Announcements archive

Stop-work meeting Tuesday 3 December 

28 November 2013

The NSW Teachers Federation has called a stop-work meeting for 9am on Tuesday 3 December.

This action is not endorsed by the department. 

Parents should contact their school to find out how the stop work will affect their school.

White Ribbon Day, 25 November 2013

A message from the Director-General

20 November 2013

On White Ribbon Day we wear a white ribbon to state symbolically that all forms of violence against women are unacceptable.

Many of us working in education know the impact that domestic violence can have on individuals, as well as the effect it can have at home and at school.

Young women, in particular, are at greater risk of violence with 12% of women aged from 18 to 24 having experienced at least one incident of violence.

Our role as educators means we are in a unique position to help stop the normalisation of violence from a young age and prevent the generational legacy that can see young witnesses of domestic violence become perpetrators when older.

Your support of White Ribbon Day can help send a strong message to our schools, campuses and workplaces that violence against women is unacceptable.

This is why I am so pleased to see many of our schools supporting White Ribbon's Breaking the Silence Program, which works with young people to educate and enhance respectful relationships between genders within the school culture.

I urge you to show your support by buying a ribbon, making a donation, becoming a volunteer or getting more information from the White Ribbon organisation.

No matter how small your contribution, it's a vital part of the wider effort to send a powerful message that violence against women is unacceptable.

Dr Michele Bruniges AM
Director-General of Education and Communities

Camden High School

30 August 2013

The following information is provided for former students and teachers of Camden High School and current residents close to the old Camden High School site.

An old gasworks was located in John St, Camden and parts of the site were incorporated into Camden High School in 1970 and 1981. Camden High School was relocated in 2001.

In 1995 initial investigations for school building works unearthed gasworks pipework, with contaminated waste identified in 1996. This waste was capped and contained on the site in early 1997.

Find out more.

ACER report on evidence for the effectiveness of literacy and numeracy programs

22 August 2013

The Australian Council for Educational Research has reported on evidence for the effectiveness of a range of literacy and numeracy programs in the early years of schooling.

The report was commissioned by the Ministerial Advisory Group on Literacy and Numeracy, established to provide the Minister with expert advice on delivering the State Government's Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan.

The Minister has accepted the report's recommendations, which are designed to improve research into how effective literacy and numeracy programs are, tighten the criteria for assessing such programs at the school and sector level, and to ensure teachers, Principals and system officials have the information they need.

Dr Ken Boston, chairman of the Advisory Group, said the report represents a major milestone in implementing the Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan.

"No evaluation of the kind undertaken by ACER has been attempted before," said Dr Boston.

While the report shows a paucity of evidence on the effectiveness of literacy and numeracy interventions, it also states that many incorporate evidence-based principles which are assumed rather than having been subject to independent evaluation.

"The report establishes a benchmark by which all literacy and numeracy intervention programs can be assessed as to their degree of effectiveness with different groups of students," said Dr Boston.

"Schools in NSW deserve the best advice to assist them in their choices made regarding which literacy and numeracy interventions to be implemented."

"The report provides a mechanism by which judgments of the cost-effectiveness of particular literacy and numeracy interventions can be considered and comparisons be made."

The Charter of the Commonwealth

9 July 2013

The Charter of the Commonwealth was adopted by Commonwealth leaders in December 2012.

The document highlights the values and aspirations of the Commonwealth in areas such as democracy, human rights, sustainable development, gender equity and the rule of law.

The Charter will help  raise young Australians' awareness of the Commonwealth and the key values that it seeks to advance.

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June

A message from the Director-General

27 May 2013

National Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for every Australian to reflect on how we can create a more harmonious society between all people in our country.

Recognition and respect for the histories, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important part of Reconciliation Week, reflected in this year's theme of Let's talk recognition.

The week commemorates two important milestones in the reconciliation journey – the 1967 referendum (27 May) and the anniversary of the Mabo decision (3 June).

The 1967 referendum gave the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to recognise them in the national Census.

The 1992 High Court Mabo decision recognised the Native Title rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their special relationship to the land and sea, which existed before European colonisation and continues today.

This year there has been another step taken towards reconciliation, with the passage of the Act of Recognition through the Australian Parliament. The Bill recognises that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the first inhabitants of Australia and seeks to foster momentum for a referendum for constitutional recognition.

Reconciliation involves respect, friendship and healing as we work together towards a positive and inclusive future for all Australians.

In the Department of Education and Communities we have many opportunities to lead reconciliation efforts and to celebrate the achievements of our Aboriginal students, staff, friends and communities.

During National Reconciliation Week I urge you to take the time in schools, TAFE Institutes, workplaces and communities to recognise the contribution, achievements and unique culture of Aboriginal people.

Director-General of Education and Communities

Harmony Day, 21 March 2013

A message from the Director-General

19 March 2013

Harmony Day is a wonderful annual event where all Australians celebrate our nation's diversity and share what we have in common.

It is a day to reflect on where Australia has come from, while recognising the traditional owners of the land.

Around seven million people have migrated to Australia since 1945 and today 45% of Australians were either born overseas or have parents who were.

We are one of the most multicultural countries in the world, with 300 languages spoken at home. This cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths.

Respect and understanding of cultural diversity underpins our work in early childhood education and care, schools, TAFE institutes, sporting and entertainment venues, workplaces and our communities.

The theme of Harmony Day this year is Many Stories – One Australia and we can use the day as an opportunity to get to know someone's story a little better – perhaps a friend, neighbour, classmate, a parent at your child's school, or a colleague.

Each Australian has a unique story to tell. I hope you get to share your story or listen to someone's story this year.

Warm regards

Dr Michele Bruniges AM

Director-General of Education and Communities

Australia Day

A  message from the Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello

23 January 2013

I am pleased to have the opportunity as NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to wish all Australians a happy Australia Day.

Read the message in full (PDF 136kB)

The New School Leaving Age: Consulting Young People Report

10 December 2012

The New School Leaving Age Student Feedback Inquiry was conducted in 2011 by Professor Susan Groundwater-Smith and Dr Nicole Mockler across 12 schools representing all regions in the State. This project aimed to gain deep understanding of the impact of the new legislation from a student perspective by providing an opportunity to hear directly from students.

Focus groups and an online survey of students from Years 10, 11 and 12 were used to gather student views about the impact of the new school leaving age on:

  • student educational plans and aspirations student future employment plans and aspirations
  • the effectiveness of strategies implemented by schools to cater for student educational needs.

The research findings in the New School Leaving Age: Consulting Young People Report (PDF 1.23MB) indicate that students have a clear understanding of the purpose and requirements of the new legislation and an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards the opportunity to improve their prospects for tertiary education and future employment.

The report sets down five key issues for further consideration:

  • development of flexibility and choice in subject selection and school structures to support retention of all students
  • exploration of the intersection between student aspirations and teacher expectations, so that teachers and students share high expectations for achievement and teachers actively support students to achieve.
  • improvement of pedagogy and student engagement through student-centred, differentiated, active learning. The report highlights the connection between effective pedagogy and student engagement.
  • increased understanding of the concept of fun when aligned with challenge and academic effort.
  • consideration of the impact of social geography and the variations in opportunities and relationships because of location.

A message from the Director-General on Smart and Skilled

23 October 2012

The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has today announced Smart and Skilled reforms to increase participation and achievement in vocational education and training in New South Wales.

In 2014 the NSW Government will introduce an entitlement to government subsidised training for qualifications up to and including Certificate III through TAFE NSW and approved training organisations. Targeted funding for higher level qualifications will also be funded through TAFE NSW and the training market. The entitlement may be extended to higher qualifications following a year of implementation and review.

Smart and Skilled will encourage more people to take up training in priority areas. It will give people the chance to get the skills they need for jobs and future careers and will expand the skills of our workforce to meet future demand for jobs. 

We have used the valuable feedback from community consultations to develop a reform package that balances the needs and interests of individuals, employers and industry. We have carefully analysed lessons learned in other states and used the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling to model impacts of reform.

The new system will:

  • Manage consumer-driven training for entry level qualifications in priority areas
  • Help students make informed decisions about training with access to information on funded courses, jobs and provider performance
  • Allow eligible students to choose from TAFE NSW and approved training organisations
  • Make quality front and centre of our training system with strengthened measures to ensure only high quality training organisations offer subsidised training
  • Create incentives for training organisations to support disadvantaged learners and students in regional areas with extra funding support through loadings
  • Ensure TAFE NSW continues to meet the State's critical skills needs for industry, regions and disadvantaged learners.

TAFE NSW will continue to be the backbone of the State's training system and play a critical role in meeting government economic priorities. TAFE NSW trains over 420,000 students per year and has a long and proud history of training students from foundation to higher level qualifications. To support this ongoing role, a number of changes will be made to transform TAFE NSW and its Institutes to become more locally responsive, flexible and autonomous.

A staged transition to broader reform will allow us to manage risk and secure longer term success. It will give students and training organisations time to understand how a consumer-driven system works for them. Government can test design features of the new model and TAFE NSW will have the time to implement business and governance reforms.

This is a significant change to the vocational education and training system in New South Wales and it is important to get the details right. For the rest of 2012 and through 2013 the Department will be preparing for the start of Smart and Skilled in 2014. We will post updates on this website and more information can be found on the State Training Services site.
Dr Michele Bruniges AM
Director-General of Education and Communities
Managing Director of TAFE NSW

On 14 August 2012, the NSW Minister for Education, the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, released the Report of the NSW Review of Tertiary Pathways. A Review Committee, chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary for Tertiary Education and Skills, Ms Gabrielle Upton MP, included representation from schools, vocational education providers, higher education institutions, Indigenous and community groups and industry.

Read the Review of Tertiary Pathways report

Report pamphlet

Letter to the NSW Teachers Federation
25 June 2012

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli's letter to the NSW Teachers Federation addressing Local Schools, Local Decisions and the strike action planned for Wednesday, 27 June 2012.

Read the letter.

A message from the Director-General

NAIDOC Week: 1-8 July 2012

NAIDOC Week is one of the most important cultural events in the year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – and for all Australians.

It is a celebration of the contribution made by Aboriginal people to our national identity.

It is a time that we can reflect on the achievements of our Aboriginal friends and colleagues and explore ways we can work together to help build a better future.

The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee, which was established in 1957 to promote the achievements and contribution of Aboriginal people.

This year's NAIDOC Week theme is Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on. It reminds us of the struggles of the past and the need to learn from those experiences.

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy, on the lawns of Old Parliament House in Canberra, first flew the Aboriginal flag in 1972 and it quickly became a symbol of Aboriginal unity and identity.

I hope the flag will fly proudly from schools, TAFE institutes and workplaces in the lead-up to NAIDOC Week. I encourage all staff and students to mark the week with a celebration or activity – through art, music, writing, films or storytelling by Elders.

Dr Michele Bruniges AM

Director-General of Education and Communities

Managing Director of TAFE NSW

Connected Communities
30 May 2012

A new approach is needed if we are to address the educational and social disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal children and young people living in a number of complex and disadvantaged communities throughout NSW.

In October 2011 the Department of Education and Communities commenced a consultation process with communities and stakeholder groups to develop a strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people in these schools and communities.

The Connected Communities strategy is a result of this work.

Report on Consultation

Connected Communities Strategy

Fact sheet

Statement and directions from the Industrial Relations Commission
16 May 2012

Statement and directions from the Industrial Relations Commission regarding the stop work meeting planned for 18 May 2012.

Read the statement and directions.

A letter to the NSW Teachers Federation
14 May 2012

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli responds to the NSW Teachers Federation regarding the Local Schools, Local Decisions education reform.

Read the letter.

Local Schools, Local Decisions
19 March 2012

A message from the minister

NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli talks about Local Schools, Local Decisions.

Watch the vodcast.

Report of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Literacy and Numeracy (MAGLAN)
15 March 2012

A Ministerial Advisory Group, led by an independent chair, Dr Ken Boston AO was established in June 2011 to provide the Minister with expert advice on the steps to be taken to support the delivery of the Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan.

During 2011 the Advisory Group conducted consultations with the three education sectors and key stakeholders on an Interim Framework for the Action Plan. The Advisory Group submitted its report to the Minister for Education on the outcomes of consultation in March 2012.

Read the Report on the outcomes of consultation: Literacy and numeracy action plan – Initial Framework

On 15 March 2012, the Minister announced that the NSW Government had accepted the recommendations of the Advisory Group.

As a result the Government will contribute $24.45 million in 2012 to appoint 200 fulltime equivalent teachers allocated across the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors. Schools receiving the resources will be in the lowest quartile of NAPLAN performance.

Early Action for Success - Implementing the NSW Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan

Early Action for Success is a Department of Education and Communities initiative that improves students' literacy and numeracy skills through a targeted approach working with primary schools.

There are four key features of Early Action for Success: instructional leadership; personalised learning; assessment for learning; and high quality professional learning with a focus on the early years of schooling K-2.

Fifty Instructional Leaders are to be appointed to public schools which have been identified to have the greatest need.

Instructional leaders will help to tailor interventions for individual students and take responsibility for coordinating the resources available to the school into a single strategy to improve literacy and numeracy performance.

Early Action for Success complements the Connected Communities and Every Student, Every School initiatives.

Early Action for Success implementation resources:

Local Schools, Local Decisions
11 March 2012

The education department will begin work with key stakeholder groups to make changes aimed at giving public schools more control over key aspects of their operations to enable better teaching and learning.

The NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli has unveiled Next Steps in the Local Schools, Local Decisions reforms. Read the Minister's media release.

The announcement follows an extensive consultation with principals, staff, parents and the broader community. Read the findings of the consultation (PDF 1MB).

The next steps outlines actions across the five reform areas that were the subject of the formal 10 week consultation. Read more.

White Ribbon Day - 25 November 2012

A Message from the Director-General

19 November 2012

It is a sad and deeply disturbing fact that violence against women remains a grave problem in Australia.

The statistics should unite the community to send the clear message that violence against women is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. One woman is killed every week by a current or former partner. These women were mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and friends.

White Ribbon Day on 25 November is a national and international campaign to prevent male violence against women and to change attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate these crimes.

The White Ribbon Foundation invites men to swear an oath never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women and to promote positive attitudes and behaviours towards women. On White Ribbon Day men and women wear a white ribbon as a symbol of this oath.

We can all contribute to this cause by swearing the oath, buying and wearing a ribbon, or being involved in awareness-raising activities listed on the White Ribbon  website.

I'm proud that a number of our schools are involved in White Ribbon's Breaking the Silence Program, which works with young people to enhance respectful relationship education between the genders to prevent the perpetration of violence against women and girls.

The issue of violence against women affects us all in the Department of Education and Communities. Domestic and family violence is the major cause of homelessness for women and their children and a recognised form of child abuse. There is also an increased risk of mental health, behavioural and learning difficulties from childhood exposure to domestic violence.

I urge all staff to mark White Ribbon Day in your schools, institutes, workplaces and communities so that we work together to break the silence and end the violence.

Dr Michele Bruniges AM


Email claiming to be from the Director-General

25 October 2012

Dear Colleagues

This afternoon you may have received a number of emails claiming to be from the Director-General.

I wish to state that these emails were not written or endorsed by the Director-General or any of her staff.

Information Technology Directorate is investigating this very serious breach.

Greg Prior

2011 NSW Training Award winners
21 September 2011

The director-general congratulates winners and finalists from the NSW Training Awards.

Review of NSW Government funding for early childhood education
15 August 2011

The NSW Minister for Education, The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP has formally launched the NSW Review of Early Childhood Education Funding, to be chaired by eminent social policy academic Professor Deborah Brennan.

The review will make recommendations for a more evidence-based funding system that will help increase participation in early childhood education, particularly for disadvantaged children in New South Wales.

Read the discussion paper
Read the Minister's media release
Read the review's terms of reference
Read Professor Brennan's profile.

Inquiries are welcomed and can be emailed to or posted to the following address:

NSW Review of Early Childhood Education Funding
NSW Department of Education and Communities

Formal submissions to the Review closed on the 18th November.

NSW Government interim submission to Gonski Funding Review
20 July 2011

In mid-July 2011, the NSW Government made an interim submission (pdf 224 KB) to the Australian Government Review of Funding for Schooling, chaired by Mr David Gonski (the Gonski review).

The NSW interim submission is accompanied by a NSW DEC discussion paper and a cover letter from the NSW Education Minister to Mr Gonski.

This interim submission will be followed by a more comprehensive submission after the release of the Gonski review's second issues paper in the coming months.

Inquiry into the provision of education to students with a disability or special needs - NSW Government response
17 January 2011

A response to the recommendations of the Legislative Council inquiry into the provision of education to students with a disability or special needs, grouped to reflect the key issues addressed in the inquiry report and strategic commitments for responding to those issues.
Read the NSW Government response (pdf 157 KB)

Gosford Public School report
9 November 2010

Earlier this year, the department conducted a consultation process to look into and make recommendations about the proposed relocation of Gosford Public School into the current grounds of Henry Kendall High School.
Read the report

Dubbo Secondary College report
26 October 2010

Earlier this year, the department contracted an educational consultancy to lead a community consultation process to look into and make recommendations about the future of the Dubbo Secondary College.
Read the report (PDF 0.45MB).

Information access application
29 September 2010

The director-general acts on advice from the Crown Solicitor's Office that it would be unlawful to release value-added information about schools.
Find out more (PDF 0.21MB)



This site uses Google Translate, a free language translation service, as an aid. Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages.