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The Department for Education (the department) is committed to being accessible and responsive to individuals who wish to raise a complaint or provide feedback about our service delivery.
When an individual behaves unreasonably in their dealings with staff, it can compromise their ability to respond to a complaint.
The department will act to manage any conduct that negatively and unreasonably affects the ability of staff to perform their role in a safe environment. This includes all staff in schools, preschools, the Customer Feedback Unit (CFU) and the broader education department.
Unreasonable behaviour can be separated into 5 categories of conduct:
- Unreasonable persistence
- an unwillingness or inability to accept reasonable and logical explanations including final decisions
- bombarding staff with phone calls, visits, letters, and emails after being asked not to do so.
- Unreasonable demands
- issuing instructions or making demands to staff on how the complaint should be managed, its priority or the outcome that should be achieved
- demanding services that can't be provided, when this has already been explained. For example revenge or punishment.
- Unreasonable lack of cooperation
- sending a constant stream of disorganised information without clearly defining the issues
- providing little or no detail with a complaint
- arguing frequently and with intensity that a particular solution is the correct one.
- Unreasonable arguments
- failing to follow a logical sequence
- not supported by any evidence or based on conspiracy theories
- false, malicious or inflammatory comments.
- Unreasonable behaviours
- swearing, yelling or derogatory, racist, sexist or defamatory remarks
- harassment, intimidation, threats or violence
- rude, confronting and threatening correspondence
- emotional manipulation and stalking (online or in person).
Depending on the severity of the behaviour, unreasonable conduct can:
- change or limit your access to staff, students, school or preschool sites and department offices
- result in the issue of a warning or a prohibition on a school or preschool site
- result in police involvement.
Here are some tips on how to make a complaint.
If you need support to lodge a complaint, refer to accessibility and support to make a complaint or contact the Customer Feedback Unit on 1800 677 435.