Advice and advocacy > Non-legal advocacy
Education Advocacy Service
QAI’s Education Advocacy Service (EAS) is an independent, non-legal advocacy service which supports the resolution of complex and escalated complaints relating to the access, participation and/or achievement of students with disability in Queensland state schools (and home schooling). The service is provided at no cost and is available to state school students and families across Queensland.
QAI’s Education Advocacy Service may be able to provide information and advice where advocacy cannot be provided.
What is advocacy?
Advocacy is speaking, acting, writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice by:
- Being on their side and no-one else’s
- Being primarily concerned with their fundamental needs
- Remaining loyal and accountable to them in a way which is emphatic and vigorous and which is, or is likely to be costly to the advocate or advocacy group.
Advocacy for people with disability is not the provision of services or personal care support.
What does the EAS do?
The Education Advocacy Service may be able to assist by:
- Providing generic information about rights of students with disability, departmental policies, processes and assistance relating to students with disability or complaints
- Referring people to other organisations, or other QAI services, which may assist
- Providing advice about the application of legislation & rights relating to a student with disability, processes for raising issues or making enquiries of a school or the Department of Education, strategic approaches to resolution of issues
- Advocating on behalf of a student.
Advocating on behalf of a student may include:
- Writing correspondence
- Giving strategic advice about how to resolve a complaint
- In relation to a complaint, analysing the school’s documentation and student-specific documentation, and providing advice for the improvement of these in order to better support the student with disability, ensure the student’s human rights are protected and ensure consistency with Departmental documentation
- Speaking and/or meeting with representatives of the school or Department.
Who does the EAS assist?
We may be able to assist with professional advocacy where:
- The student is a state school student with disability at a Queensland state school or is home schooled in Queensland
- The student and/or family/caregiver has made a complaint which is complex or protracted
- The complaint is in the ‘Internal Review’ stage of the Department of Education’s Customer Complaints Management Framework (this is described below).
If these criteria are not met, the EAS may be able to provide information and advice, or may be able to provide details of other organisations who may assist. In addition, resources and useful links to assist with the resolution of education complaints will be available.
How do I get help?
The EAS operates three days a week.
You will be required to provide QAI with certain personal details which are necessary for the EAS to deliver its services. All personal information is treated as strictly confidential.
Teachers, schools or Department staff can provide students and families with information about the EAS as an independent way to seek information or assistance about the resolution of complaints.
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