The NSW Department of Education serves the community by leading the provision of world-class education. The department protects young children by regulating preschool and long day care providers. Once children move into school, we provide them with a world-class primary and secondary education. We also work to advance the wellbeing of Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal Affairs works with Aboriginal communities to increase their confidence, capacity and opportunity to determine their own future. Aboriginal Affairs leads engagement with Aboriginal communities to support the establishment, development and effective operation of community governance; improve participation in local economies; and facilitate more effective relationships between Aboriginal communities and agencies to improve the coordination, responsiveness and accountability of services.
Aboriginal Affairs is the lead agency in for OCHRE (opportunity, choice, healing, responsibility, empowerment), the NSW Government’s community focused plan for Aboriginal affairs. While responsibility for implementing initiatives within OCHRE are shared across the Department of Education and other clusters, Aboriginal Affairs is responsible for coordination, public reporting and evaluation.
Aboriginal Affairs is responsible for delivering Unfinished Business: the NSW Government’s Stolen Generation’s reparations program for Aboriginal children removed from their families and communities under the Aboriginal Protection Act 1909, be the Aboriginal Protection Board prior to its abolition in 1969.
Aboriginal Affairs is also responsible for implementing the Premier’s election commitment to establish an Aboriginal Centre for Excellence in Western Sydney.
Aboriginal Affairs released its 3 year strategic plan in December 2015. Its 5 priorities include:
- culture and healing
- leadership in government
- growing NSW’s first economy
- strengthening governance and capacity
- strengthening our foundations.
Aboriginal Affairs has offices located in Sydney, Newcastle, Batemans Bay, Bourke, Coffs Harbour, Tamworth, Dubbo and Broken Hill. Of all staff, 60% are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, with approximately 90% of all regional staff identifying as Aboriginal.
Note: The Aboriginal Education and Communities Directorate within the Department of Education manages responsibilities for issues related to Aboriginal education.
Corporate Services supports the work of divisions and the delivery of high-quality teaching in schools by ensuring a skilled, high-calibre workforce and efficient operating environment.
The division recruits and places teachers, school administrative and support staff, and corporate staff, as well as provides systems for engaging contractors. It develops and negotiates industrial awards and agreements, and provides strategic industrial relations advice and analysis. It provides legal support and expert advice to schools and the wider department, and arranges for the department to be represented before a range of courts and tribunals. It also investigates and manages employee conduct and performance issues.
Corporate Services coordinates the allocation, monitoring, reporting and management of financial resources across the department. It ensures value and efficiency in purchasing, and compliance with procurement requirements. The division also helps schools and workplaces achieve safe working and learning environments for students, staff and visitors.
The division identifies and provides information and communication technologies to students, teachers and staff in schools across the state, and supports future approaches to teaching and learning, including digital technology. Its Communication and Engagement directorate delivers strategic communications, media relations, school and department websites, public school promotion and community engagement.
The division also provides high-level customer service to schools, corporate staff and vendors through the department’s shared services centre, EDConnect.
Educational Services delivers highly effective educational, corporate and business services to support teaching and learning in 2,208 public schools across NSW.
The division works closely with School Operations and Performance to deliver on the department’s commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for every student in a NSW public school.
The learning and wellbeing of students is the focus of the division’s work. It coordinates and delivers high-quality and responsive policies and services to schools to improve student learning outcomes.
At the state level, the division leads policy, process and programs in learning, teaching and wellbeing, as well as Aboriginal education and engagement. It also develops and implements business systems to support the work of schools.
The new School Services directorate links the policy and operational functions of the division and leads the delivery of services locally to public schools across the state.
External Affairs and Regulation
External Affairs and Regulation strengthens educational and community outcomes by leading strategic reform initiatives, securing national and state funding for education services, distributing funding to non-government schools and preschool providers, advising on strategic policy in higher and tertiary education, and promoting high-quality standards for early childhood education.
The division supports Ministers in strategic discussions with the Australian Government and other jurisdictions, is a key driver of forward-thinking policy and leads negotiations over funding arrangements. It acts as the principal point of contact for non-government and private education systems and providers, advises the Minister on non-government school policy and funding, and develops and coordinates NSW Government policy on national issues in education and early childhood education. It also regulates early childhood services across the state and is responsible for funding preschool service providers as well as advising on early childhood policies and projects.
Office of the Secretary
The Office of the Secretary provides high level advice, secretariat and administrative support to the Secretary, Department of Education. It provides quality assurance processes to inform briefings and submissions to the Secretary and the Ministers’ offices. It also liaises with key internal and external stakeholders to provide advice and support to the Secretary and the Executive.
The following 3 units report directly to the Office of the Secretary:
The Delivery Unit was established to focus on supporting the department to deliver improved student outcomes through working with partners across the department on a few system-wide priorities from inception through to implementation. The support includes developing capability and capacity across the department in project and program management, delivery and benefits realisation. It is a small and dynamic team that works in a complex, fast-paced and evolving environment that will grow as it takes on new projects and priorities.
Internal Audit provides an independent and objective review and advisory service to the Secretary, and the Audit and Risk Committee. It provides assurance that the department’s financial and operational controls – designed to manage the organisation’s risks and achieve its objectives – are operating in an efficient, effective and ethical manner.
The directorate helps management improve the department’s business performance. It advises on fraud and corruption risks as well as on internal controls over business functions and processes.
Policy Coordination and Governance
Policy Coordination and Governance provides strategic advice on public sector governance and high-quality support for the machinery of government enabling the department to respond to the urgent needs and high expectations of government.
The directorate is made up of three business units: Ministerial and Executive Support, Cabinet and Policy Coordination, and Corporate Governance.
Policy Coordination and Governance helps divisions meet their obligations and achieve their goals by:
- coordinating timely and high-quality advice to Ministers, and ensuring the department’s advice and positions on policy are reflected to government
- collating the department’s operational policies to support good decision-making and accountability
- providing training, information and support on matters relating to public sector governance, risk and performance
- delivering systems and processes that integrate good governance into core business.
School Infrastructure NSW
School Infrastructure NSW is a delivery-focused unit charged with the implementation of the School Assets Strategic Plan, a blueprint for the future of school infrastructure in NSW.
School Infrastructure NSW is also responsible for:
- supplying learning spaces that support modern teaching pedagogy
- ensuring play space at our new schools meets student needs
- incorporating design principles that make our schools more environmentally sustainable
- engaging with local communities during the planning process for new and upgraded school infrastructure
- effectively managing school maintenance needs
- making school facilities and grounds more accessible to local communities
- working in close partnership with the private sector to ensure we are innovative in the way new schools are delivered
- being a responsible custodian of our Aboriginal and European heritage
- keeping communities involved in the plans for their schools.
School Operations and Performance
School Operations and Performance leads the public education system, which includes 2,208 public schools across NSW and preschools at 100 of its primary and central schools. Government preschools provide an educational preschool program for children in the year before they are enrolled in Kindergarten, with a particular focus on services for disadvantaged communities.
School Operations and Performance is responsible for:
- providing quality public education for all students in NSW government schools
- providing service and support to principals and teachers in all NSW government schools to deliver high-quality public education.