Information Access – Agency Information Guide

Information access is responsible for the department's obligations under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Members of the public can access records, reports and other types of information that is of public interest through the Information Access unit. Access to information is only restricted where there is an overriding public interest against disclosure under the Government Information (Public) Access Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Our agency guide describes the type of information that is either freely available or available on informal request. It describes other instances where formal application may be made for access and where access is excluded. It also provides links to information about how members of the public can participate in the department's functions and in the formulation of policy.

We are committed to improving openness, transparency and ease of public access to our information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), including policies, statistics and reports.

Education cluster

The education cluster of NSW government consists of the Department of Education, including the Teaching Service and the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA), and Smart and Skilled, Training Services NSW and Vocational Education & Training.

You can view the NSW Education Standards Authority's agency information guide for more information about NESA.

You can find out more about the functions of the department and the type of information we hold through the 'about us' section of the department's website.

Staff resources

Information for staff on how to process applications can be found on the staff guidelines page.

People often ask

How to access information

Under the Government Information (Public) Access Act 2009 (GIPA Act) there are four ways that the department can make information available to the public:

  • open access information via the internet
  • proactive push of information into the public domain via other channels (ie print)
  • release as a result of an informal request for information not already available
  • a formal application process for information not publicly available.

For information about how to access each type of information, please see the headings below:

The department's Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation provides open access data about education in NSW within the education Datahub. CESE analyses and evaluates educational programs and strategies and gauges New South Wales' education performance over time through its ongoing core data collections and delivery of analysis and reports.

A copy of the department?s open data policy is also available.

If we haven't published the information you seek, we may be able to release it to you without the need for a formal access application. We generally provide the following types of information in response to an informal request:

  • copies of correspondence, sent to us by the requester
  • documents that contain only personal information about the requester
  • documents that have already been made public in some other way
  • other reasonable requests for release of information that would not raise any potential public interest concerns.

Where information is released to you in response to your informal request conditions may apply.

To make an informal access request please contact either the relevant school, or the Information Access unit.

If the information you are looking for is not published by us or available by informal request, you may wish to make a formal access application in writing under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Access applications are subject to application fees and processing charges. We will not however release information if there is an overriding public interest against its disclosure.

To make a formal access request please use the access application form (PDF 112KB) or contact the Information Access unit.

An access application cannot be made for information specifically excluded under Schedule 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. This includes the storage, reporting and analysis of department information relating to the ranking of students who have completed the Higher School Certificate for entrance into tertiary institutions. For more details about information that may not be disclosed, please contact the Information Access Unit.

For some categories of information, while an access application may be made there is a presumption against release. The list of categories is set out at Schedule 1 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. For more details about information that may not be disclosed, please contact the Information Access Unit.

The department has a number of ways you can provide feedback. You can make a comment, participate in formulating the department's policies, or to participate in the exercise of the department's functions including:

  • To comment, make suggestions or provide feedback on our policies
  • To participate in the exercise of the department's functions
  • To provide feedback about our website of the department use the "Provide Feedback" button at the bottom of this page.
  • Department switchboard
    • Phone: 1300 679 332
  • Social Media:

For general enquiries, policy information & referral, public school enquiries and authentication of school reports.

Call the schools and community senior information officer
T 02 7814 1530

Applications under the GIPA Act

Information Access Unit
Department of Education
Level 5, 105 Phillip St
T 02 7814 3525

Media enquiries

NSW Department of Education's media unit:
T 02 7814 1559

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