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Department of Education

Making a complaint - information for parents and carers

During the course of your child's school years, you may have cause to make a complaint about an issue or concern you have with their education.

The department is committed to ensuring that all complaints are dealt with in a fair and equitable manner. There are processes and support networks in place to enable you and your child to work through any issues or concerns you may have.

To achieve an effective resolution for all parties, when making your complaint, you should ensure you:

You should be aware that if you are making a complaint about a staff member that, in most instances, the staff member will be told of the complaint and offered the right of reply. You also have the right to have a support person participate throughout the process.

The following four-step procedure is in place to assist parents/carers and school staff to reach an outcome that is in the best interest of the student.

1. Discuss your complaint with the class teacher

If your complaint is with your child's teacher or relates to an issue concerning your child's experience at school, make an appointment with that teacher as soon as possible through the school administration. Discuss your complaint with the teacher and give the teacher an opportunity to suggest a solution. The teacher will make a record of your complaint and report your meeting and any outcomes to the school principal. Together, both you and your child's teacher should be able to resolve the problem at this level.

2. Discuss your complaint with the principal

If after approaching your child's teacher your complaint remains unresolved, make an appointment to see the school principal to discuss the issue further. Alternatively, you and the teacher may agree to ask the principal to act as a go-between in informal conflict resolution in an attempt to resolve the problem.

If your complaint relates to more general school matters, including issues of school policy and issues of compliance or non-compliance, you should raise your complaint directly with the principal or their delegate. The principal may refer your complaint to a delegate such as the deputy principal or Business Services Manager. The staff member will make a record of your complaint and work with you to come to a resolution.

Complaints to the principal may be lodged in person, by telephone, writing or via email. Principals' email addresses can be accessed through the Schools Directory - select the relevant school, then click on the email link.

3. Contact your local education office

If you have discussed your complaint with the principal and still feel that you have not reached a resolution, you have the right to contact your local departmental office.

Complaints may be lodged by telephone or in writing. Your complaint should be specific in detail and outline the steps you have taken to resolve the issue. Ensure your complaint includes your full name and address and that you have signed and dated it. It is also a good idea to keep a copy for your own records.

Anonymous complaints will only be acted on if enough information has been provided to allow for follow-up with the relevant school principal.

When you contact your local education office a record will be made of your complaint. You will also be advised that your name and the nature of your complaint will be reported back to the principal of your school. Local office staff will then work with you and your school to seek a resolution.

Addresses and telephone numbers for the departmental offices are listed in the White Pages of your local telephone directory and are also available through the State schools regional office contacts.

4. Independent review

If you have not been able to resolve your complaint through these formal processes, you can lodge your complaint with the Queensland Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman may be contacted at:

Office of the Ombudsman
GPO Box 3314, Brisbane, Qld 4001
Telephone (07) 3005 7000 or Toll Free 1800 068 908
Fax (07) 3005 7067

The role of Parents and Citizens' Associations (P&C's)

Complaints about services that are run or managed by the P&C at your school, for example after school care or the tuckshop, should be directed to the P&C in the first instance.

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This page was last reviewed on 30 Jan 2015

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Related information

Complaints Management - State Schools Procedure External Link

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