Make a complaint

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

Complaints about the Ministry of Education

For all complaints about the Ministry of Education, email

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days.

If you raise an issue with us, we will work with you and do our best to resolve it.

After working with us, if you are still not happy with how we have handled your complaint, there are a range of options for you to consider to seek a resolution.

Complaint options independent of the Ministry

Complaints about early learning services

If you have a general query or a complaint about an early learning service or kōhanga reo see our website for parents and whānau.

Complaints about your ECE service – Parents and whānau(external link)

Complaints about schools, teachers or school processes

General queries or complaints

Speak to the school's principal, then to the school board.

If you are not happy with the response from the school, contact your local Ministry office for support or the Office of the Ombudsman.

Local Ministry offices 

Contact the Ombudsman – Ombudsman(external link)

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 Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand(external link)

Statutory intervention

Complaints can be about a statutory appointee working in a school. This may be a specialist advisor, 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 office for support.

Local Ministry offices(external link)

Learning support services

If you have concerns about a learning support (special education) service, you can make a complaint. We will work with you to resolve it.

Making a complaint about a learning support service(external link)

Physical restraint

If you believe unjustified restraint has occurred and wish to raise your concerns, start by asking the school principal or manager about schools’ complaints process. 

You can also contact your local Ministry office or visit the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand’s website. 

Local Ministry offices(external link)

Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand(external link)

Independent options are available here:

Complaints options independent of the Ministry

Use of seclusion

If you have a concern or complaint about the use of seclusion in a school, contact your local Ministry office straight away.

Local Ministry offices

Sensitive claims of abuse in state schools before 1989

Sensitive claims of abuse in state schools process

Ngā kerēme pāmamae o te tūkino i roto i ngā kura kāwanatanga

Complaints about other education organisations

If you have a complaint about another education organisation, you should send your complaint to the relevant organisation.

Other education organisations include:

  • New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)
  • Education Review Office (ERO)
  • Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
  • New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA)
  • Education Payroll (EdPay)
  • Education New Zealand (ENZ).

Transparency statement

Our transparency statement explains how we collect, use and share information gathered about individuals and organisations for the purposes of carrying out our statutory functions under the Education and Training Act 2020.

Transparency statement: Information gathering for regulatory compliance

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