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Grievances and Complaints Policy

 

 

Sagesse High School

Mary Mother of Wisdom

Ain Saadeh

Sagesse High School

Grievances and Complaints Policy

 

Author / Contact

Common Board Members

Document Path / File Name

SHS Grievances and Complaints Policy

Document Reference

"Grievances and Complaints Policy." condorcet.com.au

Version

2

Status

Active

Publication Date

March 2014

Review Date

March 2016

Approved By

Common Board Members

Distribution

School wide

 

 

Aim

The aim of all decisions taken at Sagesse High School is to cater for the best interest of the school and the individual members of the school’s stakeholders.

The school administration and teachers are guided by the principles of procedural fairness as outlined in this policy.

The Policy

In all cases of conflicts and when the need for grievances and complaints arise, staff members, students, and administration are subjected to the principles of the Grievances and Complaints Policy. These principles are the following:

  • The right to know the specific allegations made
  • The right to know the process that will be adopted to deal with the matter
  • The right to respond to allegations
  • The right to know the procedures for seeking a review of a decision made in response to allegations
  • The right to objective investigation and decision-making
  • The right to bias-free decision making process

The Procedure

  1. Conflicts between Staff and Administration
  • staff member to be informed of specific allegation in writing by the Head of Division (HD)
  • staff member to be invited to submit in writing a statement in response to specific allegations
  • HD is to investigate allegations, where appropriate and possible with the help of the supervisor(s)
  • HD is to interview staff member in the presence of the supervisor(s) and Head of Department (HOD) if the matter is of academic nature
  • witness statements, where appropriate, to be presented to staff member in writing maintaining confidentiality of witness
  1. Conflicts between Students and Teachers / Administration

The specifics are regulated by the school’s discipline policy and internal regulations. The general procedures with regards to procedural fairness will always include the following:

  • allegations are to be substantiated in writing to the HD
  • The HD is to inform the student of an alleged breach of the school’s code of conduct
  • the student is to be given the opportunity to make a statement pertaining to the alleged breach
  • in order to safeguard maximum objectivity, the HD is to include the supervisor(s) in the process and the HOD if the matter is of an academic nature
  • the student must be given the opportunity to have his/her parent/teacher/ supervisor present during the interview with the HD
  • prior to a decision by the HD, the student is to be informed about the possibility and procedure of a review of the decision

 

Rationale

Sagesse High School has both a desire and a responsibility to ensure that high standards of conduct are maintained by staff and students at all times, and that grievances are managed and resolved fairly, efficiently and promptly.

 

Aim

To provide a harmonious, positive and productive school environment.

 

Implementation:

Step 1: Talk to the other person involved in the complaint

An example might be a grievance between a parent and a teacher. The first step is for the parent to speak to the teacher privately (or parent to parent or teacher to teacher, etc.). In the case of a student/teacher complaint, it would be most appropriate for the child’s parents/guardians to be involved on his/her behalf.

 

Step 2: Take someone else with you

If the person has still not listened in step 1, then take along another person. This could be another parent, another staff member or the HD. This will be a three-way conversation to air the grievance. If step 3 is to eventuate, then the HD must be involved.

Note: Step 1 must be completed first.

 

Step 3: Take it to the Administration

In the context of the school, the next step is to take the grievance to the Administration. This might be a letter of complaint but the administration will probably require that both parties meet with them and present the grievance. The HD will refer the matter back to the person making the complaint if the first two steps have not been carried out. However, there are possible circumstances where a matter is so serious or urgent that steps 1 and 2 could be bypassed.

Notes:

  • Step 1 not only requires a person to first talk to the other person he/she has a complaint against, it also strongly implies that the person should listen.
  • It is fairly normal that people from time to time will have disagreements and conflict with one another. Conflict can be destructive or creative depending on how we handle it. It may sometimes be helpful to try and reach an understanding of another person’s point of view.

Complaints and Appeals Policy

 

The outlined internal procedures are a conciliatory and non-legal process.

  • In the first instance, there should be an attempt to informally resolve the issue. If this is unsatisfactory or does not result in a resolution of the matter, the School’s internal formal complaints handling procedure will be followed.
  • The process of this grievance procedure is confidential and any complaints are a matter between the parties concerned and those directly involved in the complaints handling process.
  • Grievances brought by a student against another student will be dealt with under Sagesse High School’s Code of Conduct.

Students

  1. Students should seek mediation from the supervisor, teacher, or a counselor.
  2. If the matter cannot be resolved through mediation, the matter will be referred to the HD.
  3. At this point, the student should notify the school in writing of the nature and details of the complaint (Download the School Grievance Appeal Form).
  4. Each complainant has the opportunity to present his/her case to the HD/other. Students may be accompanied by a support person.
  5. Once the HD has come to a decision regarding the complaint, the student will be informed in writing of the outcome and the reasons for the outcome.
  6. If the complaints procedure finds in favor of the student, SHS will immediately implement the decision and any corrective and preventative action required.
  7. If the complaints procedure does not find in favor of the student or the student is dissatisfied with the result of the complaints procedure, he/she will be informed of the appeals process available to them.
  8. Sagesse High School undertakes to finalize all grievance procedures within 10 working days where possible.
  9. For the duration of the appeals process, the student is required to maintain enrolment and attendance at all classes as normal.

 

Parent(s)/Guardians

  1. Parent(s)/guardians should contact the concerned individual(s) in the first instance to attempt mediation/informal resolution of the complaint.
  2. If the matter cannot be resolved through mediation, it will be referred to the HD/other.
  3. At this point, parent(s)/guardians must notify the school in writing of the nature and details of the complaint.
  4. Each complainant has the opportunity to present their case to the HD/other. Parent(s)/guardians may be accompanied by a support person.
  5. Once the HD has come to a decision regarding the complaint, the parent(s)/legal guardian will be informed in writing of the outcome and the reasons for the outcome.
  6. If the complaints procedure finds in favor of the parent(s)/guardian the School will immediately implement the decision and any corrective and preventative action required.
  7. If the complaints procedure does not find in favor of the parent(s)/guardian or the parent(s)/legal guardian is dissatisfied with the result of the complaints procedure, the School will advise of the appeals process available to them.
  8. Sagesse High School undertakes to finalize all grievance procedures within 10 working days.

Adapted from: "Grievances and Complaints Policy." condorcet.com.au