Dispute and Complaint Policy

St Brigid’s Primary School is committed to providing quality education to all students in a safe, inclusive and caring learning environment. We value working together with parents and families as critical partners in student learning outcomes and welcome suggestions, feedback and comments from parents, students, or staff, and takes all complaints and concerns seriously.

Effective communication is the key to building a positive relationship between home and school and plays an important part in the education of your child. You should feel confident that we will listen and respond to your concerns, and effectively manage and resolve complaints.

A reminder that CEWA Ltd operates under the principle of subsidiarity, meaning that the person closest to an issue is best placed to respond to that issue. Therefore, as per our school procedures, parents and caregivers first port of call regarding any concerns related to your child should be the teacher with whom the issue is related to. This is also an important part of the natural justice process whereby the teacher deserves a right of reply. If, after a conversation with the teacher, you still have concerns, we ask that you make an appointment to speak with the relevant Assistant Principal (K – 2 Mr Tony Corbett / Years 3 – 6 Mr Alan Morrison). If you still feel that your concern remains unresolved, then you may make an appointment to speak with the Principal.

Issues may arise during your child’s schooling, and these are more productively resolved if you raise them with the school directly, as early as possible. If you are not sure who to speak to, you can start with your child’s teacher. For some matters, it may be appropriate to talk directly to the school’s assistant principal’s or the principal. If you have approached your child’s school but haven’t been able to resolve the issue, you may request the assistance of the Director of Catholic Education or Congregational Leader, although all issues of dispute or complaint must be addressed in the first instance at the school level. Please see link https://stbrigidsms.wa.edu.au/our-school/policies/

We have developed a student concerns chart to assist students to have their voice heard (see below) and this is supported by a student concerns flow chart for senior students. This flow chart, together with a flowchart for parents can be seen below and found on our school website.

Important Communication Protocols

We always want to work collaboratively with parents to deal with any concerns, however, in order to give your concern or query the time it deserves, we ask parents to please follow the process outlined above to ensure that we can investigate your concern promptly and efficiently. As an employer, I am also required by law to provide a safe working environment for staff which includes protecting their emotional wellbeing. As a result, I ask parents and caregivers to follow these communications guidelines:

 

Speaking in person is best! Email should be used to set up a meeting to discuss your complaint or concern.

  • We discourage writing your concerns in an email, particularly whilst feeling heightened or emotional about the issue. This can result in an aggressive email written without knowledge of all the facts which in turn may be in breach of the School Code of Conduct, can damage your relationship with staff and/or harm their wellbeing and right to work in a safe environment. At the conclusion of the complaints process, you are welcome to express your views respectfully to me in writing.

Choose the most appropriate person to contact

  • Even in a brief email, we discourage addressing an email to multiple staff (unless in a tandem teaching arrangement) or ccing multiple staff members. Our school processes ensure that staff will keep the appropriate people in the loop as required. Contacting multiple staff about the same issue can result in delays in investigating your concern. Ccing a superior can be perceived as unnecessarily aggressive.

Make an appointment

  • We are all very busy professionals and just as you don’t expect your doctor, physio or accountant to meet with you without a prior appointment, school staff have professional accountabilities and are generally not able to meet with you immediately. We want to give your concern or query the attention it deserves and require you to book an appointment in advance. In particular, it is not appropriate to initiate discussions with a teacher about your child before school when the teacher has duty of care for the class or is preparing for the day’s learning. Please do not make demands on our time such as demanding a meeting by the end of the day. We will endeavour to meet with you as soon as practicably possible.

Fact check

  • Young children are developmentally egocentric in nature and their perception of a situation may not include all the facts or the whole picture. ‘Be curious, not furious’. Speak calmly with the staff member to inquire about the situation rather than making accusations without all the facts.

Be respectful and work in partnership with staff

  • We are partners in the education of your children. Therefore, we encourage you to communicate with us in a spirit of collaboration rather than aggression. Our staff are highly trained professionals and should be treated as such. Any aggression or disrespectful communication with staff is against our Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated. Repeated transgressions may result in sanctions such as communication restrictions or periods of exclusion from school grounds.

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