Making a Complaint or an Appeal

Making a Complaint

If you are not happy about something that is affecting your child at school, you can make a complaint. A complaint may be about your child being excluded from some school activities or could be about your child being bullied.

If the complaint is about the school, the complaint is made to the school itself. Complaints are not made to the Department of Education and Skills.

If the complaint is a minor issue the you may decide to first talk first to the class teacher. When a meeting is arranged have a note of the issue you want to discuss – the specific problem and what change you would like.

If the teacher cannot help or you are not happy with the teacher’s response you can organise a meeting with the school principal. Having spoken with the school principal and you are still not happy that your complaint has been resolved you may bring the complaint to the chairperson of the school’s Board of Management.

If the chairperson cannot resolve your complaint, they should bring the complaint to a meeting of the school Board of Management for their consideration. If you have not yet done so, you should put your complaint in writing. Generally, only those complaints which are in writing and signed by the parent may be investigated formally by the Board of Management.

Shortly after reaching its decision, the Board should let you know its decision on your complaint. The decision of the Board ends the school complaints process.

If you are unhappy about how the school handled your complaint you may complain to the Office of the Ombudsman for Children.

Email: Free phone: 1800 20 20 40

If your complaint is about a teachers’ practice and you are unhappy with the school response, you may take your complaint to the Teaching Council. A complaint to the Teaching Council can be made in writing to: The Teaching Council, Block A Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth, County Kildare, W23Y7X0

Appealing a Decision

Appeal Against Exclusion, Suspension or Refusal to Enrol (The Education Act 1998: “Section 29” Appeals

A parent may make a Section 29 Appeal if:

  • A school refuses to enrol a child.
  • A school suspends a child for more than 20 days in a year.
  • A school expels a child.

An appeal against one of the above decisions can be made to the Department of Education and Skills (DES). The appeal must be made within 42 calendar days. If the school is an Education and Training Board (ETB, ex-VEC) school, the appeal must be made to the local ETB first. If this appeal is unsuccessful the parent can make a Section 29 appeal to the DES. The appeal must be made in writing on the official ‘Section 29 Appeals Application Form’.

Access to Education – Appeal Against Exclusion or Refusal to Enrol (Section 29 Appeals)

Department of Education and Skills