GRIEVANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURES

AIM

 

To state a clear and fair process for students or parents to raise a grievance, and to identify the member of staff responsible for settling the grievance.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

  • To ensure that complaints lodged at this school are resolved in a prompt and efficient manner.

  • To promote the highest standard of professionalism in dealing with our community.

POLICY

 

Staff at the School are responsible for managing the resolution of disputes and complaints lodged with us.  We will make every effort to promptly resolve disputes and complaints lodged with us according to the principles of procedural fairness.  Where we cannot resolve a complaint, the complainant or School Principal can forward a written complaint to the Chair of the Board.

 

Procedural Fairness is a basic right of all when dealing with authorities.   Procedural Fairness ensures that everyone should have access to an “unbiased decision”.

 

At our school we believe that any person against whom an allegation has been made has the right to:

  • Know the allegations related to the specific matter and any other facts which could be taken into account in the consideration of the matter

  • Be aware of the range of possible consequences resulting from the decisions made

  • Know the process by which the matter will be considered and the time frame within which processes will take place

  • Have an opportunity to respond to the allegations

  • Be given an opportunity to have a “preliminary decision” reviewed if there are additional issues which could be considered in mitigation before the preliminary decision is confirmed

 

 

PRINCIPLES

 

These principles apply to those raising complaints and to those against whom complaints have been raised.

1. School stakeholder in particular parents and care givers are entitled to raise concerns and complaints. The school encourage parents to raise any conduct report.

2. The school has a transparent and clear process which provides the framework and structure within which such concerns/complaints can be raised. This includes timely feedback and response times for responses and actions.

3. Consideration needs to be given to the level of seriousness before beginning the process.

4. All efforts are made to resolve the dispute at the most appropriate level.

5. Justice requires that both/all parties have the opportunity have their case heard.

6.  Individual cases are considered on their own merits and within the context of the pressures and demands on families and schools.

7. Appropriate confidentiality should be respected by all parties.

8. The School will extend the same principles of justice to members of staff.

9. The role of the Board and its’ Chair is one of governance and not day-to-day school management.

 

Complaints should not start at the Board level unless the subject of the dispute is the School Principal herself/himself.  Only in such a situation should the matter be referred to the Chair of the School Board, in writing, who will raise the issue with the School Principal.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS

 

Discuss concerns directly with the staff member concerned.  There should be a concerted attempt to understand each other’s point of view and to mutually resolve the dispute.  If this has been unsuccessful, the matter should be referred to the relevant person.

                       Class Teacher

                       Principal or Head of Curriculum in the absence of Principal (concerns should be in writing)

 

If this is unsuccessful, or if there are concerns about the process itself, approaches can be made to the Principal.  It is requested that these concerns are put to the Principal in writing before a meeting takes place.  Procedural fairness principles apply to those raising complaints and to those whom against complaints have been raised.  The following forms the basis for this:

 

  1. Students are entitled to raise concerns and complaint

  2. The school has a transparent and clear process which provides the framework and structure within which such concerns/complaints can be raised. This includes timely feedback and response time. A reasonable time-frame for a response would be within a further 2 school days following the complaint.  If the issue has not been fully investigated and more time is required then communication with the complainant should take place to update them that this is the case.

  3. Consideration needs to be given to the level of seriousness before beginning the process.  Consideration should also be given to determining the most appropriate staff member for initial contact within the School.

  4. All efforts are made to resolve the dispute at the most appropriate level.

  5. Justice requires that both/all parties have the opportunity have their case heard.

  6. Individual cases are considered on their own merits and within the context of the pressures and demands on families and schools.

  7. Appropriate confidentiality should be respected by all parties.

 

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FOR PARENTS

 

Discuss concerns directly with the staff member concerned.  There should be a concerted attempt to understand each other’s point of view and to mutually resolve the dispute.  If this has been unsuccessful, the matter should be referred to the relevant senior staff member.

 

In the case of the issue not being resolved at this level, or if there are concerns about the process itself, approaches can be made to the School Principal.  It is requested that these concerns are put to the School Principal in writing before a meeting takes place.

 

At a formal meeting the Principal will provide the complainant with an estimated response time. A reasonable time-frame for a response would be within a further 5 school days following the meeting. This assumes the matter is serious and warrants considerable follow-up.  If the issue has not been fully investigated within the 5 days and more time is required, then communication with the complainant should take place to update them that this is the case.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FOR STAFF

Discuss concerns directly with the staff member concerned.  There should be a concerted attempt to understand each other’s point of view and to mutually resolve the dispute.  If this has been unsuccessful, the matter should be referred to the relevant senior staff member (Principal).

 

In the case of the issue not being resolved at this level, or if there are concerns about the process itself, approaches can be made to the School Principal.  It is requested that these concerns are put to the School Principal in writing before a meeting takes place.

 

Recommendations to staff handling complaints:

  1. On receipt of written complaints (letters or email), acknowledge receipt of the letter immediately and advise that you will be in touch with the writer after you have considered the matter.

  2. Distribute correspondence, as appropriate, to direct supervisor or senior staff member.

  3. On receipt of telephone complaints/concerns:  listen, make notes, and if you feel the need to have time to reflect before responding (always a wise thing to do) reply that you have heard and understand the concerns/complaints etc, and that you will “come back to” (whomever) after you have had an opportunity to fully consider the matter/issue.  (This also gives you time to reflect or to discuss the issue with colleagues or senior staff members, who might have suggestions as to how you should respond).  Teachers should not feel pressured into responding to complaints immediately, without careful consideration. A reasonable time-frame for a response would be within a further 2 school days.  If the issue has not been fully investigated and more time is required by the staff member then communication with the complainant should take place to update them that this is the case.

  4. Seek advice from the Principal if required about handling difficult parents.

  5. It is recommended that notice to the Principal is provided for serious matters or when an escalation of conflict may occur.

GRIEVANCE HANDLING PROCEDURES OVERVIEW

International Maarif Schools of Australia takes seriously all complaints or concerns from the Schools’ community including students and their parents, staff, former students of the school, the immediate communities which the School’s premises are located, the communities of other schools that interact with the Maarif School, organisations that interact with the school, members of the public who come into contact with the staff and students of the Maarif School in public locations.

The Grievance Handling is about an expression of dissatisfaction made to International Maarif Schools of Australia about some aspect of the Maarif Schools’ operations or about the complaints handling process itself.

Most issues that arise can be resolved through direct communication with the school with the appropriate member of staff.

If direct discussion does not solve the issue then grievances can be raised by Principal Principal in the absence of Principal.

If the allegation involves the Principal, you are required to report to the Chair of the School Board (necmi.uzun@maarif.nsw.edu.au). This is not generally right of review of decisions made by Principal. This is only about the Principal’s conduct (as opposed to a decision that you do not agree with).

The Maarif School aims to handle complaints in efficient, fair and timely manner. The review of

complaints received and the implementation of remedial action, where deficiencies are

identified, are key to the Maarif School’s commitment.

The Maarif School recognises that its complaints handling procedures must be fair to the

complainant as well as the person about whom the complaint is made. All the complaints will be kept in password protected computer in Principal’s office. Principal will be a responsible person about all complaints.

 

Therefore,

  • Maarif will acknowledge the receipt of a complaint.

  • Maarif will treat people with respect and sensitivity.

  • Maarif will do investigations the matters impartially and fairly, and with due regard to the welfare of the students at the school.

  • Maarif will provide a response in a timely manner.

  • Maarif will provide interim information if a response is not yet available.

  • Maarif will provide clear reasons as to why any actions have been taken or are proposed to be taken.

  • Maarif will consider the requirements of confidentiality and privacy.

  • Maarif will follow up the effectiveness of outcomes.

The following steps will be followed to make a complaint:

  1. Telephone or send an email to Classroom teacher

  2. Telephone or send an email to Admin admin@maarif.nsw.edu.au

  3. Telephone the School or writing to the School addresses to the Principal

Complaints of Staff Misconduct (including Allegations of Reportable Conduct)

  • The most serious matters, including allegations of staff misconduct or reportable conduct, should be raised directly with the Principal or in his/her absence the Head of Curriculum or, if the matter involves the Principal, the Chairman of the Board.

  • Staff misconduct includes (but is not limited to) reportable conduct, allegations of which must be reported to the Ombudsman’s Office. In this context the term “allegation” encompasses concerns and expressions of suspicion, and this need not come from a pupil or child who is allegedly a victim or that child’s parents. Reportable conduct includes sexual misconduct towards a child (including assault, sexual touching, other sexual conduct and grooming), physical assault of a child, neglect of a child (e.g. failure to attend appropriately to a sick or injured child), causing psychological harm (e.g. by ongoing bullying) and ill treatment (e.g. by locking up a child as a punishment). Further material on what is reportable conduct is available in the Maarif School’s Child Protection Policy.

© 2020 International Maarif Schools of Australia