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TCE Complaints Process
The following links will help to direct your complaint. Is your complaint about:
1. A staff member, school or college?
- Refer to Townsville Catholic Education Complaints Procedure below
3. A breach of Privacy?
- If you are a staff member, please refer to the Townsville Catholic Education Complaints Against Employees Procedure, available on Sharehub.
- If you would like to make a complaint as a whistleblower (under the Corporations Act 2001 (Clth)) please refer to the Diocese of Townsville Whistleblower Policy.
Townsville Catholic Education Procedure for Management of Complaints
This document outlines the procedures to make a complaint and how to manage complaints for schools and colleges in the Townsville Catholic Education system.
Townsville Catholic Education will adopt the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice throughout the complaint management process. This requires a fair and proper procedure to be used, which involves disclosure, a reasonable opportunity to respond and impartiality to reach a fair and correct decision.
It is important that all complaints:
- Are handled in a positive and transparent way.
- Are recorded at every level, properly documented and reported to the Principal or delegated person as soon as practicable. Documents related to the complaint are kept and stored in accordance with Townsville Catholic Education Office procedures.
- Can be made to the Principal or their delegate of the school/college or to Townsville Catholic Education Office if the complaint involves a Principal.
- Are resolved with mutual respect and clear communication.
- Where possible, are resolved at the first point of contact. If this does not occur the receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within five working days by telephone, in person, by email or in writing.
Complaints management in schools/colleges is also underpinned by section 7 of the Education Accreditation (Non-State Schools) Act Qld, and Regulations 2017.
Enrolment Termination appeal process
Suspension or expulsion of students is a serious consequence of a school’s behaviour management and community living policies and processes. Should a parent/caregiver (or the signatory of the Enrolment Form) feel aggrieved by such a course of action, they may appeal the decision by writing to the Executive Director of Townsville Catholic Education. The appeal should set out the reasons for appealing the school Principal’s decision to terminate enrolment. It should contain the student’s name, school, year level, parent/caregiver name, contact phone number and email address.
The appeal should be directed to:
Executive Director, Townsville Catholic Education Office, PO Box 861 AITKENVALE QLD 4814
Phone: (07) 4773 0900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Complaints Register is a requirement of the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board (NSSAB) and a risk mitigation strategy to identify and monitor the resolution of complaints. This register is a brief summary document and full details of the complaint and resolution strategies will be held. These notes must be readily accessible should they be required for a further investigation.
- TCEO Complaints Register is held by Executive Director
- School Complaints Registers are held by the Principal or their delegate
Procedure for people making a complaint
During the course of a child’s school years, a parent/carer, student or other persons may have cause to make a complaint about school/college decisions, processes, management, conduct of staff and/or students, or have other general concerns.
Step 1: Discuss the complaint with the class teacher (Resolve at the first level)
If a complaint is with the child’s teacher or relates to an issue concerning the child’s experience at school/college, make an appointment with that teacher as soon as possible through the school/college administration. Discuss the complaint with the teacher and give the teacher an opportunity to suggest a solution. The teacher will make a record of the complaint and report the meeting and any outcomes to the Principal or their delegate. Together, parents/carers and teachers should be able to resolve the problem at this level.
Step 2: Discuss the complaint with the Principal or their delegate (Seek support to resolve a complaint)
If the complaint remains unresolved, make an appointment to see the school/college Principal or their delegate to discuss the issue further. Alternatively, a parent/carer and the teacher may agree to ask the Principal or their delegate to act as a go-between in informal conflict resolution in an attempt to resolve the problem.
If the complaint relates to more general school/college matters, the complaint should be raised directly with the Principal or their delegate. The Principal may refer the complaint to a delegate such as the Deputy Principal. Complaints can be lodged in person, by telephone, writing or via email. Principals’ email addresses are available on the Townsville Catholic Education Office website www.tsv.catholic.edu.au
Complaints about a Principal should be directed to an Education Consultant or Director, School Development Services at the Townsville Catholic Education Office. (See contact details below)
Step 3: Contact Townsville Catholic Education Office (Refer the matter to an external source)
If the complaint has been discussed with the Principal or their delegate and is still not resolved, please contact the Townsville Catholic Education Office. Complaints may be lodged by telephone, email or in writing. The name of the complainant and the nature of the complaint will be reported back to the Principal. Townsville Catholic Education Office staff will then work with all parties to seek a resolution.
Anonymous complaints will be only acted upon if enough information has been provided to allow for follow-up with the relevant Principal or their delegate.
Townsville Catholic Education Office
Phone: (07) 4773 0900 Email: email@example.com
2 Gardenia Avenue KIRWAN QLD 4817; PO Box 861 AITKENVALE QLD 4814
Step 4: Independent review (Seeking external intervention)
If the complaint is not resolved through these formal processes, it can be lodged with the Non-State School Accreditation Board (NSSAB).
Chairperson, Non-State Schools Accreditation Board Email
firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone (07) 3513 6773 or
PO Box 15347 CITY EAST QLD 4002
Please note, when following the complaint process:
- At every level of the complaint process, a record will be made of the complaint.
- To achieve an effective resolution for all parties, when making a complaint, parents/carers should ensure they:
- Provide complete and factual information in a timely manner, preferably in writing
- Deliver a complaint in a calm and reasoned manner
- Avoid making frivolous or vexatious complaints
- Avoid using deliberately false, incomplete or misleading information
- Include full contact details of the complainant.
- In most instances, in the case of a complaint about a staff member, the staff member will be told of the complaint and offered the right of reply.
- All parties have the right to have a support person throughout the process.
- Matters involving harm and abuse will be referred to the appropriate authorities including Police in accordance with the Diocesan Education Council Student Protection Policy.
The full Townsville Catholic Education Procedure for Managing Complaints document further outlines how your complaint with be processed.
Student Protection Complaint Process
The Student Protection Processes for Catholic Education have been developed by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC), in consultation with Catholic School Authorities, in order to assist Catholic School Authorities to meet legislative and procedural processes for responding to, and reporting, abuse, harm and behaviour of a staff member that a student considers is inappropriate.