APPROACH: POLICY

COMPLAINTS & GRIEVANCES

COMPLAINTS & GRIEVANCES POLICY

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a school-based system for the management of complaints about educational and administrative issues made by employees of the school, all students of the school and parents or guardians, and all members of the community.

The aim of this policy is to:

  • Provide an efficient, open, honest, transparent and accessible mechanism for addressing complaints, relevant to this policy, in accordance with the principles of natural justice;

  • Ensure fairness towards both complainants and respondents is upheld throughout the complaints management process;

  • Deal with complaints as swiftly and comprehensively as possible;

  • Provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed and addressed through dialogue and mutual understanding;

  • Enhance the level of parent or guardian satisfaction with the school and the relationship of parents or guardians and students with teachers;

  • Ensure the Complaints Management process is accessible;

  • Ensure the complaints information is integrated into the school’s continual improvement process.

Complaints Procedure
Kamaruka Education Centre will take all complaints under this policy very seriously and will invoke either the informal or formal complaints procedure outlined below.

If an informal approach is taken and a mutually satisfactory result is not achieved, then a formal approach can be adopted. If the complaint is sufficiently serious, a formal approach may be taken without first invoking the informal approach.

RAISING A COMPLAINT

Informal Complaint Procedure

1.1 To whom shall a complaint be made:

In the first instance, if appropriate, every attempt should be made to discuss the matter with the person most immediately and directly concerned. This list is not exhaustive but incudes:

  1. Supervising staff

  2. Teacher

  3. Principal

  4. The Kamaruka Advisory Committee Secretary

1.2 Complaints concerning a student’s teacher or curriculum:

  1. If a complaint relates to a student’s teacher, or relates to an issue concerning a student’s experience at school, the complainant shall make an appointment with the student’s teacher to discuss the matter (if appropriate) as soon as possible through the school administration office. In circumstances where a student has more than one teacher, where the complaint relates to one of the student’s teachers, the appointment, through the school administration office, is to be made with the teacher to whom the complaint relates.

  2. If appropriate, the complainant shall give the teacher an opportunity to tell that person all he/she knows about the incident or issue. Together both the complainant and teacher can then take steps to attempt to resolve the problem at this level.The teacher will make a record of the complaint and report the meeting and any outcomes to the school principal.

  3. If the complainant determines it is not appropriate to raise the complaint in accordance with the process outlined in 1.2.1, or if, after following that process, is dissatisfied with the manner in which their complaint was addressed then the complainant shall address their complaint, in writing, to the principal.

1.3 Complaints concerning administrative staff:

  1. If the complaint is about a non-teaching or administrative staff member, or a teacher other than a student’s teacher, the complainant shall attempt to discuss the matter with the person to whom the complaint relates by agreement with that persons’ immediate supervisor.

  2. If the complainant determines it is not appropriate to raise the complaint in accordance with the process outlined in 1.3.1, or if, after following that process, is dissatisfied with the manner in which their complaint was addressed then the complainant shall address their complaint, in writing, to the Principal.

1.4 Complaints concerning the principal:

  1. If the complaint relates to the Principal the complainant shall make an appointment with the Principal to discuss the matter (if appropriate) as soon as possible through the school administration office.

  2. If appropriate, the complainant shall give the Principal an opportunity to tell that person all he/she knows about the incident or issue. Together both the complainant and Principal can then take steps to attempt to resolve the problem at this level.

  3. If the complainant determines it is not appropriate to raise the complaint in accordance with the process outlined in 1.4.1, or if, after following that process, is dissatisfied with the manner in which their complaint was addressed then the complainant shall address their complaint, in writing, to the Kamaruka Advisory Committee Secretary.

1.5 Complaints concerning a member/s of the Kamaruka Advisory Committee:

  1. If the complaint relates to a member of the Kamaruka Advisory Committee then the complainant shall make the complaint in writing addressed to the President or Secretary.

  2. `If appropriate, the complainant shall give the member of the Kamaruka Advisory Committee an opportunity to tell that person all he/she knows about the incident or issue. Together both the complainant and a member of the Kamaruka Advisory Committee can then take steps to attempt to resolve the problem at this level.

Formal Complaint Procedure

Investigation of the Complaint

In this situation, the principal, a formally delegated senior staff member or committee member, is appointed to take details of the complaint and formally investigate the matter.

The investigation is a confidential process where details of the complaint are taken and provided to the respondent for a formal response. The allegation is investigated by an independent and impartial person, whose task is to gather evidence or facts that may either substantiate or refute the allegations.

The parties involved in the investigation process will be asked to maintain confidentiality with respect to the complaint and the investigation. Kamaruka Education Centre may, however, need to divulge the contents of the complaint and responses in order to complete a full investigation.

The principle of natural justice demands that the process be based upon an assumption of innocence unless and until evidence shows otherwise.

Reported findings then form the basis of appropriate action by Kamaruka Education Centre to respond to both the individual and organisational matters addressed in the findings.

Possible Outcomes

The possible outcomes will depend upon the nature of the complaint. Where an investigation has found that a complaint is substantiated, appropriate action will be taken against the person about whom the complaint was made. This may include disciplinary action up to and including dismissal of employment in serious cases.

Victimisation

Victimisation is treating someone unfairly because that person, or someone they associate with, has made, or intends to make, a complaint under this policy. It is unlawful to victimise or penalise a person for making a complaint in good faith

Kamaruka Education Centre is committed to making sure that anyone who makes a complaint or assists in making a genuine complaint is supported and not penalised in any way.

Immediate disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who victimises or retaliates against a person who has made a complaint.

Vexatious Complaints

Inaccurate, misleading, malicious or false accusations have negative consequences for the person(s) concerned, interpersonal relationships and the morale of the school community.

Where it is found that a complaint has been made in bad faith to cause distress to one or more persons, or as a practical joke, disciplinary measures will be taken.

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three-year review cycle.

All policy documents are accessible on the Kamaruka website and are available for staff to view in each staff room. Copies are provided for parents with enrolment forms.

This policy was last ratified by School Advisory Committee on 11 September 2017