Research partnerships

The NSW Department of Education and Communities strongly values educational research and is committed to the benefits which quality research can deliver to the development of its education policies and teaching and learning.

We welcome research that is of high quality and will apply criteria (PDF 74kB) in judging the merits of proposals to conduct research in NSW government schools and TAFE NSW.

The department also engages in major education research projects by initiating, undertaking, managing, and/or acting as partner in major research projects of state-wide national and international significance.

Schooling research priorities

The department encourages research which supports its goals and strategic directions including investigations that:

  • support the work of schools and which demonstrate effective strategies for dissemination of outcomes to teachers, researchers and other interested parties
  • have the potential to contribute to knowledge and practice in education – extending rather than duplicating existing knowledge
  • involve an appreciative inquiry into what seems to be working well, so that schools can learn from the most successful experiences or cases; and
  • involve an identification of approaches to improve the well being of learners – such as research into positive psychology.

The department has developed schooling research priorities (PDF 90kB) to provide guidance for students and other researchers who may be seeking ideas for research studies in schooling.

The state education research applications process (SERAP)

The Research unit in Policy, Planning and Reporting is responsible for processing applications from external researchers to conduct research in NSW public schools through the state education research approvals process (SERAP). The unit manages the assessment process and provides authorisation for research projects.

The Research unit also disseminates information to departmental staff, schools and educational research communities about the findings of key research projects in which it is involved and/or for which it has provided formal approval.

The department has a responsibility to ensure that research conducted in schools is of  benefit, or which justifies the time, and effort required of departmental staff and students and which does not infringe upon the rights or jeopardise the welfare of its students or staff and is capable of producing good quality results.

The department has established revised guidelines (PDF 277kB) for approving applications from external agencies to conduct research in NSW government schools.

No research can be conducted in NSW government schools by an external agency, without formal approval in accordance with these guidelines.

Research application website

The department requires all research applications from external researchers to be lodged via the research application website SERAP online and in hard copy.

As part of the application process researchers or research assistants who visit schools in carrying out research will be asked to sign a Prohibited Employment Declaration. Those who are employed are also required to complete the Working with Children Screening check.

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