School Plans & Policies - Complaints Management



This policy is not applicable to complaints made by department employees that are employment related.
Principles underlying the policy
The following principles apply to all disputes and complaints lodged under Section 118 of the School Education Act 1999:
  • The process is accessible to all aggrieved parties and is under pinned by a commitment to cooperation on the part of the Department's staff.
  • Resolution at the local level is preferred, wherever it is appropriate to do so.
  • Procedural fairness is afforded to all parties.
  • The subject of the complaint is informed of the substance of the complaint.
  • Vexatious, trivial or previously finalised issues are not pursued.
  • Warranted investigation will be pursued with or without the active involvement of the complainant.
  • Confidentiality is maintained, to the extent consistent with legislative requirements and the other principles in this section.
  • Complaints and disputes are monitored and their management evaluated so as to reduce the occurrence of systemic and recurring problems.
  • In all matters the educational well-being of students is the first priority.
  • All persons in the school community including students, parents, administrators, teachers and support staff, have a right to be treated with respect and courtesy.
  • Complainants are able to make inquiries, raise concerns or lodge complaints about the provision of education and the conduct of Department staff and have them dealt with efficiently, fairly and promptly.
  • Processes are to be straightforward and operate within the regulatory framework of the Department.
  • Information about the process for raising concerns and making inquiries or complaints is to be available to parents, students and members of the local community.
useful information for parents - talking to kARRATHA pRIMARY school
The relationship between the home and the school plays a very important part in a child’s education.
We can not overestimate the critical role parents play in successful learning: parents contribute much to their child’s development and are among the most important influences on the way in which the child approaches learning.
Teachers are responsible for the more formal aspects of children’s learning, and successful teaching builds on the home experiences of the child. This is most effective where there is an active partnership with parents.
Two-way communication is a critical factor in the partnership between parents and the school. Where a partnership exists, it is easier for parents to feel confident about the teaching and learning taking place in the classroom and to solve problems.
what might you talk to your school about?
Issues particular to your child:
  • Attitude
  • Academic progress
  • Participation
  • Behaviour
  • How he/she gets along with teachers and other students socially and emotionally
  • Physical development and well-being
  • Development of responsibility
  • Non-attendance or truancy
  • Learning program issues
  • Special events and celebrations
  • Specialised learning programs
  • Parent information booklets
  • Parent information sessions
School or class issues:
  • Quality of teaching
  • Homework
  • Learning environment
  • General student behaviour
  • Pastoral care for students
  • Schools policies and procedures
  • Conduct of staff
Access to support services:
  • School and district level student services
  • Visiting teachers for students with disabilities
  • Visiting teachers for ESL students
  • Specialist facilities – language development centres, intensive language centres, socio-psycho educational resource units, education support schools, centres and units
  • Programs for students experiencing difficulties with learning
  • Programs for gifted and talented students
  • Instrumental music program
·         Two formal reports each year on student progress
·         Regular information about the school through newsletters
·         Parent-teacher interviews
·         Notes
·         Surveys
·         Displays of children's work
·         Assemblies
·         Special events and celebrations
·         Specialised learning programs
·         Parent information booklets
·         Parent information sessions
·         Learning journeys
You are welcome to talk to your child's teacher whenever you need to.  However, you should make an appointment to talk with the teacher, to avoid disrupting the learning program.
Information that is available from Karratha primary SCHOOL:
·         Information on Department and school policies and policy changes
·         Student behaviour management policy
·         Course details
·         Information about participation in the School Council, Parents and Citizens' Association, Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness (ASSPA) program committee, and other support groups
·         School charges and fees
·         Excursions
·         School dress code
what can you do if you have a problem?
  • Seeking information as early as possible can solve many problems.   If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress, the homework set or the assessment procedures, contact the class teacher. The best way to do this is to contact the school office to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone conversation or meeting.
  •  Interpreters, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officers, and Aboriginal Liaison Officers are available to assist parents in communicating with their school. Please contact your local school or district education office if you would like the assistance of an interpreter, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officer or an Aboriginal Liaison Officer. You can have a friend or adviser present during any discussion.
  •  Parents have the opportunity for greater involvement in the school through the Parents and Citizens’ Association, Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness committee and the School Council. These provide the opportunity for parents to express opinions on policy issues in the school.
when you have a problem
  • Try to identify the problem clearly before going to the school. If there is more than one problem, list them to ensure that the extent of the problem is clear to the school. 
  •  Decide whether the problem is a query, a concern or a complaint. This will help in finding a solution.
  •  Make an appointment to talk with the teacher. This can be arranged through the school office. If your concern is about the conduct of a staff member, you may prefer to discuss the matter with a school administrator or, the Director, Schools if your complaint involves the principal.
  •  Try to stay calm. Even if you don’t feel it, being calm will help to get your concerns across more clearly than if you are upset or angry. It may help to take someone with you.
procedures for making complaints - STEPS FOR PARENTS
If you need assistance in resolving a concern or complaint.
Staff will help you:
  • obtain information about school policies and procedures
  • make inquiries about student programs, performance and behaviour
  • clarify a problem and register a concern with the school
  • direct letters of enquiry or complaint
At all stages, staff will work with you to establish an agreed plan of action and timeline.
School-level resolution
Stage 1: Discussion with staff member
Contact the class teacher or other relevant staff member to discuss your complaint. This is best done by making an appointment through the school office. The staff will work with you to resolve the problem.
Stage 2: Review or investigation at the school level
Contact the principal who will work with you and the staff member to resolve the problem. You may wish to formalise your complaint.   To do this, you may write to the principal who will acknowledge the complaint with a written reply as soon as possible, even if a resolution is not available at this stage.
The principal will consider the issue and identify what action is to be taken and by when, and will clarify the process if a formal complaint is to proceed. The principal may seek the support of the Manager, Operations or other relevant district , or central office staff.
This action and timeline will be confirmed with you in writing.
You should be aware that when a complaint is made in writing about the performance of an individual staff member, that staff member will receive documentation of the substance of the complaint.

DISTRICT-level resolution
Stage 3: District RESOLUTION
If resolution is not reached at the school level or, if the principal is the subject of your complaint, contact the Manager, Operations at your District Education Office for assistance in resolving the issue. This will involve an independent review of the situation and may include mediation.

The Managers, Operations can be contacted through your District Education Office. Numbers are listed in the telephone directory under the Department of Education and Training.

In those exceptional circumstances where a complaint relates to the alleged improper conduct of a department employee, the complaint should be forwarded to:
Director General
Department of Education and Training
151 Royal Street