GRIEVANCE AND COMPLAINTS POLICY

One of the distinctives of the College is the working partnership between parents, staff and students. Whilst every endeavour will be made to maintain Godly, pro-active, working relationships, from time to time it is possible that concerns, misunderstandings and disagreements may arise. So that good relationships are maintained, it is imperative that these concerns are dealt with Biblically, directly and promptly. Immediate resolution avoids cynicism, gossip and a critical spirit and restores a climate in which quality learning and teaching can proceed and relationships can be quickly restored.

The following scriptures give us an indication of how to manage some grievances:

Proverbs 25 v 8-10 contains wisdom “Don’t be hot headed and rush to court. You may start something you can’t finish and go down before your neighbour in shameful defeat. So discuss the matter with him privately. Don’t tell anyone else lest he accuses you of slander and you can’t withdraw what you said.”  

(Living Bible)
Matt 18 v 15-17 likewise instructs us - “If a brother sins against you, go to him privately and confront him with his fault. If he listens and confesses it, you have won back a brother. But if not, then take one or two others with you and go back to him again, proving everything you say by these witnesses. If he still refuses to listen, then take your case to the church, and if the church’s verdict favours you, but he won’t accept it, then the church should excommunicate him.”   (Living Bible)

The following procedures are published so that all members of the community have a clear understanding of the course of action to follow in dealing with concerns, grievances and conflict.

1.      Clearly identify the issue.

2.     Arrange an interview with the person who is directly involved with the concern or conflict (this will involve making an appointment either by phoning or using the student’s diary). On many occasions, it is helpful to have the concern written down as writing helps to clarify the problem and allows time for the other person to collect their thoughts and any necessary documentation.

Thoughts to keep in mind:
   Attack the problem, not the person.
Ÿ   Deal with facts, not guesses or rumours.
Ÿ   Verbalise feelings rather than acting them out.
Ÿ   Avoid unhelpful emotions that cloud the negotiations and the issues
Ÿ   Be committed to giving more than taking.
Ÿ   Be prepared to forgive, rather than judge.

3.     If the other person involved refuses to resolve the concern, grievance or conflict, take someone with you and try again.

4.     If the person continues to resist resolving the concern, make an appointment with someone who holds a Position of Responsibility within the College. The leader chosen will depend upon the nature of the concern (note the flow chart).

5.     If satisfactory resolution is not achieved, contact should be made with the relevant Head of School.

6.     If satisfactory resolution is still not achieved, contact should be made with the Principal.

7.     If the concern or conflict is with the Principal, and the matter is unresolved, contact should be made with the Chairman of the Board.


Principles of our policy

•       Everyone should be treated with respect.
•       Meetings to discuss grievances will be suspended if any person(s) behave in an insulting or offensive manner. 


STUDENTS

STEPS:- Decide on the level of grievance.

For Low Level
1.      Talk to person who has caused offence.
2.     If uncomfortable doing this or you’re not satisfied with initial approach seek the assistance of a friend, student leader or teacher.
3.     If you’re not satisfied with the outcome above talk to your pastoral/class teacher who will assist in mediation, take appropriate action against the accused or refer onto the Head of School.
4.     The Head of School will then either assist in mediation, take appropriate action against the accused or refer onto Principal.
5.     If the Principal is involved he will listen to arguments and then make adjudication.

For Moderate Level
Proceed Immediately to step 2

For High Level
Proceed Immediately to step 3

For Extreme Level
Proceed Immediately to step 4 Write here...


PARENT(S)/CAREGIVER

STEPS:-

1.      Arrange a time to speak to the relevant teacher(s) about the problem.
2.     Please do not enter College classrooms, offices or playgrounds about a major grievance without prior arrangement.
3.     Let the teacher know what you consider to be the issue.
4.     Allow a reasonable timeframe for the issue to be addressed.
5.     If the grievance is not addressed arrange a time to speak with the Principal.
        If parents require support in this meeting, they may bring a person with them to support or advocate for them.
6.     If you are still unhappy, please arrange a time to discuss the issue with the Chair of the College Board.

Parent(s) with a grievance about Board Policy should:

1.      Arrange a meeting time with the Principal to discuss your concern.
2.     Allow reasonable time frame for issues to be addressed.
3.     If you are still unhappy, please arrange a time to resolve the issue with the Chair of the College Board 


STAFF

STEPS:-

1.      Arrange a time to speak to the person concerned.
2.     Allow reasonable time for the issue to be addressed.
3.     If the grievance is not resolved speak to:-
Your Principal/Line Manager who will convene a meeting between parties which may include a Union Representative or Grievance Officer to support staff if requested. The role of the support person is to witness that natural justice is being carried out, that participants are treated with respect and that the appropriate processes have taken place.  They may mediate to talk through issues but may not take sides or advocate.  They may be requested to take minutes.
4.     If the issue is not resolved within a reasonable time arrange a time to speak to the Chair of the College Board. 


Formal Grievances:

Formal investigation refers to the process used to respond to written grievances, whereby an investigation is undertaken to gather information relating to the allegations to inform a recommended resolution.

•       Any member of the SVCC community may lodge a formal written grievance with the Principal, who will work towards a resolution of the grievance at the local level.

•       Complaints against the Principal should be lodged with the Chair of the College Board.

A written grievance should be marked "Confidential" and forwarded as soon as possible after the event(s) which prompted the grievance.

•       The investigating officer (Principal or nominated senior staff member) will make a determination on the basis of an investigation whether or not to uphold the grievance.

•       The complainant and respondent will be informed of the outcome and action taken.

•       If the issue is not resolved within a reasonable time or they are not satisfied that the grievance has been managed appropriately, arrange a time to speak to the Chair of the College Board.