St Francis Xavier's College adopts the "Complaints and Resolution Policy" of the Maitland/Newcastle Catholic Education Office. Please refer to the Complaints & Grievances Resolution Parent and Community Information Brochure.
Diocesan Schools are committed to providing a positive, safe environment for all staff and students.
There are occasions however, when members of our schools and wider community can sometimes be concerned about something that is happening at a school that appears to be unsatisfactory or unreasonable. This brochure explains what to do when discussions about an issue or series of issues does not provide resolution.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or concern with a school or the Catholic Schools Office regarding policy, procedures and/or actions and decisions made.
A grievance is a real or imaginary wrong causing resentment and regarded as grounds for a complaint a feeling of resentment or injustice at having been unfairly treated.
Complaints and grievances are addressed in a timely and confidential manner at the appropriate management level, in order to prevent minor problems or concerns escalating. The dignity of each person involved will be respected in the process, with all parties maintaining confidentiality.
A Complaints & Grievances policy has been developed to provide a consistent approach for all Diocesan schools.
Complaints will be dealt with responsively and confidentiality will be preserved.
The principles of procedural fairness will be followed in all aspects of complaint handling. This includes:
- Giving you the opportunity to state your case
- Offering reasonable assistance to enable the complaint to be made
- Informing the parties of the nature of the complaint investigation process including outcomes
- Handling the complaint process confidentially
- Addressing complaints as quickly as possible and advising all parties of the outcome of the investigation
- Assessing the facts and circumstances of the situation objectively and determining the complaint fairly
- Advising parties of the outcome of the investigation
- Informing parties of the avenue of appeal
Our schools strive to be inclusive. This means schools are respectful, supportive and equitable environments.
Our schools have a duty of care to all students and staff. Therefore prudent action must be taken in all cases.
The overriding principle of all our interactions is that we strive to restore relationships; holding parties accountable with the aim to repair any harm that may have been done.
Agreed Complaints Process
Complaints and Grievances should be raised at the earliest possible time. Subject based complaints and grievances should be raised with the student’s subject class teacher. Welfare based complaints and grievances should be raised with the appropriate Year Coordinator. Should this not be possible, the parent/carer should direct the complaint and grievance to the principal who may co-opt the support of the appropriate Assistant Principal.
Where the curriculum or welfare based complaint and grievance is not resolved by the appropriate coordinator this should be directed to the Principal who may co-opt the support of the appropriate Assistant Principal.
Where a complaint or grievance is not resolved by the Principal after all efforts have been made to do so, or the complaint or grievance is about the Principal, the parent/carer should refer the concern to the Catholic Schools Office via the Parent Liaison Officer. The Parent Liaison and Resource Officer will refer the matter to the relevant Assistant Director for resolution.
Where a complaint or grievance remains unresolved the Parent/Carer or the Assistant Director may refer the matter to the Director of Schools for review. A formal avenue of appeal is available in accordance with the Diocesan Pastoral Care Policy. All such appeals should be made to the Director of Schools in writing and in a timely manner.
If ultimately the Parent/Carer is not happy with the way their complaint or grievance has been dealt with by the school or the Catholic Schools Office, they may wish to go to an external agency or legal advocate for advice and assistance.