School Counselling *NEW

Guidance documents have been developed for school leaders to provide information about aspects of school counselling for your consideration.
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AISNSW Schools Compliance Calendar

The Schools Compliance Calendar has been provided as a reference document for schools which reflects compliance and accountability information related to Government funding, legislative requirements, including reporting, registration and accreditation requirements on a monthly and annual basis during a school year.

Compliance Calendar

Addressing Anti-Social and Extremist Behaviour

The NSW Government has developed '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 for advice and reporting incidents of anti-social and extremist behaviour is available.


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 Whistleblowing

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


Immunisation requirements vary according to age and academic year in which a child/student is enrolling. Recent changes in NSW have meant that a centre operating under the National Early Childhood Education and Care Law and Regulations (such as a preschool or long day care) requires approved documentation of the following: full vaccination for age, participation in a recognised catch-up schedule, or considered medically not able to be vaccinated.


AISNSW provides advice and assistance to Independent schools on the wide range of government policies, regulations and legislation they must comply with in order to meet their obligations to the broader community. Appropriate and relevant resources and information are provided here. We also work closely with government authorities to ensure that the needs of independent schools are considered during the development of legislation and guidelines.

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. 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, Catholic Schools NSW and the Department of Education to coordinate the move to NAPLAN Online for all NSW schools.

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, 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 AISNSW, or you may contact the ECEC directorate of the Department of Education for further information on regulatory matters.

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

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.

Teacher Accreditation Authorities

AISNSW is an approved Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA). All Independent schools are obliged by the NESA to have an approved TAA, to accredit their teaching staff. They may operate the TAA or they may have a written agreement with another approved TAA. AISNSW supports schools in the TAA approval process and in teacher accreditation.