A parent or student can raise a concern or complaint if they think that the school or a staff member has:
Your concern or complaint may be about:
Teachers, principals, preschool directors, and other education department staff will work alongside you to agree on a plan of action and a timeframe for resolving your issues or concerns.
Sometimes a complaint is about something we have to do because of state or federal law. In such cases we are able to talk to you about the matter and help you understand the requirements and why they exist.
There are some points to keep in mind if you have a complaint about public education and care:
Contact the school to arrange a time to meet with the teacher or have a discussion with them on the phone. They will look into your concerns and get back to you as soon as possible.
If the matter is not resolved, or if your complaint is about a teacher, you may want to meet with or write to the principal or director. They will work with you and the staff member to resolve the issue.
The school or preschool will aim to resolve your concern or complaint as soon as possible - ideally within 15 working days.
If you are not satisfied, contact the Education Complaint Unit.
Phone: 1800 677 435 (standard call rates apply for calls from mobile phones).
The complaint unit will:
The department's chief education officer or the executive director of the Office for Children and Young People, and the Chief Executive's office will be advised by the Education Complaint Unit of the outcome of the review. One of these senior leaders will make a decision about your complaint.
In most cases you can expect to hear of a decision within 35 working days.
You can contact the unit on 1800 677 435 to discuss your concern or complaint, or to seek advice about resolving school problems. Staff will follow up with you to check about progress.
You will not be discriminated against if you make a complaint. All staff are bound by the Code of Ethics for South Australian Public Sector which requires staff to act impartially, fairly and equitably.
You can ask for your identity to be confidential when making a complaint. However, keep in mind:
You can make an anonymous complaint. However:
In cases where a complaint requires an independent review by an external agency the department's senior managers will refer the matter to them.
You also have the right to refer any education or care concern to an external body such as the South Australian Ombudsman.