NESA’s Registration and Accreditation Requirements

Types of Registration

A school can be registered for one or more of the following classes of registration:

  1. Primary Years of schooling for any specified Years
  2. Secondary Years of schooling for any specified Years
  3. Education of a kind, or for children of a Kind.

School of a kind is a class of registration that allows the school to provide what is called ‘education of a kind’ or for ‘children of a kind’. Schools with registration for education of a kind develop their own curriculum which is not necessarily based on the NSW syllabuses to meet the needs of the children of a kind enrolled at the school.

A school of a kind may cater for:

  • children who need special instruction because of sensory, physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities, OR
  • children who are, or who are children of, foreign nationals.


Where a school intends to nominate candidates for the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) or the Higher School Certificate (HSC) there is an additional requirement for the school to be accredited, which provides assurance that the requirements for these credentials are being, or will be met.


Schools can be recognised as either a:

  •  Special School for students with disability, or
  •  Special Assistance School for students who may have social, emotional or behavioural needs.

Schools with recognition as a Special School or a Special Assistance School limit their enrolments to students who have these characteristics.

To be granted recognition as a Special School or as a Special Assistance School, a school’s Enrolment Policy must identify the characteristics of the disability or social, emotional and/or behavioural needs of the students eligible to enrol in the school.

NESA's NSW Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools Manual

The minimum requirements for registering and for accrediting a non-government school are set out in NESA's NSW Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools Manual (the Manual), which covers governance and operational matters including requirements for the proprietor and principal of the school, management and operation of the school, staff, curriculum, premises, buildings and facilities, a safe and supportive environment, discipline and attendance, and educational and financial reporting.

Boarding schools have additional requirements, as do schools providing distance education or outsourcing courses to external providers and outside tutors, and these are also set out in the NESA Manual.

New Schools Need to Demonstrate Capacity to Comply

A school applying for initial registration must demonstrate its capacity to comply with the registration requirements which includes having in place policies and procedures that detail how the school will operate once established. A school would also need to have in place planning for the curriculum to be delivered by the school.