Child protection & Safeguarding Policy
Child protection and Safeguarding is always a priority at HIA, as such copies of our Safeguarding policy are available for all parents from our school Reception. At the beginning of the school year all policies are freely distributed to our parent community. A comprehensive welcome pack which includes all of our policies is given to all new families enrolled with us.
1. Student complaints or concerns
At HIA, most concerns are likely to be expressed by parents of our children, but some may come from the children themselves or other interested parties.
In most cases the class teacher will be the first port of call and should be able to resolve an issue.
In the event a student has a complaint or concern that cannot be solved by the homeroom teacher, then the concern is passed to the school principal directly to be addressed.
2. Staff complaints or concerns
In regards to a staff member making a complaint the following procedure should be followed:
- Go to your immediate supervisor to deal with the conflict. Members of management are able to mediate conflicts and should respond to an employee within five days.
- If your issue is with a member of management, seek out a different member of management, preferably someone you work with regularly. If you are an office staff member or a teacher assistant, this would be the Principal at your campus. If you are a teacher this might be a Vice Principal or Principal.
- If you are unsatisfied with the outcome you can appeal to the Secretary General. To appeal to the Secretary General, you should write a report clearly stating the issue, what steps were taken, the key parties involved and the dates. The Secretary General will then review the report, investigate if needed, and then make a decision based on the situation. The Secretary General must respond in writing within ten days. All decisions made by the Secretary General are final.
In extreme cases, where the issue concerns the Secretary General a complaint can be made to the Board of Directors. This is for cases that directly involve the Secretary General, not the outcome of decisions made by the Secretary General on other cases. To appeal to the Board of Directors you should write a report clearly stating the issue, what steps were taken, the key parties involved and the dates. The BOD will then review the report, investigate if needed, and then make a decision based on the situation. The BOD must respond in writing within fifteen days. All decisions made by the BOD are final.
3. Parent/Guardian Complaint or Concern
HIA encourages communication amongst all areas of the school community. It is essential that parents, carers and teachers work closely together. Teachers will collaborate closely with parents and carers, and willingly listen to them. Our aim is to also give children the intellectual and emotion tools they need to lead an interesting, rewarding and diverse life.
We believe that it is essential for children, parents and staff to work together in a climate of trust and respect for these aims to be fulfilled. Parents concerns will be addressed with urgency and thoroughness. If matters raised as concerns are not resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, then the dissatisfied party may wish to appeal through the formal complaints’ procedure.
The school recognises the difference between ‘concerns’ which will generally be dealt with informally and ‘complaints’ which will be subject to a formal procedure.
4. Timescale for Making a Complaint
It is in the interests of all parties that concerns are raised as soon as they occur. The school will consider investigating and reviewing complaints up to one term after the event. The Principal is better able to undertake a thorough and fair investigation when the evidence trail is fresh.
5. The Formal Procedure Principles
At every stage of the formal procedure, the handling of the complaint will be:
- Swift (using agreed time limits)
- Fair (using independent investigation where necessary)
6. Throughout the process, the school will be willing:
- to listen
- to learn
- to admit mistakes
- to apologise, if appropriate
- to address any issues raised
- to change school practices, if appropriate.
7. Using the complaint procedure:
- Complaints will be received by school receptionists and dealt with via heads of the relevant department, if no resolution can be formed then the School Principal shall investigate the problem.
- Staff are asked to be aware that complainants may feel intimidated by the school as an institution and unsure whether they will be treated fairly.
- Complainants are asked to be aware that those complained about, especially individual members of staff may feel very vulnerable during this process.
Throughout the procedure, therefore, the aim of all parties should be not only to resolve the complaint but also to develop and sustain good relationships between all members of the school community. However formal or serious the complaint, or however dissatisfied the complainant, the aim will always be reconciliation between all parties and a renewed commitment to work together amicably.
Every complaint will be investigated with due urgency and thoroughness. Whenever a complaint is upheld, every effort will be made to rectify the issue and, if necessary, action will be taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.
The school will not investigate anonymous complaints or allegations but full confidentiality will be respected.
Appeal process: If resolution cannot be found from the school, then an appeal can be lodged with the school’s BOD.