EC London Complaints Procedure
The emphasis in this Complaints Procedure is on informality, with the object of solving problems quickly, simply and fairly. It is hoped that the great majority of issues can be settled amicably at the First Stage, and that complaints will only exceptionally reach the Second Stage.
EC London Staff will respond promptly to complaints and will also expect clients to keep to an agreed timetable for pursuing a complaint.
Constructive criticism, made through student evaluation forms or in discussion with staff, is always welcome as help towards raising service levels.
1. First Stage (Informal Complaint)
1.1 A Client should initially make the complaint to an appropriate member of staff. If the Client is unwilling or unable to approach a member of staff, the Client should raise the matter with the relevant Head of Department.
1.2 The object of this First Stage is to resolve problems quickly and simply with the minimum of formality. The member of staff first approached, has discretion as to how the complaint is investigated and determined but should always inform the Head of Department who will keep a record of each complainant, the nature of the complaint and how it was resolved. If the complaint has been made in writing, the Head of Department will respond in writing within three days of receipt.
2. Second Stage (Formal Complaint)
2.1 If the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily by the member of staff/Head of Department, the Second Stage is handled by the Centre Director and the complaint must be made formally and in writing.
2.2 Only in exceptional circumstances will the Centre Director consider any complaint that has not been through the original stage.
2.3 If the Centre Director comes to the conclusion that the complaint has already been fairly settled at an earlier stage, or that the complaint is trivial, or wholly lacking in merit or substance, he or she may dismiss the complaint, and advise the complainant of the reasons for the decision. The Centre Director will respond to a written complaint within ten working days of its receipt, with as full a response as possible.
2.3.1 If the Centre Director comes to the conclusion that there is substance in the complaint, the Centre Director may either:
1. Seek to resolve the complaint, in discussion with the relevant Head of Department or
2. Submit a report on all the material facts to the Director of Operations, who will resolve the matter.
The Centre Director will notify the complainant of this decision, in writing, within three working days of receipt of the original written complaint.
2.4 A Client who has exhausted the above procedure but remains unsatisfied with the handling or outcome of a complaint may write to the Chief of Operations. Such a letter should be received within ten working days of the date of the Centre Director's letter (2.3 above).
3.1 Any allegation that an employee is harassing or discriminating against a Client will be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary arrangements provided under the terms of their contract of employment.
4. Disciplinary Action
4.1 There shall be no disciplinary or other adverse implications for a Client who makes a complaint or allegation providing the Client acts in good faith, within the law, and not vexatious, or with malice, and in accordance with established procedures including those above. Victimisation of a complainant and deterring anyone from making a proper complaint are serious disciplinary offence.
5. Complaint to the English UK (as an independent external organisation)
During any stage of the complaint procedure the Client has the right to make an official complaint in writing to English UK, an independent external organisation.
For further information please see www.englishuk.com/en/students/complaints or write/email to:
219 St John Street
Tel: +44 20 7608 7960
Fax: +4420 7608 7961
EC London First Aid
EC London's aim is to ensure that in the event of any illness, accident or injury adequate, safe and effective First Aid is provided for every student, member of staff and visitor, no matter how minor or major.
All accidents, no matter how minor or major must be reported to reception immediately. Either the Student Services Co-Ordinator or a First Aid trained member of staff will fill in the Accident Report Book which is held in the admin office. First Aid will only be administered by one of our First Aid trained members of staff. There will always be at least one member of staff on site who is First Aid trained.
First Aid Trained Staff
Staff members with a valid Emergency First Aid At Work certificate are:
- Thomas Weedon – Student Services Manager
- Dan Wu – Student Services Coordinator
First Aid boxes are located:
- in the admin office
- in the school reception
- in the teachers’ room
Replenishment of First Aid Boxes
Thomas Weedon as the acting Health & Safety Officer is responsible for the correct and timely replenishment of all First Aid boxes/ kits.
What is Bullying and Harassment?
Bullying and Harassment are types of abusive behaviour . This can take different forms:
- It can be physical - such as hitting or kicking or pushing
- can be verbal - such as teasing or name-calling or threats
- It can be non-verbal - such as ignoring or excluding someone
It can create an intimidating environment, or leave you feeling vulnerable or upset or threatened .
It can happen once, or it can be persistent.
It could occur in your class, residence, family or homestay – or even just walking down the street.
What is EC London's Policy?
Our policy is simple - we do not accept any kind of bullying or harassment, or other abusive behaviour.
Our aim is to promote understanding and to embrace diversity.
Don't Ignore it, Tell Someone!
Please tell us if you feel you are being harassed or bullied - or if you are worried about someone else.
You can talk to a member of staff that you feel comfortable with, or with our Student Services Manager (Suzie Abrahamson) for more advice.
EC London takes the welfare of its students seriously. All staff are expected to make adequate provision for student welfare at all times and are expected to adhere to all aspects of legal and British Council compliance, and to any other areas of good practice in this area. A significant element of this is the provision of adequate (and effective) supervision, and the aim of this policy is to provide clear instructions and guidance to staff to facilitate this.
We aim to ensure that for all scheduled activities (both on-site and off-site) there is sufficient adult supervision. This should take into account the nature of the activity, age, sex and needs of the students. This also applies to supervision within our junior summer residential accommodation.
The ratios to which we adhere (set-out below) fall in line with recommendations by the DfEE for minimum supervisory levels for under 18s. Staff are advised that these ratios should be exceeded if the safety and welfare of the students require it at any time, and there should always be enough supervisors to deal with an emergency.
We recognise too that we have a duty of care to our adult students, and activities run by EC for students will be supervised by a nominated EC representative with relevant training or experience. Additional leaders will be deployed if necessary given the nature of the activity and the level of risk involved. Higher-risk adventure-type activities will be supervised by qualified instructors.
The minimum supervisory ratio for junior activities is 1:15-20 (aged 11+) and 1:10-15 (8-10s). This lower age group is not normally accepted into the school; where they are (exceptionally by special agreement only and normally accompanied by a parent or legal guardian) specific arrangements are made accordingly.
In residential accommodation for junior students, the ratio of residential adults to students will be at least 1:20 (students aged 12 and over) and 1:15 (students under 12 – and by exception only). A responsible adult will be present overnight and will normally be present when younger students are at home. Hosts (and hosts arranged via EC’s agency) are advised of this in guidelines issued.
Additional Guidance to Staff
Activities must be supervised by a responsible Social Leader. This should be a duly competent, qualified and experienced adult, as determined by the nature of the activity, the level of risk involved and any control measures deemed necessary. International Leaders must only be responsible for students within their own group.
Appropriate pre-activity briefings should be given
Standard Risk Assessments are available from the Student Services team (also available electronically) and should be issued to regular EC Social Leaders regularly. Infrequent Social Leaders should be issued with pertinent risk assessments before supervising activities. Regular Social Leaders should be issued with additional risk assessments if they are expected to supervise an activity which differs significantly in content from activities already undertaken routinely (for which they have received a risk assessment).
Social Leaders should be made aware of (and issued in writing with) emergency procedures for dealing with an unforeseen accident, injury or incident.