Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards news
Who needs to read this notice:
Directors, Public Schools NSW
Relevant Directorates within the Department of Education
Non-government school registration systems
Effective from 1 January 2017
The NSW Education Standards Authority (‘the Authority’) is strengthening its risk-based approach to regulation by expanding its program for the inspection of schools selected randomly. The expanded program will include government schools for the first time and continue to select individual and systemic non-government schools.
The expanded ‘random inspection’ program is consistent with the recommendations of the recent BOSTES Review and legislative changes providing for the Authority to monitor the compliance of government schools in addition to advising the Minister on the compliance of government schools with similar requirements to those that apply to non-government schools.
The inspection of schools selected randomly will:
- consider school compliance with a subset of the registration requirements rather than the full set of requirements; and
- occur with limited notice having regard to the assessment of risk associated with the registration requirement(s) being monitored; and
- check whether the school continues to comply with the registration requirements.
For the inspections, schools will be asked to provide a sample of the materials identified in the Evidence of Compliance sections from the relevant registration manual:
- government schools – Registration Process for the NSW Government Schooling System Manual
- individual non-government schools – Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual
- systemic non-government schools – Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual.
For government schools and systemic non-government schools the ‘random inspection’ program has regard to the context in which these schools operate as members of a system and the associated responsibilities of the system in managing the compliance of their schools.
An overview of the ‘random inspection’ process follows. Further details will be published in early 2017.
Schools will be selected randomly to form a sample that is proportionate to the number of schools in each schooling sector.
In 2017, it is planned to select 18 government schools, four individual non-government schools and four systemic non-government schools.
Schools that are already part of the Authority’s inspection program, for example, schools seeking renewal of registration in 2017, will be excluded from the selection process in 2017.
The selected schools will be contacted by a Board Inspector no less than four days in advance of the inspection.
An inspection with less notice may take place should the Authority have concerns in regard to the compliance of a school with registration requirements, having regard to the assessment of risk associated with those requirements.
The contact will be by phone call to the school’s Principal (or equivalent) followed by written notice identifying the inspection date and confirming the subset of requirements to be assessed.
For government schools and systemic non-government schools, the nominated system representative will be notified prior to phone contact with the school’s Principal (or equivalent).
In 2017, the implementation of the ‘random inspection’ program will commence in Term 2 and be conducted throughout the year.
The inspection will focus on the school’s compliance with a subset of the requirements as described in the relevant registration manual.
The subset of requirements will relate to either Strand A or Strand B:
Strand A – Annual priorities in 2017
In 2017, the annual priorities for the inspection of schools selected randomly are the requirements for:
- safe and supportive environment – child protection; and/or
- safe and supportive environment – student welfare, with particular regard to anti-bullying and/or managing complaints and grievances.
Strand A inspections will consider school compliance in relation to aspects of these requirements to be specified in the written notice to the school.
Strand B – Quality of teaching and student learning
From 2017, the Authority will have regard to the quality of teaching and student learning in deciding whether the requirements for registration are being met. Evidence to demonstrate the quality of teaching and student learning is described in the amended registration manuals to take effect from 1 January 2017.
Strand B inspections will consider school compliance in relation to:
- records to demonstrate the standard of teaching, monitoring the standard of teaching and implementing strategies to improve the standard of teaching; and/or
- records of assessing student learning and implementing strategies to improve student learning; and/or
- curriculum documentation and samples of student work in one or two key learning areas in one or two stages of schooling.
The particular set of requirements to be monitored will be specified in the written notice to the school.
While the focus of the ‘random inspection’ process is a subset of the requirements, a Board Inspector may request additional evidence in relation to a broader range of registration requirements should compliance concerns be identified.
Where a ‘random inspection’ identifies compliance concerns, the school and/or system, if relevant, will be required to provide the Authority with evidence of addressing the concerns and the school may be subject to further inspection.
A Board Inspector will prepare a report identifying the findings of the ‘random inspection’ in relation to the school’s compliance. The school and system, if relevant, will be provided with a copy of the report prior to it being considered by the Authority’s School Registration Committee.
For more information, contact:
Senior Board Inspector, School Registration and Accreditation Directorate
(02) 9367 8156