10: Can I make a complaint to the Education Authority?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Making a complaint to the Education Authority

There are a number of ways you can make a comment or complaint to the Education Authority (EA)

  • in person
  • by telephone
  • by letter or by email
  • or online 

It is recommended that you read the EA’s complaint leaflet before you contact them.

A complaint can be made to the EA about

  • failure to provide a service;
  • inadequate standard of service;
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff;
  • disagreement with a decision where no other remedial procedure exists (for example, a right to appeal)
  • and/or EA’s failure to follow the appropriate administrative process or policy.

This list is not exhaustive

The EA’s complaints procedure will not be applied:

  • if your issue is currently in court or has already been heard by a court or a statutory tribunal;
  • to disputes with schools which fall under an individual school’s complaints procedures.
  • if the issue can be dealt with by an independent tribunal for example, in relation to:
    • school admissions – refer to School Admissions Appeal Tribunal
    • expulsions – refer to Expulsion Appeal Tribunal or
    • delivery of the curriculum – refer to Complaints Tribunal
    • or certain decisions in relation to special educational needs – refer to SENDIST

How to make a complaint

When making a complaint you should provide as much information as possible and include the following:

  • your name and contact details;
  • what your complaint is about;
  • what you have already done to try to resolve it;
  • which EA services you have contacted;
  • what you would like EA to do.

There are three levels in the EA Complaints Handling Procedure.

Level 1- Stage 1a

Contact your Local EA office for advice on who to contact on the team from the relevant service. A team member should get back to you within 5 days

Level 2 – Stage 1b

If your issue is unresolved at 1a contact the Complaints Office at feedback@eani.org.uk or on 028 8241 1553.

Your complaint will go the relevant Head of Service (you should receive acknowledgement within 5 working days). A response will be provided within 20 working days from when Stage 1b was started.

Level 3 – Stage 2

If your issue is unresolved at 1b contact the Complaints Office at feedback@eani.org.uk or on 028 8241 1553.

Your complaint will go to the Senior Management Team (you should receive an acknowledgement within five working days). A response will be provided no later than 25 working days from start of stage 2.

NOTE: Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the EA will only consider a complaint within six months of you becoming aware of the issue

Taking your complaint further

If you are not happy with the final response after Stage 2, you can contact the Office of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman.

In most instances, the Ombudsman will only investigate a complaint after all the organisation’s internal processes have been exhausted.

NOTE: The Ombudsman’s time limit for review of complaints is six months from the date of EA’s final response.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Advice Line 028 9079 5779

For advice about your child’s education please contact our Advice Line to speak to one of our advisers.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the Advice Line will continue to operate its usual hours from 10am to 1pm Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.

For the foreseeable future, all calls to SENAC will go through this number so for all other enquiries please also ring us on 028 9079 5779 Monday to Friday from 10am -1pm

Contact us

Graham House,
Knockbracken Healthcare Park,
Saintfield Road, Belfast BT8 8BH.

Office Enquiries: 028 9070 5654
Office Email: info@senac.co.uk

Office email cannot be used for advice queries, for education advice please contact our Advice Line

Limited Company No. NI48698
Charity No. NIC101355

Latest news

Follow us