Manakau School

NAG 3 Policy: Complaints Policy


This policy outlines procedures for dealing with complaints to and about the principal, teachers and staff who support the running and functioning of the school.

Policy Statement:

Manakau School will endeavour to handle complaints promptly with care, sensitivity and principles of natural justice.  The handling of complaints will be a fair and open process and will follow clear guidelines.


  1. In the first instance efforts should be made to resolve the complaint informally with the staff member concerned.  

  2. All complaints should be referred directly to the principal who has the main responsibility for deciding what course of action should be taken to resolve complaints. The Principal may receive personally presented verbal complaints but should ask for the complaint to be put in writing.

  3. Written complaints should be dated and signed by the complainant. Unsigned or anonymous complaints should be disregarded.

  4. Every effort should be made to resolve concerns informally by the Principal and/or Board Chairperson with discussion between the concerned parties.

  5. The provisions of the current Teaching and/or Support Staff’s Employment Contracts must be followed as these are legally binding. When handling formal complaints the procedures in the Complaints Procedure Flowchart are to be followed, along with the procedures in this policy

  6. In following procedures it will be important to:

  1. identify the common goals which parties are desiring to achieve (eg the continued safety and quality teaching of the children.)

  2. recognise that written procedures are a guide.  There may be more appropriate ways, not recorded, to resolve an issue.

  1. Staff members have the right to be represented or supported by their union, colleagues, friends or  whanau at any time throughout the processes.

  2. During the complaints process all actions should be documented. The documentation needs to remain secure and confidential to the parties concerned, and all documentation must be sighted and signed by all parties.

  3. Where it is necessary for a principal to report to the board, this will be done In Committee  

This Policy is continued on the next page

Complaints Against School Staff or Principal (ctd)

  1. All parties need to acknowledge that there is an end point to the process. Confidentiality must be maintained and it may be appropriate for parties to have continued support of NZEI or other counsellors to assist them in the healing process.  

  2. Procedures for handling complaints are shown on the attached Complaints Procedure Flowchart. Further advice and assistance in application of these procedures should be obtained from the NZEI (if the staff is a member) and the School Trustees Association.

Complaints Against The Principal

Similar procedures will apply in dealing with a complaint against the Principal, with the following modifications:

  1. The complaint if unresolved after discussion with the principal, must be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Manakau School Board.  A sub-committee will be formally established to investigate the complaint and reach preliminary conclusions.

  2. It is recommended that the Staff Trustee on the Board not take part in any of the disciplinary proceedings.


Supporting Documents

Manakau School Complaints Procedure Flowchart

The relevant current Employment Contracts

STA Handbook

NZEI Guidelines (where relevant)

Manakau School Code of Conduct

Last Updated 09/05/2016 (revision 4)

Signed Board Chairperson

Signed Principal S E A L

Date for Next Review2019

Date Initially approved by the BOT  17/05/00



Concerns and Complaints Policy Reveiwed 2016