1. Policy

Presbyterian Ladies’ College (PLC) is committed to child safety and wellbeing and to providing an environment where diversity is encouraged and valued. PLC strives for excellent standards in all areas of its operations.

Education is a partnership between the School, the student and their parents/guardians. Open communication will support the parties in meeting the needs of the student and fostering the relationship. Feedback is welcome and will be considered as part of our continuous improvement process.

In all instances we encourage parents, guardians and students who have a concern to make it known to the School as soon as possible. We aim to listen and to work together to seek a resolution to the issue as early as possible.

The wellbeing and safety of all students in our care is our first priority and we have zero tolerance to child abuse. Staff, volunteers and contractors are required to comply with the College Code of Conduct. All allegations or concerns for safety will be given priority, treated very seriously and with consistency.

The purpose of this policy is to outline the process and additional assistance available to overseas students with a complaint or grievance.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all overseas students at Presbyterian Ladies’ College and their parents or guardians and should be read in conjunction with the College Grievance Policy and College Code of Conduct. This policy does not cover staff or contractor grievances regarding workplace issues as these are dealt with under the Internal Grievance Policy & Procedure.

3. Internal Grievance Process

Overseas Students and their parents or guardian are encouraged to follow the Internal Grievance Process in the first instance. Assistance with this process is available by contacting the Complaints Manager on +618 9460 6480 or by email complaints@plc.wa.edu.au.

The Complaints Manager will commence assessing a complaint within 10 working days of receipt and finalise the outcome as soon as possible.

The College undertakes to conduct the assessment of all complaints and appeals in a professional, fair and transparent manner. The College undertakes to provide the overseas student with a written statement of the outcome of the decision including reasons for the outcome and retain that statement on file.

4. Appeals Process

If a complaint received by, or related to, an overseas student cannot be resolved by the Complaints Manager through the Grievance Process within a reasonable time, it may, at the request of the complainant, be escalated to an Appeals Panel.

An Appeals Panel will be assembled as needed, and will be made up of a minimum of three members who have the requisite independence from the issue at hand to address the appeal on its merits, in an equitable, impartial, objective and unbiased manner. Staff who hold the following positions are eligible to sit on the Appeals Panel:

  • Principal
  • Deputy Principal
  • Director of Boarding
  • Year Group Co-ordinators
  • a member of Senior Leadership nominated by the Principal

The make-up of the Appeals Panel will be determined by the Principal on a case-by-case basis, depending on availability and the nature and complexity of the complaint to be considered.

Where the matter is escalated to an Appeals Panel, the Panel aims to resolve the complaint within 28 days from the date of referral and, in any event, no later than 42 days after the original complaint was received.

In accordance with Standard 10 of the ESOS Code, the Complaints Manager will advise an overseas student within 10 working days of concluding the Internal Grievance and Appeals process of their right to access an external appeals process. Overseas students will be given an opportunity to formally present their case at minimal or no cost and be offered the opportunity to be accompanied and assisted by a support person at any relevant meetings.

5. External Dispute Resolution

In accordance with Standard 10 of the ESOS Code, the College will have arrangements in place for an external dispute resolution provider to hear complaints or appeals from overseas students arising from the internal grievance and appeals process. The specific nature of the complaint or grievance and the needs of the overseas student will be taken into account when offering support to the student in accessing the external dispute resolution process.

Examples of an external or independent body or person that could be used include:

  • private conciliators or dispute resolution counsellors
  • a complaints and appeal body established by a peak industry body
  • representatives of Commonwealth and state or territory government departments including the Office of the Training Advocate
  • Commonwealth and state or territory offices of the Ombudsman may be the appropriate body for a public provider.

When an external resolution process for an overseas student is required, it will be implemented having regard to the nature of the complaint.

Where an agreement or resolution cannot be reached, the College nominates: Overseas Student Ombudsman (OSO)

The OSO investigates complaints about problems that overseas students or intending overseas students may have with private education and training in Australia. The contact details for the OSO are as follows:

Call: 1300 362 072 within Australia. Outside Australia call +61 2 6276 0111.

Enquiries: 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, Australian Eastern Standard Time (Australian Eastern Daylight Time when daylight savings is in effect)

Postal: Commonwealth Ombudsman, GPO Box 442 Canberra ACT 2601. Website: http://www.oso.gov.au/

Where the OSO process results in a decision or recommendation in favour of the overseas student, PLC will immediately implement the decision or recommendation and/or take the preventive or corrective action required by the decision, and advise the overseas student of that action.