Policy Implementation and System Registration
All NSW public schools must comply with department policies, procedures and processes.
The department uses a range of processes to ensure schools monitor and implement the required curriculum and policies in every school. These important processes give the department, as a school system, the assurance that all schools meet certain requirements.
Some of these processes are built into the School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) software platform, managed by Strategic School Improvement, whilst others are monitored by other business units and teams in the department.
Curriculum and policy monitoring
Schools need to meet minimum requirements when implementing curriculum. These requirements are outlined in the Education Act, the Disability Discrimination Act, the disability standards, department policies and standards, and the NESA registration process.
While not being a comprehensive reflection of all the work a school undertakes, curriculum implementation minimum requirements provide a useful baseline from which schools can engage in professional conversations for school improvement and teacher development.
Schools have the responsibility to monitor their implementation of curriculum and have documented procedures for implementing department policies. Monitoring, collecting and maintaining evidence is standard practice for all NSW schools.
Each year a specified number of schools are selected to participate in curriculum and policy monitoring processes. These include NESA random inspections and the department's curriculum and policy monitoring (CPM) network meetings.
The department provides system support for schools through the Strategic School Improvement unit and tailored support through Principals, School Leadership; Directors, Educational Leadership; and curriculum advisors.
Curriculum and policy monitoring (CPM)
Curriculum and policy monitoring (CPM) meetings are an internal assurance process of the department regarding the implementation of policy and curriculum in schools. CPM looks at compliance within a school improvement context and provides opportunities for professional dialogue and sharing amongst schools.
The Registration Process for the NSW Government Schooling System Manual provides the requirements for curriculum and policy implementation underpinning CPM.
Generally, the department follows the pattern of focus areas identified in NESA’s 5 year plan. The department may vary this schedule if additional areas are identified as priorities.
A sample of schools reflective of the diversity of the department are selected to participate each year.
Each CPM meeting will focus on a specific key learning area (KLA) and stage as well as a specified number of policy implementation areas from the Manual.
The Director, Educational Leadership hosts the meeting and will work with each school to address any recommendations identified in the report.
Visit Curriculum and policy monitoring webpage for more information.
Primary and RoSA Curriculum Self-assessment Surveys
The voluntary Primary and Record of School Achievement (RoSA) curriculum self-assessment surveys provide professional development opportunities to assists schools to strengthen their internal monitoring processes as well as understanding more about the curriculum and policy requirements of the department and NESA.
All schools with K-10 cohorts are invited to participate including central schools, community schools and Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs).
For more information regarding the Self-assessment surveys, go to:
All schools offering HSC courses must complete the HSC Appendix 2 monitoring confirmation each year in the School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) software to ensure students will be awarded their HSC.
Schools deliver programs of study, including Life Skills and VET courses, that comply with the requirements of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses for the HSC including indicative hours of study. Stage 6 Life Skills courses provide options for students who are unable to access regular course outcomes.
In Term 4 of each year, school’s access HSC monitoring guidelines on the department’s Stage 6 webpage which includes details of what schools must and should do to comply with DoE policy and provisions and NESA requirements and links to additional resources.
View the HSC monitoring webpage for more information.
Each year, Directors, Educational Leadership (DELs) and principals confirm that there are policy monitoring processes relating to safety and wellbeing in place in NSW schools.
The annual policy monitoring confirmation process is designed to provide to support to all schools in meeting mandatory policy requirements. It directly supports principals and DELs to monitor, review and ensure ongoing compliance with specific policy areas. This monitoring process also allows the department to confirm all schools are policy compliant, in addition to the annual sample of schools visited by NESA or school auditors each year.
Principals confirm they have reviewed, and where necessary updated, the school processes and practices that monitor and support compliance consistent with the policy implementation requirements contained in the modules.
After a discussion with the school and consideration of school processes and available evidence, the DEL then confirms that monitoring processes are in place, and that documentation is available at the school to demonstrate that these requirements are being met.
The timeframe for policy monitoring confirmation aligns with the usual start of year staff consultations and reviews of processes, prompting principals and DELs to test and verify ongoing compliance, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students.
Visit the Policy monitoring support webpage for more information.
As a schooling system, the Department of Education needs to meet the minimum requirements outlined in the ‘NESA registration process for the NSW government schooling system manual’.
Our schools have the responsibility to monitor their implementation of curriculum, and have documented procedures for implementing department policies.
NESA inspects a sample of schools every year to monitor the department’s system processes, policies and procedures. Each year a new subset of registration requirements is selected as the focus of these inspections which NESA publishes in an official notice towards the end of Term 4.
The department also notifies schools via the Staff Noticeboard and on the ‘Random Inspections’ page of the education website. All selected schools will undergo an inspection in relation to this subset of registration requirements, which includes assessing one policy area and one curriculum area.
Schools are advised of an inspection by NESA with a minimum of 4 days’ notice. Random selection with limited notice is part of NESA’s risk assessment process, allowing NESA to assess day-to-day school procedures operating in a ‘business as usual’ state.
If selected for a random inspection, a Strategic School Improvement team member will contact the principal and support them through the process.
Collecting evidence relating to curriculum compliance is standard practice for all schools. This evidence will guide the NESA inspector in determining compliance.
After the inspection, the NESA inspector prepares a report identifying their findings, which is used by the department as evidence of system compliance. In the case of non-compliance, the report is used as a basis for developing improvement strategies at the school level.
The Strategic School Improvement team advises the DEL and school principal, who work together to design and implement improvement strategies that address any concerns in a timely manner.
Finally, NESA provides a report informing the Secretary and the Minister for Education that the NSW government schooling system continues to comply with registration requirements.
NESA conducts random inspections to monitor compliance with a small subset of requirements in Section 4 of NESA's Registration Process for the NSW Government Schooling System Manual (The Manual).
NESA will inspect schools selected in relation to one policy area and one curriculum area.
If selected, an inspector will contact the school principal (or equivalent) at least four days in advance of the inspection. The inspector will outline details of the inspection and what the school will need to provide. This information will also be provided in writing.
Visit the department's Random inspections webpage or NESA advice on schools selected randomly for inspection for more information.
- School Excellence and Accountability
- Curriculum policy monitoring (CPM) - DoE staff only
- Primary Curriculum Self-assessment Survey - DoE staff only
- RoSA Self-assessment Survey. - DoE staff only
- HSC monitoring guidelines on the department’s Stage 6 webpage
- NESA: About the HSC website
- NESA's 'Registration Process for the NSW Government Schooling System Manual
- Policy monitoring support for schools - DoE staff only
- Random inspections - DoE staff only
Email the Strategic School Improvement team at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 02 7814 3853 with all enquiries.