SCHOOL COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS POLICY
While our school is focused on providing the best possible education for students, there may be occasions when practice does not meet certain standards or expectations and a person (complainant) wishes to raise a concern or make a complaint. These can come from students, staff, parents or members of the public. They might be about students, staff, the Principal, the Board, our school policies, or events at or involving the school. All concerns and complaints shall be attended to promptly, respectfully and professionally and seek to bring effective resolution to all parties concerned.
It is helpful to note the following:
Concerns or complaints to the Principal
- The Principal is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school and student discipline. The Board delegates full responsibility to the principal of ensuring processes are in place for dealing with concerns and complaints and that they are operating effectively and adequately. Parents who have a concern should contact their child’s class teacher in the first instance. Where possible concerns or complaints should be resolved at an early stage.
Concerns or complaints to the Board
- The board is the employer of school staff and responsible for the school operating within the law. If the principal has managed a concern or complaint and complainants are not happy with the outcome, they are entitled to complain to the board. Complaints to the board should be in writing and addressed to the chairperson of the board. A discussion with the board chairperson or a board member is NOT a formal complaint. The board may seek legal or industrial advice to inform their response to some complaints. In some situations the board may decide to engage a lawyer (as appropriate) or appoint an independent person to investigate the complaint.
Concerns or complaints about school processes
- Complainants may complain to a school or the MoE about the school’s complaints process or process for managing stand-downs and suspensions. It is common practice for the MoE to direct all complaints back to the school in the first instance as the MoE upholds the school’s ability to self-govern.
Concerns or complaints about the Board of Trustees
- Complaints about the Board of Trustees can be directed to the Office of the Ombudsmen.
In ensuring compliance with this policy, the principal is required to:
- Implement and maintain robust procedures to meet policy requirements;
- Ensure that the process for concerns and complaints is clearly communicated and readily available to parents and staff;
- Provide information under the Official Information Act 1982 and Privacy Act 1993 where a parent requests information about a stand-down or suspension decision;
- Ensure all concerns and complaints are documented and at what stage they were resolved;
- Ensure responses are provided within agreed timeframes;
- Deal with complaints in respect of competency or disciplinary matters regarding staff in terms of applicable employment contract;
- Notify the Board insurer at the earliest opportunity if the complaint is serious; and
- Notify the Board if the complaint is unresolved or the principal deems the matter to be serious enough to inform the Board.
If you wish to lodge a formal complaint with the Principal, please download this FORM. The concerns and complaints form may be used for school. For complaints directed to the Board, an email or letter sent directly to the Board chairperson is sufficient.