Parental Complaints Policy
The need for this policy arises from:-
Section 28, Education Act 1998 – procedures for processing complaints by parents prescribed for all schools under the Act.
If a problem arises with your child in the school, the Board of Management hope that the problem can be sorted out through an informal discussion with your class teacher and the Principal. The Board of Management of the Holy Family School wishes to emphasize the ‘Open Door Policy’ of the school and to remind parents that we value your input and feedback. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s education, please feel free to contact the school. We would ask you to speak to the class teacher or the Principal as soon as you have a concern. The informal approach is nearly always the quickest and most effective way of resolving your concerns. If you cannot resolve a problem informally, the school has developed the following complaints procedure for you to follow.
Relationship to School Ethos
The school promotes positive home – school contacts and endeavors to enhance the self-esteem of everyone within the school community. The policy contributes towards those ideas.
· To foster fruitful and trusting relationships between school and parents.
· To afford parents an opportunity to express opinions / grievances through the framework of a defined procedure.
· To minimize the opportunity for conflict.
· Through affording parents an opportunity to liaise with the class teacher.
This policy does not cover:-
1. Complaints that are being dealt with through legal channels.
2. Matters of professional competence which comes under the remit of the Department of Education & Science.
3. Petty complaints which do not relate to the work of a particular teacher.
Only those complaints about teachers and special needs assistants which are written and signed by parents / guardians of pupils may be investigated formally by the board of management, except where those complaints are deemed by the board to be:
· On matters of professional competence and which are to be referred to the Department of Education & Science;
· Frivolous or vexatious complaints and complaints which do not impinge on the work of a teacher in the school; or
· Complaints in which either party has recourse to law or to another existing procedure.
Unwritten complaints, not in the above categories, may be processed informally as set out in Stage 1 of this procedure.
1. A parent / guardian who wishes to make a complaint should approach the class teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.
2. Where a parent / guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the class teacher s/he should approach the principal with a view to resolving it.
3. If the complaint is still unresolved the parent / guardian should raise the matter with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.
1. If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent /guardian wishes to pursue the matter further s/he should lodge the complaint in writing with the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
2. The Chairperson should bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter between the parties within five days of receipt of the written complaint.
1. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Chairperson should, subject to the general authorization of the board and except in those cases where the Chairperson deems the particular authorization of the board to be required:-
Supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint and arrange a meeting with the teacher and, where applicable, the Principal with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint.
1. If the complaint is still not resolved, the Chairperson should make a formal report to the board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in Stage 3.
2. If the board considers that the complaint is not substantiated, the teacher and the complainant should be so informed within three days of the board meeting.
3. If the board considers that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation, it proceeds as follows:
(a) The teacher should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage
(b) The teacher should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint
(c) The teacher should be requested to supply a written statement to the board in response to the complaint
(d) The teacher should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of case to the board. The teacher would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting
(e) The board may arrange a meeting with the complainant if it considers such to be required. The complainant would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting, and
(f) The meeting of the board of management referred to in (d) and (e) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in Stage 3.
1. When the board has completed its investigation, the Chairperson should convey the decision of the board in writing to the teacher and the complainant within five days of the meeting of the board.
2. The decision of the board shall be final.
3. The Complaints Procedure shall be reviewed after three years.
In this agreement ‘days’ means school days.
· Swift and efficient resolution of grievances.
· Parent / Teacher satisfaction
· Positive school community feedback
· Reviews of school policies as issues arise
This policy will be reviewed after a three year cycle.
This policy has been in operation since October 2008 and is for review in _________________.
This policy was drafted in 2008 and was ratified by the Board of Management on ________________________.