Complaints/Grievance Procedure


Rationale

Garden College recognizes that parents and students may have a complaint or grievance over the college related issue and through the procedure the college is providing a mechanism by which parents or students can seek to have that complaint addressed.

Garden College has both a desire and responsibility to ensure that high standards of conduct are maintained by staff and students at all times, and that complaints are managed and resolved fairly and efficiently.

 

Aim

 

  • To provide a harmonious, positive and productive school environment.
  • To resolve complaints fairly, efficiently and promptly.
  • The school principal will be kept informed at all times.

 

Garden College is committed to providing students with an education of the highest possible quality. However, from time to time, students or parents may raise concerns, complaints or grievances about matters or issues relating to their experiences.

 

This Policy sets out the internal procedures that apply within our college for addressing student/parent/staff complaints and grievances. These procedures are designed to ensure that throughout the college there is a transparent process for ensuring student complaints and grievances are dealt with fairly, consistently and promptly.

The student grievance resolution procedures of the College are based on the following principles:

  • That the procedures used to review and resolve complaints or grievances are fair and must be seen to be fair;
  • Confidentiality will be respected for all parties, unless the use of the information is authorized by law;
  • That staff involved in resolving complaints or grievances will act fairly at all times and ensure that conclusions will be based on a fair hearing of each point of view;
  • There will be no reprisals or any disadvantage arising as a result of a student making a complaint or grievance in good faith;
  • That complaints or grievances are handled in a timely manner with achievable deadlines specified for each stage in the resolution process;
  • Any student or parent who makes a complaint or grievance and any staff member or student on whom the complaint or grievance has a direct impact, is regularly informed of the progress of the matter;
  • Where the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome proposed by the decision-maker, the student/parent is entitled to seek a review, either on procedural or substantive grounds, from the College School Board.

 

 

Types of student grievances

Academic grievances

 

These are usually complaints or appeals against academic decisions. They include but are not limited to:

 

  • Academic progress decisions
  • Assessment matters
  • A decision of a member of academic staff that affects an individual or groups of students
  • Selection or admission decisions
  • Content or structure of academic programs, nature of teaching, or assessment
  • Administrative grievances

These relate to decisions and actions associated with administrative or academic services.

They include but are not limited to:

 

  • Administration of policies, procedures and rules by central administrative and student support groups, faculties and departments
  • A decision by an administrative staff member that affects an individual or groups of students
  • Access to Garden College resources and facilities.

Grounds for complaint or grievance

 

Without limiting the circumstances which may give rise to a complaint or grievance, a student has valid grounds for making a complaint or grievance or lodging an appeal against a decision made in relation to a complaint or grievance, where the student considers he or she has been adversely affected by one or more of the following:

 

  • Improper, irregular or negligent conduct by a staff member.
  • Failure by a Garden College staff member to act fairly.
  • A decision that has been made without sufficient consideration to facts, evidence or    circumstances of specific relevance to the student.
  • Failure by the College to make a decision within a timely manner.

 

Procedures for the handling and resolution of complaints and grievances

 

Informal approach

When a student/parent has a complaint about any of the matter, he or she should first discuss the matter with the person concerned. If the student/parent has concerns about raising the matter with this person, then he or she should discuss it with the head of the relevant department or administrative team or with the College Principal. Concerns about a decision of a committee should ordinarily be raised with the chair of the committee.

If this informal approach to dealing with the student’s or parent’s concerns does not lead to an acceptable resolution then the student/parent should pursue the more formal process for resolution of the matter as set out below.

 

Having first attempted resolution of the complaint though the informal processes, a student/parent who believes that his or her complaint has not been adequately addressed is strongly advised to seek information and advice from the College Principal.

Having taken this advice the student/parent may then decide to:

 

  • Take no further action, or
  • Lodge a formal grievance form.

 

Withdrawal of complaints or grievances

A student or Parent may withdraw a complaint or grievance at any time during the grievance resolution process and in this case the matter will be concluded and deemed to be resolved. If the original complaint or grievance was made in writing then the withdrawal must also be in writing.