Letters of Introduction
From the Presiding Member
I am pleased to present the Education Standards Board 2021-22 Annual Report.
In December we farewelled Chris Chatburn and welcomed Kerry Leaver as the new Registrar and Chief Executive. The Board thanks Chris Chatburn for over five years of service at the Education Standards Board (Board), regulating through legislative change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kerry Leaver brings a wealth of experience to the Board. She will continue leading the organisation and regulating the sector with a proactive approach that includes educating, guiding and supporting services to implement best practice and comply with legislative requirements.
The Board recognises the unique and irreplaceable contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made and continue to make to South Australia. To deepen employees’ awareness of and commitment to reconciliation, in 2022 the Board completed their Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
The RAP celebrated current achievements and inspired continuous improvement in support of forming and strengthening respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations and increasing employees understanding of First Nations cultures.
To reinforce the Board’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation, we updated our strategic priority to:
Support our people and improve our business by:
Supporting a culture that embodies our values, supports our people and their development, promotes equal opportunity, and demonstrates commitment to reconciliation.
As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the sector, I would like to acknowledge the resilience and flexibility of our staff during continual change.
Continuing to ensure the best interests of children and young people in an evolving environment is central to our regulatory role. Providing access to high quality school education and early childhood education and care remains vital for the development, health and wellbeing of South Australia’s children, young people and families.
From the Chief Executive
I am privileged to take on the role of Chief Executive and lead the Board in achieving its vision to deliver improved outcomes for South Australian children and young people through access to high quality education and early childhood services.
I acknowledge Chris Chatburn, the first Chief Executive of the Board. Chris made an enormous contribution, guiding the agency to continually improve its regulatory effectiveness and efficiency.
There have been many highlights during 2021-22 that saw the Board add value in supporting the sector to deliver safe and high-quality services now and into the future. Our actions continue to ensure that regulatory activities have proportionate outcomes and aim to reduce regulatory burden.
The Board collaborated with the Department for Education and SA Health to connect the sector with the latest COVID-19 health information for educators and families to support the safety and wellbeing of children in an early childhood setting.
Our regulatory role expanded to include student exchange organisations, with new processes and systems implemented to monitor and approve organisations as student exchange programs resumed in South Australia.
The Board also committed to engaging with 11 Community Child Care Funded (Restricted) grant services, on behalf of the Australian Government. This partnership will see these services brought under state-based regulation in the future.
Our focus in 2022-23 is to support the early childhood sector in implementing national reforms, including recommended changes resulting from the 2019 National Quality Framework (NQF) review and transitioning to updated Approved Learning Frameworks.
To do this, in 2021-22 we began preparing new activities to educate and support regulated entities to strengthen their understanding of compliance.
Finally, I thank the staff and board members for their dedication and commitment to continuous improvement in our business, supporting each other through the challenges of COVID-19 to deliver our regulatory functions throughout the past year.
Chief Executive and Registrar
Overview: about the Education Standards Board
The Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Board, now known as the Education Standards Board (the Board), was established in 2012 in accordance with the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011(Act).
The staff of the Board, comprising 40 FTEs, are commonly referred to as the ESB. The Board is an independent statutory authority responsible for the registration and regulation of early childhood services and registration of schools for domestic and overseas students. This work is carried out to ensure high-quality education services and high standards of competence and conduct by providers.
The Board consists of 13 members, who are responsible to the Minister to ensure efficient and effective performance of its registration and regulatory responsibilities, compliance with its legislative objectives, sound management of the organisation, and attainment of performance objectives.
The functions of the Board under s29 of the Act are to:
- regulate the provision of education services and early childhood services
- approve the requirements for endorsement of registration
- establish and maintain the registers contemplated by the Act
- prepare or endorse codes of conduct for registered schools
- provide advice to the Minister
- carry out any other functions assigned to the Board by the Minister.
As the state regulatory authority, the Board has specific functions under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (Part 12, s260).
In accordance with section 32 of the Act, the Board delegates regulatory powers and functions, human resources management and financial management to the Registrar and Chief Executive. Some delegations are further delegated by the Board to managers and staff at various levels, in accordance with their responsibilities.
The Board has two standing committees. The Internal Review of Decisions Committee carries out internal review of decisions under the Act and the National Law. The Schools Disciplinary Committee conducts inquiries into complaints where there may be cause for disciplinary action regarding a school, under section 60 of the Act. Ad hoc committees may be formed to consider matters and advise the Board or Registrar or to carry out functions on behalf of the Board.
Why we regulate
Access to high quality education and care services can contribute to better social, educational and employment outcomes across a child’s lifespan.
Early childhood education and care services also support families by enabling workforce participation of parents and guardians, including for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Board’s priority is to minimise any risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of children. We respond with regulatory action that is responsive and proportionate to the risks and harms being addressed.
Our activities are also designed to regulate education and early childhood services in a manner that maintains high standards of competence and conduct by providers to:
- recognise that all children should have access to high quality education and early childhood services that address their developmental needs; support educational achievement; promote enthusiasm for learning; and ensure their health, safety and well-being
- provide for a diverse range of services for parents to access
- enhance public confidence in the operation of education and early childhood services.
Our regulatory framework
Early childhood education and care
The National Quality Framework (NQF) introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool and outside hours school care services, agreed between all Australian governments.
The NQF includes:
- National Law and National Regulations
- National Quality Standards (NQS)
- assessment and rating process
- national learning frameworks.
The current NQS (the 2018 NQS) commenced in February 2018.
The Board also sets standards for, approves and regulates South Australian early childhood residual services out of scope of the NQF, including in-home care and occasional care services.
Authorised officers undertake several types of regulatory activities to meet the Board’s functions under the National Law:
- Monitoring: authorised officers proactively assess and influence compliance with the National Law and Regulations, providing a strong incentive for providers to comply with their regulatory obligations and to improve quality of education and care at their services.
- Assessment and rating: the process of assessing and rating a service against the National Quality Standard, including by conducting a service visit.
Regulatory activities are scheduled using a risk-based approach. Indicators considered when scheduling an activity include the service rating, length of time since the last assessment and the frequency and type of notifications received by the Board.
Schools and international education
The Act requires the Board to:
- maintain a register of Government and non-government schools
- set standards for registration
- regularly review schools’ registration.
To be registered, schools must meet the Standards for Registration and Review of Registration of Schools in South Australia (the Standards) and once approved, registration is ongoing. Registration gives the public confidence that a school has:
- governance arrangements in place to ensure accountability for the satisfactory quality of the education instruction provided
- policies and procedures for student learning and assessment that effectively deliver education services for each stage of schooling
- adequate provision for the safety, health and welfare of students.
Newly registered schools are reviewed against the standards 12-18 months after commencing education services. Established schools are reviewed at least once every five years to ensure they continue to meet the Standards.
The Board is the designated State authority responsible for recommending school providers for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), and monitoring schools’ compliance under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Schools must be registered to provide education services to overseas students.
The Board is also responsible for registering student exchange organisations under the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019. Student exchange organisations must comply with the standards in the National Guidelines for the Operation of International Secondary Student Exchange Programs in Australia.
Services we regulate
Education and care services under the NQF
Centre-based care: delivered on premises suitable for education and care, including:
Preschool: not defined in the National Law or Regulations. A service that provides an early childhood education program, delivered by a qualified teacher, often but not necessarily on a sessional basis in a dedicated service. Alternative terms used for preschool include kindergarten.
Long day care: not defined in the National Law or Regulations. A centre-based form of service which provides all-day or part-time care for children age birth to six who attend on a regular basis.
Outside school hours care (OSHC): not defined in the National Law or Regulations. A service that provides care for primary school aged children (typically 5 to 12 years) before and after school and can also operate during school holidays (vacation care) and on pupil free days. Outside school hours services are usually provided from primary school premises. Services may also be located at childcare centres or community facilities. Outside school hours care services are often provided by parent associations or non-for-profit organisations.
Family day care: an education and care service that is delivered by two or more educators to provide education and care to children and operates from two or more residences.
Residual services: Services that fall outside the scope of the NQF. These include:
In-home care services: a service providing education and care to children in premises where the majority of children usually reside and the educator does not reside.
Occasional care services: a service providing education and care to children primarily on an ad hoc or casual basis, where the service does not usually offer full-time or all-day education and care to children on an ongoing basis; and most of the children attending are pre-school age or younger.
Mobile care services: a service providing education and care primarily to children pre-school age or under, that transports equipment, materials and staff to one or more locations on each occasion the service is provided.
Schools under the Education and Care Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011
School: a school is an education establishment where the major activity is the provision of full-time day primary or secondary education or the provision distance education.
Primary education: comprises a foundation year (reception), followed by year levels 1-6.
Secondary education: includes years 7-12.
Combined school: provides both primary and secondary education.
Government schools: established and administered by the South Australian Government Department for Education under the Education Act 1972.
Non-government schools: any school that is not a government school. These schools may be administered by a religious, community or private organisation.
Catholic school: any school specified by notice in writing to the Registrar by the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools Incorporated.
Independent school: non-government schools which are not Catholic schools.
International education under the Education for Overseas Students Act 2000 and Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 (SA)
Student exchange organisation: a registered school or not-for-profit organisation registered to provide secondary student exchange programs to and from South Australia.
Acceptance Advice for Secondary Exchange Student form (AASES): the form used by an international student to apply for a subclass 500 visa to enter Australia and to enrol in a South Australian school.
Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS): a searchable database that provides details of educational institutions approved to deliver education and training services to overseas students, including the courses they offer.
Making a positive difference to the lives of South Australian children and young people by ensuring they have access to high quality education and early childhood services.
Our organisational goals are to:
- regulate with a contemporary, risk-and-standards-based approach
- improve education and care outcomes for children and young people through regulation
- engage stakeholders effectively
- support our people and improve our business.
What this means
Honesty & integrity
We are consistent and fair in our actions to encourage openness and transparency
We have a culture that strives for excellence and aims to improve productivity
We respond to change and proactively improve
Collaboration & engagement
We collaborate in our work practices
We make decisions that comply with legislation, are ethical and are consistent with approved policy and procedure
The Honourable Blair Boyer MP was appointed in March 2022 as the Minister for Education, Training and Skills.
In accordance with Section 22 of the Act, the Board consists of 13 members appointed by the Governor in Executive Council on the nomination of the Minister for Education, Training and Skills. Of those members:
- one (who will be the presiding member) must be a person who has, in the opinion of the Minister, extensive knowledge and expertise in the education and care of children; and
- two must be from the Department for Education; and
- two must be from the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA); and
- two must be from the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools Incorporated (CESA); and
- two must be from a prescribed childcare body; and
- 1 must be a legal practitioner.
Expressions of interest are called for the remaining member positions.
Ms Ann Doolette
19/12/19 - 30/06/21
Mr Greg Hayes
Deputy presiding member
Expression of interest
29/02/20 - 30/06/24
Ms Caroline Croser-Barlow
Chief Executive nomination (Public Service – Department for Education)
18/06/20 - 6/04/22
(resigned 6 April 2022)
Mr Trevor Fletcher
Expression of interest
29/02/20 - 15/03/23
(resigned 15 March 2022)
Mr Noel Mifsud
Expression of interest
29/02/20 - 28/02/23
Mr John Mula
Catholic Education SA (CESA)
01/07/21 - 30/06/24
Mr Christopher Prance
Association of Independent Schools SA (AISSA)
01/07/21 - 30/06/24
Ms Mandy Richardson
Prescribed Child Care Body
29/02/20 - 28/02/23
Dr Peta Smith
Chief Executive nomination (Public Service – Department for Education)
18/06/20 - 28/02/23
Ms Anna Standish
Prescribed Child Care Body
21/01/21 - 20/01/24
Mr Christos Tsonis
29/02/20 - 28/02/23
Ms Elizabeth Worrell
Association of Independent Schools SA (AISSA)
01/03/21 - 29/02/24
Ms Susan Young
Catholic Education SA (CESA)
01/03/21 - 29/02/24
Chief Executive and Registrar
Kerry Leaver is the Early Childhood Services Registrar, Government Schools Registrar, Non-Government Schools Registrar (Registrar) and Chief Executive (CE), responsible for carrying out the functions of the Registrar and the CE as determined by the Act.
School registration services
The team registers and reviews schools and maintains the Schools Register. The team recommends schools for registration on the CRICOS; monitors schools’ compliance under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and registers student exchange organisations.
The team receives and assesses applications from education and care providers and services under the NQF and develops and monitors the annual regulatory strategy.
In executing the strategy, the team is responsible for assessing and rating early childhood services and delivering education and support to regulated entities.
Compliance and investigation
The compliance and investigation team monitors and responds to notifications and complaints received under the NQF. The team undertakes investigations and recommends statutory and administrative compliance action in response to non-compliance, in accordance with the National Law and regulatory principles and to deliver or advance regulatory outcomes.
The corporate services team supports our regulatory teams and board members to execute regulatory functions. The responsibilities of the team include financial management, human resources, information technology, communications, records management and facilities management.
Changes to the Education Standards Board
During 2021-22 there were no significant changes to the agency’s structure.
Recommendations from an internal team review were accepted by the Board in November 2021. The compliance and investigations team structure was updated in May 2022 to more closely reflect the delegated responsibilities of roles.
Legislation administered by the Education Standards Board
The Board approves, registers and regulates early childhood providers and services as well as schools, according to:
- Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA), incorporating the Education and Care Services National Law (South Australia)
- Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
- Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Regulations 2011 (SA)
The Board assesses and recommends schools for registration on CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) under:
- Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
- Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019
The Board is responsible for registration of student exchange organisations as determined by:
- Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 (SA) s85,88 and 89
- Education and Children’s Services (Fees) Notice 2020 s4
Related agencies (within the Minister's area/s of responsibility)
- South Australian Certificate of Education Board of South Australia
- Teachers Registration Board
- TAFE SA
- Department for Education
- Child Development Council
Performance at a glance
In 2021-22 the Board continued to regulate schools, international education and the early childhood sector with a contemporary risk and standards-based approach that aligns with our strategic priorities for 2022-24.
To engage early childhood education and care services and support their compliance with the NQF, authorised officers performed 579 service visits. Thirty-four school visits were undertaken for reviews of school registration. No recommendations were made to endorse CRICOS schools, due to suspension of international education activity during the reporting period.
New administrative processes were established for regulation of student exchange organisations, and regulatory processes were reviewed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Board’s regulatory activity in:
- registration review for the school sector
- applications and notification management for the early childhood education and care sector.
A detailed outline of the Board’s regulatory performance can be found on pages 17-21 below.
The Board began coordinating with state regulatory authorities to plan the foundations for collaboration and clear communication of the upcoming regulatory changes associated with the 2019 NQF Review and Approved Learning Frameworks review, commencing in 2022-23.
Our response to COVID-19
Our response to COVID-19 involved adopting new responsibilities to rapidly share information and facilitate access to resources, including:
- connecting non-government early childhood services with SA Health communications through regular sector briefings
- taking a key role to support the adequate supply of Rapid Antigen Tests for non-government early childhood education and care services
- placing a liaison officer from the Board within the COVID-19 control centre during case number peaks to provide support and advice on sector impacts
- distributing latest information from SA Health, including advice, FAQs, and recommendations relevant to the sector
- receiving notifications of COVID-19 cases, enrolment reductions, staffing shortages and centre closures in early childhood education and care services
- reporting COVID-19 cases and resulting closure of services to SA Health and the Department of Education.
After state borders opened in November 2021, early childhood services faced staffing and rostering challenges, evidenced by a high number of staffing-related waiver applications.
Telemonitoring visits were conducted exclusively from January to March 2022, when the Board’s risk committee decided it was appropriate to resume face-to-face monitoring. The focus of monitoring during this period was providing support to services and providers to manage COVID-19 outbreaks and ensure the health and wellbeing of children.
The Board implemented work practices and procedures to reduce the risk of increased transmission rates of COVID-19, including:
- accommodating services’ requests to postpone assessment and rating visits, on a case-by-case basis
- reducing on-site time by half for assessment and rating visits by holding related discussions with service staff virtually
- developing a self-assessment compliance tool to guide services in preparation for an assessment and rating visit
- conducting virtual review planning meetings for schools undergoing review of registration to reduce face-to-face time
- delaying the school self-review and verification process to 2023 to relieve regulatory burden
- waiving registration fees for registered student exchange organisations as operations were suspended during international border closures
- supporting the Board’s staff in hybrid work to reduce office-based exposure.
Contribution to whole of Government objectives
The Board contributes to South Australian Government initiatives to ensure universal access to quality preschool for families with three-and-four-year-old children and accessible education for children of school age by:
- ensuring early childhood services are quality assessed and compliance monitored within the NQF to promote consistency in services across SA
- ensuring schools meet the standards of registration to provide accessible, quality education from reception to year 12.
Education Standards Board objectives and performance
The Board’s strategic priorities for 2022-24 support the delivery of the statutory functions under s29 of the Act.
Objective 1: Regulate schools, student exchange organisations and early childhood education and care services (services) with a risk-and-standards-based approach
Rate and monitor services for compliance against the NQF
Rate 125 services under the NQF
Perform 393 monitoring visits against our regulatory strategy
95 assessment and rating visits completed
5 first tier reviews of assessment and rating decisions
410 monitoring visits to services
Determine applications under the NQF
Assess and determine applications according to the law and regulatory principles, within legislative timeframes
(Applications include provider approval, service approval, and waiver applications)
74 application visits completed
37 new services approved
438 waiver applications determined
10 applications refused, 115 applications withdrawn or invalid
2 internal reviews of application decisions
96% of applications processed within the regulatory timeframe
Respond to non-compliance under the Act
Receive and assess incident notifications and complaints
Record breaches of the National Law
Issue administrative and statutory compliance actions
4884 incident notifications received, closed on average within 5 days
All notifications requiring action were assigned within 24 hours of receipt
Recorded 525 breaches of the National Law and/or Regulations on the national register (NQAITS)
Issued 311 administrative and statutory compliance actions
Regulate student exchange organisations
Assess applications for registration of student exchange organisations
Issue ‘Acceptance Advice for Secondary Exchange Student’ forms
Two new student exchange organisations registered, renewed one student exchange organisation
Issued 11 AASES forms between January and June 2022
Register and review registration of schools
Assess new school registration applications
Assess changes to school registration
Conduct 22 validation reviews of school registration
358 schools re-issued with registration certificates
Registered one new government school and new campuses for three existing schools prior to commencement of the new school year
Four schools closed and were removed from the register
22 validation reviews of school registration were completed according to schedule
Objective 2: Positively engage with stakeholders
Influence legislation and policy for education and early childhood programs and services
Engage with state government organisations
The Board engaged with the Teacher’s Registration Board, Department of Human Services, SA Health, and Department of Education and commonwealth Department of Education
The Board represented South Australia on 11 cross-jurisdictional committees to inform NQF regulatory practice, policy and reform
Engage, educate, and inform early childhood providers and services and schools to support compliance
Inform the sector about their regulatory obligations and duties
Deliver professional development opportunities for regulated entities
Regular meetings with providers of more than 10 services
Published nine news bulletins, 35 alerts and a guide to support compliance with Quality Area 3
Nine NQF education seminars facilitated in collaboration with Gowrie SA, with 140 small or single service approved providers attending
Held 13 meetings with large providers
40% of services were visited by an authorised officer
Objective 3: Support our people and improve our business
Continually improve our practice
Review and update processes, policies and procedures to gain efficiency and consistency in approach
Implemented 10 electronic smart forms
Improvements made to:
Protect and promote the welfare, health, and safety of our team and support our work
Monitor our operating environment and work practices to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of our staff
Implemented the following procedures and polices
Demonstrate a commitment to reconciliation
Complete the Reflect Reconciliation Plan
Embed reconciliation practices into our processes and culture
Completed our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan
Reconciliation training to improve employee understanding and contribution to reconciliation
Updated a strategic objective to reflect the ongoing commitment to reconciliation
Corporate and employment
Employment opportunity programs
Performance management and professional development
Staff performance is managed according to our Performance Management and Development Procedure.
Ninety-seven percent of staff completed a mid-year and end of year performance review with their line manager.
Work health, safety and return to work programs
Employee health and wellbeing
Our Employee Assistance Program provides each employee with access to three confidential professional and personal counselling sessions for themselves, or an immediate family member, at no cost.
The Board also provides services such as influenza vaccination and internal communication about health and wellbeing topics.
Work health and safety management
The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee is the principle means by which the Education Standards Board consults and works collaboratively with employees to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.
The committee has representation from all teams and meets quarterly.
The Board has a service level agreement with the Department of Education for management of injury claims.
Workplace injury claims
Total new workplace injury claims
Seriously injured workers*
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)
*number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)
Work health and safety regulations
Nil to report.
Return to work costs**
Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)
Income support payments – gross ($)
**before third party recovery
Data for previous years is available at: Work health and safety and return to work performance of Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au
Executive employment in the agency
Number of executives
Common Law Contract
Data for previous years is available at: Executive employment in Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au
The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.
Financial performance at a glance
The following is an unaudited summary of the overall financial position of the agency. See Appendix three (page 40) for full audited financial statements for 2021-2022.
Statement of comprehensive income
Total comprehensive result
Statement of financial position
The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the actual payments made for the work undertaken during the 2021-22.
Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each
$ Actual payment
All consultancies below $10,000 each - combined
Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each
$ Actual payment
Workers compensation claim case management
Inner Clarity Consulting
Compliance & investigation team review
Data for previous years is available at: Consultants used by Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au
See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the South Australian Public Sector.
The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the actual payments made for work undertaken during the 2021-22.
Contractors with a contract value below $10,000
$ Actual payment
All contractors below $10,000 each - combined
Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each
$ Actual payment
Cirka Pty Ltd
Ernst & Young
Hays Recruiting Experts Worldwide
VUCA Pty Ltd
Data for previous years is available at: Contractors used by Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au
The details of South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website. View the agency list of contracts. The website also provides details of across government contracts.
Risk at a glance
Risk is managed through the Risk Management Committee and reported to the Board. This year the committee was expanded to include all members of the senior management team. The committee met six times throughout the reporting period.
During 2021-22 the committee achievements were:
- implementing a risk management information system to improve analysis and reporting
- updating the risk management framework to support implementation of the system
- improving regulatory incident reporting mechanisms
- executing COVID-19 treatment plans and measures to manage risk to staff health during regulatory activity.
Fraud detected in the agency
No instances of fraud detected.
NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.
Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud
The Board follows whole of government policies for prevention and control of fraud. The Board is committed to the prevention, detection and control of fraud, corruption, maladministration, and misconduct relating to its activities.
The Board’s detection, control and prevention strategies include:
- appropriate segregation of duties
- delegations of authority
- fraud and corruption awareness training for new employees
- public sector code of conduct training for all employees, renewed every two years
- risk register that monitors risks of fraudulent/corrupt behaviour in procurement activities, unauthorised or unintentional release of confidential information and physical asset theft
- employee onboarding and offboarding procedures.
Serious or systemic offences against the Board and/or the South Australian public sector are referred to the Office for Public Integrity (OPI) or inquiry agencies to investigate.
Data for previous years is available at: Fraud detected in Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au.
Public interest disclosure
No public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018.
Data for previous years is available at: Public interest (formerly whistle-blowers') disclosure of Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au
Note: disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019.
Number of public complaints reported
Number of complaints
Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive
Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose
No case to answer
Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate
Number of positive feedback comments
Number of negative feedback comments
Total number of feedback comments
% complaints resolved within policy timeframes
Data for previous years is available at: Reporting of public complaints for Education Standards Board - Dataset - data.sa.gov.au
The complaints and feedback management policy governs the management and administration of complaints. It is publicly available on the Board’s website.
No service improvements were made based upon complaints and feedback received.
Education Standards Board is compliant with Premier and Cabinet Circular 039 – complaint management in the South Australian public sector
Education Standards Board has communicated the content of PC 039 and the agency’s related complaints policies and procedures to employees.
Appendix one: statistical overview
Registered schools at 30 June 2022
Numbers of schools by year at 30 June 2022
The number of registered schools has remained consistent year on year since 2018-19
Total government schools
Total non-government schools
Government primary schools
Non-government primary schools
Government secondary schools
Non-government secondary schools
Combined government schools
Combined non-government schools
Registered CRICOS schools
Registered CRICOS government schools
Registered CRICOS non-Government schools
NQF providers and services in 2021-22
On 30 June 2022 there were 426 approved providers, a minor decrease from 430 approved providers in 2020-21. Eighty-five percent (363) providers operate a single service compared to 86% (368) in 2020-21.
In SA, 39% of approved providers are government operated, compared to 11% of state/territory and local government providers nationally.
Approved early childhood education and care services
There are 1252 approved services in SA at 30 June 2022, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year. The increase included 16 long day care, one preschool and eight out of school hours care newly approved services.
There are 117 residual services regulated under state legislation that are outside the scope of the NQF. Of these, 93 (83%) are provided by the South Australian Department of Education.
Residual service type
Number of services
Service performance under the NQF at 30 June 2022
Of 1252 services in SA, 96% have a quality rating, compared to 90% nationally. There are 465 services rated under the 2018 National Quality Standards and 740 currently rated under the 2012 National Quality Standards. Forty-six services are approved and not yet rated as they are within the first 12 months of operation.
South Australia now has 13.5% of services rated ‘Working Towards’, compared to 12.5% nationally. The number of services rated Meeting or higher has steadily increased year on year over the past four years.
Quality ratings of services by year at June 30
Proportion of quality ratings by service type compared to national average at 30 June 2022
*Exceeding also includes services rated as Excellent
Long day care
Outside school hours care
Assessment and rating of services in 2021-22
In 2021-22, 24 services had their first assessment and rating, with 46% (11) rated Working Towards and 54% (13) rated Meeting the National Quality Standard.
Seventy-one services were reassessed in 2021-22.
Eighteen percent (13) maintained a rating of ‘Meeting’, 37% (26) maintained a rating of ‘Working Towards’, 15% (11) moved from ‘Meeting’ to ‘Working Towards’, and 30% (21) moved from ‘Working Towards’ to ‘Meeting’.
Appendix two: glossary
Administrative compliance action: An administrative action taken to guide compliance with the National Law and/or National Regulations.
First tier review: a request to review a service’s rating if the provider disagrees with the rating given. This review is conducted by authorised officers not involved in the original assessment and rating under review.
Incident: any incident, including serious, non-serious, non-regulatory and out of scope incidents.
NQAITS (National Quality Agenda IT System): An information system that manages the approval, monitoring and quality assessment of services under the NQF.
Statutory compliance action: A complaince action under the National Law or National Regulations to enforce compliance.
Waiver application: An application to waiver compliance with an element of the National Law or Regulations. Waivers allow services to continue to provide compliant education and care while dealing with special circumstances or unexpected events.