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Complaints and Appeals Policy and Procedure

Version 6

Date : March 2022

1. Our Commitment

e-Qualitas is committed to providing a high level service to all trainees and partner schools. We encourage all involved in the course provision to give us feedback and to make constructive suggestions on how to improve our work and the quality of training. We seek to avoid the need for complaints by promoting good relationships and communications at all times, acting on feedback including from our quality assurance procedures. However, we recognise that occasionally a trainee or a school may have concerns that they wish to draw to the attention of e-Qualitas. Equally, there may be occasions when a trainee or school wishes to appeal against a decision made in relation to training.

2. Objectives

The aim of the policy and procedure is to set out the framework within which complaints and appeals against decisions from trainees or schools will be dealt to ensure that they are acted upon consistently, appropriately and in a timely manner.

 3. Scope

This policy and procedure relates to appeals against decisions and complaints from individuals to whom e-Qualitas provides its services including trainees and schools. This procedure does not apply to safeguarding allegations, concerns relating to the prevent duty or whistleblowing complaints, each of which should be raised and dealt with under the relevant policy.

4. Complaints procedure

Informal resolution

A trainee who has a complaint about the training should initially raise it with the school-based trainer, and then the lead trainer. If the problem cannot be resolved within the school, the trainee should raise the matter with the visiting tutor. Alternatively, the trainee can ring or email the eQ office for a discussion about the matter causing concern. eQ will follow up by contacting the visiting tutor and the school, to find out more about the problem and to seek a solution.

A complaint about the training provided in the second school should initially be discussed with the appropriate staff of this school. If the issue is not resolved by the second school, it should be raised with the lead trainer of the main school.

If a trainee has a complaint about the visiting tutor, the matter should first be discussed with the school-based trainer and/or lead trainer, who will contact the visiting tutor. If this does not lead to a satisfactory solution, the school should contact eQ, who will investigate the matter. Similarly, a school with a complaint about a visiting tutor must first raise it with the tutor, who will seek to resolve the problem. If an eQ tutor receives a complaint, it should be reported immediately to the Programme Director

First formal stage

If the complaint is not resolved by discussion between the relevant parties (eg school or trainee and an eQ tutor), the matter should be reported to the Programme Director who will investigate, and try to resolve the issue.

If the involvement of the Programme Director does not resolve the concern, and/or the Programme Director is implicated in the complaint, the complainant should make a formal complaint, in writing, addressed to the e-Qualitas ITT Board.

Second formal stage

The e-Qualitas ITT Board will:

The Complaints and Appeals Committee will nominate a member of the committee to investigate the complaint (the Investigating Officer). The Investigating Officer will investigate the formal complaint impartially and will seek and consider the views of all relevant parties, together with supporting evidence. The Investigating Officer may speak with the complainant if any clarification is required. If the complaint involves the work of an e-Qualitas tutor, the tutor will be fully informed and their views and evidence will be sought as part of the investigation.

The Investigating Officer will send a report of the investigation to the Complaints and Appeals Committee as soon as reasonably practicable.

The Complaints and Appeals Committee will consider the investigation report, and reach a decision on how to resolve the complaint. It will confirm its decision to the complainant, in writing, within 5 working days of the decision.

5. Making an Appeal against a training decision

First Stage

A trainee who wishes to make an appeal against a decision relating to training made by e-Qualitas should first discuss the grounds for the appeal with his or her in-school trainers. They should advise the trainee on whether there are reasonable grounds for appeal. The trainee should then contact the Programme Director, in writing, explaining the grounds for appeal and providing supporting evidence. A school may appeal on behalf of a trainee, but should include evidence that the trainee supports the appeal e.g. a signed statement. This first stage of the review will be carried out by the Programme Director, who will review all available, relevant evidence. If the appeal is upheld by the Programme Director, the trainee and school will be notified and appropriate action will be taken.

If the appeal is not upheld, the Programme Director will refer the appeal to the e-Qualitas ITT Board.

Second Stage

The e-Qualitas ITT Board will convene a meeting of the Complaints and Appeals Committee. None of the Committee members will have had any prior connection with the trainee and his or her training. The meeting will be convened as soon as reasonably practicable and, in any event, within 28 days of the referral from the Programme Director.

The Complaints and Appeals Committee will review the appeal, and all supporting evidence (seeking further clarification or evidence if required). The Complaints and Appeals Committee will make a decision on the appeal, based on all available relevant evidence, and notify the Programme Director.

The Programme Director will notify the school and the trainee of the decision within 5 working days and ensure that appropriate action is taken.

6. PGCE

Where a trainee has a complaint or appeal that could have an effect on the trainee’s academic performance on the PGCE academic award programme with the University of Buckingham, the trainee should direct the complaint or appeal to the University of Buckingham. The decision of the University of Buckingham will be final and binding in regard to the assessment and grading of assignments, requests for deadline extensions and final marks.   There is no right to raise a complaint or appeal with e-Qualitas in relation to these matters in relation to the PGCE award.

The policy of the University of Buckingham in relation to appealing the mark of an assignment is as follows:

7. Referral to the OIA

If the trainee teacher is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint or appeal (having exhausted e-Qualitas’ procedure) they may refer the matter to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for independent review. When e-Qualitas’ internal procedure for dealing with complaints and appeals has been exhausted, e-Qualitas will issue (if requested) a Completion of Procedures Letter. The referral to the OIA must be made within 12 months of the final decision under e-Qualitas’ procedures.

8. Contacts

Programme Director Paula Gladwin Paula@e-qualitas.co.uk 0208 051 8774
e-Qualitas ITT Board ITTBoard@e-Qualitas.co.uk 0208 051 8774
OIA www.oiahe.org.uk 0118 959 9813

What our teachers say about us...

I would like to discuss how amazing my GTP mentor was. Anna Savva has supported me throughout my training and I can't thank her enough for all of the constructive feedback and motivation she installed in me to be my best in becoming a great teacher which led me to achieve QTS.

Fatma Ozkocak, School Direct Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

e-Qualitas is an outstanding training provider for anyone who is looking at starting their journey into becoming a teacher. They provide their trainees with support via email and telephone, and direct you to lots of helpful resources which help trainees to reflect on their daily practice and become a better teacher.

James Cook, Teaching Apprenticeship Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

I am pleased with all the aspects of the course including booking as well as the cost of the course. E-learning modules were easy to follow which explained clearly with examples. The course provided an opportunity to update my subject knowledge in maths and equip me to take on more responsibility in teaching.

Suganthiny Krishnakanthan , Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course student

What our teachers say about us...

I recently engaged in the 12 week SKE Maths course delivered by e-Qualitas. Successful completion of this course was a condition of taking up a place on a PGCE degree course. I initially felt that this was a stressful proposition, but I should not have worried as e-Qualitas make the process very simple.

Lesley-Ann Thorburn, Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course student

What our teachers say about us...

Everyone I have come in contact with from e-Qualitas has been extremely helpful, so I have had an excellent experience so far. I have taken part in two zoom meetings discussing e-track and the Pre-ITT activities, the meetings were informative and put my mind at ease so I could get on with the work I needed to complete. I look forward to continuing my apprenticeship journey with e-Qualitas.

Nina Commons, Teaching Apprentice Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

I have found Rose to be very helpful as a consultant. She always responds very quickly and is always able to answer any questions or queries I have. The communications with the team at the Teaching Apprenticeship programme, in general, have been great. The webinars have been particularly useful and informative.

Doug Fanning, Teaching Apprenticeship Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

Rose was absolutely fantastic in every step of the way when dealing with both my school and myself, every question was answered quickly and the zoom consultation she held with my school was really the reason why my school went ahead with taking me on in the first place. I also would not be training to be a teacher right now if she had not sent an email to my school offering the courses.

Harry Lawrence, Teaching Apprenticeship Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

Rose as a consultant - extremely helpful. She provides you with everything you need to know and more. Rose will put you in contact with the correct people if she does not know the answer to your question. If it was not for Rose, I wouldn’t be where I am now on this course.

Lauren Spall, Teaching Apprenticeship Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

You have been extremely helpful and very efficient at responding to an email which has made the application process easier. You have been very friendly and have managed to answer all questions I have asked. You are a credit to the company.

Laura Duck, Teaching Apprenticeship Trainee

What our teachers say about us...

Rose has been a friendly and extremely helpful consultant who has gone out of her way to help me choose the right route to train as a teacher. She has been prompt in replying to my emails and has been reliable when I have asked for more information. I am excited to start my training this September and feel confident that Rose will still be there to support me if I need her.

Holly Peck, Teacher of Psychology, Hampton School

What our teachers say about us...

The candidates that have been put forward are all of a very high calibre. There is obviously a sound and robust selection process before they reach me which makes the whole process much easier and purposeful. The candidates have been so superior to other candidates from other training providers that we have stopped using the other providers where possible. We aim to continue to work with TAP and EQ to this end.

Stephen Gillatt, Director of Recruitment and Training for Community Schools Trust

What our teachers say about us...

I have to say that my tutor Sean was absolutely amazing at helping me plan. He got me to understand how important it was to know my students. My plans were quite basic at first but Sean really helped me develop this and I feel really confident about my planning now as it meets the needs of all my pupils. I think that the course with eQ was absolutely fantastic. At first, I thought this is just so much work but now I absolutely see the benefit of doing all of that work

Hannah Beggs, Teaching Apprenticeship Trainee

What our schools say about us...

I would rate the overall eQ experience with regards to the Teaching Apprenticeship 10 out of 10. The reason it would be a definite 10 is because accessing the programme is really simple. The training materials are such high quality and the bits that we really like with eQ are the fact that Mentors and Tutors from eQ are very knowledgeable and often they're very black and white, so it's really clear if somebody's making progress, so we really like that transparency.

Chris Wallis, Spires Academy Vice Principal

What our schools say about us...

eQ was fantastic and very helpful with regards to helping us access the Teaching Apprenticeship Levy funding. Previous to a couple of years ago we haven't had to access the salary grants and working with Suraj and eQ made that process really, really simple, and really straightforward.

Chris Wallis, Spires Academy Vice Principal

What our schools say about us...

The benefits of the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme for us are that the trainees can start at any point during the year, so it allows us to be flexible. One of the other benefits is that the programme is so well put together. That means that any of our graduates get a really positive experience of teacher training, and they're trained to the best standard and the way that we want them to be trained.

Chris Wallis, Spires Academy Vice Principal

We first became aware of the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme at a Bolton Headteachers meeting two years ago now and the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme team came and presented and I was really interested. I reached out and as a result of that started making links and here we are today with multiple TAP trainees.

Martin Knowles, Essa Academy Principal

What our schools say about us...

eQ was phenomenally helpful in finding us, suitable graduates. They helped us recruit the best possible candidates from across the country. Actually, we're right in the South East of England, so our catchment for graduates is quite small. Some of our teacher training candidates came from further afield. One came from York and another came from Essex, so it enabled us to get the best possible candidates.

Chris Wallis, Spires Academy Vice Principal

What our schools say about us...

There are many benefits to the TAP Programme on many levels. First and foremost, obviously we can tap into the apprenticeship levy so there's a financial incentive for the school. It gives us an opportunity to grow our own, which I'm really passionate about.

Martin Knowles, Essa Academy Principal

What our schools say about us...

So this year, in particular, we've found some members of staff that have joined us as Teaching Assistants or in pastoral roles who have just fit in with the school ethos so well that we really didn't want to lose them and those members of staff expressed an interest very early in the career that they wanted to become a teacher. So we found that with the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme we were able to retain those staff, grow those staff and turn them into the teachers that they want to be without losing them for PGCE programme. So it really has been absolutely critical for us this year in terms of retention for those members of staff and we really believe it's about the person.

Abbie Rock, Essa Academy Assistant Principal

What our schools say about us...

e-Qualitas has been very good in terms of helping and directing our Trainees, Tutors and with me as a Lead Trainer in terms of providing the service that quality we want and really filtering down that vision that e-Qualitas have in terms of their handbook, in terms of their ITT curriculum, and ensuring that all parties are clear on our common goal for each individual trainee.

Kieran Morris, Essa Academy Lead Trainer

What our schools say about our Trainees

So, in science, we're really lucky to have our Teaching Apprentice this academic year, and an ITT student and I find that both of them coming in have bought new ideas to the department. They're both keen, enthusiastic. They want to learn and take all the information. They've not got any preconceived ideas. They're not jaded by the system as it were. They do work really, really well with enthusiasm. I love having trainee teachers, it's good fun!

Faye, Spires Academy Mentor

What our schools say about us...

I think what TAP has done has provided more in situ trainees that are literally immersed in teaching and learning, and as long as the Mentors are handpicked by us, which they are, we've got an excellent foundation to foster and develop high-quality trainees. We have some wonderful Mentors and the external support provided by TAP is good quality. I think it's better for trainees to learn on the job.

Martin Knowles, Essa Academy Principal

What our schools say about our trainees..

Well, in the Humanities faculty here, we've got several teachers who are currently teaching here who trained here through the TAP programme. They understand our students. They understand the way we want to teach, and it's really great talent. It's like when they become an NQT they’re not really an NQT because they already know the kids. They already know us and they’re already trained and ready to go!

Eloise, Spires Academy Mentor

What our schools say about our trainees..

I'm Head of Faculty here at Essa Academy for Humanities, mentoring two TAP students at the moment. So I think the benefits of the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme is that they're launched straight in and of course, we've made sure their timetable is slowly laddered up, so the initial part of teaching might be a 10 minute plenary or introduction the lesson and then obviously the timetable allocation is increasing each week. But the idea of getting stuck in straight away and picking up good practice straight away from colleagues and that being specific to the school that you're in, I think has been really really useful. So the idea that you can get started really quickly and hit the ground running I think has really benefited the trainee we've got, and it suits their personality to get stuck in nice and quickly.

James Ledger, Essa Academy HOD Humanities

What our schools say about us...

So the best element of the Teaching Apprenticeship Programme is seeing staff with potential having a vehicle to move forward to teaching and learning. A lot of the trainees that have come through from being TA's within the school, and it's great to see that they have a pathway into the teaching profession. There's a lot in the news now in terms of retention figures and actually to get really good quality staff who have the relevant qualifications and for our Head and for our school to support that, has been one of the greatest achievements to see staff develop people who will stay within the teaching profession and will be really proficient. And lastly, I'd just like to thank Jane Embury for all the support over this period. She answers the phone at any time and and really supports each individual teacher and is a credit to e-Qualitas.

Kieran Morris, Essa Academy Lead Trainer

What our schools say about us...

The quality and delivery of learning through the TAP programme is excellent. It's very thorough on e-track, which is the e-Qualitas online learning portal which is where the trainees and mentors record all of the evidence and the observations and the learning that's happened. There's a very thorough programme on there, quite a complete curriculum which links really nicely to teacher standards and is quite comparable and equivalent to other training providers with what they expect. So the support has been good. There's been Webinars available for Mentors and it's a complete training package, so there's been no complaints at all, and it's quite an easy route to follow, I think, for the school, for the Mentor and for the Trainee as well.

James Ledger, Essa Academy HOD Humanities

What our schools say about us...

The process of getting started on the TAP Programme is really straightforward. For us, accessing the salary grant was really helpful and really easy and the relationship we had with eQ made that happen. eQ delivers all the teacher training elements of the programme and also help provide training courses for our Mentors so that we know that the programme being delivered is the best possible programme that we could have.

Chris Wallis, Spires Academy Vice Principal

What our schools say about us...

The Teaching Apprenticeship route will absolutely be a part of our longer term recruitment strategy for our school. The the fact that we are able to recruit nationally, the fact that we get quality candidates through from eQ, means that the process is infinitely easier for us. Our recruitment going forward will be quite heavily based around teaching apprenticeships.

Chris Wallis, Spires Academy Vice Principal