Rationale and Principles
As key stakeholders in the education of their children, parents have a right to voice any concerns they might have about their children’s education. It is the school’s duty and in its best interest to provide a channel for and be responsive to parents’ complaints.
- Parents naturally consider the education of their children of the utmost
- importance and so it is to be expected that parents will, from time to time, voice concerns about some aspect of the education provided by the school.
- If parents’ concerns can be addressed promptly and with care, it will minimise any sense of anger or frustration.
- Some concerns may be valid and justified and others may be beyond the scope of what the school can offer. The process of dealing with complaints must distinguish whether something can be done or not to resolve the issue.
Establish Clear Channels and Procedures for Complaints
- The first port of call for any concern parents might have regarding their child’s education must be through the Form Tutor / Class Teacher.
- The first port of call for any concern regarding administrative matters must be made through the Administrative Line Manager or the Business Manager
- Complaints about a teacher should be directed to a senior member of staff or to the Principal.
- Complaints about a senior member of staff should be to the Principal.
- Complaints about the Principal should be directed to the Provincial Director.
- Every reasonable effort should be made to ensure that parents are aware that these channels exist for queries or concerns.
- A log will be kept of complaints.
- It is the responsibility of the Principal and the Provincial Directors to ensure that the procedures for dealing with complaints are understood by all staff and that any complaints do not remain unresolved.
Guidelines for fielding complaints:
It is good practice when dealing with a complaint or a concern to ensure the person feels they are being acknowledged, before taking any kind of action.
Useful tips include:
- If the complaint or concern is verbal, allow the person to speak without interruption.
- Before responding in any way, repeat back to the person their complaint or concern so that they are in no doubt that you have listened to and understood their concern.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions, and, if need be, take time to think about the complaint before giving a response.
Stage 1: Informal
Most complaints are easily resolved informally by discussion with staff at the school.
More difficult or complex concerns may require further discussion or action.
Procedure for initial contact by office staff or a member of staff:
- Listen to, and record, in writing the basic details of the complaint.
- Decide upon the appropriate person to deal with the complaint.
- An appropriate member of staff then interviews the complainant or makes telephone contact.
- Complaint is listened to and the details are recorded.
- Collect sufficient evidence to make an objective decision about the complaint.(Speak to those involved, speak to witnesses and take written statements if required.)
- The member of staff dealing with the complaint then decides upon the action to be taken.
- The member of staff dealing with the complaint communicates with the complainant and other affected parties within three working days of the complaint being made.
If the matter remains unresolved, the complainant is invited to make a formal complaint to the Principal.
Stage 2: Formal
The Principal will carry out an investigation and respond to the complainant. The complaint will be acknowledged within 2 days of receipt, and a target date for providing a response will be given. This will normally be within 7 days. The Principal may request to meet with the complainant to gain further information relevant to the complaint. Statements from witnesses will be collected where necessary. When all the relevant facts have been established, the principal should produce a written response to the complainant. If the complaint is not resolved, the complainant will be given the option to move to Stage 3.
Stage 3: Provincial Director
- The complaint will be raised with the Provincial Director immediately.
- The Provincial Director will discuss the complaint with the Principal and contact the complainant directly.
- A meeting will be organized between the Aryob Private High School Managing Director and the complainant.
- The complainant may be accompanied to this meeting by another person, if they so wish.
- An independent person will be invited to the meeting, who is not involved in the running and management of the school (such as a Principal of another Aryob School).
- A final decision will be made and communicated to the complainant within seven working days of the complaint being raised with the Provincial Director.
- An informal complaint is recorded by the senior member of staff who deals with the complaint and the Principal is informed.
- A formal complaint is recorded by the Principal.
- All complaints will be kept on file for reference purposes.
- A copy of the findings and recommendations should be provided to the complainant, and, where relevant, the person complained about.
- A written record should always be kept of all complaints that are made, regardless of whether or not the complainant is satisfied with the response to the complaint following Stage 3. This written record will be available to parents, upon request.
- Over the course of the last academic year, there have been no complaints that have gone past Stage 2.
- A written record should always be made with regards to what action is being taken by the school as a result of the complaint.
- A copy of the findings and recommendations should be available for inspection on the school premises by the Provincial Director and the Principal.
- Correspondence, statements and records relating to the complaint are to be kept confidential, except where local legal requirements permit access.