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The complaint process

The department manages complaints through 3 different levels

  • Level 1 – a complaint managed at a preschool, school or corporate office level.
  • Level 2 – a complaint managed by the department’s central Customer Feedback unit (CFU)
  • Level 3 – a complaint managed externally by an independent organisation. For example, Ombudsman SA.

This approach is recognised nationally as best practice and is in line with Australian standards.

Steps for raising your complaint

Level 1 – complaint managed by a school or preschool

Talk to the person that has caused you to make the complaint in the first place.

This gives that person an opportunity to respond to your concern or complaint. This might be a teacher or a year level coordinator.

If you're still not satisfied that your complaint has been addressed, then you can contact that person’s line manager. This might be a principal or preschool director or a member of the leadership team. 

Ask to make a time to contact them to discuss your concerns.

You may want to put your concerns in an email. See find the school or preschool contact details.

Most complaints are resolved quickly. More complex matters might take more time. We will advise you if this is the case.

Level 2 – central complaint management

If you're not satisfied that your complaint has been addressed at the local level, you can get help from the department’s Customer Feedback unit (CFU).

This can only happen if you have given a member of the leadership team the chance to respond to your concern.

To contact the CFU: 

What the CFU will do

CFU can:

  • give information about why a decision might have been made
  • work with schools and preschools to explore options and solutions
  • objectively review complaints that have not been resolved at level 1
  • give you options for review.

Level 3 – external complaint management

If we haven't been able to resolve your complaint through level 1 and 2, you might choose to get independent advice from the Ombudsman SA. The circumstances of your complaint will determine if they can help.

External agency contact:

  • free call 1800 182 150
  • email ombudsman [at] ombudsman.sa.gov.au 

The Ombudsman SA will usually ask if you have taken your complaint to the school, preschool or the CFU. You will need to do this before the Ombudsman SA can look into your matter.

Other options

The Education Standards Board (ESB) is a State Government authority that regulates early childhood services and schools. They manage compliance with the law. 

Contact details:

  • email esb.schools [at] sa.gov.au 
  • phone 1800 882 413.

The Teachers Registration Board (TRB) of SA manage registered teacher conduct. See complaint about a teacher information sheet (PDF 305KB) or phone 8253 9700.