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Outsourcing to external providers

A registered non-government school's educational program may include outsourcing of particular courses/subjects to one or more external providers, provided that:

  • the school remains primarily responsible for the student
  • the courses outsourced comprise a minority of each student's overall pattern of study.

Registered schools may access external providers to deliver courses of study that are part of curriculum requirements as specified by the Education Act 1990.

An external provider is any organisation that the school has arranged to deliver a specified course of study to a student or students enrolled in the school.

The delivery of such a course may take place on school premises or elsewhere.

External providers may include:

  • another registered school
  • a government school including
    • the Open HighNSW School of Languages
    • Distance Education Centres
    • Open Training and Education Network (OTEN)
    • Saturday School of Community Languages
  • TAFE Colleges
  • Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
  • other external providers with appropriate scope of registration, qualifications and expertise.

A registered school needs to ensure that the courses outsourced comprise a minority of each student's overall pattern of study for each Stage of learning (except with NESA approval to outsource more than a minority of courses for a student or group of students.

In exceptional circumstances, as determined by NESA, NESA may approve of a non-government school outsourcing more than a minority of courses from an overall pattern of study for an individual student or a group of students where the school considers it necessary to provide an appropriate educational program. 

In seeking NESA  approval, the school would need to provide to NESA documentation to:

  • describe the exceptional circumstances
  • explain the educational program and how it meets the needs of the student(s)
  • identify the external provider
  • identify the courses that are intended to be outsourced
  • provide assurance that all other requirements for registration would be met including the school maintaining primary responsibility for the student(s).

Further requirements must be met when external providers deliver courses of study for the Record of School Achievement and/or Higher School Certificate.

Evidence of compliance

A registered non-government school must maintain documentation that records:

  • that the school has documented processes for being assured that any external provider accessed by the school complies with the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 
  • the student(s) undertaking the course(s)
  • the suitability of the external provider(s) accessed by the school to deliver the course(s), including, where relevant, evidence of certification of the provider(s) by appropriate agencies
  • the agreement with each external provider including identification of the respective responsibilities of the school and the provider
  • the procedures in place to ensure that curriculum requirements are being met and will continue to be met for the course(s) of study delivered by each external provider.

For each student undertaking one or more courses that have been outsourced to an external provider accessed by the school, the school must maintain records to demonstrate that the outsourced courses comprise a minority of each student's overall pattern of study for each Stage of learning, unless NESA approval has been obtained to outsource more than a minority of each student's overall pattern of study.

The use of an external provider does not abrogate the school's obligation to ensure that all of the registration requirements that are relevant to that mode of delivery are met.

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