This resource covers

  • Learning Support Complaints
  • ORS Review Process
  • General Education Complaints
  • Complaint Options Independent of the Ministry of Education Tips
  • when making a Complaint

Step 1: Start with an informal discussion with the learning support person or their manager. You may choose to have a support person with you.

Step 2: Follow up with a formal complaint in writing to a Support Manager at your local Ministry office. Learning support services

Step 3: Informing of the decision

There is a 15 working day timeline for resolution. You will receive a letter including the reasons for the decision and the actions to be taken.

Take things further if you want

  • You can contact your Regional Director of Education. You can also go to other agencies at any stage of the complaint. Learning support services

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

  • Schools providing health or disability services for their students, have responsibilities under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the code).

Schools and the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

If you’re still not happy Complaints options independent of the Ministry

Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

This complaints process is used if an application for ORS is declined, when a student receiving ORS funding has a significant change in their circumstances or new information relating to their eligibility becomes available.

Review process for ORS

Must be done within six months of the letter for the original application and:

  • to be completed by the educator with the student’s parents/whānau or caregivers and team
  • must be made in writing (email or letter) and provide additional information about the student.


  1. Go through the decision letter
  2. Start with inaccuracies that you or those working with the student think may be incorrect
  3. Gather more information
  4. Clarify or expand on the information so the verifiers have a more complete picture.

Note: Up to three requests for a review of the verifiers’ decision can be made

Further information

Contact your Local Ministry of Education offices, or call the learning support information line: 0800 622 222
Checking visit process for ORS   |   ORS criteria   |   Apply for ORS
Section 47 appeal process for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

General Complaints about Education

You can make a complaint in writing, email, by phone or at a face- to-face meeting.

If you’re not happy with how the complaint is handled by the Ministry of Education;

Complaints options independent of the Ministry

For all complaints about the Ministry  Email:
Sensitive Claims of Abuse in State Schools before 1989 Sensitive Claims of Abuse in State Schools process
Complaints about education providers
ECE service complaints Complaints about your early childhood education services
School or related complaints Speak to the Principal, then to the Board of Trustees. If you’re not happy with the response contact your local office for support. Local Ministry offices Or you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman.
A complaint about a teacher Complaints about teachers should usually first go to the teacher’s employer (the school board), to give them a chance to investigate your concerns. If you are not happy with how the school has dealt with the issue, you can raise your concerns with the Education Council.
If you have a concern or complaint about the use of seclusion in a school, contact your local Ministry office straightaway. Local Ministry office
Statutory Intervention complaints Complaints can be about a statutory appointee working in a school. This may be a Specialist Adviser, Limited Statutory Manager or a Commissioner. Raise your complaint directly with the statutory appointee first. If you’re not happy with the response from the appointee, contact your Local Ministry office.
Learning support services complaints If you have concerns about a learning support service, you can make a complaint. Making a complaint about a learning support (special education) service

Complaints independent of the Ministry of Education

Office of the Ombudsman

If you think you have been treated unfairly, you can lodge a complaint with the Office of
the Ombudsman.

Privacy concerns

If you are concerned your personal information or breaches to your privacy you can
make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner Te Mana Mātāpono Matatapu. Privacy
Commissioner  |  Privacy principles

Health and Disability concerns

If you have concerns about a health or disability service Health and Disability Commissioner

  • What matters are under HDC’s jurisdiction?
    Matters only involving the provision of a health or disability service to a consumer.
    Matters relating to access to services and funding are outside the Commissioner’s
    jurisdiction. HDC cannot award compensation.

Children’s Commissioner Manaakitia a tātou tamariki

You can visit the Children’s Commissioner’s website to understand your Education Rights. Children’s Commissioner

New Zealand Police | Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children Teachers Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

Concerns about the conduct or competence of a teacher should be raised with the school’s board of trustees. If you are still concerned after raising with the board, you can make a complaint with the Teachers Council. Report a concern to the Teachers Council

Raising concerns about a public entity

It is the role of the Ombudsman to look into the detail of individual complaints or problems. Controller and Auditor General

Overloaded with information?

Tips from other parents…

  • Stick to the facts
  • Keep it brief and simple
  • Avoid too much emotion
  • Less can sometimes mean more

Our advice….DESC


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