Qatar International School does its best to provide a high quality service and education to all its stakeholders. However, we accept that there may be occasions where people are not happy and may wish to complain. In this case please read this advice carefully so that we can better deal with the problem.
Who is this advice for?
This advice is for primarily for parents or carers of a pupil, members of the school community, but essentially anyone who wishes to make a complaint about QIS.
What is a complaint? A complaint is a verbal or written expression of dissatisfaction.
The following are not complaints and will be dealt with differently. Please contact school for assistance:
- A request for or the submission of information;
- A question about a policy or procedure;
- A report about an incident; or
- Other similar circumstances.
It is the duty of the School to deal with complaints according to this procedure.
However, some complaints are not handled by this procedure, for example, complaints about school admissions or fee payments are dealt with by separate school policies and complaints about services provided by other providers who may use or operate on school premises. In this case the provider should have their own procedures.
School Complaint Procedures:
A paper copy of the full policy can be requested from the school.
The procedure consists of four stages and this will enable verbal or written complaints to be considered by the following people within the school. Please understand that it is important to follow the step by step process in order for all complaints to be handled appropriately and fairly by the right people. All complaints should start at Stage 1.
- Stage 1: A member of the school’s staff- Informal stage where a complaint can come in any form
- Stage 2: An appropriate senior member of staff from the PLT for Primary or SLT for Secondary. The start of the formal process requiring a written complaint to be submitted on the school form, if this has not already been done.
- Stage 3: The appropriate Head Teacher (Primary or Secondary)
- Stage 4: The Principal.
It will only be necessary to move a complaint on to the next stage of the procedure, if the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome at the previous stage.
Complaints should not usually ‘leap frog’ any of the stages, but it may be necessary, for example, if the complaint is about a senior member of staff; in which case it can be considered by the Head Teacher, i.e. at Stage 3, by-passing stages 1 and 2.
Please Note: QIS will only consider complaints that have been received within a reasonable time of the incident being complained about. In general terms this will be within 2 calendar months. Although it is reasonable to expect complaints to be made as soon as possible after an incident, there may be good reasons for not doing so, which means that in exceptional circumstances School may still consider a complaint, even if there has been a delay in raising it.
Complaints need to be considered and resolved as quickly, and efficiently as possible:
- A complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of the complaint being received either verbally, in writing, electronically or by phone/SMS.
- The complaint must be recorded on the appropriate form in order for it to be progressed
- Each stage of the process will be carried out as quickly as possible with the understanding that time is key to a successful resolution of a complaint.
- Depending on the amount of investigation and communication required it is expected that no stage will last longer than 2 weeks to conclude
- If it is not possible to meet this timescale then all parties shall be fully informed of the delay and the reasons why
Taking a Complaint further:
If the person making the complaint remains dissatisfied with the outcome after they have followed the four stages listed above the Principal may consider taking the complaint to the School Board for final arbitration. This will only be considered for extremely serious matters where a complete impasse has been reached with the school.
Regardless of how a complaint is initially made, QIS will ask all complainants to record carefully their complaint on a form for the purposes of accurate record keeping and response at Stage 2. However, the complainant may have communication preferences due to language issues or disability and the school will allow for an appropriate alternative or support in this circumstance. With the complainant’s agreement, the school may fill out the form for them.
- In order to prevent any later challenge or disagreement over what was said, brief notes of meetings and telephone calls should be kept and a copy of any written response added to the record.
- An appropriate note should be made on SIMS
- School will record the progress of the complaint, stage by stage and the final outcome.
- The person dealing with the complaint at each stage is responsible for making a record or keeping a note of the proceedings.
- When the complaint becomes formal, the senior member of staff at stage 2, Head Teacher at stage 3, or, at stage 4, the Principal, should be responsible for these records and hold them centrally.
- Complainants may be asked to sign these records during the stages of a complaint as acknowledgment of a successful conclusion or simply that the process and procedure is being undertaken.
- Refusal to sign or agree will not mean that the records are inaccurate, invalid or that the appropriate procedure has not be carried out.