Before submitting a complaint it is important to note ISASA is not an education department that owns and controls its schools, but a voluntary organisation providing professional services to its members. Schools are independent, and enjoy the status of a private organisation, and therefore ISASA cannot interfere directly in their internal affairs.
Nonetheless there are procedures in ISASA for investigating serious allegations that might affect the school’s membership in terms of ISASA’s requirements.
ISASA cannot take up an individual parent’s cause and will only consider a matter if it receives written, substantially supported allegations of practices that are in conflict with the standards of the Association.
In such circumstances ISASA can conduct a confidential inquiry with the knowledge of, and in conference with those concerned. Depending on the outcome, ISASA will activate its internal disciplinary process that can result in either suspension or termination of membership.
The general advice ISASA gives to parents is as follows:
- If the school has a formal complaints procedure, the parents should begin by using these channels.
- If parents are not satisfied with the way a school’s management has dealt with the matter, they can refer a written complaint to the chairperson of the school’s governing body.
- If parents still feel that the school’s response is unsatisfactory, they have recourse to various external avenues.