When parents complain, schools often feel at a loss for what to do. It can be challenging to know how to respond and make everyone happy. This guide will help you navigate the waters of parent complaints, from understanding why they happen to handle them in a way that satisfies everyone involved. Here are five tips for dealing with parent complaints:
1. Don’t Take it Personally
Parents are a school’s best customers and should be treated as such. That doesn’t mean that every complaint they have is valid, but it does mean that their concerns should be taken seriously and addressed on time. When a parent comes to the school with a complaint, the first step is to listen. Understanding the problem and how the parent feels about it is crucial.
Once the complaint has been fully heard, the next step is to take action. This may mean meeting with the teacher in question, changing school policy, or taking corrective action. In any case, keeping the lines of communication open and letting the parent know that their concerns are being taken seriously is essential.
2. Listen and Show Empathy
When something goes wrong, it’s only natural for parents to feel upset and wants to voice their complaints. Schools must listen to these complaints and show empathy to resolve the issue and maintain a good relationship with parents.
First, it’s important to let parents know that you’re taking their complaints seriously. Acknowledge their concerns and thank them for bringing the matter to your attention. Then, actively listen to what they have to say. Repeat back what you’ve heard to ensure that you understand their perspective. Finally, show empathy by sharing their feelings of frustration or concern.
3. Find a Solution
As many parents’ first point of contact, schools must proactively address their concerns. Parent complaints can be divided into two categories: Those relating to the child’s education and those about other aspects of school life, such as extracurricular activities, disciplinary measures, or accommodation.
In most cases, the root of the problem can be addressed by clear and open communication between the parent and the school. However, there are also several steps that schools can take to resolve complaints more efficiently. For instance, they can create a standardized process for handling complaints and ensure that all parents are aware of it. They can also designate a staff member as a liaison between parents and the school.
Suppose the heater in the school is not functioning correctly and causing discomfort to students. Parents are complaining about the same; the school should take all the necessary measures to resolve the issue. To begin with, the school can take temporary measures to solve the problem. This includes getting a temporary heater hire for the school. Temporary heaters can help manage the situation efficiently. Once the temporary heater is there, the school can look into the issue causing the shutdown of the permanent heater. If they inspect any problem, they can get it fixed so that the heater is working fine again.
4. Follow Up
Parents entrust their children to schools, expecting them to be safe, nurtured, and educated. When parents feel this trust has been violated, schools must take their complaints seriously and follow up promptly and professionally.
Parents who feel their concerns are being dismissed or ignored are likely to lose faith in the school and may even choose to withdraw their children. In some cases, parents may also file a formal complaint with the school district or state education department. Hence, it is vital to listen to parents’ complaints and follow up to know if they are happy with the solutions or not.
5. Be Professional
When problems arise, it is natural for parents to want to voice their concerns. However, not all schools are equipped to handle complaints professionally. In some cases, parent complaints are dismissed out of hand, or school staff members may become defensive and argue with the parent. This can create an atmosphere of mistrust and make it difficult for parents to feel comfortable communicating with the school.
On the other hand, schools that take a professional approach to dealing with parent complaints are more likely to build trust and foster communication. When problems arise, these schools work quickly to resolve the issue and keep the lines of communication open.
Schools need to take parent complaints seriously and follow up promptly and professionally. By taking these measures, schools can help to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. Parents who feel their concerns are being dismissed or ignored are likely to lose faith in the school and may even choose to withdraw their children.