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.
Educational Services supports students with disability, students learning English as an additional language, refugee students, Aboriginal education, regional communities and early learning. It works closely with key stakeholders including principals’ associations, the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, parents and citizens’ associations, the Disability Council, and other organisations with interests in equity and access to education.
Educational Services is responsible for:
- services and support to principals and teachers in all NSW government schools
- the delivery of programs and services through NSW government schools.
Corporate Services supports the work of divisions and the delivery of high-quality teaching in schools by ensuring a skilled, productive workforce and an efficient business and operating environment. The division is responsible for:
- providing strategic direction on major organisational reforms, developing effective talent management programs, driving departmental wide succession planning and talent development, and implementing sector wide workforce reform initiatives
- recruiting and placement of teachers, school administrative and support staff and corporate staff, including best practice systems for the engagement of contractors
- developing and negotiating industrial awards and agreements
- providing strategic industrial relations advice and analysis to the Minister, Secretary, Deputy Secretaries, the Public Service Commission and the NSW Treasury
- providing legal support and advice to schools and the wider department and arranges for the department to be represented before a range of courts and tribunals
- developing and implementing responsive and effective systems to ensure the welfare of all students by investigating and managing employee performance and conduct issues
- coordinating the allocation, monitoring, high-level strategic reporting and management of financial resources across the department
- developing and implementing financial risk management and governance frameworks to measure, control and minimise risks and ensure compliance with relevance standards
- delivering customer-focused procurement outcomes in line with the strategic procurement plan
- ensuring value, efficiency and compliance with all procurement requirements including sourcing, purchasing and contract management
- identifying and providing information and communication technologies to students, teachers and staff in schools across the state
- supporting future approaches to teaching and learning including delivering internet access and wide area network connections
- supporting schools and workplaces to achieve safe working and learning environments for students, staff and visitors
- developing health and wellbeing initiatives and effective workers compensation claims administration
- providing high-level customer service to schools, corporate and vendors through the department’s shared services environment, EDConnect
- providing specialist support to schools to protect our assets and manage and recover from security-related incidents.
External Affairs and Regulation
External Affairs and Regulation (EXAR) 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 education, and promoting high quality standards for early childhood education.
External Affairs and Regulation is responsible for:
- negotiations with the Commonwealth over policy and funding to NSW for education
- development and coordination of cross-sectoral policy proposals and strategic projects
- funding policy for NSW non-government schools, and relations between the Minister, the department and the non-government schools sector
- funding and policy for early childhood education
- regulating early childhood education and care services
- higher education and tertiary policy, and engagement with the university sector
- strategic advice and support for Ministers in national-level forums and meetings
- national performance reporting, accountability and risk management.
Office of the Secretary
The Office of the Secretary provides high level 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 and liaises with key internal and external stakeholders to provide advice and support to the Secretary and the Executive.
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.
Strategy and Evaluation
Strategy and Evaluation is the central point of contact for portfolio Ministers and department divisions, providing consistent, high-quality and timely advice, briefings, correspondence and support of parliamentary operations. The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, an innovative education data hub, provides education research and evaluation to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of education in NSW.
Strategy and Evaluation is also responsible for:
- monitoring savings, benefits management, efficiency targets and related reforms to ensure the department is meeting its budget
- strategic communication, media relations, school and department websites, public school promotion and community engagement
- corporate planning and performance reporting
- enterprise risk management.