Our schools, our story

The department is implementing a range of reforms to improve the quality of teaching in schools, to improve outcomes for all students, and to give schools greater authority to meet the needs of their communities.


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Improving teacher quality

We are improving the quality of teaching at every school with a range of reforms. These changes start at university where the practicum experience has been strengthened to better prepare people starting their teaching careers.

Beginning teachers are given additional support in their first two years of teaching, with schools being given additional funding to give teachers a good career start.

A new teacher award incorporates standards based remuneration for classroom teachers.

Primary teaching practice is being given a boost through an additional staffing resource allocation so that the state's best teachers can mentor, support and guide their colleagues.

Principals have more authority to manage underperforming teachers, through a streamlined performance management process, to ensure all students have access to quality teaching.

The new needs based funding model is delivering more funding to schools who need it most. Funding is being used by schools for a variety of purposes including to hire additional teachers or other professionals so that every student, no matter what their level of need has the opportunity to learn.

Strengthening school leadership

Every school now has a single school plan, developed in consultation with the local school community that clearly sets out what the school is aiming to achieve and how it will use its resources.

School principals have more authority to make decisions in their schools. This means they now have greater local decision making to best meet the needs of their students.

Schools assess their practices each year against a new School Excellence Framework to inform the actions in their school plan and report progress in their school reports.

Aspiring principals will undertake more training and professional development before they can be appointed to a school, and there are new strategies in place to identity future school leaders and mentor and support them so we have a strong new generation of principals.

Principals are now remunerated according to complexity of the educational needs of the students in the school, as well as the number of students. This means the principals who lead our largest and most challenging schools are remunerated accordingly.

Enhancing student wellbeing and engagement

A new wellbeing framework now makes it easier for schools to manage the needs of all students, as they move from the early years of schooling and into adolescence.

The Framework will be underpinned by enhanced Wellbeing services that can now include school counsellors, social workers, youth and community workers.  Through local decision making principals now have more professional support available to help them in their schools to address and promote student wellbeing.

Building schools and classrooms fit for the future

A major investment of funding is being used to build additional schools across NSW to meet growing enrolment demands. We are also investing money to upgrade or rebuild existing schools.

New classroom designs are being rolled out that will future proof our schools, so that the students of today and tomorrow have access to the right technology to help them learn.

School Leadership Strategy

NSW public education is undergoing major reform. Through our Local Schools, Local Decisions reforms, as well as our Great Teaching, Inspired Learning and Rural and Remote Education blueprints for action, the role of the school principal has been redefined, with more authority to make decisions and greater accountability for those decisions. 

The three elements of the strategy include: 

Quality Teaching, Successful Students

The Quality Teaching, Successful Students initiative will provide further support to primary teachers and school leaders to deepen their skills and knowledge. Our best teachers will mentor and coach others, monitor student performance data and support principals to create the best conditions for enhancing teaching and learning in the primary school years.

Supported Students, Successful Students

The NSW Government is investing an additional $167 million over five years to proactively support student wellbeing, with a focus on improving student behaviour and providing extra counselling and wellbeing support services for vulnerable students.

Innovative Education, Successful Students

The NSW Government will invest $1 billion from the Rebuilding NSW Schools Fund to transform our schools over the next 10 years. This is on top of the Government's $2.7 billion investment into school facilities over the next four years.

Performance and development

The Terms of Settlement for the Crown Employees (Teachers in Schools and Related Employees) Salaries and Conditions Award 2014 required that the Department and the NSW Teachers Federation jointly develop the policy advice, procedures, support material and training for the new performance and development framework for principals, executives and teachers.

The Department and the Federation recently agreed on the Performance and Development Framework for Principals, Executives and Teachers in NSW Public Schools document which underpins the policy and procedures.

Performance and development framework for Principals, Executives and Teachers in NSW Public Schools

Performance and development plan




Goal Setting


Professional Learning

Connected Communities

Connected Communities is a new approach to address the educational and social aspirations of Aboriginal children and young people living in a number of complex and diverse communities in NSW.

Early Action for Success

Early Action for Success is the department's strategy for implementing the NSW government's State Literacy and Numeracy Plan. It aims to improve students' literacy and numeracy skills through a targeted approach in the early years of schooling.

Great Teaching Inspired Learning

The blueprint provides a set of 16 reforms across the whole career cycle of a teacher. It looks at reforms to initial teaching training and induction for beginning teachers, through to how to best recognise and value experienced teachers and support potential school leaders.

Local Schools, Local Decisions

Local Schools, Local Decisions is an education reform that gives NSW public schools more authority to make local decisions about how best to meet the needs of their students.

National partnerships

The National Partnerships Program aims to achieve economic and social reform across health, homelessness, early childhood, education and vocational training. Through the partnerships, the department is implementing a range of initiatives to achieve major reform across public education and training in NSW.

Rural and remote education blueprint

The Rural and Remote Education Blueprint for Action is a detailed plan to improve student learning in rural and remote public schools across New South Wales.

School Excellence Framework

The School Excellence Framework sets a new benchmark for educational excellence in three areas: how children learn, how teachers teach, and how schools are led. It will help schools engage their communities in identifying strategic directions, decide on improvement measures, and assess their progress.


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