Complaints Policy

Galaxy International School together with the Director and the Principals set the direction and tone of the school in all that they do and are committed to working with parents in the best interests of their children’s’ education. The purpose of the Complaints Procedure is to address complaints raised by parents/guardians. The procedure covers all matters relating to the actions of staff employed in the school and the application of school procedures, where they affect individual pupils. However, directors, principles, teachers and parents need to be clear about the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest possible stage will reduce the numbers that develop into formal complaints. Where it becomes evident at an early stage that a matter should be dealt with according to other established procedures or appeals mechanisms, this Complaints Procedure will be set aside in favor of the agreed procedure such as the Kazakhstan Child Protection Act, Special Education Policy, Admissions Policy, Disciplinary Suspensions and Expulsions and decisions made by the Director or the disciplinary council.

PROCEDURE

The school will not deal with anonymous complaints (except for those concerning child protection matters) and therefore these procedures do not provide for a resolution of anonymous complaints.

AIMS

In operating this Complaints Procedure we aim to:
-  encourage resolution of problems by informal means wherever possible;
- allow swift handling of a complaint within established time-limits for action and keeping people informed of progress;
- keep people informed of progress;
- ensure a full and fair investigation;
- have due regard for the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved;
- respect confidentiality;
- address all the points at issue and provide an effective response and appropriate redress, where necessary;
- provide information to the school’s Senior Management Team and Director so that services can be improved.

The procedures are designed to be easily accessible and publicized. A copy of the procedures will are available on the school’s website, are published in the parent-student handbook and are available on request from the school;

The procedure are intended to be:

simple to understand and use;
impartial; and
non-adversarial;

PARENTAL RIGHTS

In dealing with your complaint we will ensure that you receive:

- fair treatment;
- courtesy;
- a timely response;
- accurate advice;
- respect for your privacy – complaints will be treated as confidentially as possible allowing for the possibility that we may have to consult with other appropriate parties about your complaint
- reasons for our decisions.

Where the complaint is justified we will acknowledge this and address the complaint you have raised. If, after investigation, it is judged there are no grounds for your complaint, you will be advised accordingly.

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES

In making your complaint we would expect that you:

- raise issues in a timely manner;
- treat our staff with respect and courtesy;
- provide accurate and concise information in relation to the issues you raise;
- use these procedures fully and engage in them at the appropriate levels.

RIGHTS OF OTHER PARTIES

The process is non-adversarial and does not provide a role for any other statutory or non-statutory body. The complainant may be accompanied by another person where it is accepted, by the Principal and Director, that this will assist the investigation and resolution of the complaint.

RIGHTS OF STAFF

Staff may seek the advice and support from their professional body and may also be accompanied by another person where it is accepted, by the Principal and Di-rector, that this will assist the investigation and resolution of the complaint. A member of staff who is directly referred to in a complaint will be provided with a written copy of the complaint and details of any information brought by the parent/career before being required to respond to the matters raised.

LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Legal representation or representation by person(s) acting in a professional capacity is not permitted within this procedure. This procedure does not take away from the statutory rights of any of the participants.

WHO WILL DEAL WITH YOUR COMPLAINT?

At the informal stage your complaint should be raised and dealt with by the teacher concerned. If you proceed to the formal part of the process, the Principal will assume responsibility for the process, unless s/he is the subject of the complaint, in which case the Director will assume responsibility. Should it be necessary, the Director will be responsible for establishing a Complaints Sub-Committee to investigate and resolve the matter.

MAKING A COMPLAINT

Informal Stage

Step 1 - Speaking with the Teacher concerned

In the first instance a complaint should normally be raised verbally with the teacher concerned (whether that be a classroom teacher, homeroom teacher, Vice-Principal or Principal), so that s/he may have an opportunity to address the issue(s). Please observe the school’s existing protocols for arranging and conducting such meetings and follow the school’s policy with respect to access to members of teaching staff. This approach would not prevent you from choosing to enter the formal process at a later stage, if you believe that to be an appropriate course of action. If the complaint does not relate to a teacher in the school, it should be referred to the Principal.

Step 2 - Contact the Principal

If your complaint remains unresolved following Step 1 you should arrange a meeting with the Principal to discuss the issue(s). In advance of this meeting you should inform the Principal in writing, of the nature of your complaint so that s/he may be in a position to resolve the problem without further delay. In some circumstanc-es the Principal may not be able to deal effectively with your complaint immediately and s/he may require some time to investigate and prepare a response. If fur-ther time is required you will be informed of the timescale and the likely date by which a response will be issued.

Step 3 - Director

If your complaint remains unresolved following step 1 or step 2 you should write to the Director and if the problem still cannot be resolved then the director who will start proceedings for a formal complaint .

Formal Stage

Sometimes it will not be possible for you to have your complaint resolved through the informal processes proposed at Steps 1 and 2, or indeed it might be more appro-priate to initiate the procedures at Step 3. You should write to the Director, and state the grounds for your complaint as concisely as possible addressing specifically the issues) that are of concern to you. You will receive a written acknowledgement of your letter within 10 working days. This will confirm that your letter has been received, and either: provide a response to the issues) you raised; or state that your complaint is being investigated
and indicate when you can expect a response to be issued (normally a maximum of 20 working days from the date on which your letter was received). The investigation may require you to meet the Principal and due notification will be given of such meetings. The Principal may also talk to the parties relevant to the complaint.

APPEALS PROCESS

If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Director you may write to the head office of the school within 10 working days of receiving written feedback from the Complaints Sub-Committee, appealing his decision. Your written request should be as concise as possible and set out specifically the grounds for your appeal. Head office will be responsible for establishing an Appeals Sub-Committee. You will be invited to a meeting of the Appeals Sub-Committee where your
appeal will be heard. You will receive a written acknowledgement of your letter within 10 working days. This will confirm that your letter has been received and provide you with the date and time of the meeting with the Appeals Sub-Committee at which you will have an opportunity to explain the grounds for your appeal. This meeting will normally take place within 30 working days of your appeal request having been received. Within 10 working days of this meeting, you should expect a final written response. This will indicate the head offices findings, their recommendations and the reasons supporting their decisions.
The decision of head office is final. At the end of the process the Chairperson will inform you, in writing, that the Complaints Procedure has been exhausted and that the matter is considered closed.

RECORD KEEPING

The Principal and Director shall maintain a record of all correspondence, conversations and meetings concerning your complaint. These records shall be held confidentially in the school and shall be kept apart from pupil records. All such records will be destroyed three years after the date of the last correspondence on the issue.

MALICIOUS OR VEXATIOUS COMPLAINTS

Where head office or the director considers the actions of a parent/group of parents to constitute frivolous or vexatious behavior, they will seek advice from the relevant Employing Authority in order to protect staff from further such actions.