Before you make a complaint
In many cases, concerns you have about a teacher can be resolved by discussing them directly with teacher and/or with the teacher's employer.
Before you lodge a complaint with us, we encourage you to contact and speak with the:
- Principal or person in charge of the school or education setting;
- Governing body; or
- The authority that employs the teacher (i.e. the Northern Territory Department of Education.)
Wherever possible the employer should be given the opportunity to deal with the complaint, which may include making a mandatory employer notification to the Board.
Where it is not possible for the teacher's employer to resolve the complaint, you may make a complaint to the Board.
Types of complaints the Board can deal with
The Board accepts complaints about the professional conduct of a teacher or authorised person acting in their capacity as a teacher.
Complaints the Board is unable to accept
If your complaint does not relate to the professional conduct of the teacher, we may not be able to assist you. For example the Board is unable to deal with complaints about:
- Workplace disputes or managerial decisions, these are employer related issues;
- School administrative matters such as school policies and their application;
- Family Court or child safety matter between a teacher and his/her own children, concerns should be reported to Northern Territory Police or Territory Families;
- Criminal activity, concerns should be reported to Northern Territory Police, there are arrangements for information sharing between Northern Territory Police and the Board;
- Personal and lawful activities that do not affect the teacher's fitness to teach.
Contact us if you are unsure about whether we can deal with your complaint.
If your complaint relates to a person who is not a teacher the Board is unlikely to be able to assist you.
Lodging a complaint with us
To lodge a complaint with the Board, you will need to complete and send the Complaint Form.
If you choose not to provide your name and contact details this may effect the ability of the Board to deal with your complaint.
Assessing a complaint
Once the Board receives your Complaint Form and supporting documents it will be provided to the Teacher and considered by the Board. The Board considers the complaint and any information provided by the teacher and decides on the most appropriate action including whether the Board will accept or dismiss the complaint. During this assessment process the Board may seek further information to assist in its decision making, if this happens you will be advised. The Board may seek further information from other sources including:
- The school
- The employing authority
- Nominated witnesses
- The person making the complaint
- The teacher
The Board may dismiss a complaint
The Board may dismiss a complaint if the Board considers the complaint:
- Does not relate to the professional conduct of the teacher or authorised person; or
- Is frivolous or vexatious.
A frivolous complaint is one which cannot possibly be substantiated, is manifestly groundless, or one that relates to a paltry or trifling matter. A vexatious complaint is one which is made only for the purpose of annoying or embarrassing the person against whom it is made or some other collateral purpose, or is obviously unsound or groundless. If a complaint is dismissed the complainant is advised in writing by the Board.
Investigating a complaint
You will be advised of the Board's decision to commence disciplinary proceedings and you may be required to provide further information.
At the completion of the disciplinary process the Board may:
- Impose a condition, or vary a condition imposed on a teacher’s registration
- Suspend a teacher’s registration
- Cancel the registration of a teacher
- Disqualify a teacher from registration
- Take no further action
You will be advised of the Board's decision and provided with an information notice setting out the reasons for the Board's decision.
Please refer to the Complaint Fact Sheet for further information.
Section 76A of the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act 2004 (the Act) provides protection from civil or criminal liability for persons giving information to the Board in good faith.
It is an offence to make a statement to the Board knowing it to be false or misleading under section 74 of the Act.
Page last updated: 28 January 2020