Monday 26 November 2012

Complaints Review Summary

The Complaints section was reviewed in term 3, 2012, by board, staff, parents. We’ve made a few changes to topics as a result and the draft topics are in Upcoming Changes for boards and schools to consider. A few schools have school specific Complaints topics – you’ll need to send us any changes you want made to your topics, or let us know if you want our draft ones. Every school needs to check its own implementation feedback and respond as appropriate.
The changes include a new title for Guidelines for Parents with a Complaint. It’s now Guidelines for Informal Complaints and we’ve stated that it is for any informal complains, ie, made by parents/caregivers, or by staff members.  Investigating a Formal Complaint has been strengthened largely as a result of advice from our subject matter expert, David Beck. All changes are detailed in Upcoming Changes.
Reviewers liked the emphasis on resolving conflicts informally, and the back up of a formal complaints procedure in case the informal approach isn’t successful. Most reviewers commented that they had never had to use the formal complaints procedure but were pleased it was there just in case…
One school wondered if the lack of complaints they’ve had is the result of a very happy school community, or from being unapproachable.  I guess the best relationship is one which operates in a  spirit of respect, tolerance, and er something.  A good complaints procedure helps – make sure your school community is aware of the procedure – you could put a link to the policy in the school newsletter, or cut and paste it. A number of reviewers had never seen the Complaints section before and wondered how well advertised it was to parents.
Once again, we acknowledge the guidance of David Beck of SB Law ( in reviewing our changes. Thanks David.