GRIEVANCE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION POLICY
The grievance and conflict resolution policy is concerned
with implementing solutions to situations where there is conflict and
disharmony within the school community. It includes situations where students,
staff or member of the wider school community are in conflict with the school.
The school is committed to maintaining a strong sense of
biblical community. Conflict within the school community is to be worked
through employing biblical principles and due legal process and procedural
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THIS POLICY
The Bible places great stress on the importance of
‘community’. In the Old Testament God’s chosen people, the Israelites were His
covenant community and in the New Testament the church was expected to display
the same characteristics.
The Bible does not assume that our earthly community will be
perfect although that is the goal. In Ephesians 4:13 Paul encouraged the church
to speak the truth in love, meaning that when there are problems they must be
worked out without destroying the love
(agape) relationship between members of the body.
Matthew 18:15-18 sets out principles for conflict resolution
but it must be understood that its injunctions are directed to the church context
(where there is equality between members) and not to a school.
Conflicts Between Staff Members
These situations are closest to the Matthew 18 model. An
example of this type of discord in a school situation might involve two
teachers who are in conflict over a particular issue. Even here, however, there
may not be equality since one teacher may be more senior than the other. The
following principles from Matthew 18 need to be considered in the resolution of
this type of conflict:
Members of the school community are encouraged to resolve
the issue between each other.
If this does not bring about a resolution then those in
conflict should invite one or two of their peers to assist with resolution.
Should the conflict not be resolved at this level then the
services of the school counsellor should be involved.
If the conflict continues then an executive member of the
school may need to be involved.
If the conflict cannot be resolved then the Principal may
need to arbitrate on the situation.
Should the conflict still not be resolved and the situation
reach the point where the ministry of the school is affected the Principal may
refer the matter to the school board for final decision.
Conflicts between Parents and the School
From time to time there will be occasions when parents have
concerns with a particular member of staff or the school as a whole. The
following procedures are important when issues arise:
Issues should be dealt with in context of Matthew 18:15f.
Matters of a relatively minor concern should, in the first
instance, be directed to the classroom teacher through the office. Matters,
which parents consider more serious, should be referred to the Principal. The
Principal will thoroughly inquire into the matter and make the parents aware of
the final determination.
If the matter cannot be resolved at the Principal level the
school board will become the final arbitrator.
Counselling may be involved at any of these levels.
On occasions other parties may become involved e.g. Board of
Studies. Their involvement will always be through the Principal.
Conflicts between Parents and Parents
Occasionally issues will arise between two or more families
as the result of issues which have arisen in the school but have spilled into
the parent community.
Where there are perceived issues arising between one parent
and another the matter should be left to the school to deal with. Phone calls
between parents generally only exacerbate the issue.
Issues of concern relating to parents and the school should
not be discussed publicly until, at least, the school has had an opportunity to
deal with the issue.
Conflicts between Students and School
Students should be encouraged to discuss the issue with the
staff member concerned.
If the matter cannot be resolved the student should invite
another staff member to assist with resolution.
Should conflict remain the Principal may be called upon to
If parents become involved the section, ‘Conflicts between
Parents and School’ should be followed.