Grievance Policy & Procedure
The purpose of codifying the Grievance Policy & Procedure is to acknowledge that the management of a grievance received is an important part of our mission as educators at St. Edward’s College. The proper and prompt resolution of grievances must be recognised as being, not only a duty, but also a manifestation of care and empathy with our students and their parents/guardians, in line with our ethos and mission statement.
- Grievances can vary in nature and severity: some can be relayed informally to teaching or administrative staff and may be resolved through day-to-day management. Wherever such grievances can be resolved through healthy interchange and feedback between staff, parents/guardians, and students, this is to be encouraged at all times.
- There are grievances however that through their very nature or severity must be registered formally: this document should serve as a guide on how one should proceed to register a grievance formally. Such grievances, be they written or verbal, should be addressed to the Headmaster. If a grievance implicates the Headmaster, the grievance should be addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Governors and will be dealt with as per Clause 9 hereafter.
- Once received, a grievance will be given a sequential ‘Grievance number’. The original copy, or in the case of a verbal submission, a written summary of the registered grievance, will be registered and filed, the file showing the date of receipt, the subject of the grievance, and proper identification of the person from whom it was received. The file will be retained for reference at the Office of the Headmaster.
- Within 24 hours of receipt, a copy of the original grievance will be sent to the relevant Section Head(s) and an acknowledgement letter will be sent by the Office of the Headmaster to the grievant informing that the matter is being seen to.
- The necessary enquiries and fact finding are to be made and a reply is to be prepared by not later than 7 days from the date of receipt of the grievance and where relevant this should be backed by any supporting documentation and background information.
- The reply to the grievance can be written or verbal and transmitted to the grievant by any medium as deemed appropriate, and once sent, should be recorded as such. The written reply, and in the case of a verbal reply, a written summary of the communication with the grievant, should be placed in the respective file together with any relevant information, background, or documentation used to substantiate the reply. The file will be kept in the office of the Headmaster and due to the confidentiality of such matters this will be retained within such office and will not be accessible to unauthorised personnel.
- Any written reply should normally be signed by the Headmaster, and if not so signed for good reason, it is in any case to be reviewed by the Headmaster before despatch. Similarly, verbal replies shall be given by the Headmaster, unless the Headmaster delegates someone to do so for good reason.
- If for whatever reason a reply cannot be given within 7 days, a second communication is to be made with the grievant, explaining the delay.
- In the event that a grievance that implicates the Headmaster, the grievance should be addressed to the Chairman of the Board of Governors who shall record the receipt of the said grievance in the manner he/she deems appropriate, after which in the interest of transparency and good governance will inform the Headmaster within 24 hours that such a grievance has been received. The grievance will be acknowledged as having been received in the manner the Chairman deems appropriate and the procedure outlined in Clauses 5 and 6 will apply. In such cases it is the Chairman of the Board of Governors who would reply, unless this task is delegated for good reason.
- If the Headmaster, for whatever good reason, but in particular that of a conflict of interest, feels he ought not to be involved in the process discussed in the Clauses above for a specific case, the Chairman, with the consent in writing from the grievant, will seek the advice of two (2) independent members of the Board of Governors and together they will decide on how to tackle the grievance in the same spirit of these procedures.
- If the Chairman, for whatever good reason, but in particular that of a conflict of interest, feels he ought not to be involved in the process discussed in the Clauses above for a specific case, the Chairman, with the consent in writing from the grievant, is authorised to nominate two (2) independent members of the Board to act in his stead. In that case these 2 persons are to report their findings to the Board of Governors.
- The Headmaster is obliged, by not later than the 15th day of every month, to prepare a detailed Report listing all the grievance activity of the previous month and this report is to be presented to the Chairman of the Board of Governors for review and discussion with the Headmaster as soon as possible. A summary of this Report will be circulated to the Board provided that all names of any students involved in the grievance be redacted unless there is consent or a specific request to the contrary in writing from any specific grievant.
- If a member of the Board of Governors is approached with a grievance (s)he shall refer the grievant to this policy document and to the Headmaster in the first instance. If it is a matter of substance, and normal channels have been exhausted and the grievant still feels aggrieved, then the member of the Board of Governors is at liberty to refer the matter to the Chairman of the Board provided that (s)he has first obtained the consent in writing of the grievant. In such a case, the Chairman shall follow the same procedure delineated in Clause 9 above and report back to the respective Board member receiving the grievance or the Board, as the Chairman may deem appropriate, in due course regarding the findings.
- In the implementation of this policy, all and any laws and regulations relative to privacy and confidentiality, in particular those which fall under data protection regulations, must be strictly adhered to.
Updated September 2020
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