Complaints Handling Policy and Procedures

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose and scope

This procedure applies to Emanuel School in handling complaints made in respect of services
provided by the school or against staff members, which includes employees, contractors and
volunteers.

This procedure does not extend to personal grievances between parents, guardians or other members of the Emanuel School community.

1.2 Whistleblowing complaints

This procedure does not extend to complaints which are whistleblowing disclosures. The procedure for processing whistleblowing complaints are dealt with in the School’s Whistleblowing Policy.

In summary, a whistleblowing disclosure is a disclosure which:

  • is made by a Board member, staff member, a person who supplies goods or services to the School, including a volunteer, an employer of a supplier or a relative of any of these people;
  • involves alleged misconduct, an improper state of affairs or circumstances, or illegal activity, and
  • is made to a senior staff member, or officer of the school, the school’s auditor or a person who the School has authorised to collect such disclosures.

1.3 Related policies

Complaints about reportable conduct will be addressed in accordance with the School’s Child
Protection Policy.

Complaints regarding a grievance between staff members about work matters, including work
relationships and decisions made by other staff members which impact on their work, and complaints regarding unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying between staff, are addressed in accordance with the School’s Grievance Policy for Staff.

1.4 Confidentiality

All parties involved in complaints handling are required to maintain appropriate confidentiality, including in relation to handling and storing records.

2. Complaints

A complaint or grievance is an expression of dissatisfaction made to the School about an educational and/or operational matter relating to services provided by the School or the behaviour or decisions of a staff member, contractor or volunteer, including misconduct.

If a parent/carer or student has a concern about the conduct of a staff member, they should raise their concern with the School in accordance with section 3. If a complaint that concerns the behaviour of a staff member may constitute reportable conduct, the matter will be addressed in accordance with the School’s Child Protection Policy in accordance with section 1.2. Please refer to the school’s Child Protection Policy for information about reportable conduct. Complainants are not required to assess whether their concern meets the threshold of reportable conduct before making a complaint. Any concern about a child’s wellbeing may be reported under this policy.

Complaints may be made by a student or parent/carer.

The School will seek to resolve complaints informally where possible but acknowledges that in some cases a person may wish to make a formal complaint.

3. Raising a complaint

3.1 The complainant

Informal complaints may be raised by a complainant directly with the person involved. However, if the complainant does not feel comfortable doing so or the matter is one where it may not be appropriate to do so, a complaint can be made to the Deputy Principal K-12 (High School), Head of Primary School or Director of Kornmehl. Any complaint about the inappropriate conduct of a staff member should be raised directly with the Principal in the first instance. For less serious complaints, the process for who to contact is outlined in Appendix 1.

Should the matter not be resolved through informal processes, the complainant may raise the matter formally with the School. A formal complaint can be made in writing to the Principal, via email: principal@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

Where a person wishes to make a formal complaint concerning the Principal, the complaint should be made in writing to the President of the Board, via email: adam@quantumpartners.net.au. In this situation, the references in this policy relating to the role of the Principal should be read as references to the President of Board.

3.2 The School

The Principal will generally acknowledge receipt of a formal complaint in writing as soon as
practicable.

4. Handling complaints

4.1 Assessing a complaint

The Principal or delegate will assess the complaint and determine:

  • whether the complaint is one to be addressed under this policy or is a staff grievance or
    reportable conduct matter which are dealt with by the relevant policies, see section 1.3; and
  • the priority of the complaint in accordance with the urgency and/or seriousness of the matter raised; and
  • whether the School may be required to report the matter to the Office of Children’s Guardian (OCG), Police, Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) or other relevant authorities should the complaint relate to possible unlawful conduct or other reportable matters.

4.2 Managing a formal complaint

The Principal or delegate will manage a formal complaint by:

  1. advising the complainant of the likely steps that will be undertaken by the School in relation to the complaint;
  2. if appropriate, advising the relevant parties of the complaint at the relevant time and providing them with an opportunity to respond;
  3. collecting any additional information the School considers necessary to assess the complaint;
  4. making a decision about how the complaint will be resolved (“resolution decision”); and
  5. advising the complainant in writing, and any other relevant parties as appropriate, of the
    resolution decision of the Principal or Delegate and if appropriate, any proposed action to be taken.

There may be circumstances where some of the steps outlined above are not appropriate and the school will determine, on a case by case basis the most appropriate method of handling the complaint.

A complainant and the relevant parties that the complaint is about may choose to have an appropriate support person present at any meeting with representatives of the School about the complaint. However, the School maintains the right to determine whether the person’s preferred support person is appropriate and may not approve the attendance of a support person where they are determined by the School to be inappropriate.

5. Contact

If you have any queries about this procedure, you should contact Melissa Geer, HR Manager, for advice, on mgeer@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au.

6. Appendix 1. Parent Guide

Whom to Contact if you have a Query or Issue

Kornmehl parents

Step 1

If parents have an issue relating to their child’s well-being or education, please approach your child’s group teachers first.

Step 2

If the issue is not resolved, please make a time to chat to the Director of Kornmehl (Terry Aizen).

Step 3

If the matter remains unresolved, an appointment can be made with the Principal (Andrew Watt). If the matter that you wish to discuss is particularly sensitive or an emergency of some sort, you may wish to contact the PA of a senior leader in the first instance.

K-6 parents

Step 1

For a welfare or academic issue please approach the class teacher.

Step 2

If the issue is not resolved with the class teacher, please approach the Deputy Head of Primary
(Meghan Carroll) for a wellbeing issue, or the Director of Studies (Katie Brody), if an academic matter.

Step 3 (unresolved problems)

Head of Primary (Natanya Milner)

Step 4

If the problem is still unresolved after Step 3, please approach the Principal (Andrew Watt). If the matter that you wish to discuss is particularly sensitive or an emergency of some sort, you may wish to contact the PA of a senior leader in the first instance.

Years 7-12 parents

Step 1

For a welfare issue please approach the House Tutor.
For a classroom/subject issue please approach the subject teacher.

Step 2

If the welfare situation is not resolved with the House Tutor, please approach the Head of House.
If the subject issue is not resolved with the teacher, please approach the Head of Department.

Step 3 – (Unresolved problems)

Deputy Principal (Margaret Lowe) – Student Welfare and Student Management matters
Director of Studies 7-12 (Julian Abelson) – Subject/curriculum matters

Step 4

If the problem is still unresolved after Step 3, please approach the Principal (Andrew Watt). If the matter that you wish to discuss is particularly sensitive or an emergency of some sort, you may wish to contact the PA of a senior leader in the first instance.

Jewish Life queries

For answers to questions about Emanuel’s Jewish life, please approach the Head of Jewish Life (Rabbi Danny Siegel) or Head of Jewish Life Primary (Adam Carpenter).

Technology Issues

Step 1

Approach the IT Helpdesk helpdesk@emanuelschool.nsw.edu.au

Step 2 (Unresolved problems)

Director of ICT (Cameron Whiston) – Technology issues relating to My Portal, School App, Device Program and supporting services.

Director of Digital Learning Technologies (Garry Case) – Issues relating to online coursework and digital learning technologies in the curriculum.

Step 3

If the issue is not resolved, approach the Director of Finance and Operations (Jillian McCormick).

Step 4

If the problem is still unresolved after Step 3, please approach the Principal (Andrew Watt). If the matter that you wish to discuss is particularly sensitive or an emergency of some sort, you may wish to contact the PA of a senior leader in the first instance.

Fees, billings and payments

Matters related to fees or other financial matters should be referred to the Director of Finance and Operations (Jillian McCormick).

Board issues

The School Board is the governing body of the School, responsible for governance and strategic directions. Any general matters relating to Board issues can be addressed directly to the President of the Board (Adam Blackman) in writing, via email: adam@quantumpartners.net.au.

 

All Of Israel Is Responsible For One Another

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