Complaints and Concerns - A Positive Approach
Concerns arise at schools for a variety of reasons, sometimes due to the very busy nature of the school environment.
In addition to solid teaching and learning, there are many extra-curricular activities to enhance school life and a great deal of coordination is required. Accordingly, many considered decisions are made every day by our professional team to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and the wider community, and promote learning for all. At the same time, the school community is quite diverse, with many individuals or groups having vastly different opinions on how things should be done.
It is inevitable therefore, that times will arise when some parents agree with the school’s actions while others disagree and wish to discuss the matter and seek clarification with the school. We welcome such discussions and encourage parents to raise issues so that they can be dealt with speedily and resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Raising concerns or seeking clarification is not a negative experience if everyone focuses on it being a solution-focused experience by valuing everyone’s opinions. The following process for presenting and managing parental concerns works well and is the way we manage all concerns at our school.
The following procedure is used to resolve complaints or concerns at our school.
STEP 1: Try and establish the facts before contacting the school. Many concerns are quickly resolved once the parent is aware of all the facts.
STEP 2: In the first instance, speak to your child’s teacher about the matter.
STEP 3: Let the school know via letter, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone (6545 2058) or in person at the office, that you have a concern, providing details of the issue.
STEP 4: The school WILL investigate the concern and the most appropriate person will contact you to discuss the matter or organise a meeting. Almost 100% of problems are resolved at this point.
STEP 5: If however, the matter remains unresolved, additional support from a member of the executive or Principal may be required which usually involves a formal appointment to discuss the issue.
STEP 6: Support from the Catholic Schools Office is sometimes sought to help solve problems. Contact details for the CSO Parent Liaison and Resources Officer are available from the Principal or CSO on 4979 1200.
For further advice, please see the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Complaints Resolution Policy.
Points to Remember:
- Problems are best resolved by a positive attitude. Anger and negativity is counter-productive to solving problems
- People need time to investigate and resolve many problems – a quick fix is not always possible or desirable
- Schools are large and complex – very few decisions will suit everybody
- There are always at least 2 sides to every story – with students there are often as many stories as there are children
- Not all disagreements can be resolved – sometimes we simply have to agree to disagree
- Opinions vary widely – disagreement is a natural part of life.
* Everybody aims to achieve the best possible outcome for all involved in the school community.
* Win-win is always the desired outcome to any issue.
“The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution.” – Unknown