Random inspections

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) selects a small number of schools each year for a random inspection.

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).

There are 2 separate strands for random inspections - Strand A and Strand B - which focus on NESA's annual priorities each year.

Schools will be advised of the strand and the requirements when they are notified of the upcoming inspection.

Principals must be aware of the relevant requirements for each particular strand so they can provide NESA Inspectors with evidence of compliance.

Inspections of schools selected by NESA commence in mid Term 1 (week 5) and are completed by the end of Term 3.

Random inspection Strand A - 2021

Strand A includes a policy area and a curriculum area.

  • Policy area: safe and supportive environment - child protection.
  • Curriculum area: this will be either:
    • Primary schools: focus on assessment and reporting as demonstrated through 2 stages of PDHPE (NESA selected)
    • Secondary schools with Years 11 and 12: Stage 6 assessment policies and procedures that comply with the ACE website and NESA Official Notices.

Random inspection Strand B - 2021

Strand B relates to the quality of student learning.

  • Primary schools: evidence of the quality of student learning, demonstrated through 2 stages of HSIE (NESA selected)
  • Secondary schools with Years 7-10: evidence of the quality of student learning, demonstrated through Technology Mandatory and one Stage 5 Technologies elective (NESA selected)
  • Secondary schools with Years 11-12: evidence of the quality of student learning demonstrated through Stage 6 Mathematics.

Schools will be advised at the time of notification which stage(s) will be inspected.

The process

NESA will notify a school of an upcoming random inspection no less than 4 school days before the inspection.

After the NESA inspectors have contacted the school, the Strategic School Improvement team will contact the school to offer guidance and support. School principals can also contact their DEL and PSL if required.

During a random inspection:

  • schools are expected to provide a sample of current materials identified in the Evidence of Compliance sections from The Manual (see link under Resources)
  • if the NESA inspectors require more information, or identify compliance concerns about the subset of Section 4 requirements, additional evidence may be requested.

A typical schedule for a NESA random inspection is as follows. NESA inspectors, in consultation with SSI, DELs and principals, may vary an inspection schedule if needed.

  • 9.30am – the inspection team arrives at the school to meet the principal and system personnel
  • 10.00am – the inspection team reviews the evidence provided in relation to the subset of requirements
  • 11.15am – the inspection team meets the principal and system personnel to provide their feedback
  • 11.30am – the inspection team departs the school.

Learn more

Email registration@det.nsw.edu.au or contact Strategic School Improvement on 02 7814 3853 with any queries about random inspections.

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