In addition to complying with the requirements of the NSW Education Act (1990), schools need to meet the NESA registration requirements for attendance. Attendance Registers, in a form approved by the Minister, policies and procedures to monitor daily attendance, identify and follow up absences and notify parents regarding poor attendance are mandatory. Student attendance information and documents provided here are intended for schools to customise.

Australian Early Development Census (AEDC)

The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a nationwide data collection of early childhood development at the time children commence their first year of full-time school.
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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.

Complaints and Whistle-blowing

Schools will now be required to comply with whistle-blower protections under the Corporations Act. All schools are also required by NESA to publish complaints handling policies and procedures. An overview of the whistle-blowing requirements as well as sample policies for complaints and whistle-blowing are provided.
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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 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.


AISNSW assists member schools with formulation and reviewing of enrolment processes. The information and documents provided here are intended for schools to customise. This information should be read in conjunction with the AISNSW Attendance advice on 'Student Enrolment Destination Unknown' and 'Exemption from Enrolment'.


The AISNSW Governance Resource Manual (GRM) assists member schools with registration requirements in governance. The AISNSW Governance Resource Manual has been updated to reflect the changes in the NESA Registered and Accredited Individual Non-Government Schools (NSW) Manual.
Governance Resource Manual


Requirements for immunisation vary according to the level of education in which a child/student is enrolling. Enrolment in Early Childhood services such as preschools and long day care centres requires proof of immunisation, whereas primary and secondary schools must request (not necessarily obtain) immunisation certificates on enrolment.


To assist NSW Independent Schools AISNSW has compiled the most relevant legislation that affects school operations.
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NAPLAN & Scout Analysis Package

Every year the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses the literacy and numeracy skills of students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. NAPLAN is developed and reported on by Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). In NSW, NAPLAN is implemented and administered by NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) as the Test Administration Authority (TAA).

Not-For-Profit Requirements (s83C) NSW

Only schools that operate not-for-profit are eligible for recurrent government funding from the Australian and NSW governments.
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NQF Early Childhood Services

AISNSW supports and advises schools in addressing the regulatory requirements of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. Preschools, Long Day Care, Family Day Care and Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services are approved under Education and Care National Laws and Regulations and operate under the National Quality Framework (NQF). They are regulated in NSW by the Department of Education.

Out of School Hours Care

Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) is regulated in NSW by the Department of Education. Support in addressing regulatory requirements is available through the AISNSW, or you may contact the ECEC directorate of the Department of Education for further information on regulatory matters.

School Counselling

Guidance documents have been developed for school leaders to provide information about aspects of school counselling for your consideration.
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Opening 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 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.

Overseas Students

AISNSW advises independent schools enrolling school-aged overseas students. Schools must be approved by NESA, be registered on the Commonwealth Register of International Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), and meet the requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and the National Code. Advice is available on funding and census reporting implications for students on a range of visas.

Policy & Compliance Resources

AISNSW provides a comprehensive range of draft policies and guidelines for use and adaptation by member schools. Some documents are intended to be provided directly to staff (e.g. code of conduct) for their understanding and direction. Other related guideline documents give background for the school head, executive and board to understand the topic area, the intention of the policy content and any legal obligations.


The Privacy Act and the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 apply to independent Schools. The AISNSW and Catholic Schools NSW funded the development of the Privacy Compliance Manual which is available to AISNSW member schools.
Privacy Resources

Regulation of Teacher Accreditation

NESA is the sole authority to make teacher accreditation decisions in NSW following legislative amendments made to the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 in December 2021. The requirements for teacher accreditation in NSW have not changed although there have been changes to accreditation processes and requirements for schools.

School Registration & Accreditation

The AISNSW 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.

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 schools publish an Annual Report each year. In addition, the Commonwealth requires the publication of information including context, student enrolments, staffing, national testing results, selected financial information and achievements each year on the My School website.