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If your child has a problem at school, or you are concerned about any aspect of school life, we should be able to the resolve any issue through an informal discussion with your child’s form tutor, subject teacher or one of the school’s senior staff. If we cannot resolve your concerns informally, we do have a formal complaints procedure.
The policy of the school is to treat all concerns and complaints seriously and confidentially, in accordance with school procedures.
Parents should avoid coming to the school with an expectation that they will be seen straight away. For obvious reasons relating to the disruption of teaching and learning, we do not allow teachers to leave their classroom to see parents who have made an unannounced visit to the school. This also applies to phone calls; teachers will not be asked to leave a classroom to take a call from a parent.
Parents should ring the school, leave a message with our reception team with a brief outline of the issue and the member of staff will call you back, usually the same day. It is reasonable that this call may come the next day (for example, some staff teach all day without a break and then may have a personal appointment/child care arrangements after school). The guaranteed maximum time you will wait for a call back is 24 hours.
NB: Where parents feel their complaint is of a very serious nature, or relates to the health, safety and/or well-being of a young person, they should move straight to stage 2 and contact the Principal or Vice-Principal.
Repititious or vexatious complaints
The school reserves the right to reject repetitious or vexatious complaints at any time and may bring the communication to a close. The Northern Ireland Audit Office defines vexatious as:
“A complaint instituted without sufficient grounds and serving only to cause annoyance to the receiver of the complaint; an oppressive complaint (with unjust severity); or otherwise an abuse of the procedures for dealing with complaints or conduct matters.”
The Northern Ireland Audit Office defines repetitious as:
“A complaint that is substantially the same as a previous complaint (whether made by or on behalf of the same or a different complainant); contains no fresh allegations which significantly affect the account of the previous complaints; or no fresh evidence, being evidence which was not reasonable available at the time the previous complaint was made, is tendered in support of it.”
Please see our separate policy on vexatious or repetitious complaints by clicking here.