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Criteria for the selection of schools and processes

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Process and criteria for the annual selection of the sample of government schools

The process and criteria for the annual selection of the sample of government schools to participate in the registration process contains the following features:

  • annual monitoring of a sample of 40 schools that is proportionate to and representative of the diversity of government schools and selected in accordance with specified criteria including Years of schooling, location and size, type of school, and identified risk-based factors
  • annual monitoring in relation to the requirements that apply to all schools
  • periodic monitoring in relation to the requirements that apply only to schools of a specific type, eg boarding schools
  • periodic monitoring in relation to requirements where the evidence of compliance is primarily held centrally by the Department rather than by schools
  • criteria for the annual selection of schools and the processes to be monitored
  • the development of a five-year plan to ensure that all requirements are reviewed over each five-year period through a variety of methodologies for sampling evidence
  • annual review of the five-year plan and adjustments made in response to emerging issues and priorities.

The following provides further information about each of the components for the process and criteria as well as a summary for the period from 2017 to 2021.

Criteria for the selection of schools and processes

Each year, NESA's monitoring of the Department's processes, policies and procedures will include the following components:

I. a sample of 40 schools that is proportionate to and representative of the diversity of government schools and selected based on specified criteria; and

II. a sample of schools of a particular type with a requirement that only applies to that type of school; or

III. a focus on Department processes, policies and procedures where documentation is maintained centrally.

I. Sample based on diversity of schools

The annual selection of schools will include 40 schools selected on the basis of being proportionate to and representative of the diversity of government schools according to specified criteria and characteristics.

For each selected school, NESA will monitor the implementation of the Department’s processes, policies and procedures in relation to a limited sample of requirements.

The focus of this process will primarily be the evidence of compliance held by each school in the sample. However, if relevant to the Department’s processes, policies and procedures, there may also be consideration given to evidence held centrally by the Department.

The specific sample of requirements to be monitored at each selected school will vary. However, in total, the monitoring across the selected schools will cover the range of requirements that apply to all schools.

The criteria and school characteristics to be represented annually are listed below.

Criteria

School characteristics

Years of schooling Infants and Primary schools (K–2, K–6)
Central and Community schools (K–10, K–12)
Secondary schools and Senior High schools ( 7–10, 7–12, 11–12)
Location and size Metropolitan schools
Regional schools
Remote schools
Range of school sizes by enrolment numbers
Type of school Comprehensive schools
Selective schools
Specialist schools (creative and performing arts, sports, languages)
Schools for a specific purpose
Distance education schools
Boarding schools
Risk-based factors Teaching staff (eg high staff turnover, change of principal, large number of appointed miscellaneous staff, high proportion of provisionally or conditionally accredited teachers)
Student attendance rates (eg low student attendance)
Quality of the educational program (eg proportion of HSC results below the minimum standard and/or HSC late withdrawals, declining trends in student performance in external testing)
School operation (eg first year of operation or new Years of schooling, multiple campuses/delivery sites, high use of external providers)
Recent school history (eg substantiated complaints, evidence of previous non-compliance

The final sample for each year will include schools selected from the range of identified criteria, that is, Years of schooling, location and size, type of school, and risk-based factors. The sample will include schools from the range of specified school characteristics but not necessarily a school from each of these characteristics each year. This will ensure that the diversity of government school types is represented through the sampling over time, without disproportionate representation of specific school types.

II. Sample based on school type

NESA's monitoring over each five-year period will also include monitoring of the Department's processes, policies and procedures in relation to the requirements that apply only to schools of a specific type. These school types are schools offering special education, boarding facilities or distance education.

A sample of three to five of schools from each type will be monitored at least once every five-year period.

NESA's monitoring of the Department's processes, policies and procedures for these school types ensures that all requirements are monitored every five-year period. Clustering a sample of schools of the same type allows for monitoring and reporting in an aggregated way.

During the five year period 2017 to 2021 it is intended to include this monitoring process as per the following schedule.

Cycle

School type

Requirement(s) specific to school type

2017 Boarding schools Safety and welfare of students in boarding facilities (section 4.6)
2018 Distance education schools Personal and social development of distance education students (section 4.4.3)
School curriculum – Distance education schools (section 4.7.4)
2021 Schools for a specific purpose School curriculum – (section 4.7, as relevant to the particular school)
Safe and supportive environment – student welfare (section 4.4.2)

III. Department processes, policies and procedures where documentation is maintained centrally

For each five-year period, NESA's monitoring will incorporate aspects of the requirements where the Department's processes, policies and procedures are managed centrally and/or where evidence of school compliance is maintained centrally by the Department on behalf of government schools. Examples of where the process or evidence is managed centrally include details of teaching staff qualifications, school annual reporting and working with children check clearances.

The process and criteria for monitoring of the requirements where information is held centrally ensures that the full range of relevant information about school compliance with the requirements is considered over each five-year period.

During the five-year period 2017 to 2021 it is intended to include this monitoring process in 2018 and again in 2020 as per the following schedule.

Cycle

Specific requirement(s)

Examples of relevant aspects

2018 School annual reporting (section 4.9)
Management and operation (section 4.10)
Information to be included in school annual reports (section 4.9)
Management and operation (section 4.10)
2020 Teaching staff (section 4.1)
Safe and supportive environment – child protection (section 4.4.1)
Details of teaching staff qualifications (section 4.1.1)
Managing completion of working with children check clearances (section 4.4.1)

In addition, NESA will monitor on an annual basis in a subset of the sample schools, the in-school processes of the Department’s Asset Management Directorate and Audit Directorate in relation to the requirements relevant to these processes.

Five-year monitoring plan 2017 to 2021

The following provides the five-year plan for NESA's monitoring of the Department's processes, policies and procedures in relation to the requirements.

Year

Focus Area A – Curriculum

Focus Area B – Policy

2017 Curriculum requirements including one common key learning area monitored in all schools Policy requirements including monitoring in relation to the specific requirements for schools providing boarding facilities
2018 Curriculum requirements including one common key learning area monitored in all schools Policy requirements including monitoring in relation to the specific requirements where evidence is maintained centrally by the Department in relation to:
  • School annual reporting
  • Management and operation
2019 Curriculum requirements including one common key learning area monitored in all schools Policy requirements including monitoring in relation to the specific requirements for schools providing distance education.
2020 Curriculum requirements including one common key learning area monitored in all schools Policy requirements including monitoring in relation to the specific requirements where evidence is maintained centrally by the Department in relation to:
  • Teaching staff
  • Safe and supportive environment – child protection
2021 Curriculum requirements including one common key learning area monitored in all schools Policy requirements including monitoring in relation to the specific requirements for schools for a specific purpose.
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