Grievance Procedures

Policy Statement

Catholic education at Immaculate Heart School has its foundation in partnerships between staff, students, parents, parish and the wider community. These partnerships are essential in order to build and sustain a faith community where life long and life giving education takes place.

Guiding Principles

At Immaculate Heart we address grievances and manage conflict in a way which promotes dignity for all. We strive to restore relationships broken or affected by conflict. Through positive, open, honest and respectful communication, we may be able to avoid initiating unnecessary conflict.

Procedure for Dealing with Grievance

  • Matters concerning serious allegations of harm should be directed to the Principal immediately.
  • If a parent is concerned about an issue regarding their child, they should contact the child’s teacher, as soon as possible, to make a mutually suitable time to discuss their concerns.
  • If a member of staff has concerns regarding a child, the staff member should make contact with the child’s parents and/or the Principal, as soon as possible, in accordance with the procedures described in the Immaculate Heart School Behaviour Support Policy.
  • If there are unresolved concerns and the principal has not been involved in discussions, then it is imperative that he/she is informed.  The principal will then work with parties toward a mutually satisfactory way forward. All parties are encouraged to work together towards resolution in a timely manner.
  • Every endeavour should be made to resolve the concerns or reach an agreement on how they will be addressed at the level where they occur.
  • If however the matter is still unresolved, then the principal will inform the Area Supervisor from Brisbane Catholic Education Centre who will assist in developing a course of action. This may necessitate further discussion between the parties and may involve the appointment of an external mediator.
  • In situations where a child tells a parent about an issue involving another child, the parent should proceed as outlined above. It is not acceptable at any time for the parent of one child to address an issue with a child/parent of another family.

Guidelines when addressing a grievance:

  • Focus on the issue, not the person.
  • Confidentiality is paramount.
  • Stay calm when talking through your concern/issue/complaint. If you do not feel that this will be easy, think about bringing one friend with you as support.
  • You should explain: Who was involved, what happened, what you did, what you believe was unfair or unjust.
  • It is inevitable, based on our humanity that conflict will arise. Constructive conflict helps everyone to learn, grow and change for the better. Where both parties agree to seek a positive resolution, positive outcomes are likely to result.
  • Remember that there are always two sides to the story. It is recognised that many of us have different perceptions of the same reality. Miscommunication is the number one cause of conflict.
  • Don’t speak on behalf of others – delegations and speaking for others often ends up with the “others” not backing you up when the crunch comes. If you have an issue to discuss with the teacher and/or the principal, make an appointment to speak about/discuss this issue on behalf of your family only. If another parent has a similar issue to discuss, that parent will need to make a separate time to speak with the teacher/principal.
  • Negative gossip is wrong and never resolves anything.
  • The rights, responsibilities and expectations articulated in the Immaculate Heart Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies are upheld and adhered to.
  • Diocesan protocols and procedures will be adopted as required. These can be viewed at
  • At times a series of meetings may be necessary to resolve an issue.
  • Allow reasonable time for issue to be resolved.
  • Every endeavour will be made to solve grievances at a local level.
  • Recording of issues will be undertaken when grievances are brought forward. Main points raised will be summarised and confirmed to be accurate and then an investigation and/or appropriate action will be discussed, carried out and followed up.
  • If a complaint is made against a person, that person will be informed of the nature and content of the complaint and have the right to respond. No one will be victimised as the result of taking out a formal grievance.

What if I have a specific problem/question that needs to be addressed?

Who do I speak to?


When is a good time?

Mr Sonny Smith - Principal

Matters to do with overall procedures, policies and functions of the school, school fees, major issues involving your child, child protection issues and  issues involving the school’s reputation.

Social and emotional issues, sickness or death in the family, situations which may impact on your child’s ability to cope at school, complaints referring to physical, sexual, emotional abuse.

Ring the school and ask for Mr Smith. If he is not available, leave a message for Mr Smith to return your call. It is always helpful to leave a message giving information as to what the conversation will be about.

Mrs Trish Howard - Assistant to the Principal, Religious Education

Religious Education, Religious Life of the School, School Photos, behaviour issues, information and communication, learning and technology.

Ring the school and ask if Mrs Howard is available. If not, leave a message for Mrs Howard to return your call.

Fr Stephen Bliss – Parish Priest

Faith development and life of your family, Sacramental programs, pastoral care of your family, general advice, major issues at OSHC.

Ring the Parish Office located next to St Mary's School Ipswich on 3281 2133 and ask Mrs Maree Coyne if you could make an appointment to speak with/meet with Fr Bliss.

The class teacher

Class programs, projects, homework, discipline, friendship issues, issues outside of school that affect learning.

Ring and make an appointment. Do not interrupt classroom time as the teacher is responsible for the whole class.

Ms Kaylene Forrester – Support Teacher – Inclusive Education

Learning support, additional help for children who need it, speech issues, educational assessments.

Ring the school and ask Mrs Forrester to ring you to talk about the issue and/or make an appointment.

Miss Elise Candy -  Psychologist and Guidance Counsellor

Educational assessments, behaviour issues at school and home, social and emotional issues, complaints referring to physical, sexual, emotional abuse.

Ring the school and ask Miss Candy to ring you to make an appointment. Please note that Miss Candy is only at the school two days per week and may not be available straight away.

Mrs Felicia Haynes - Finance Secretary

Sickness or death in the family, celebrations or births in the family, medical plans for students, student absence from school, school fee information, school photos, general enquiries.

Ring the school and speak with Mrs Haynes. If she is unavailable Mrs Terry Currie will either help you with your inquiry or make a time for Mrs Hoger to ring you back.

Miss Marissa Hughes - Primary Learning Leader

Curriculum Issues, current curriculum practices, reporting and assessment issues.

Ring the school and ask to speak to Miss Hughes. Miss Hughes works at the school three days per fortnight, so you may need to ask for her to ring you back.

Mrs Carole Conboy Coordinator of Outside School Hours Care

Matters to do with overall procedures, policies and functions of OSHC, behaviour issues at OSHC, fees for OSHC, bookings and registrations for OSHC.

Ring OSHC on 0458221090 and ask to speak to Carole and/or make an appointment to see her.