Information for students

Making a complaint about a public school

Students can make a complaint about the services that we provide. It is best to let someone know about any problems or concerns as early as possible. Most problems can be solved by talking to the people who know the situation.

We encourage students to raise any concerns about their experiences at school with their school. In a high school, the teacher or year adviser is often the best place to start. In a primary school, this will be the classroom teacher. You can ask to make a time to meet to talk about what is happening. If the issue cannot be resolved straight away, they will let you know what will happen next.

You can also make a complaint through the department’s online complaint form. In most situations, the information that you provide will be given to the relevant school, as they know the situation and can work with students and their parents and carers to resolve issues. We will let you know what will happen next.

If you need help to make a complaint, you can ask someone to assist you. You can also bring a support person or advocate to meetings. Our Tips and Advice for Effective Complaining has useful information about what you can do to help us to understand your concerns.

You can make a complaint anonymously. However, if you do not provide your contact details, it can be hard to resolve the complaint and we cannot give you information about any action taken in response.

Making a complaint after leaving school

We generally encourage people to raise any issues or concerns about our schools at the time that something happens. The longer it takes for us to hear about an issue or concern, the harder it can be to resolve. We also recognise that, sometimes, it can be difficult for students to raise issues while they are at school.

Students can provide feedback or make a complaint at the time of leaving a school or after leaving school. While we may not be able to change what has happened for you, your feedback can help us to understand what happened and make changes to assist other students.

We may be limited in the action we can take about situations that occurred some time ago, as staff may no longer work for the department, students may no longer attend one of our schools, and potential witnesses may not be able to be contacted. People’s recollection of events may also be affected over time. We cannot investigate or take action against a person who is no longer an employee or a student at one of our schools.

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