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You are here Parents School Complaints Procedure for Parents (Revised October 2010)
Our school wants the children to do well and be happy. We recognise that you as a parent or guardian play an important part in making this happen. Therefore, we aim to provide as many opportunities to keep you informed and involved in your child's progress as we possibly can. Regular reports, open days and visits will all help the process. Questions and concerns will usually be dealt with quickly and helpfully.
However, we recognise there are times when things go wrong, when concerns continue and differences of opinion develop. These can usually be resolved by speaking to the right person. Most concerns can be settled without too much trouble, but whatever the issue, even where you are seriously concerned about your child's future at the school, it's always important to try to find an answer. Disruption to a child's education would be the most damaging result of all.
What to do first.
Take a few minutes to read this policy. Then, think the complaint through. What actually happened? Remember there is often more than one view about an incident or situation. For example, your child may well be telling the truth but it may not be the whole story. What do you want to complain about? What do you hope will happen as a result of your complaint? It might help to talk this through with a friend or relative. When you make a complaint, remember that although you want to change a situation, you want it to end on a positive note with no bad feelings.
In order to do this you should try to follow the procedures carefully and always try not to put yourself or anyone else into a corner.
What to do next.
When you are clear in your own mind as to what you believe has happened, you then need to speak to someone at school - contact the secretary to arrange a meeting to talk to the appropriate teacher. Although some schools can arrange to see parents who just "pop in", our school does not operate such a policy. It is always best to try to make an appointment where you can sit and talk things through calmly and without interruption. Investigating complaints does take time and the answers aren't always readily available, but you will at least be able to decide whether the action taken (or not taken) was reasonable and whether any further steps taken by the teacher would solve the problem.
If you are still unhappy..
Usually the problem will have been solved by speaking with the appropriate teacher. However, if you are still unhappy, then you should make an appointment to speak to the principal. The principal will listen to your complaint and will always inform the teacher involved what the complaint was about. Following a meeting with the teacher the principal will contact you to update you any actions which have been taken.
If you are still unhappy...
In most cases, the problem will have been solved by speaking with either the appropriate teacher or principal but if you are unhappy then speak to the Chairperson of the Board of Management, who may help to resolve the problem informally, possibly by arranging a meeting between those involved. Once again, you'll have the opportunity to talk through your concerns with an independent party who is there to listen and to discuss what is being said.
If, after this, you are still not satisfied with the answer, then you should ask to make a formal complaint to the Board of Management.
Complaints to the Board of Management
As this is a serious step to take, it is important that you have thought things through carefully and that every possible attempt has been made to solve your concerns by other means. Normally, a meeting of the Board of Management will be called to hear your case and all sides will be asked to submit a written statement. You will also be invited to attend any hearing that is held, to present your side of the story. The decision of the Board of Management will then be sent in writing to all parties.
And, if you are still unhappy...
If after the Board of Management has dealt with your complaint, you are still unhappy with the decision that was taken, you can contact the Department of Education & Skills or National Parents' Council-Primary for advice on what to do next. For example, if you feel that the Board of Management has acted unreasonably, you can consider complaining to the Department of Education & Skills.
Seven steps to resolving your concerns ...
Ask yourself, 'What really happened?'
Decide what you want to complain about.
Make an appointment to see the appropriate teacher.
If you are still not happy make an appointment to speak to the principal.
If you are still not happy - speak to the chairperson of the Board of Management.
If you are still not happy - write to the chairperson of the Board of Management.
If you are not satisfied after you have taken the steps above you can contact the Department of Education & Skills.
Teachers record all information given about a pupil by parents in school records and information on all meetings with parents. This ensures continuity of sharing information. This means that if you tell a teacher something about your child or make an allegation about bullying subsequent class teachers will be aware of it and will act according to the agreed actions taken when the report was made.
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