Loughmore NS Parental Complaints Policy
This policy was first drafted in February 2012, and was ratificatied by the Board of Management on 17th of October 2012.
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, and is compliant with the I.N.T.O. / C.P.S.M.A. agreement of 1993.
The purpose of this procedure is to facilitate the resolution of difficulties where they may arise in an agreed and fair manner. The agreement lays out the stages of the process to be followed in progressing a complaint and the specific timescale to be followed at each stage.
Relationship to School Ethos
The school promotes positive home – school contacts and endeavours to enhance the self-esteem of everyone within the school community. The policy contributes towards those ideals.
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.
Only those complaints about teachers 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:
matters of professional competence and which are to be referred to the Department of Education and Science;
frivolous or vexatious complaints and complaints which do not impinge on the work of a teacher in a 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 Stage1 of this procedure.
If a parent has a concern in relation to the social or academic progress of their child, or the performance of a teacher the following steps are to be followed:
Stage 1: The parent/guardian meets with the class teacher on appointment. Parents should not contact teachers at home. If the issue is not resolved the class teacher informs the Principal of the nature of the complaint. The parent may consult with the Principal regarding this matter, with a view to resolving the issue.
Stage 2: If the grievance persists, the parent/guardian may pursue the matter by lodging a complaint in writing with the chairperson of the BOM who will bring the nature of the complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the issue, within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.
Stage 3: If this process fails, the chairperson will supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint and arrange a meeting with the teacher concerned and the Principal. This will happen within 10 school days of receipt of the written complaint.
Stage 4: If the complaint remains unresolved the chairperson will report formally to the B.O.M. within another 10 school days. If the BOM does not uphold the complaint, both parties will be informed immediately. If the BOM considers the complaint warrants further investigations, the teacher will be informed and supplied with any written evidence in support of the complaint.
Stage 5: The teacher will be requested to supply a written statement to the B.O.M. and given an opportunity to make an oral presentation to the Board at a meeting. The complainant will be offered a similar opportunity. Both the teacher and the complainant may be accompanied/assisted by a friend at such a meeting. The process should be completed within 10 days of the first meeting between Chairperson, Principal and Teacher.
Stage 6 : Within 5 school days, the decision of the BOM which is final and binding is delivered in writing to the Teacher and the complainant.
Swift and efficient resolution of grievances
Positive school community feedback
Reviews of school policies as issues arise.