Action as a result of consultation
9. The majority of responses received were positive. Most respondents commented that the guidance was clear, concise and easy to navigate. Clarification on the type of evidence required from both parties in making a complaint, and responding to a complaint, was welcomed. Positive comments were received on the introduction of statutory timescales and the breakdown provided in the guidance of these in practice. Positive comment was also received about the requirement for steps to be taken to resolve complaints or disputes as early as possible, at a local level, prior to consideration of making a complaint under section 70.
10. Some comments reflected that parents may find the guidance difficult to navigate. Amendments have been made to address this. In addition, we are working closely with Enquire, funded by the Scottish Government to provide advice and information on additional support for learning, to ensure their resources are updated to reflect the amendments to the regulations. In addition, minor amendments have been made to strengthen parts of the guidance in respect of the following areas:
- Provide consistency in terminology when referring to a complaint;
- Further clarity provided on who an interested party may be;
- Additions made to the section referencing other complaints mechanisms to clarify in what circumstances the use of these mechanisms may be more appropriate and to be clear about the role of SPSO and CYPCS in this;
- Provide clarity on who administers the complaint on behalf of Scottish Ministers;
- Further information provided on the circumstances when a case may be fast-tracked to HMIE for investigation;
- The timescales for the process have been further clarified to make clear that the complaint process must be completed within a maximum of 105 working days, from the date the complaint is received by Scottish Ministers.