provide medical support to their child, including with toileting issues. No parent should have to give up working because the school is failing to support their child’s medical needs; or
    – Prevent children from participating, or create unnecessary barriers to children participating in any aspect of school life, including school trips, eg by requiring parents to accompany the child.

12. Complaints

  • Should parents or pupils be dissatisfied with the support provided they should discuss their concerns directly with the school. If for whatever reason this does not resolve the issue, they may make a formal complaint via the school’s complaints procedure.
    Making a formal complaint to the Department for Education should only occur if it comes within scope of section 496/497 of the Education Act 1996 and after other attempts at resolution have been exhausted.