The Department provides a framework to help resolve parent complaints.
School - as concerns are best handled at the school level, your child's school is your first point of contact.
Region - if you have made a complaint to your child's school and you are not satisfied with how it has been handled or the proposed resolution you can refer your complaint to the school's region. If you are unsure about what region your child's school is in, please:
Central Office - if you are not satisfied after following both school and region processes, you can refer your complaint to the Department. The Department will consider your complaint and work to resolve it, or the Department may refer your complaint to the Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution.
If you are not satisfied with the Department or the Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution’s handling or response you are also able to refer your complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman.
For further information about region and the Department's roles, please see below.
You can use the Department's complaint form to help you put together all the information you need to submit a complaint in writing, see:
Parent Complaint Form (docx - 129.07kb)
Despite the best intentions, please note that it might not always be possible to resolve your complaint to your complete satisfaction. This could happen when the nature of the issue you raise is governed by Department's policies and guidelines. It helps to think about how the matter could be resolved. See:
Before Making a Complaint
If you are not satisfied with how the school has handled your complaint, you can refer your complaint to your school's region. The region will assess your complaint to understand how they might be able help find a resolution and to advise you of the process they will follow. The region provides advice to parents and schools.
A number of processes may be undertaken to help resolve your complaint, including allowing more time for resolution at your child's school.
Contacting your region
When contacting the region for the first time, ask to speak to a community liaison officer and they will be able to help you register your complaint and explain how your complaint will be considered.
If you are not satisfied after following school and regional processes you can refer your complaint to the Department. After assessing your complaint, the Department can undertake a number of processes including allowing more time for resolution at the region or school level or conducting a process review. If the matter is eligible the Department may also refer your complaint to the Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution.
Contact with the Department should only take place if all other steps have not led to a satisfactory resolution. Where possible, all contact should be in writing. If it is clear that you have not followed the above steps your letter (and your complaint) will be sent to the relevant regional office. You will be contacted if this happens.
How to lodge a complaint in writing
You can use the Department's complaint form to help you to put together all the information you need to submit a complaint in writing, see:
Parent Complaint Form (docx - 129.07kb)
If you are having difficulties filling out the form you can contact your regional office for assistance.
You can send your complaint by mail, email or fax.
Please send your complaint to:
Deputy Secretary, Regional Services Group
c/o Manager, Central Complaints Team
GPO Box 4367 Melbourne VIC 3001
Or fax: (03) 9637 2180
The Department's central office will try to respond within 20 school days. However, the more complex and sensitive the issues you raise, the more time will be needed to investigate or follow up with the relevant parties. We will let you know if there may be major delays.
Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution
Should your matter be eligible, the Department may refer your complaint to the Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution.
The Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution handles Victorian government school disputes that have not been resolved at a school or Department level.
For more information, see: Independent Office for School Dispute Resolution
You are also able to take your complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman if you have concerns about how your complaint has been handled by the Department. See: