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Agency information guide

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is committed to the principles of open and transparent government and publishes a range of open access information free of charge or at the lowest possible cost, in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act).

Our role

NESA brings together the functions previously provided by the Board of Studies NSW and the NSW Institute of Teachers, as well as a range of important new functions.
NESA has functions in relation to the following NSW legislation and associated regulations:

The NSW Government has formed NESA to bring a greater focus on the use of research, data analysis and experience in standards setting. The purpose of this is to better integrate policy and practice across the four educational pillars of curriculum, assessment, teaching and regulatory standards, in a way that will drive higher quality teaching and help lead the continuing improvement of educational standards in NSW schools.

Our key responsibilities

Curriculum and Assessment

  • Develop curriculum and curriculum support materials that articulate NSW educational standards at each stage of learning from Kindergarten to Year 12
  • Develop high-quality resources and provide expert guidance and support for teachers undertaking assessment of the educational standards of NSW students from Kindergarten to Year 12

Examinations and Credentials

  • Develop and deliver HSC examinations and award the Higher School Certificate to eligible students
  • Award the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) to eligible students who leave school prior to completing the Higher School Certificate
  • Implement and administer the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests in NSW
  • Administer the Australian Music Examinations Board (NSW) (AMEB)

Teaching Quality

  • Implement and oversee teacher accreditation processes against whole-of-career Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and accredit NSW teachers against those standards
  • Ensure the quality of Initial Teacher Education programs offered by providers against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Support professional learning for beginning, returning and continuing teachers based on rigorous professional standards
  • Regulate teacher accreditation authorities for non-government schools and early childhood education centres

School Registration and Accreditation

  • Develop and implement school registration standards
  • Register non-government schools seeking to operate in NSW and accredit non-government schools to present candidates for the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) and Higher School Certificate (HSC)
  • Implement the registration process for the government schooling system
  • Approve schools to deliver courses to overseas students
  • Administer the home schooling program under delegation from the Minister

Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG)

  • Provide corporate services support to the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc.

Organisational structure

The NSW Education Standards Authority is an independent statutory authority formed by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards Act 2014 (NESA Act).
The NESA Act provides for the membership of the Authority to comprise a President, 19 appointed members and three ex-officio persons. Appointed members of the Authority hold office for a period not exceeding three years. The Act also provides for the amalgamation of the two staff agencies that supported the former Board of Studies NSW and NSW Institute of Teachers.
For further information on our structure and functions, see also:

  • Organisational charts
  • NESA members
  • the President
  • Annual Report.


NESA is located on Level 4, 117 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000.


NESA welcomes input and feedback from members of the public, community organisations and government agencies regarding our services and publications. This feedback helps inform our policies and publications. Should you wish to provide feedback, please contact us or phone +61 2 9367 8111.

Types of information we hold

We hold a range of information, including, but not limited to:

  • policies, procedures and planning documents
  • documents on the internal administration of the agency
  • internal working papers of the agency
  • correspondence with Ministers and other NSW Government agencies
  • preliminary and HSC syllabuses and course information
  • records of school achievement and academic results for the HSC
  • registration and accreditation information about teachers, providers and non-government schools
  • resources for students, parents and teachers including special needs information
  • bulletins and newsletters for teachers and schools.

How do I access information held by NESA?

You can access our information in the following four ways:

Open access information (mandatory release)

The GIPA Act makes it necessary for us to freely provide the following information:

  • an information guide describing an agency’s structure and functions, how those functions affect the community, the type of information held by the agency and how the information is available
  • documents tabled in Parliament by or on behalf of the agency
  • the agency’s policy documents
  • a disclosure log of information released under formal access applications that may be of interest to the community
  • a register of contracts that an agency has with private sector organisations with a value of $150,000 and over
  • a record of the open access information that is not made public due to an overriding public interest against releasing that information.

We must also supply:

  • a list of major assets, including the number and value of properties disposed of in the previous financial year
  • a guarantee of service
  • a code of conduct.

Authorised proactive release

In addition to the mandatory release requirements, we proactively release other information that might be of interest to the public. The GIPA Act requires that we review our proactive release program at least every 12 months to identify the kinds of government information that can be made publicly available.

Informal release

We routinely provide information on request where there is no overriding public interest against disclosure. If the information you are seeking is not available on this website, please contact the Right to Information Officer (see details below).

Access application (formal release)

Making a formal access application is considered the ‘last resort’ for requesting government information.
If the information you are seeking is not available on this website and is not otherwise routinely provided by NESA on request, then you have a legally enforceable right to formally apply for access to specific information.
If we hold your personal information, you can request access by using either the GIPA Act or the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act). There are different fees, processing times and review rights depending on which Act you choose to apply under.

How do I make an access application?

The GIPA Act requires that formal access applications meet the following requirements. It must:

  • be in writing
  • be lodged with the correct agency
  • state that you are seeking the information under the GIPA Act
  • include your postal address for a response
  • be clear and specific about the information you seek, so the agency can identify it
  • include the $30 application fee.

You can make a formal application by downloading and completing the government information access form and sending it, together with the $30 application fee to the Right to Information Officer.

Contact details

Right to Information Officer
Post: GPO Box 5300 SYDNEY NSW 2001
Phone: +61 2 9367 8360
Address: Level 4, 117 Clarence Street SYDNEY NSW 2000

Should you need to obtain information by way of subpoena for a court matter, or for legal or law enforcement purposes, please contact:

The Proper Officer
Post: GPO Box 5300 SYDNEY NSW 2001
Phone: +61 2 9367 8360
Address: Level 4, 117 Clarence Street SYDNEY NSW 2000

Further information

For more information on accessing government information, please contact:

Information and Privacy Commission NSW
Post: GPO Box 7011 SYDNEY NSW 2001
Phone: 1800 472 679

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