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The following definition of terms is provided to assist schools. Where there is any conflict between these definitions and definitions in the Act or other legislation the statutory definitions prevail.


Compliance with Part 8 of the Education Act 1990 (NSW) including section 94, for the Record of School Achievement, or section 95 for the Higher School Certificate, allowing entry of candidates for the award of these credentials.

ACE website The NESA Assessment Certification Examination website (see ACE).
approved authority for a registration system

The person or body who or which is appointed for the time being by:

a) the proprietor or proprietors of the non-government schools, or

b) the person or persons who propose to establish the non-government schools

to act on their behalf in relation to the registration system or proposed system.

Australian Dietary Guidelines The Dietary guidelines provide advice to the general population about healthy food choices, so that their usual diet contributes to a healthy lifestyle and is consistent with minimal risk for the development of diet-related disorders.
Board The NSW Education Standards Authority Board
boarding facilities Facilities, including overnight accommodation, provided by the school itself or under contractual arrangement for students enrolled at the school. This excludes accommodation provided for day pupils away from the school during a brief school trip and 'home stay' accommodation.
campus A campus is part of a registered non-government school where that part is located at a different site and used for the delivery of courses as described by Parts 1, 3, 7 and 8 of the Education Act 1990 (NSW) or for the provision of amenities for teachers and students participating in those courses or for the provision of boarding facilities.
complaint A grievance, expression of dissatisfaction or formal allegation.
compulsory years of schooling From the age of six (6) years to the age at which a child completes Year 10 of secondary education (subject to the participation requirements of section 21B(3) of the Education Act) or the age of seventeen (17) years, whichever occurs first
corporal punishment The application of physical force to punish or correct the student, but not including the application of force to prevent personal injury to, or damage to or the destruction of property of, any person (including the student).
curriculum guidelines Guidelines developed by NESA and approved by the Minister.
distance education The delivery of courses of study by a school to students enrolled in the school during which the students and teachers are not regularly in the presence of each other but communicate with each other in writing, by print or by electronic or other means.
Education Act The Education Act 1990 (NSW): legislation enacted in the New South Wales Parliament in 1990 – see NSW legislation (www.legislation.nsw.gov.au).
exclusion The act of preventing a student's admission to a number of schools.
expulsion The permanent removal of a student from one particular school.
external provider Any organisation that the school has entered into an arrangement with to deliver a specific course of study that is part of the curriculum as described by Parts 1, 3, 7 and 8 of the Education Act to a student or students enrolled at the school.
Inspector An officer of NESA, employed or appointed under section 104 of the Education Act 1990 (NSW) to enable the NESA to exercise its functions under section 102 of the Education Act 1990 (NSW).
legal entity approved by the Minister to operate an individual non-government school A registered company or a trust including religious organisations.
Manual Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual, NSW, NSW Education Standards Authority.
member school A non-government school which is part of an approved system of non-government schools.
mentally incapacitated person A person who is a temporary patient, a continued treatment patient or a forensic patient within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW), or a protected person within the meaning of the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009.
minimum curriculum For primary schools, section 8 and for secondary schools, section 10 of the Education Act 1990 (NSW). Not applicable to schools providing education of a kind, or for children of a kind, as prescribed by the Regulations.
Minister Minister for Education, New South Wales.
NESA NSW Education Standards Authority.
NESA website educationstandards.nsw.edu.au
non-government school An institution that is not owned by the State government, is registered by the Minister or granted exemption from registration by the Minister, and whose major activity is the provision of education, either primary or secondary (or both) or of a kind, or for children of a kind, prescribed by the regulations.
NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Government agency responsible for community and justice services (formerly Department of Community Services (DoCS) Family and Community Services (FACS).
'on-site' supervisor Person who supervises a distance-education student’s tests, examinations and/or assessment tasks. 'On-site' supervisors may be family or community members who have not had any teacher training.
outside tutor A person other than a teaching staff member of the school, whom the school has approved to deliver a specified course that is part of the curriculum as described by Parts 1, 3, 7 and 8 of the Education Act to students enrolled in the school.
policy An official statement of the school’s goals or objectives in an area of school governance which outlines the associated procedures, activities or other key elements in a way that demonstrates how these goals or objectives are to be achieved. This Manual specifies those areas of school governance where it is a registration/accreditation requirement for a school to have a policy.
principal The most senior member of the teaching staff of a school, with responsibility for the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of the school, including compliance with the Education Act.
procedural fairness Application of the 'hearing rule' and the 'right to an unbiased decision' when implementing policies and procedures where decisions are to be made which affect the rights of others.
proprietor The legal entity that owns the school or schools.
RANGS Online The NESA secure online website for non-government schools and registration systems to make applications and notifications to NESA and to submit annual reports (bosho.boradofstudies.nsw.edu.au/links/rangsonline)
RANGS website rego.nesa.nsw.edu.au
recognised teacher institution Any accredited tertiary institution that offers courses in teacher education.
registration Compliance with Part 7 of the Education Act including section 47, relating to approval to operate as a school, but does not include entering candidates for the Record of School Achievement and the Higher School Certificate Examination.
Registration Committee The Registration and Accreditation Committee ('the Registration Committee') of NESA has delegation under the NESA Act to exercise the powers of NESA relating to school registration and accreditation.
registration system A grouping of 20 or more schools (or with the Minister’s approval, 11 to 19 schools) which has been approved by the Minister to ensure compliance with the requirements for registration and, if appropriate, accreditation for the schools within that registration system.
reportable conduct Conduct or behaviour which must be reported to the Ombudsman pursuant to the Ombudsman Act 1974, including child sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
representative of the approved authority for a registration system A person appointed by the approved authority for a registration system to act on behalf of the system.
'residential school' sessions Periods of time when students and teachers are in the presence of each other at the same physical location to undertake learning activities related to the educational program provided by the school including a specific focus on the personal and social development of students.
responsible person for a school
  • the proprietor of the school and, if the proprietor is a corporation, each director or person concerned in the management of the school, or
  • a member of the governing body of the school, or
  • the principal of the school.
risk management A management plan for assessing the potential for harm and taking action towards minimising the risk of harm. This may include a plan for responding to serious incidents and emergencies.
safe environment One where the risk of harm is minimised and students are secure. Harm relates not only to dangers in the built environment but also refers to violence, physical threats, verbal abuse, threatening gestures, sexual harassment and racial vilification.
scope and sequence A summary of the scope of what is to be taught and the sequence in which it will be delivered. (https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/understanding-the-curriculum/programming/advice-on-scope-and-sequences).
serious incident An event which:
  • causes disruption to a school, or
  • creates significant danger or risk that could traumatically affect individuals within the school, or
  • impacts on the effective operation of the school.
Special School A school classified by the Australian Government as Special must provide evidence that its students have been assessed by a person with relevant qualifications as having intellectual, sensory, physical, social/emotional or multiple impairments to a degree that satisfies the criteria for enrolment in special education services or programs provided by the State, where/if such services are provided by the State.
supportive environment An environment that facilitates and enhances the social, academic, physical and emotional development of students.
suspension A temporary debarment of a student from all of the classes that a student would normally attend at a school.
system See registration system.
Tribunal The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to which a school proprietor can lodge an appeal against certain recommendations or decisions of NESA under the Education Act
Vocational Education and Training (VET) course A course that has been approved by both NESA and Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for teaching in schools. Students receive credit towards both their HSC and an industry training qualification. See the ACE website for more details.


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