The aim of this procedure is to ensure a fair, effective and as rapid as possible resolution of all parent complaints. NB The expression ‘parents’ refers to those having parental responsibility for the child.
2. ESM Parent Complaints: Key Principles
- i) Time limits: Effective and fair resolution of concerns usually requires that they are brought to the School’s attention promptly. To be considered under this procedure, complaints should normally be brought within three months. However, even where complaints have been made within three months, if a delay may have prejudiced an effective and fair resolution, The Board of Directors may judge it inappropriate to deal with the complaint.
- ii) Record keeping correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints will be kept confidential and shared only if necessary, such as if asked for by an inspection team or as a part of legal obligations (e.g. due to safeguarding requirements).
iii) Professional judgement: Where the judgement of a member of school staff is subject to complaint, the Board of Directors will determine whether the judgement was exercised fairly and reasonably according to The English School of Mongolia’s standards. There may be more than one fair and reasonable response to a situation.
- iv) Role of Director’s Board:If a Board member is approached by a parent, they should refer the parent to the relevant teacher, or in the case of a confidential complaint, to the relevant coordinator (pre-school, junior school, middle school or senior school). In the case of a written complaint, the Director’s Secretary should send a holding reply and refer the issue to the Director or to the Chair of The Board of Directors for discussion and resolution. With swift referral, many concerns can be informally resolved.
3. Complaints Procedure
3.1 Stage 1 – Informal resolution
- It is hoped most complaints and concerns will be made, considered and resolved quickly and informally.
- If parents have a complaint they should normally contact the class teacher (Pre-School/Junior School) or form tutor (Middle School/Senior School) or the relevant to the relevant coordinator (pre-school, junior school, middle school or senior school) as appropriate. In many cases, matters can be resolved straightaway to the parents’ satisfaction. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with other colleagues within the school.
- The teacher will make a note of all complaints and if the matter cannot be resolved within 10 school days the parents will be advised to proceed with Stage 2.
3.2 Stage 2 – Formal resolution
Part A – School Level
- If an informal resolution cannot be reached, the complaint should be put in writing to the Director as soon as possible. The Principal will respond to the parents within 10 school days.
- The Director will keep records of all meetings and interviews for three years.
- Once the Director is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and parents informed in writing.
- Complaints about the Director should be made directly to the Chair of The Board of Directors (see part B below)
Part B – Board of Directors’ Committee Level
- If parents are not satisfied with the Director’s response the parents should write within 10 working days to the Chair of the Board of Directors.
- The Chair of the Board of Directors will investigate the matter and aim to respond to parents within 15 school days of receiving the complaint. Written records will be kept and in complex cases the committee will advise parents of the timescale of the investigation.
- If a complaint is made to the Board of Directors’ Committee before a formal complaint is made to the Director, the matter would normally be referred to the Director to investigate (except in circumstances where there is deemed to be a potential conflict of interest).
- If parents are still not satisfied with the decision they could proceed to Stage 3
3.3 Stage 3 – Board of Directors’ Panel Hearing
- If parents are not satisfied with the Board of Directors’ Committee response they can request a panel hearing of the Board of Directors by writing to the Chair of the Founders’ Board and setting out the reasons for the request.
- The Directors’ Board Chair will then convene a temporary complaints committee to hear the complaint.
- A hearing should take place within 25 days of receipt of the letter and the parent is entitled to be accompanied to the Panel Hearing.
- All documentation relating to the complaint should be shared 7 days in advance of the hearing. After hearing the complaint, the complaints committee will respond in writing within 5 working days informing the complainant, and where relevant the person complained about, of its decision and the reasons for it alongside recommendations for the future.