SIA PARENTS COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Our grievance policy explains how our employees, our students, our parents and our staff can voice their complaints in a constructive and positive way.
The objective of our policy is to resolve complaints in a culture of openness and transparency and to reach a fair resolution to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. In doing so, SIA expects, and insists on, respectful discourse and any incident of complaint will be dealt with objectively, professionally and calmly. Any parent, student and employee will be kept informed about what stage a complaint process has reached.
Anonymous complaint cannot be entertained by the school.
If a complaint is found to be unsubstantiated and unwarranted, it is right that the complaining party has a right to be informed of this and of the investigation that has taken place.
Where a complaint has been found to have substance, it may be appropriate to:
- Offer an apology, which may come from the school or an individual.
- Make an explanation as to why the concern, complaint or misunderstanding arose
- Make an assurance that the event complained of will not recur, and that steps have been taken to ensure that it will not happen again
- Undertake to review school policies in light of the complaint
A complaint involving a member of staff may lead to disciplinary measures, e.g. a letter of warning. It would not be appropriate for details of such a disciplinary measure to be passed to a complainant or parent. Parents or other complainants will be informed in writing that action has been taken by the school, and will be expected to accept that such is the case, but the school will observe staff confidentiality in all such cases.
Every intention will be made ideally to complete any grievance procedure in a timely fashion, not exceeding 3 weeks.
It is important that parents are directed to the appropriate person when making a complaint. It should not always be assumed that complaints go directly to the Principal or members of SLT.
Normal minor concerns about homework, routine issues to do with uniform, friendship issues should be directed to the subject or class teacher and can normally be dealt with informally.
There is an expectation that the member of staff dealing with a concern will get back to a parent within 24 hours of a complaint or concern, even if just to acknowledge it and indicate that the issue is being followed up.
Any issue likely to be referred beyond the subject teacher or form teacher, should be subject to a written note/email so that records can be kept and accessed where necessary.
Minor concerns about teaching can be addressed by the Year or Department Coordinator initially. In the interests of transparency, any teacher who is subject to a parental complaint, should be informed of this by the Year or Department Co-ordinator.
It is important that any member of staff communicating with a parent about a concern, listens openly to the concern being expressed. Contentious issues need to be depersonalised and discussed dispassionately.
Many complaints can be addressed and sorted out quite informally, but the strategy needs to be either a) to reach a solution or b) to refer the issue to someone higher.
If minor concerns are not addressed to the satisfaction of parents, they may go to the Head of Early Years/Primary/Secondary as appropriate. All approaches to section Heads should be preceded by an attempt to resolve the issue lower down.
A written record needs to be maintained of complaints at this level. Ideally the complainant should also submit a written report or outline of the concern before the issue is addressed by the Head of Section.
Complaints that have reached this stage should be reported by the Head of Section to the Principal, and resolution may involve the Principal being involved.
Any complaint not resolved or remedied at the level of Head of Section or Principal, can be referred by a parent to the Board of Governors.
Any complaint to the Board of Governors will be addressed only after all other avenues have been exhausted and have proven unsuccessful.
A complaint to the Board must be in writing, addressed either to the SIG (Scholars International Group representative) or to the Chairman. The addresses of both are on the school website.
The Principal must be informed in advance of any such issues which will be raised to the Board.
The Board may discuss or resolve any such issues at Board meetings, with a written response being provided to the complainant and copied to the Principal.
The Board may assign members of the SIG or the Board itself, to investigate or follow up a complaint where a resolution is not found, or where further information may be needed.
When a complaint is assigned to selected SIG representatives to follow-up, they will report back to the Board as a whole, either at their next meeting or in writing, and the Board will make a final deliberation.
A complainant who is unhappy with a Board decision, may appeal to the Chairman in writing, requesting that she reconsider the matter.
The Chairman may seek to meet with parents before a decision on an appeal is made, following which she will report back to the whole Board.
Once a decision has been considered by the Board and appealed to the Chairman, the school’s process for complaints is exhausted.
If the school complaints process has been exhausted, then the complainant may approach the Sharjah Private Education Authority, who have been responsible overall for private schools in Sharjah since January 2019.
Complaints regarding the Principal
Complaints regarding the Principal, from parents shall be addressed to the Principal in the first case, either in person or in writing.
All complaints about the Principal shall be recorded and brought to the attention of the Board by the Principal.
Parents who have failed to get resolution or failed to get a response from the Principal, may then go to the Board.
The Board of Governors is responsible for overseeing and evaluating the Principal’s performance on an annual basis, and for the dealing with competency issues or complaints that arise.
The Board is the final arbiter on any unresolved complaint relating to the Principal. Again parents may appeal a decision to the Chairman of the Board, or beyond that to SPEA.