Complaints and confidential inspectors

On this page you find information about the role of the Dutch Inspectorate of Education in handling complaints.

Handling complaints

All schools are legally obliged to have a complaints procedure. If the complaint cannot be solved by the school or the school board, the complainant can apply to an independent committee with his complaint. If the results are still not satisfactory, the complainant can ultimately go to court. The Inspectorate has no legal powers in case of complaints. It may happen however, that the Inspectorate – by acting as intermediary - helps to reconcile the problem between e.g. a parent and a principal.

Complaints - and in particular complaints with respect to the quality of education- are treated as signals. The Inspectorate can decide to visit the school in serious cases (or if several complaints come in about the same school and reveal a certain pattern). If the number of complaints about a certain issue becomes a national issue, this also may lead to a thematic inspection. If the complaint concerns the Inspectorate itself, the complainant can apply to the Inspectorate’s complaints commission.

Confidential inspectors

The Inspectorate has a separate desk for issues concerning sexual abuse and intimidation, mental and physical violence, discrimination and extremism within the context of education. Specialized inspectors deal with these matters. This special desk is broadly accessible by phone. The main task of these specialized inspectors is to advise and sometimes (in cases of mental and physical violence, discrimination and radicalization) to act as an intermediary.