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POLICY AND COMPLIANCE SUPPORT

Addressing Anti-Social + Extremist Behaviour

The NSW Government has made available a support package called School Communities Working Together to assist all NSW schools in countering anti-social and extremist behaviour, building community cohesion and maintaining cultural harmony. Training and support is available to all NSW schools. A telephone hotline has been established for school executives to seek advice and report incidents of anti-social and extremist behaviour. More information on School Communities Working Together is available from the AISNSW advice page, below.


Attendance

In addition to complying with the requirements of the NSW Education Act (1990), schools need to meet the NESA registration requirements for attendance, which include keeping a register, in a form approved by the Minister, of the enrolments and daily attendance of all children at the school, and to have in place policies and procedures to monitor daily attendance/absence of students, indentify and follow up absences from school and notify parents regarding poor attendance. Student attendance information and documents provided here are intended for schools to customise to suit their individual circumstances and communication style. 

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845

Child Protection

The AISNSW provides advice and support to member schools on a range of child protection matters including whole school and specific child safe strategies, reportable conduct allegations and investigations, mandatory reporting, liaison with Family and Community Services, Police, the NSW Ombudsman and the Office of the Children’s Guardian, peer on peer abuse and child wellbeing. Other services include fee for service child protection investigations, on site consultancies and training and accredited investigator training. Schools with an employee accredited by AISNSW have access to the NSW Ombudsman’s Class or Kind Agreement which allows schools to investigate lower level physical matters without reporting to the NSW Ombudsman under the reportable conduct scheme.

Contact the Child Protection Team:

Maria Costa, Senior Child Protection Advisor

Kathryn Element, Child Protection Advisor

Megan Lewis, Child Protection Advisor

Lana Martin, Child Protection Advisor

02 9299 2845


Copyright

Australian copyright law is legislated at Federal level by the Australian parliament. It covers literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works, and subject matter such as published editions, sound recordings, broadcasts and films. The Copyright Act 1968 (Copyright Act) provides specific Statutory and Voluntary Licence schemes for educational use of copyright material. The Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) and Screenrights administer the statutory licences while the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA), AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) are the main organisations which administer the voluntary licences. These uses are paid for by schools. AISNSW provides a channel for independent schools to pay annual per student copyright fees for the two statutory licences as well as the APRA, AMCOS and ARIA licences which cover the main uses of music in schools.

Contact:

Wendy Godden, Manager: BGA and Grants Administration

 Ph: 9299 2845

Disability Legislation

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) makes it illegal for an education provider to harass or discriminate against a person with disability or their associate, on the basis of disability. The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (DSE) were formulated under the DDA and set out the process to be followed to ensure that students with a disability are provided with opportunities to realise their potential through participation in education and training on the same basis as other students.

Contact the Student Services Team:

Lisa Ridings: Division Head: Student Services

02 9299 2845


Enrolment

This information is to assist member schools through the formulation and reviewing of enrolment processes. It is intended for the school’s leadership involved in the enrolment process for the school. The information and documents provided here are intended for schools to customise to suit their individual circumstances and communication style. The enrolment documents are located under these headings: 

Draft policy and Procedures | Enrolment conditions, including boarders and international students | Forms and letters | Guidelines for enrolling students with a disability and guidelines relating to fees 

This information should be read in conjunction with the AISNSW Attendance page, which provides additional material, including the Student Enrolment Destination Unknown form and information about Exemption from Enrolment. Please contact the AIS Education Regulations & Program Implementation Division for further advice and support on enrolment matters.

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845


Governance

On 1 January 2017 NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) replaced BOSTES. NESA has made a number of revisions to its registration requirements for non-government schools, including changes to Section 3.9 of its manual, Management and Operation of the School. The AISNSW Governance Resource Manual (GRM) was developed to assist member schools meet their registration requirements in relation to governance: standards for the ‘proper governance’ of independent schools were introduced by Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) in October 2014. The AISNSW Governance Resource Manual has been updated to reflect the changes in the NESA Registered and Accredited Individual Non-Government Schools (NSW) Manual. The GRM has also been restructured to help schools efficiently manage the process of documenting their policies and procedures in relation to governance. This new structure does not remove the necessity for schools to contextualise their governance processes. However, the revised GRM provides a more structured framework enabling schools to demonstrate ‘evidence of compliance’ in an orderly sequence following the NESA requirements. To access the AISNSW Governance Resource Manual (GRM) or to visit the NESA website please click the links below. For more information regarding Governance please contact Chris Duncan.

Contact the Governance Team:

Chris Duncan

02 9299 2845


Immunisation

Requirements for immunisation vary according to the level of education in which a child/student is enrolling. Recent changes in NSW have meant that a child cannot enrol in an early childhood education service operating under the National Early Childhood Education and Care Law and Regulations (such as a preschool or long day care centre) unless approved documentation is provided showing that they are fully vaccinated for their age, or are on a recognised catch-up schedule, or have a medical reason not to be vaccinated.


Parents of children enrolling in primary or secondary schools must be asked for an approved immunisation certificate, but if this is not available, the student may still be enrolled, subject to required procedures (e.g. unvaccinated children may be excluded from school for the duration of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease). Further detailed information is available below for each level of education.

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845

Legislation + Accreditation

Independent schools must comply with a wide range of government policies, regulations and legislation in order to meet their obligations to the broader community. To assist schools to do this, the AIS provides advice and assistance to schools on a wide range of topics and government requirements. We work closely with government authorities to ensure that the needs of independent schools are considered during the development of legislation and guidelines, and seek to provide independent schools with appropriate and relevant resources and information to enable them to meet their obligations to governments, students and the broader community.

Contact AISNSW regarding Legislation and Regulations:

Robyn Yates

02 9299 2845


NAPLAN Online

Commonwealth, State and Territory education ministers have agreed that the annual National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests will move from pen and paper to online testing. A final decision about when to transition to NAPLAN Online for NSW will be made after the August to September readiness tests. NSW may review its transition timetable based on the experiences of the other states and territories. The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) acts as the NSW NAPLAN Test Administration Authority. NESA is working with the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, the Catholic Education Commission and the Department of Education to coordinate the move to NAPLAN online for all NSW schools.


NQF Early Childhood Services

Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services, approved under the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations, and operating under the National Quality Framework (NQF), include Preschools, Long Day Care Family Day Care and Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services. These services are regulated in NSW by the Department of Education. Information and support for schools in addressing ECEC regulatory requirements is available through the AIS, or you may contact the ECEC directorate of the Department of Education.

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845


Out of School Hours Care

As for other Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services, approved under the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations, Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services operate under the National Quality Framework (NQF) and are regulated in NSW by the Department of Education. Support for schools in addressing regulatory requirements for OSHC services, as well as the opportunity to apply for a grant under the NSW Government’s $20M Before and After School Care Fund, is available through the AIS, or you may contact the ECEC directorate of the Department of Education for further information on regulatory matters.

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845


Overseas Students

Independent schools enrolling school-aged overseas students are required to be approved by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and are then registered on the Commonwealth Register of International Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) as required by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and the National Code. Information and support for schools in addressing CRICOS regulatory requirements is available through the AIS web page, which also provides contact details for information about the funding and census reporting implications of students on a range of visas. You may also refer to the NESA Overseas Students website.

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team: 

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845


Policy + Compliance Resources

AISNSW provides a comprehensive range of draft policies and guidelines for use and adaptation by member schools. Some of the policy documents are intended to be provided directly to staff (e.g. code of conduct) for their understanding and direction, whereas the related guideline documents are intended for use as informative background for the purposes of informing the school head, executive and its board to better understand the specific topic area, the intention of the policy’s content and their legal obligations. The AIS understands that schools will adopt these policies as their own and place them on letterhead with use of their school name throughout. It is important that schools realise that the policy documents have been drafted with particular outcomes and legislation in mind. If the school wishes to make changes or edit the content in these documents we recommend that the school contacts the AIS to seek advice. Please note the documents are not provided to you as legal advice and may be only one tool by which a school can meet its legislative obligations.

Contact:

Cathy Lovell, Head of School Services, Division Head: Workplace Management

Evelyn Langton, Assistant Division Head: Workplace Management

02 9299 2845


Privacy

The Privacy Act and the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 apply to independent Schools. The AISNSW and the Catholic Education Commissions Nationally funded the development of the Privacy Compliance Manual which is available to AISNSW member schools. The Privacy Compliance Manual assists schools to interpret the privacy legislation that applies to their school and provides guidance as to how all privacy matters can be managed in a school environment to the benefit of the school, its students, parents and the school community generally. The Privacy Manual includes draft Collection Notices to ensure that all parties clearly understand the information that is collected by a school, the intended use of that information, the means by which the information is stored and the period of time it will be held. In particular, the Privacy Compliance Manual now contains a section on how to response in the case of data breaches.

Contact AISNSW:

Charles Alexander, Legal Counsel
Cathy Lovell, Head of School Service, Division Head: Workplace Management
Evelyn Langton, Assistant Division Head: Workplace Management

02 9299 2845

School Registration + Accreditation

AIS provides advice and assistance to member schools in relation to registration and accreditation and also offers workshops for schools that are preparing for renewal of registration. All independent schools must be registered and accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority. New schools must gain provisional registration before the first year of operation. Member schools seeking advice or assistance in relation to registration and accreditation matters or further information about the range and extent of services available should contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team on (02) 9299 2845. Schools should note that separate advice concerning governance requirements is available on the Governance section of the AISNSW website.


School Reporting + Data Collection

Independent schools must meet a range of reporting requirements for governments. The Australian Government and NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) require that schools publish an annual school report each year. In addition, the Commonwealth requires the publication of additional school information including context, student enrolments, staffing, national testing results, selected financial information and achievements each year on the My School website. In reporting to parents, schools are required to provide information as specified by the Australian Government in the Schools Assistance Regulations.

Contact the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845


Starting a New Independent School in NSW

The first step in establishing a new school is to apply to the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for approval to operate. As the NSW State Government will also require local government approval for the school, prospective schools should contact their local council to confirm whether the property can be used as a school and whether there are any other local requirements or restrictions on the approval of occupancy, such as maximum numbers of students. Approval is also required from the Commonwealth Government, particularly for funding purposes. AISNSW can provide support to prospective schools applying for initial registration.


Teacher Accreditation

As part of registration requirements, independent schools are obliged by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to have an approved Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) which they may operate themselves or they may have a written agreement with another approved TAA. AIS can provide support to schools in addressing regulatory requirements for approval of TAAs and can also provide information and advice to member schools in relation to general teacher accreditation matters and the AIS Independent Schools Teacher Accreditation Authority (ISTAA).

Contact (Approval of TAAs) the Education Regulations and Program Implementation Team:

nsayers@aisnsw.edu.au

02 9299 2845