Parent Complaints

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

​Purpose of this policy

To ensure all schools respond to parent concerns and complaints in an effective and timely manner.


Schools must develop local policy and procedures in accordance with Department policy.

The underlying premise of the complaints management policy is that parent concerns and complaints are best and most effectively managed at the school level.

Note: This policy does not apply to matters about which there are existing rights (and processes for) review and appeal, such as matters relating to serious employee misconduct, student critical incidents and criminal activities.

When addressing parent/guardian concerns or complaints, the Department and its schools must:

  • abide by relevant regulatory and legislative frameworks
  • maintain confidentiality
  • balance the rights and responsibilities of all parties
  • ensure all parties are aware of their right to advocacy
  • act in a manner that seeks to achieve an outcome acceptable to all parties.

Additionally, schools enrolling international students are required to maintain an international student’s enrolment (to comply with student visa conditions) and appropriate student welfare support arrangements until the relevant complaints or appeals process is resolved. For further information, see: ISP Quality Standards and School Resources - International Student Program Quality Standards for Schools, Quality Standard 8 - Complaints and appeals.

                          Related policies

                          Related legislation

                          • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
                          • Education and Training Reform Act 2006
                          • Education and Training Reform Regulations 2007
                          • Information Privacy Act 2000
                          • Wrongs Act 1958

                          For Staff

                          The table below contains fourteen guides that provide practical advice for school staff about issues to consider when managing parents' concerns and complaints.

                          Guide 1 - Building positive relationshipsGuide 2 - Dealing with a complainant
                          Guide 3 - Improving your listening skillsGuide 4 - Saying ‘yes’ and no’ with confidence
                          Guide 5 - Understanding the blame cycleGuide 6 - Managing a request for an apology
                          Guide 7 - Moving beyond a stalemateGuide 8 - Encouraging fair play in negotiations
                          Guide 9 - Managing aggressive reactions  Guide 10 - Managing unreasonable conduct
                          Guide 11 - Responding to strong emotionsGuide 12 - Managing confrontation
                          Guide 13 - Managing your anger Guide 14 - Being calm in a high-stress situation

                          For Parents

                          Parent Complaints - Government Schools - a website for parents outlining the Department's complaint process. Includes advice on how to raise concerns.

                          Parent Complaints - Government Schools - General Information - a downloadable brochure for parents providing information about the Department's complaints process.