Complaints Policy

Complaints Policy and Procedure

The School Aims

The School aims to be a centre of spiritual and practical knowledge and enquiry for people leading everyday working and family lives. The intention is to help individuals lead full, rich and useful lives, to be of service in society and to evolve the spiritual aspect of their being in accordance with natural laws.

“The Aim is Truth; and Truth as we now know is beyond creation.
It is the Self of every living creature. That is the aim. That is what it is all about.”
Leon MacLaren

The Charity and the School are guided by three core values or principles. They are:

  • love of truth and justice;
  • learning and teaching;
  • voluntary service.

Service without seeking individual benefit or reward is central to the ethos of the Charity. The School’s courses, based on the principle of learning and teaching and guided by a love of truth and justice, are provided voluntarily by students whose own studies have progressed sufficiently to enable them to pass on what they have learned to others.


Policy Statement

The School of Philosophy and Economic Science (School) is an educational charity aiming to have a positive impact on people’s lives, both within our community and globally. The aim of this policy is to ensure the appropriate and effective handling of any expression of dissatisfaction whether oral or written, and whether found to be justified or not, from or on behalf of a complainant about the School.

Complaints that are within the scope of the Charity Commissions remit, will be dealt with in compliance with those rules of fairness and justice.

The School will take reasonable steps to ensure that all students and employees are aware of the Complaints Policy and will act in accordance with them.

This policy provides for:

  1. Receiving a complaint;
  2. Investigation of a complaint;
  3. Responding to complainant;
  4. What to report to the Charity Commission;
  5. Organisational Learning;
  6. Record Keeping

1. Receiving a complaint

A complaint may be made by any reasonable means (i.e. writing, email, over the phone or face to face). Details of the complaint will be recorded by the person receiving the complaint; this will be:



Nature of complaint

Persons receiving complaint

Handling complaint



About another student



Head of Stream/Branch Leader



About a tutor


Nature of communication


Head of Stream/Branch Leader

Principal/ Principal’s representative


About another tutor

Head of Stream/Branch Leader

Principal/ principal’s representative


Head of Stream/Branch Leader

Principal principal’s representative

Lead Tutor Mr Lambie

Head of Stream/Branch Leader


Lead Tutor Mr Lambie

Trustees/Charity Commission


The investigating person must be totally impartial and where possible not known personally.

A complaint about the School may include:

  • Not doing what it claims to do;

Poor governance;

  • Harming people;
  • Being used for personal profit or gain;
  • Being involved in illegal activity

Details of the complaint should be accurately recorded (Appendix 1 Template).

A written or electronic acknowledgement of a complaint will be sent within five working days of receipt, giving information on the role of the person handling the complaint on behalf of the School, together with a copy of the Complaints Policy.


2. Investigation of a complaint

 A complaint will be handled fairly without bias or discrimination and will be:

  • Treated confidentially;
  • Investigated fairly using details of the complaint to investigate every element thoroughly;
  • Be investigated by a person(s) of sufficient competence who is not directly involved in the matter which is the subject of the complaint;
  • The person charged with responding to the complaint will have the authority to settle complaints (including the offering of redress where appropriate) or will have ready access to someone who has the necessary authority.

Those who have been identified within the complaint will be informed and they will be asked to contribute to the information gathering process.

 Interview protocol:

  • Details of the complaint will be investigated fully by attending to each aspect of the complaint and, according to its nature, devise an investigative process that will capture what preceded the incident, (where applicable), what occurred at the time, subsequent actions, reflections on all aspects. (Appendix 2).
  • The interview(s) will be arranged as soon as possible, to gather a full and rounded a perspective.
  • They may take place face to face, by telephone or via zoom link.
  • Interviewees receive information about the nature of the complaint, and be asked not to discuss the matter with others prior to interview.
  • Responses to interview questions should be noted either by hand or electronically, dated and signed by the interviewer.
  • The outcome of the investigation will not be discussed until all the evidence is noted and
  • Investigator(s) will look for consistency between sections of information to enable a rounded picture, providing clarity within the themes investigated, so that the findings reflect a fair outcome.

All evidence, details of complaint, response letter, interviews, actions taken and outcomes and copies of letters sent, are fully documented and saved. This supports with future reviews, complaint pattern analysis, and provides evidence should it be required.


3. Responding to complainant

 The decision communicated in response to a complaint will be evidence-based, proportionate and fair, and will respond to the substantive points raised. It will explain why the School considers the complaint justified or not justified, and will say  how the School will respond to the outcome.

By the end of 28 days after its receipt, the School will send the complainant either:

  1. A final response, in writing, with the findings of the investigation. This letter, informing of the School’s decision, will also inform the complainant that they can complain to the Charity Commission, the timeframe for doing so, and full contact details for the Charity Commission); or
  2. A response which:
  3. Explains that the School is still not in a position to make a final response, gives reasons for the further delay and indicates when it expects to be able to provide a final response; and
  4. Informs the complainant in writing that they can complain to the Charity Commission, the timeframe for doing so and full contact details for the Charity Commission;

4. What to report to the Charity Commission

A report to the Charity Commission may include things that have happened, are happening or are likely to happen. Reported issues should only include those that could seriously harm:

  • The students at the School;
  • The charity’s staff or volunteers;
  • Services the charity provides;
  • The charity’s assets;
  • The charity’s reputation.

Examples of serious harm include:

  • If someone’s health or safety is in danger, if a charity does not use its safeguarding policy.
  • A criminal offence, theft, fraud or financial mismanagement.
  • If a charity uses its activities as a platform for extremist views or materials.
  • Loss of charity funds, i.e. When a charity loses more than 20% of its income or more than £25,000.
  • If the charity does not meet its legal obligations, if someone uses a charity for significant personal advantage.

Co-operating with the Charity Commission

  1. The School will comply with a notice that requires specified information or documents to be provided to the Charity Commission under section 147 of the Legal Services Act 2007.
  2. The School will comply with any direction contained in a determination made by the Charity Commission.

The School will maintain all records, and provide to the Regulator, on request, details of all complaints handled under these rules.

Complaining to the Charity Commission:

Other serious complaints

Complain to the Charity Commission if a charity is, for example:

  • not doing what it claims to do
  • losing lots of money
  • harming people
  • being used for personal profit or gain
  • involved in illegal activity

5. Organisation Learning

    An analysis will be undertaken following a complaint procedure to identify whether this or any other policy or procedure requires review, and determine that we fulfil our School’s aims in being fair and just.

    Any learning outcomes will be shared appropriately within the organisation through the Executive Committee.


    6. Record Keeping

      All communication related to the complaint, whether in writing or held electronically will be held centrally at Mandeville Place through the Head of Administration for a period of seven years.


      Appendix Two  - Interview Investigation template 


      Page created: 20 May 2024

      Page last edited: 20 May 2024