A SCHOOL has apologised to a vicar after failing to comply with its own complaints procedure.

Sabden Primary School was ordered to send a letter to Rev Graham Sawyer by the Department for Education after an investigation found that the school had breached its own policies.


A separate report complied by the Information Commissioner’s Office concluded that the Whalley Road school had also breached the Data Protection Act 1998 after disclosing Rev Sawyer’s personal information to the then Bishop of Burnley, Rev John Goddard.

Rev Sawyer, of St James’ Church in Briercliffe, sent a letter to Sabden’s chair of governors John Glenn in May 2014 regarding the actions of the then headteacher Lisa Titchiner.

He complained that a letter about himself written by Mrs Titchiner, who had been seconded to St James’ at the time, had been written on Sabden Primary School headed paper.

Mr Glenn wrote to Rev Sawyer in June 2014 informing him that he had no power to investigate his complaint, a move that the DfE have said was a breach of the school’s complaints procedure.

The DfE also said that the school further breached its complaints procedure after refusing Rev Sawyer the right to have his complaint heard by a panel.

The report said: “We require a written assurance from the governing body that the school’s complaint procedure will be adhere to at all times.

“We would advise the school and governing body to be mindful of complainants’ rights under all aspects of statute law.

“It would not be practical for the department to recommend that the complaint be re-heard in accordance with the school’s complaint procedure as Mrs Titchiner is no longer employed by Sabden Primary School.”

In reply to Mr Glenn’s letter, Rev Sawyer said: “I’m glad that the school has replied within the allotted time but I do not consider it to be an apology.

“I have written to the investigating officer for clarification.”