Managing School Complaints

The Education Authority is pleased to announce the publication of the Model School Complaints Procedure and Guidance Material. The Guidance Material will support school staff and governors with effective implementation of the procedure.

How do I make a complaint about a school?

Investigating and responding to complaints about schools is the responsibility of each school’s governing body.  All schools should have a complaints procedure. You should be able to find this on the school’s own website; otherwise, you can ask the school for a copy.  The school’s complaints procedure will focus on resolving issues as early as possible.

Complaints about schools are not the responsibility of the Education Authority (EA), and EA cannot intervene to change the outcome of a complaint that a school has handled in accordance with its complaints procedure.

Each School Complaints Procedure may differ in some aspects, however they will normally follow the format outlined below.

Talking about issues can be the best way to start resolving them.  If you are worried about your child at school, the class / form teacher is the best person to approach first.

If you want to make a complaint, use the school’s complaints procedure which will normally have the following two stages:

  • Stage One – write to the principal
  • Stage Two – write to the chairperson of the board of governors

If following stage two you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can refer the matter to the office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) within six months of the final response from the school.

How do I make a complaint about the Education Authority?

You can make a comment or complaint in person, by telephone, in writing, by email or online. Before making your comment or complaint, you should read the EA Comments/Complaints Procedure.

Last updated: 27/10/2021