Complaints against Teachers:
There is a Complaints Procedure agreed between the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation on behalf of the Teachers and the Catholic Primary School Managers’ Association on behalf of Boards of Management of Catholic Primary Schools.
The Procedure should be used as a guideline in a situation where you wish to make a complaint against a teacher. The first element of the Complaints Procedure mentions informality and more often than not the complaint can be adequately dealt with in an informal manner.
Situations could arise in which the procedure may not be appropriate and in these circumstances you should feel free to take another approach. Whatever approach you take your complaint will be dealt with swiftly.
Only those complaints about teachers which are written and signed by parents/guardians of pupils may be investigated formally by the Board of Management, except where those complaints are deemed by the Board to be:
i. on matters of professional competence and which are to be referred to The Teaching Council
ii. frivolous or vexatious complaints and complaints which do not impinge on the work of a teacher in a school;
iii. complaints in which either party has recourse to law or to another existing procedure;
1.1 A parent/guardian who wishes to make a complaint should approach the Class Teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.
1.2 Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the Class Teacher she/he should approach the Principal Teacher with a view to resolving it.
1.3 If a complaint is still unresolved the parent/guardian should raise the matter with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.
2.1 If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent/guardian wishes to pursue the matter further she/he should lodge the complaint in writing with the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
2.2 The Chairperson should bring the precise nature of the
written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter between the parties within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.
3. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Chairperson should, subject to general authorisation of the Board and except in those cases where the Chairperson deems the particular authorisation of the Board to be required:
a. supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint; and
b. arrange a meeting with the teacher and, where applicable, the Principal Teacher with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of written complaint.
4.1 If the complaint is still not resolved the Chairperson should make a formal report to the Board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3(b).
4.2 If the Board considers that the complaint is not substantial the teacher and the complainant should be so informed within 3 days of the Board meeting.
4.3 If the Board considers that the complaint is substantial or that it warrants further investigation it proceeds as follows:
a) the teacher should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage;
b) the teacher should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint;
c) the teacher should be requested to supply a written statement to the Board in response to the complaint;
d) the teacher should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of case to the Board. The teacher would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting;
e) the Board may arrange a meeting with the complainant if it considers such to be required. The complainant would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting;
f) the meeting of the Board of Management referred to in (d) and (e) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in 3(b).
5.1 When the Board has completed its investigation, the Chairperson should convey the decision of the Board in writing to the teacher and the complainant within 5 days of the meeting of the Board;
5.2 The decision of the Board shall be final;
5.3 This Complaint Procedure shall be reviewed after three years.
5.4 CPMSA or INTO may withdraw from this agreement having given the other party 3 months notice of intention to do so.
In this agreement ‘days’ means school days.