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Grievance Policy

Introduction

As a Christian College it is important to stress that while we recognise that grievances can and do arise, there is a biblical pattern for resolving such issues that is aimed at bringing about resolution without undermining or damaging relationships. While we would hope that such issues will not arise, it is important that when they do, there is a procedure to guide staff, students and parents in addressing such matters.

Rationale

The ministry of an effective Christian school is dependent on the existence of positive relationships among, and between, members of the school community at all levels. The importance of unity cannot be overstated as we have a responsibility before our students to model Christian behaviour in every area, particularly our relationships. In fact, we are commanded to live in relationship; first to love God and then to love one another. Our relationships with one another are a reflection of our corporate spirituality. When issues arise which jeopardise our unity we should endeavour to resolve them in ways, which maintain relationships and bring glory to God.

As a general premise, we believe that any conflict is best resolved at the lowest possible level. Discussions with other parties, either personally or through social media, to garner support is inappropriate and unhelpful.

Practice

  1. The procedure here is clear, go first to the person with whom you have a dispute. 
    1. In the College context the first port of call if the matter involves a staff member is to go to the staff member concerned and attempt to resolve the matter at that level. 
    2. As a matter of courtesy ring the College and make an appointment to see the staff member or ask them to call you back. Impromptu, unplanned meetings are rarely helpful for dealing with issues of grievance. 
    3. We generally don’t interrupt teachers with phone calls when they are in class so please don’t be offended if the office staff offer to take a message or ask if the staff member can return the call. 
    4. It is also helpful if you can give some brief indication as to the nature of your concern before a meeting so that the staff member has the opportunity to prepare for the meeting. 
  2. If the matter concerns a student or students you need to refer these issues to the Form Teacher in the first instance or the teacher who was responsible for the class when the incident occurred.
  3. If you are unable to resolve the matter at this level it is appropriate to involve a third party. 
    1. In the school context this would be the staff member’s up-line manager or the relevant Head of School.
  4. For student issues this would be the Form Teacher first, then possibly the Learning Area Coordinator or Learning Area Guardian of the particular subject or the Assistant Principal of the relevant school.
  5. If the matter remains unresolved at this level you would arrange a meeting with yourself, the Form Teacher, the Assistant Principal and the Deputy Principal to discuss the issue. 
  6. If the matter is still not resolved then it will be brought to the attention of the Principal, by the Deputy Principal. 
  7. If you are still not able to resolve the issue at this level then you should ask the Principal to make an appointment to meet with the Principal and a member of the College Board. 
  8. As a final resort the matter may be referred to an independent mediator for resolution. 

Exceptional Circumstances

In the event that a matter of serious incompetence or sexual misconduct is involved, the matter should be referred to a staff member’s up-line manager. In most instances this will be the College Principal. In the event that such an issue involves the Principal the matter should be referred directly to the Chairperson of the College Board.

This does not in anyway negate the responsibility we have to refer issues in the first instance to the person concerned. Even issues of this nature should not be referred above the heads of those responsible for dealing with such issues. This avenue is only to be used where the sensitivity of the issue requires the direct involvement of a Senior Manager.