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Registration requirements for member schools

Registered non-government schools must meet the requirements of the Education Act. This section of the website details the requirements that all registered non-government schools and all non-government schools that are approved as exempt from registration must meet and the evidence of compliance that schools must maintain for the period of their registration. The requirements and evidence of compliance relate to:

Additional requirements apply to schools with boarding facilities. These are also detailed on the website. The maximum period for which registration may be renewed is five (5) years.

NESA may specify matters, in addition to but not inconsistent with the requirements listed above, that the Minister may have regard to in determining whether the requirements for registration will be or are being complied with at a non-government school.

Quality of student learning

In deciding whether the requirements of the Education Act are being complied with in relation to a registered non-government school, NESA will have regard to matters relating to the quality of student learning. Under the Education Act, such matters may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the standard of teaching of courses of study provided at the school,
  • student engagement in learning at the school,
  • any matters identified in a risk assessment conducted by NESA in relation to the school.

As well, NESA will have regard to its related functions under the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 (‘the TA Act’). The TA Act provides, among other things, that NESA will:

  • advise and assist other teacher accreditation authorities in accrediting persons under the TA Act
  • monitor the accreditation process across all schools
  • ensure that the professional teaching standards are applied fairly and consistently.

NESA will also have regard to the quality of student learning as relevant to the requirements relating to teaching staff, curriculum, facilities and student welfare (attendance).

The standard of teaching of courses of study in provided at a school will be assessed in relation to evidence demonstrating school-wide policies and consistent practices in areas identified by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers as provided by the TA Act.

The emphasis of this process is the collective standard of teaching provided by a school as opposed to the standard of any one teacher at the school.

In assessing the standard of teaching of courses of study NESA will have regard to:

  • staff qualifications, experience and expertise
  • the school’s policies for the induction, mentoring, professional development and accreditation of teachers.

In addition, some of the possible ways the standard of teaching of courses of study could be demonstrated by the system and/or each member school include:

  • the consistency between the various elements of the documented curriculum implemented by the school including:
    • syllabus outcomes
    • scope and sequence of learning/units of work
    • teaching programs and learning activities and
    • samples of student work
  • records of teacher evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching programs, including teaching and learning strategies, in terms of student learning
  • the implementation of strategies to improve student learning and target specific needs
  • records of the school’s analysis of student achievement data, including the results of external testing, diagnostic and summative assessments and the progressive achievement of students over time, to inform teaching and learning and evaluation of practice
  • the implementation of literacy, numeracy and ICT strategies to support learning across all courses of study.

Some of the possible ways student engagement in learning could be demonstrated include:

  • teaching strategies and programs designed and implemented to meet specific learning needs of students across varying student backgrounds and learning abilities
  • evidence of learning progress over time
  • student work samples
  • rates of student attendance and retention/attrition, including trends in student suspension and expulsion rates
  • student performance in internal and external assessments and examinations
  • student evaluation and self-reporting instruments and teacher reflection/evaluation of teaching and learning activities to inform the development and revision of teaching programs
  • strategies for effective classroom management and respectful teacher-student relationships.

In conducting a risk assessment in relation to the quality of student learning, NESA will have regard to the system’s process for identifying risk indicators relevant to determinants of student learning such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • the accreditation and experience of teachers
  • school-wide policies and consistent practices having regard to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers as provided by the TA Act
  • the quality of the educational program
  • recent school history
  • enrolment and attendance
  • changes to and complexity of the management and operational context of the school.

Evidence of compliance

Documentation or evidence to be maintained by the system and/or by each member school includes:

  • the standard of teaching having regard to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers as provided by the TA Act
  • how these policies and practices are monitored by the system and how the system implements strategies to improve the standard of teaching, as relevant
  • processes for assessing and improving student engagement in learning, as relevant.

The system and/or each member school will maintain records to demonstrate the quality of student learning including records in relation to the standard of teaching and student engagement.

Specific evidence of compliance that is directly related to the standard of teaching and student engagement in learning has been included in relation to the registration requirements for teaching staff (section 5.2.1 of this Manual), curriculum (section 5.3 and, for accredited schools, section 7), facilities (section 5.5) and student welfare (section 5.6.2).

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