NESA Updated Registration Manuals and Updated Interim Revocation, Suspension and Voluntary Cancellation of Accreditation Policy

Published
19 September 2019

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has made some recent changes to the Registration Manuals for Non-government Schools and updated a key policy in relation to teacher accreditation.

 

Changes to the Registration Manuals for Non-government Schools

NESA has recently amended the:

  • Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual
  • Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual.

The amended Registration Manuals were announced via an Official Notice and they take immediate effect.

There have been some changes to Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Individual Schools Manual. Section 3 of the Manual deals with the requirements for registered non-government schools under the Education Act 1900 (NSW) (Education Act) and the evidence of compliance that schools must maintain during any period of registration. Section 4 deals with provisional registration including initial registration. Section 5 of the Manual deals with Requirements for Accredited Non-government schools.

The changes are set out below (based on the paragraphs in the Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual). Equivalent changes have been made to the Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual.

 

Paragraph 3.2.1 (in relation to the necessary experience and qualifications of teaching staff)

The evidence of compliance has been updated to include a statement that a non-government school must have a teacher accreditation authority that has been approved under NESA’s Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) Guidelines.

 

Paragraph 3.3.1 (in relation to curriculum outcomes needing to comply with the requirements in Part 3 of the Education Act), Paragraph 5.1 (Curriculum for the Record of School Achievement) and 5.2 (Curriculum for the Higher School Certificate)

There has been a change to the evidence of compliance sections in relation to resources and equipment for the three sub-paragraphs in paragraph 3.3 (primary schools, year 7 to 10 and year 11 to 12) and in paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2. There is a now stated requirement that a school must have resources and equipment available for providing the required KLAs (key learning areas)/courses rather than this requirement being part of the documentation maintained as part of the overview of the school’s educational program.

 

Paragraphs 3.5, 4.1.5 and 5.3.3 (Facilities)

The evidence of compliance required in relation to providing adequate educational facilities now includes facilities for any specialist requirements for a course of study offered and if the facilities are off-site, an ongoing arrangement that ensures the availability of the off-site facilities for the duration of the course.

 

Paragraph 6.1.3 (Quality of the educational program)

The evidence of compliance required in relation to providing adequate educational facilities now includes facilities for any specialist requirements for a course of study offered and if the facilities are off-site, an ongoing arrangement that ensures the availability of the off-site facilities for the duration of the course.

 

Paragraphs 3.6.2. 3.11.3 and 4.1.6.2 (in relation to providing a safe and supportive environment by having policies and procedures in place for student welfare and maintaining a student enrolment and attendance register)

Evidence of compliance in relation to a code of conduct for members of the school community must now specifically refer to, if relevant, staff supervision of any student leadership system if it provides authority for students to discipline or direct other students at the school.

The reference to pastoral care in relation to homework has also been deleted in paragraph 4.1.6.2.

 

Paragraph 3.9.2 (responsible person and previous refusal or cancellation of registration)

Specific reference is now made to section 47(1)(c) of the Education Act. The evidence of compliance paragraph has been re-worded and now includes reference to a proposed non-government school.

 

Paragraph 3.9.3 (policies and procedures for the proper governance of the school)/Paragraph 3.9.5 (notifying NESA of certain matters)

Under evidence of compliance in paragraph 3.9.3.1 (policies and procedures) the requirement to provide the online notification to NESA has been deleted but added in under paragraph 3.9.5 with an additional requirement to maintain these records for seven years.

 

Paragraph 3.10 (Educational and financial reporting)

Paragraph 3.10.1 has been re-worded so that non-government schools now must participate in annual reporting to publicly disclose the educational and financial performance measures and policies of the school rather than have policies and procedures that ensure participation.

In paragraph 3.10.2, the evidence of compliance section has been updated to now require a non-government school to provide data to the Minister if requested by the Minister.

 

Glossary

A new definition of scope and sequence has been added to the Glossary. It was previously not defined. “Scope and sequence” is defined as “A summary of the scope of what is to be taught and the sequence in which it will be delivered”. There is also a link in the definition to a NESA page although the link is currently not functioning.

 

Updated Interim, Revocation, Suspension and Voluntary Cancellation of Accreditation Policy

NESA has recently updated its Interim Revocation, Suspension and Voluntary Cancellation of Accreditation Policy . NESA states on its website that the Interim Policy will operate until a final Revocation, Suspension and Voluntary Cancellation of Accreditation Policy is published in 2020.

NESA has sole authority to revoke or suspend a teacher’s accreditation.

The main features of the Interim Policy are that (according to NESA’s website) it describes:

  • the grounds on which a teacher may have their accreditation revoked or suspended
  • the procedures to enable NESA to assess each matter and make fair and transparent decisions
  • the roles and responsibilities for teachers, employers, TAAs and NESA to manage the revocation and suspension of a teacher’s accreditation
  • appeal processes for teachers seeking to review a decision.

Accreditation can be revoked or suspended at Conditional Accreditation, Provisional Accreditation and the Proficient Teacher level. Revocation or suspension at Proficient Teacher level also revokes or suspends Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Accreditation.

The Interim Policy is also stated to apply to, among others:

  • all teachers accredited under the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (NSW)
  • TAAs.

NESA has advised that the four key recent changes to the Interim Policy are:

  • clarification of the process for reporting to NESA matters relevant to the revocation or suspension of a teacher’s accreditation,
  • providing capacity for NESA to revoke a teacher’s accreditation following a 12-month suspension of their accreditation,
  • providing capacity for NESA to place conditions on a teacher’s accreditation,
  • clarification of the process for mutual recognition of teacher accreditation between New South Wales and other Australian states and territories and New Zealand.

 

What Does This Mean for Schools?

It is important that schools are aware of the changes to the Registration Manuals and can satisfy compliance with the new or changed requirements when their registration is assessed.

It is also important that schools and teachers are aware of the updated Interim Policy.

Madeleine McDonell

Madeleine is a Legal Research Consultant at CompliSpace. Madeleine has worked as a solicitor (in both Sydney and London) for over twenty years. She has also recently taught a corporations law subject at The University of Sydney Business School for several years. Madeleine holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts/Law from the University of New South Wales and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from The University of Technology.