Our commitments to complaint handling
We value your feedback
We are constantly improving the way we work, so let us know if you have any suggestions.
We'd also like to know if you think we're doing something well. It helps us to make sure we continue to do great things in public education and training. We'll make sure your message is passed on.
What can a complaint be about?
You can make a complaint about:
- any aspect of the services we provide
- any decision, including those about enrolment
- any practice, policy or procedure
- staff behaviour or conduct.
Making a complaint
We will support people who need assistance to make a complaint. All complaints will be handled fairly, objectively and promptly, and at the local level where possible.
We encourage you to raise your complaint directly with the school or service. You can do this in person, by email, over the telephone or by letter if you prefer.
You can also use our online complaints and compliments form. We will pass your feedback on to the right place for action.
- For complaints, compliments and suggestions about schools, visit our guide for parents and carers.
- To make a complaint about a school principal or about a broader function of the department, you can use the online form or contact the Director Educational Leadership responsible for the school.
- For complaints, compliments or suggestions about a service provided by one of the administrative directorates or workplaces, contact that service area and ask to speak to a manager.
- If your complaint is about early childhood education or outside school hours care services, first contact the provider. To obtain contact details, see the Early Childhood Education and Care Finder. If it is a more serious complaint, or if you have been unable to resolve the issue with the service or provider, you can contact the NSW Regulatory Authority directly by calling 1800 619 113.
- Department of Education employees should refer to our Staff Complaints Procedure (PDF 2.67MB) for information about the process to follow when making and managing work-related complaints (staff only).
- Issues relating to the services that EdConnect provide, including complaints and feedback about EdConnect, should be directed to EdConnect (staff only).
- Our complaints handling policy and associated procedures provide more information about the complaint process.
- Read the School Community Charter to ensure you understand how important it is to create a positive learning environment for our students.
Our commitments to you
The department is committed to effectively managing complaints raised by parents, carers, students, members of the community and staff.
Our guiding principles for complaint handling:
- Respectful treatment: we are responsive and treat people with courtesy and respect
- Information and accessibility: we make it easy to give us feedback so we can make improvements
- Good communication: we keep people informed about the status of their complaint or feedback
- Taking ownership: we are trained and skilled to manage complaints
- Timeliness: we do our best to deal with complaints as soon as possible. We let you know our timeframes for finalising complaints
- Transparency: we record and analyse information on our complaint handling processes to help improve our services
We aim to:
- acknowledge complaints within 3 working days
- resolve complaints within 20 working days.
Your privacy when making a complaint
The person who is dealing with your complaint can advise you if we can keep your complaint private. We cannot guarantee confidentiality, as we may need to disclose your details or details of your complaint to others which may include referring it to the principal, the local network office, another area of the department, or another more appropriate public sector agency or as otherwise permitted by privacy legislation. If your complaint is about another person, we will usually tell them about the complaint and give them a chance to respond.
In accordance with the relevant legislation, personal information about the person making a complaint will not be disclosed to any third party outside the department without their consent, except where required or authorised by law.