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Annual Report 2019

The 2019 Department for Education annual report is on this page. You can also download the department's 2019 Annual Report (PDF 3.9MB)

Document information

Department for Education
Education Centre, 31 Flinders Street, Adelaide 5000
Postal address: GPO Box 1152, Adelaide SA 5001

Contact phone number: (08) 8226 1000
Free call: 1800 088 158
Contact email: education.customers@sa.gov.au

ISSN: 1835-1530
Date presented to Minister: 31 March 2020

To: The Hon John Gardner, Minister for Education

This annual report is to be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987, and the Education Act 1972 and meets the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia. 

Submitted on behalf of the Department for Education by: Rick Persse, Chief Executive

From the Chief Executive

The Chief Executive, Department for Education, Rick Persse2019 was the second year of our 10 year plan to make South Australia’s public education system one of the best in the world.

We continued our focus on achieving growth for every child, in every class, in every school and implemented several connected system-wide reforms aimed at improving the education outcomes for students in classrooms across the state. 

We have only just begun and have a long way to go, but we are already seeing encouraging signs.

Our 2019 NAPLAN results showed a level of improvement in student learning greater than 2018. Our Aboriginal students were particularly successful, improving in reading and writing at a faster rate than their non-Aboriginal peers, supported by the implementation of our new Aboriginal Education strategy.

In the classroom we continued our focus on literacy and numeracy, which are the foundations for learning and ultimately the key to unlock all other areas of the curriculum. 

Orbis, our new professional learning academy was launched during 2019, offering our teachers access to some of the best professional learning opportunities that are anchored in the South Australian context. There were 100 graduates in our inaugural year and our programs for 2020 are fully subscribed.

We continued to rollout our internet connectivity program for schools. More than 360 sites are now benefiting from high-speed, reliable internet, opening up a world of opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate online, access useful online tools and provide more engaging and informative learning.

We have also piloted our new Education Management System (EMS), which represents the biggest upgrade of curriculum and school administration systems in more than 20 years and presents a significant opportunity to modernise the way we work.

Plans for 3 new schools in Angle Vale, Aldinga and Whyalla were released. We also continued our program of facility upgrades and improvements to schools across the state.

Our dedicated team of more than 30,000 people continues to work tirelessly to support South Australian children, young people and their families. I acknowledge and thank all for their hard work, and look forward to another successful year in 2020.

Rick Persse
Chief Executive
Department for Education

Overview – about the agency

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose

The Department for Education provides integrated, high-quality services to South Australian children and young people across early childhood, education and training.

We support young South Australians from the day they are born through their transition to adulthood, in all communities.

We also provide oversight of TAFE SA and higher education policy support to the Minister for Education.

Our Vision

To build a stronger future by making our state’s education system world-class.

Our Values

We embrace the values of the South Australian public sector:

  • Service
  • Professionalism
  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Collaboration and engagement
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Courage and tenacity
  • Sustainability

Our functions, objectives and deliverables

Our 5 key priorities for South Australia’s children and young people are:

  • Challenging learning by focussing on high quality teaching with an emphasis on strong literacy and numeracy skills that provide the foundation for every child’s education.
  • Quality people and strong leadership to support our workforce to perform at their best every day.
  • Strong engagement by working in partnership with parents, families, industry and the community to support young people to learn, develop, be healthy and prepare for life beyond school.
  • Better support for children, young people, schools and preschools through continual improvement and accountability.
  • Targeted resources to support the improvement and growth of every student, including those students who need extra support to achieve their potential and investment in contemporary and accessible facilities.

Further information about our strategic plan can be found on our website.

Our organisational structure

  • Early Years and Child Development
  • Finance and Funding
  • Information and Communications Technology Services
  • Infrastructure
  • Learning Improvement
  • Office of the Chief Executive
  • Partnerships, Schools and Preschools
  • People and Culture
  • Strategic Policy and External Relations
  • System Performance

Further information about our organisational structure is available on our website.

Changes to the agency

During 2018-19 there were the following changes to the agency’s structure and objectives as a result of internal reviews or machinery of government changes:

  • Transfer of responsibility for administering the History Trust of South Australia, Carclew Youth Arts, Windmill Theatre Company and Patch Theatre from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Transfer of responsibility for the administration of budget and support functions of Higher Education and prudential oversight of TAFE SA from the Department of State Development

Our Minister

Photo portrait of the Education Minister John Gardner

Hon John Gardner MP is the Minister for Education. Minister Gardner is responsible for Education and Child Development, Higher Education and Skills – TAFE functions.

Our executive team

Anne Millard Executive Director, Partnerships, Schools and Preschools
Ben Temperly  Executive Director, System Performance
Bronwyn Milera Director, Aboriginal Education
Caroline Croser-Barlow Project Director, Year 7 to High School
Chris Bernardi Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer
Julieann Riedstra  Chief Operating Officer
Karen Weston    Executive Director, Early Years and Child Development
Laura Schonfeldt    Executive Director, People and Culture
Leah Manuel  Director, Communications
Peta Smith    Executive Director, Strategic Policy and External Relations
Rick Persse Chief Executive
Ross Treadwell  Executive Director, Infrastructure
Scott Bayliss  Executive Director, Chief Information Officer
Susan Cameron Executive Director, Learning Improvement

Legislation administered by the agency

Children’s Services Act 1985

Children's Services (Appeals) Regulations 2008

Children's Services (Registered Children's Services Centres) Regulations 2003

Education Act 1972

Education Regulations 2012

Other related agencies (within the Minister’s areas of responsibility)

Australian Children’s Performing Arts Company (Windmill Theatre Co)

Carclew Youth Arts

Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee

Child Development Council

Commissioner for Children and Young People

Dame Roma Mitchell Trust Funds Board of Advice

Education and Early Childhood Services Registration and Standards Board of South Australia (Education Standards Board)

History Trust of South Australia

Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children and Students with Disability

Multicultural Education and Languages Committee

SACE Board of South Australia


Teachers Registration Board of South Australia

The Guardian for Children and Young People

The department also has relationships with numerous independent agencies and entities. The nature of these relationships vary according to the individual agency or entity but may involve the department providing administrative, or secretariat support, working in strategic partnership, managing registration and compliance, administering funding directly or on-passing funds such as state and Australian Government grants to nongovernment school authorities (also refer to page 9 in the ‘Notes to and forming part of the administered financial statements’).

The agency's performance

Performance at a glance

The department is committed to implementing a range of strategies, programs and initiatives to achieve our objectives in line with our purpose, vision and strategic goals.

Highlights for the 2019 year include:

  • improvements in NAPLAN mean scores, with South Australia’s results having improved against the Australian average in 15 of the 20 test domains compared to 2018.
  • improvements in year 1 phonics screening check results, with 52% of year 1 students scoring at or above the expected achievement level, a significant improvement from 43% in 2018.
  • our Future Leaders Initiative, which aims to identify and develop aspiring leaders so they can progress to principal or preschool director positions, was nationally recognised in 2 prestigious industry awards in 2019.
  • continued support for student learning outcomes with the release of our second series of school improvement resources in September.
  • the One Plan project has continued during 2019, with almost 20,000 One Plans now recorded online. More than 900 professional development sessions have been conducted in 2019 and resources have been developed to help staff develop a quality One Plan.
  • Adelaide Botanic High School delivered its first year of classes in 2019. The new school was delivered on time and on budget and has won multiple prestigious building awards.
  • commenced upgrades and improvements as part of our $1.3 billion investment to improve school facilities across the state, support sustainable enrolment growth in government schools and transition year 7 into high school.
  • introduced a new functional needs-based funding model for South Australian government preschool and school students with disability. The new online Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP) application form has removed administrative burden, allowing more focus on the planning and implementation of inclusive learning programs.
  • received a record number of nominations in the Public Education Awards – a testament to the great work that’s happening in schools and preschools across South Australia.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Key objective

Agency’s contribution

More jobs

VET for school students reforms

Entrepreneurial Education

International Education

A new technical college

Investment in capital works

Lower costs

Student fee waived for regional visa 457 and 482 holders

School Card assistance provided to 57,803 South Australian government students

Better Services

Literacy Guarantee

Year 7 to high school

Improving SACE

Improved internet for schools

Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP)

Bullying prevention

Tough approach to truancy

Languages in Schools

Aboriginal Education

Music Education

Agency specific objectives and performance

Agency objectives



Challenging Learning

Literacy and Numeracy

Effectively deliver the phonics screening check for year 1 students.

All year 1 students participated in a phonics screening check in August 2019.

1,800 teachers and school leaders participated in phonics screening check professional learning.

Develop preschool guidebook resources in literacy and numeracy to support best-practice teaching.

Preschool literacy and numeracy guidebooks developed and available to preschool leaders.

Expand the reach and scope of the Thinking Maths professional learning program for teachers.

278 schools participated in Thinking Maths programs.

73 Thinking Maths graduates leading change in the field.

4 new Thinking Maths programs developed and piloted for full implementation in 2020.

Build capacity of principals, directors and literacy leaders to lead world-class practice in preschools and schools.

Build capacity of teachers to provide world-class literacy teaching in schools and preschools.

1,600 literacy leaders attended the 2019 Literacy Summit.

1,125 educators and literacy leaders attended across 3 Literacy Guarantee Conferences.

Literacy coaching delivered to educators in regional areas.

97 schools directly supported by literacy coaches.

Develop and deliver programs and resources for English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) educators, leaders and students.

400 educators participated in EALD professional learning through the EALD Hub and Intensive English Language Program conferences.

21,826 students across 327 schools supported through EALD funding.

Reinvigorating the study of languages in SA schools

Quality teaching and learning support to language teachers and students to help increase the access, retention and completion of students studying languages.

A Languages Professional Learning Program delivered to 174 teachers from 44 schools across the state, and ethnic schools in South Australia in 2019.

School of Languages offered school holiday programs for SACE students to increase their oral proficiency in April and July 2019, which will again be offered in 2020. Languages offered include Japanese, Italian, Chinese, German, Indonesian, French and Spanish. Open Access College added a SACE Stage 1 Indonesian (beginners) class and a SACE Stage 2 Indonesian (continuers) class to their course offerings in 2019.

17 individual language teachers and more than 100 language students have undertaken or will undertake language study tours in 2019/2020 as part of the language scholarships program.

School Improvement Model

100% adoption in schools of the relevant aspects of the School Improvement Model.

100% translation of the relevant aspects of the School Improvement Model into preschool settings.

There was a 100% delivery of school improvement plans to education directors with subsequently high levels of implementation support for principals.

All preschool directors were supported to draft their preschool quality improvement plans in preparation for 2020 implementation.

International Education Strategy

Develop and launch the International Education Strategy 2019-2029.

Marketing and promoting SA public schools in key source markets.

The International Education Strategy was launched in June 2019.

Marketing and promoting SA public schools has included an in-market visit to Vietnam by selected school principals, implementation of a Chinese digital strategy and updating of marketing and school guidance materials. 

International Baccalaureate

To provide more opportunities for students to gain the internationally recognised and highly regarded IB certificate.

The 4 public schools selected in 2018 to become International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) accredited have progressed towards accreditation and successfully met all accreditation milestones required to be on track to deliver the IBDP program in 2022.

STEM learning strategy

Build expertise in designing and delivering STEM learning.

STEM Quest on-line professional learning program for early years educators launched to all preschools and schools.

408 primary teachers from 195 schools participated in the STEM 500 professional learning program.

Engage students in STEM education.

Aboriginal Learners in STEM Congress event held for 487 students from 140 schools, supported by 380 teachers, parents and Aboriginal STEM experts.

STEM Student scholarships awarded to 65 Aboriginal and low SES students (19 males and 46 females).

Develop and promote models of best practice for STEM school-industry partnerships.

Published and promoted a guide to establishing STEM School-Industry engagement in South Australia.

Established a dedicated online environment showcasing best practice in STEM school-industry engagement.

Entrepreneurial education

Young South Australians will develop the entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and attitudes that will create and contribute to the evolving global economy.

Banksia Park International High School, Seaton High School, Heathfield High School, Murray Bridge High School and Mount Gambier High School are the 5 specialist schools leading the Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy.

Over 300 enrolments in the specialist programs at the 5 entrepreneurial schools commenced in term 1, 2020.

Learning, Design Assessment and Moderation

The strategy focused on improving teachers' use of formative assessment to design learning based on the relevant curriculum that engages and intellectually challenges every student.

Resources were provided to guide the professional learning and site-based improvement work.

All schools collaboratively moderated and reflected against the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards, the Early Years Learning framework and the Indicators of Preschool Numeracy and Literacy. 

Full-year professional learning programs were also developed and provided to:

  • 180 early years directors/educators (113 preschools with at least 1 participant each)
  • 680 primary years teachers (380 schools with 1 to 2 participants each)
  • 260 secondary years leaders and teachers (75 schools with 2 to 4 participants each).

More flexible apprenticeship pathways

Increased numbers of students undertake Australian school based apprenticeships via the flexible apprenticeships model.

Over 150 flexible apprenticeships commenced in 2019 in the areas of Horticulture, Aged Care, Cyber Security, Automotive, Commercial Cookery, Viticulture, Landscaping, Individual Support and Construction.

Music Education Strategy 2019 – 2029

To provide children and young people with access to high quality music education.


52 applicants received a share in almost $445,000 of grant funding from the Music Innovation Fund.   

4 music education field officers were appointed to be embedded in networks of schools and preschools, supported centrally.

Quality People

Future Leaders Initiatives

High potential, aspiring leaders are identified to accelerate their development for roles as principals or preschool directors.

The programs sought to increase the number of placements into tenured and acting leadership roles.

195 participants since 2017, 88 have won tenured or acting leadership roles.

96 participants in 2019, 9 were placed in tenured roles and 2 in acting leadership roles.

Employee Psychological Health and Wellbeing

Implement the Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing procedure and psychosocial risk survey.

Undertake proactive wellbeing checks to identify and assist employees who are at a higher risk of psychological compromise.

The employee wellbeing program ‘myWellbeing’ was launched on 31 October 2019.

Following the launch 1968 employees had accessed the resource and 1057 had completed health and wellness assessments.

Strong Engagement

Aboriginal Education Strategy 2019-2029

Aboriginal students are supported to be proud and confident learners achieving at their highest potential.

The department has partnered with the Clontarf Foundation to pilot a program of engagement and mentoring of Aboriginal boys.

The department continues to work with the Narungga Nation to implement the education components of the Buthera Agreement.

Examine opportunities for improved pedagogy in early childhood education settings.

A series of workshops were conducted for an action research project examining how educators enact culturally responsive pedagogy in 6 early learning sites engaging with Reggio Emilia education principles, with a final report due in early 2020.

Strengthen the delivery of the Aboriginal histories and cultures across the curriculum, starting with science elaborations.

The SA Aboriginal Contexts in Science initiative was launched on 19 August 2019 and professional learning has commenced. Collaboration with Elders and community from selected Aboriginal Nations and documenting science knowledge are underway for teaching resources and digitised cultural materials to support SA science teachers.

Ensure all Aboriginal students are considered in schools’ improvement planning processes.

The Aboriginal learner achievement leaders’ resource and quality tools were launched on 10 September 2019 to complement the school improvement planning cycle, followed by pre-implementation strategies and activities with local education teams to prepare for 2020.

Develop detailed individual learning plans for Aboriginal children and young people.

As at 9 December 2019 there were 7,032 One Plans (published and draft online personalised learning plans) for Aboriginal learners out of a total of 14,248 students that identify as Aboriginal. This is a 300% increase in the number of online One Plans for Aboriginal learners compared with the end of 2018.

Expand opportunities for children and young people to engage with Aboriginal languages and culture through observation and experience.

Aboriginal Languages Programs Initiatives grants were provided to 34 schools to teach 7 Aboriginal languages to a projected 5100 students during 2020, an increase from 2019 for 28 schools to teach 6 languages to 3820 students.

Increase the resources, professional learning, support and pathways for Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language and culture.

Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara language and culture professional learning and support has included:

  • printing and distribution of ‘Aṟa Winki’ series in October 2019
  • Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara literacy workshops held for Aṉangu educators
  • 5 scholarships awarded to teachers and leaders in Aṉangu schools for Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Language and Culture Summer School in January 2020.  

Implement an online professional development resource and capability framework for teachers of Aboriginal students for whom English is an additional language or dialect.

The ‘Teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) Hub’ went live in November 2019.

6 coaches have been recruited to work in focus schools and supporting resources have been distributed.

Expand the Workabout program to support Aboriginal young people in Port Lincoln, Murraylands, southern and western metropolitan regions to make a successful transition from study to employment, training or further education.

The Workabout program was expanded to 3 additional regions (south and western Adelaide and Port Lincoln), further providing Aboriginal students with the skills to make successful transitions. Recruitment is underway to support the Workabout program in Murraylands.

Negotiate job and traineeship pathways for Aboriginal young people with employers, and identify required school based training and preparation.

Suitable local Primary/Area Schools have been identified for flexible traineeship education support placements. 14 applications from students were received following an expression of interest process. Successful applicants will be advised in 2020.

Expand the South Australian Aboriginal Secondary Training Academy from 16 to 21 academies to support students in the far north, south east, Adelaide hills, eastern metropolitan and Paralowie regions. In addition create an Aboriginal women’s AFL and a mixed Aboriginal basketball academy.

5 additional South Australian Aboriginal Secondary Training Academy (SAASTA) school-based academies have been established (far north, Flinders, Mount Barker, Mount Gambier and Paralowie). 2 new sports based academies have been established, focusing on basketball and women’s AFL.

Develop an Aboriginal workforce plan that will inform future staff strategies and targets.

A review of policies, practices and initiatives relating to the Aboriginal workforce plan and regular key stakeholder meetings to inform the development of the plan and targets were conducted.

Develop a culturally responsive framework to establish standards, develop awareness, and develop the cultural responsiveness of educators in improving practice and learning outcomes for Aboriginal students.  

Examination has been underway into how the system is demonstrating cultural responsiveness, to inform further consultation and the development of a culturally responsive framework focusing on developing a culturally responsive workforce.

Student attendance

A range of key actions are introduced in Attendance Matters, the department’s attendance strategy to:

  • promote the importance of education, starting from the early years.
  • improve student attendance.

A pilot social media campaign was conducted in 2019 to promote the importance of school attendance.  The evaluation of the pilot will inform a broader state-wide social media campaign.

For the small number of students in care identified as not attending full-time and not enrolled in alternative learning programs, planning has been undertaken to re-engage them and provide support services.

A pilot for a Family Group Conferencing model in education commenced in 2019 to address individual cases of chronic non-attendance.  The pilot is a partnership with the Youth Court and the Department for Child Protection.

The number of truancy officers has been increased by 11 FTE, taking the total number of positions up to 33 FTE.


Measures are developed which address all types of bullying, including cyber bullying and non-physical forms of harassment.

The state bullying prevention strategy ‘Connected – a community approach to bullying prevention within the school gates and beyond’ was launched on 15 August 2019.

The strategy has been developed by the Department for Education through the South Australian Bullying Prevention Coalition, which includes Catholic and Independent school sectors, the Commissioner for Children and Young People, government departments and leading bullying prevention researchers.

The Department for Education continues to fund a number of programs to address bullying. These include:

  • school activities recognising the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence
  • implementation of the PEACE Pack bullying prevention program in schools
  • the City of Playford after-school community based recreation program to reduce bullying
  • a pilot of the Friendly Schools bullying prevention program in the Greater Gawler partnership of schools.

Parent engagement

Resources are developed to support our work with families who play the most important role as their child’s first teacher.

A parent engagement framework has been developed to support improved parent engagement practice in our education system. The framework informs professional development for teachers and an online parent resource which provides parents with a range of ideas, tips and strategies to help them support their children's learning in the home.       

VET in Schools

More young people will consider skilled careers in vocational areas and trades, supporting skills shortages in priority industry areas.

A state-wide VET for School Students Policy was released in October 2019 which aims to introduce clear articulated pathways, enhanced career education and improve student outcomes of VET pathways for South Australian school students, and reflects the important role VET plays in skilling our workforce and supporting economic growth.

The Policy will be implemented in 2020 and represents a significant shift in how VET is delivered in some secondary schools.

A new VET Innovation Award for schools was introduced to the 2019, South Australian Training Awards, to encourage VET pathways and innovative approaches to VET in schools. Edward John Eyre High School was the inaugural winner of this Award in 2019.

Better Support

Digital strategy

  • Improved Internet Services for Schools

Every public school and preschool, teacher, child and student will have access to high-speed reliable and safe internet.

The opportunity for other government agencies and school sectors to leverage of this investment in connectivity across the state.

The Schools With Internet Fibre Technologies (SWiFT) connectivity program will provide all schools, regardless of location, quality internet services with the capacity needed to meet modern education requirements.

By the end of the 2019 school year 361 schools were connected to the Fibre network. The remainder of the schools will be completed by July 2020 as part of an $80 million partnership with Telstra.

In December 2019 the department entered a $50 million partnership with Telstra for Stage 2 of the project to provide targeted ICT equipment, software and services to schools to maximise their new high-speed internet connections.  A key inclusion is the extension of the SWiFT program to also provide high-speed internet services to all preschools and children’s centres ensuring consistent access to high performance internet services.

Year 7 to High School

Establish pilot schools to teach year 7 in high school from 2020 and incorporate learnings into project.

Run pilot recruitment process for new teaching positions in pilot schools to test principles of workforce strategy.

Consult with regional communities about how the move of year 7 impacts country schools and families.

Year 7 public school students will be taught in high school from term 1, 2022.

More than 350 families enrolled to take part in pilot program in 2020 at Mitcham Girls High School, Wirreanda Secondary School and John Pirie Secondary School.

Recruitment for new teaching positions in pilot schools undertaken with 47% vacancies filled by teachers from primary schools.

Consultation with regional communities undertaken and regional transitional arrangements developed to support these communities.

Substance abuse in schools

Effective, evidence based healthy living and substance abuse prevention programs are made available to all children. 

The department’s commitment to addressing substance abuse in schools includes funded delivery of effective, preventative alcohol and other drug education in South Australian schools provided by Life Education SA, Encounter Youth and The Sammy D Foundation (to complement curriculum).

The department promotes the Australian Government’s Positive Choices Portal and referral pathways for teachers and families.

During 2019, the department updated the procedure for handling alcohol and other drug related incidents in schools and developed a protocol with SAPOL to enable schools to more easily access police drug detection dogs in schools.

Education Management System (EMS)

Provide better support for schools, staff, students, parents and guardians.

Better management of student enrolments and transitions through schooling within the public education sector.

Access to a world-class learning management system to support teaching and learning.

The EMS was successfully piloted in 10 schools and preschools (across a mix of socio economic, regional and metropolitan areas and site types) over terms 1 and 2 of 2019.

The rollout strategy will first commence with preschools in term 2, 2020. A select group of 5 primary and 5 secondary schools will also be considered to receive the EMS in term 3, 2020 in preparation for an accelerated rollout commencing in 2021.

Universal Access to quality early childhood education

95% of South Australian children including vulnerable and disadvantaged children, have access to, and participate in, an affordable quality early childhood education program.

South Australia continues to exceed the enrolment target with children enrolled in 600 hours of quality government or non-government preschool education in their year before full time school.

Family Day Care (FDC)

Sustainability and viability of Family Day Care is improved.

The department received grant funding from the Australian Government of $2.1 million over three years from 1 July 2018 to improve the viability and sustainability of Family Day Care in South Australia. The funds are being used to improve quality and compliance systems, build a suite of marketing and promotions materials, provide focused skills development for staff and educators, establish a quality and compliance framework and consider technological opportunities to improve business practices.


Support continuous improvement of department preschools against the National Quality Standard.

As at 31 December 2019, 98% of department preschools assessed and rated were meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS) with 79% of these rated as Exceeding NQS.

National Education Priority reforms

South Australia is compliant with commitments in National School Reform Agreement and supporting bilateral agreement.

Compliance against national policy initiatives in the National School Reform Agreement will be reported to COAG in 2020; South Australia is delivering on all bilateral agreement policy commitments. 


Transition the second cohort of schools to NAPLAN Online.

In 2019 students in 419 government schools and 129 non-government schools sat the NAPLAN assessments online. Students in years 5, 7, and 9 completed all assessments online. Students in year 3 completed all but the writing assessment online.

Targeted Resources

Capital investment

Expand capacity for the year 7 transition to high school in 2022 and demographic growth, and to deliver modern, new, improved and expanded learning areas to support student learning.


Upgrades to 99 schools are underway with the first projects anticipated to commence construction in February 2020. High schools have been prioritised to ensure additional capacity is completed for the year 7 transition to high school in 2022.

Delivering modern, new, improved and expanded learning areas to support student learning.

In 2018-19, the state government has overseen completion of approximately $160m worth of major capital works projects, including the Adelaide Botanic High School and a range of site upgrades and amalgamations.

Delivering 2 B-12 schools that support contemporary pedagogy and innovative teaching to address public school availability for predicted population growth in Angle Vale and Aldinga.


PPP New Schools Project - Angle Vale and Aldinga

In August 2019, the project received approval from the Public Works Committee. In December 2019, the tender and evaluation process was completed, the project contract was signed and the successful Proponent was announced. Construction is to commence early to mid-2020 with the schools to open for term 1 2022.

Delivering a new contemporary, environmentally sustainable 7-12 school that supports contemporary pedagogy and innovative teaching, allowing three existing schools to amalgamate onto one site.

New Whyalla Secondary School

In December 2019, the project received approval from the Public Works committee. Building contract to be signed in February 2020. Construction is to commence in early to mid-2020 with the school to open for term 1 2022.

School buses in regional areas

School students have fair access to school buses in regional areas.

A working group, consisting of senior officers from the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF), Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), and the Department for Education, is undertaking a review of school buses in regional areas.

A new Technical College

The new college will support young South Australians to develop skills so they are well equipped for careers in defence, shipbuilding and other maritime industries.

Selection processes were conducted against the selection criteria supported by an industry assessment panel.

A formal announcement on the successful applicant is expected to occur in 2020.

Review of disability funding

Introduce a funding model that supports the learning of students with disability.

A simpler approach to supporting mainstream preschool and school students with disability has been adopted with the commencement of the Department for Education’s Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP).

As at September 2019, $198.2 million of IESP funding was allocated to schools and preschools.

Corporate performance summary

During the 2019 calendar year, the department has contributed towards a number of corporate initiatives. These include:

  • achieved savings by creating efficiencies in office space planning and relinquishing office accommodation space
  • implemented a range of system and operational improvements (including a new case management approach and increased offer of mediation services) enabling more detailed capture and reporting of education complaints
  • launched the new myWellbeing Centre, a health and wellbeing portal that gives every employee 24/7 access to a wealth of information and activities to enhance their wellbeing
  • transformed paper-based HR forms to an online electronic process, as part of the Digital Process Improvement Project
  • launched edIT, a new, online self-service portal enabling many ICT services to be requested digitally and online.

Employment opportunity programs

Program name


Traineeship and Graduate program

16 trainees were appointed from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

6% of trainees appointed were of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent.

12 trainees and 4 graduates completed their placements.

50% of the trainees were appointed into ongoing positions across the agency.

Amy Levai Aboriginal teaching scholarships

32 Aboriginal people were supported, including 29 pre-service teachers (14 are department staff) and 3 senior secondary students.

5 of the 29 pre-service teachers graduated during this period and commenced teaching in SA government schools in 2019.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system


The performance and development approach is guided by two documents, the Performance and Development Policy and Guideline.

It is mandatory for all employees and their managers to engage in performance and development conversations, including bi-annual reviews.

Implementation is evaluated via the Human Resource System (HRS) and employee surveys.

  • At 31 December 2019, 66% of all departmental employees had completed a performance and development review within the previous 6 months. This is an increase of 9% since June 2019.
  • Active support for professional growth, learning and regular feedback for improved performance were reported in 2019. 

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program name


Work Health Safety Management system

The department aims to ensure that health and safety management is a fundamental component of the work environment.

The Work Health Safety Management system supports this through the establishment of safe systems of work, appropriate governance, training, management structures and operational strategies.

Injury Management Program

The Injury Management program seeks to reduce the impact of work injury by providing early intervention, high quality claims management services and tailored return to work assistance.

As soon as an injury is reported, and wherever possible, before a claim for workers compensation is lodged, tailored support is provided to assist injured employees recover and return to work.

Employee Assistance Program

Program outcomes:

  • 1195 employees accessed external and confidential counselling with ‘work relationship/conflicts’ (work and personal combined) and anxiety/depression the most frequently cited reasons for seeking support.
  • 60 family members of employees utilised this service.
  • 25 leaders accessed the Manager Assist service which provides a confidential counselling and coaching service to assist with managing others.
  • 207 sites received on-site trauma assistance following a critical incident.
  • 62 principals, preschool directors, site leaders and managers consulted the Employee Psychological Services Team to help manage employee mental health issues.
  • 54 employees sought advice from the Employee Psychological Services Team to help manage employee mental health issues.

Workplace injury claims

Current year

Past year

% Change
(+ / -)

Total new workplace injury claims(2)








Seriously injured workers(3)




Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)(4)




Work health and safety regulations

Current year

Past year


% Change
(+ / -)

Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3)(5)




Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195)




Return to work costs**

Current year

Past year


% Change
(+ / -)

Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)




Income support payments – gross ($)




**before third party recovery

(1) The figures reported for June 2019 are now the new performance measures.

(2) This measure now reflects only accepted claims; hence providing a percentage change from previous years is not feasible.

(3) 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).

(4) This measure now reflects only accepted significant injury claims; hence providing a percentage change from previous year is not feasible.

(5) The simplified Safety Management System introduced in 2019 provides greater clarity regarding roles and expectations placed on employees. The increase in the number of notifiable incidents reported is as a result of a deeper understanding of reporting requirements.

Note: The figures for 2017-18 in the tables above are revised due to an identified error in the prior report.

Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification

Number of executives

PS Act Executive F - Untenured




SA Executive Service Level 1


SA Executive Service Level 2


Principal Band A – 3


Principal Band A – 4


Principal Band A – 5


Principal Band A – 6


Principal Band A – 7


Principal Band A – 8


Principal Band A – 9


Education Director


ED Act Negotiated conditions


Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

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

Financial performance at a glance

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2018-19 are attached to this report.

Our income – where it comes from

The total income received by the department and schools from controlled operations for the 2018-19 financial year was $3.45 billion, an increase of $161.3 million from the previous financial year.

Key factors contributing to the increase include:

  • Net Revenue from the State Government increased by $77.9 million, which includes funding for capital projects and increased funding for public schools. 
  • Revenue from the Australian Government increased by $51.3 million, predominantly relating to increases associated with the Quality Schools / National Education Reform Agreement totalling $53.5 million.
  • An increase in resources received free of charge totalling $30.7 million mainly due to the transfer of land and building assets for the Adelaide Botanic High School to the department.

Our expenditure – how our funds were spent

The total expenditure incurred by the department and schools from controlled operations for the 2018-19 financial year was $3.44 billion. The increase in expenditure from the previous financial year is predominantly attributed to:

  • Employee benefit related expenses increased by $137.9 million. This relates to a range of factors including increases in remuneration rates paid under enterprise bargaining agreements and awards, increases in total staffing numbers, an increase in targeted voluntary separation payments, and the impact of revaluations of employee long service leave and workers compensation liabilities.
  • Supplies and services expenses increased by $35.7 million which was mainly due to increases in utility and ICT costs.
  • An increase in depreciation and amortisation expenses of $6.9 million which is mostly attributable to an increase in capitalised assets associated with the STEM capital works program.
  • An increase in other expenses of $10.0 million mainly due to the write-off of non-current assets.

Summary of our assets – what we own

The value of assets for the department and schools totalled $5.8 billion as at 30 June 2019, which represented an increase of $103 million compared with the previous financial year.

An increase of $127.5 million in property, plant and equipment which included $188.9 million of additional capital expenditure and an increase in land values of $67.6 million as a result of revaluation. This is mostly offset by depreciation and amortisation expenses.

Cash and cash equivalents decreased by $10.7 million.

Summary of our liabilities – what we owe

The value of liabilities for the department and schools totalled $1.2 billion as at 30 June 2019; an increase of $27.2 million compared with the previous financial year mostly reflecting an increase of $59.9 million in employee benefit liabilities and worker’s compensation provisions; partly offset by a reduction in payables at 30 June 2019 of $33.9 million.

Materials and services charges

The materials and services charge set by each governing/school council is intended to cover the costs of those essential materials and services used or consumed by individual students during the course of their study and must reflect the actual cost of the materials and services provided.

For 2019, the standard sum that schools were able to recover was $241 for primary students and $318 for secondary students. Governing/school councils may also poll their school communities to seek majority support to legally recover an amount greater than the standard sum as well as including specific subject charges where applicable.

For the 2018 school year, the amount recognised by schools for the material and services charge including specific subject charges and ‘school card’ assistance was over $60 million.

Consultants disclosure

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 financial year.

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

Matthew Fante Consulting

Review the department’s Respite Care Program policies and procedures


Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

Australia & New Zealand School of Government

Review and provide evidence-based reform initiatives to improve strategic policy practices.


Career Industry Council

Review and report on findings with recommendations for best practice career education for younger students in the department's schools.


Dandolo Partners

Review the role of the department’s Registered Training Organisation.


Ernst & Young

The development of a simplified safety management framework for use by all departmental sites.


Ernst & Young

Undertake a high level evaluation of the Guardianship Family Day Care Program.


Gyre Digital Pty Ltd

To provide a discussion paper on the growing demand for cyber security technicians and the challenges and opportunities this creates for the education sector.



Assurance services relating to the Education Management System project.



Review and provide options for aspects of the future finance arrangements of the department’s payroll and financial consolidation processes in relation to schools and preschools.


Mark Schultz Consulting

Provide advice and recommendations in relation to People & Culture operations functional design and service model and digitisation and technology reform agenda.


Muse Consulting

Review a systematic framework for the delivery of music education.


New Focus Pty Ltd

Undertake research and provide evidence-based recommendations for the state-wide campaign raising parental awareness of the importance of attendance and impact of school absence.


PKF Adelaide

Review the Minister’s Children and Students with Disability Grants Program existing funding framework.


PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia

Review and provide a report on potential improvements in family day care case management policies and procedures.


The Learning First Group Pty Ltd

To work with education directors and school leaders to develop and plan for the implementation of a school improvement planning process.


The Learning First Group Pty Ltd

To work with education directors and school leaders to develop and implement the framework and associated resources for the school improvement planning process.


The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide were requested to prepare a report which sets out the community/social obligations required within the vocational education and training sector, and particularly delivered by TAFE SA.





Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

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.

Contractors disclosure

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 financial year.

The information contained is sourced from the department’s general ledger and invoices, and it is noted that sampling has occurred for some individual vendors with significant volumes.

Transactions between the department and government schools and preschools have been excluded from the below transactions in addition to some transactions that were identified that are not in the nature of contractors.

Due to the various contractors paid for by the School Sports SA Unit of the department (which includes individuals who umpire games) and the fact the department does not obtain transactional data from the School Sports SA Unit to allow for individual itemisation, all contractors paid by this unit are disclosed on one line in the following table.  For annual report purposes this amount is included in the total representing payments below $10,000.

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

57 Films Pty Ltd

Professional filming services to support the Anangu Lands Conference


A&H Digital Solutions Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery


ABC International Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


ABC Multilingua Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


Abell Mind & Body

Psychological assessment services



Professional services for the Education Management System project


Adelaide OHS&W Consultants

Professional services to support work health and safety compliance audits


Adelaide Oval SMA Limited

Professional services to support department events - 2019 registered training organisation (RTO) graduation ceremony


Adelaide Uhak Centre

Professional services to deliver IES Home stay and International student services process improvement project


Aim To Succeed Tutoring

Professional tuition services for school retention program


Ann O'Callaghan

Professional services to deliver Leaders Day Executive Governance and Literacy Summit Organising Committee


Anthony Townsend

Professional research services to support departmental initiatives - Principals as Literacy Leaders


AON Hewitt Associates Pty Ltd

Perspective School Climate Survey for inclusion on school improvement dashboard


Arts SA - SA Museum

Aboriginal Education Program


Auslan Services Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


Australian Childhood Foundation

Strategies and Managing Abuse Related Trauma program


Australian Council for Educational Research Limited (ACER)

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy


B&H Australia Pty Ltd

Audio visual and tele-conferencing equipment for schools and corporate office modernisation


Baptist Care (SA) Incorporated

Care Mentoring program


Barber Consulting

Professional services to support centres for hearing impairment and parent engagement


Barkuma Inc

Disability support and state transition program


BDO Advisory (SA) Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Berry Street Childhood Institute

Professional services for the Berry Street Education Model


Bold IT Pty Ltd

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs


Bonnie Parker

Professional services to support young people share cultural considerations in court project


Bremer and Company Pty Ltd

Music Survey submission analysis


Broomhall Consulting

Performance Counts Program


Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation

Youth and student mentoring for language initiatives and activities


Carclew Youth Arts Centre Incorporated

Artists in schools program


Career Education Association

Professional services to deliver Student Pathways project


Careerlink Business Services Trading as Careerlink People Solutions Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Carolyn Lloyd

Professional services to deliver International Education Services projects and the Bilingual Project review


Catherine Taylor

Professional audit and risk services


CEASA INC (Educators SA)

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Centacare Catholic Family Services

National School Chaplaincy Program Annual Funding


CGI Technologies & Solutions Australia Pty Ltd

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy


Chamonix IT Management

Professional services to support a range of ICT initiatives.


Civica Education Pty Ltd

Professional services for the Education Management System project


CMM Education Consultancy

Professional services for Connected Beginnings Initiative


Complete Tutoring Solutions

Tutoring services


Computers Now Pty Ltd

ICT audit services


Concordia Kindergarten

Preschool support


Connected Self Pty Ltd

Mentoring services


Cornerstone Strategic Pty Ltd

Professional services to support entrepreneurial learning strategy


CQR Consulting Australia Pty Ltd

Risk assessment services


Dansie's Head to Toe Pty Ltd

Psychological assessment services


Davies Stewart Recruitment

Labour resources


Deloitte Risk Advisory Pty Ltd

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs


Department for Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI)

Professional services to support Northern School Site project


DFP Recruitment Services Pty Ltd

Labour resources


DK Psychology

Psychological assessment services


Dr Julia Atkin

Professional services for the development of Education functional requirements


DWS Advanced Business

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy


EBMS Pty Ltd

Contracts and Grants Management System


Edge Recruitment

Labour resources


Education Change Makers Pty Ltd

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs


Education Services Australia

School Catalogue Information Service data and authority files


Education Web Solutions

Professional online services to support Australian Curriculum Leading Learning website


Educentric Pty Ltd

Professional digital services


Edward Wilson

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program


Enable Professional Services

Professional services for the Education Management System project


Enlightening Films

Professional filming services to support departmental initiatives and develop professional learning resources


Ernst & Young

Professional services to support departmental initiatives and reviews


Escient Pty Ltd

Professional services for the Education Management System project


Essential Utilities

Professional services to support ICT delivery


Eyre Futures Incorporated

Professional tuition services for school retention program


Flinders University of South Australia

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs, evaluation and professional development


Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Ltd

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy.


Fujitsu Australia Limited

Professional services for a range of ICT initiatives.


Galpins Accounting Auditors

Professional services to support departmental programs


Get Smart Promotional Products

Premier's Be Active Challenge medals


GMD Partnerships Limited

Crucial Conversations and Changemakers program


Gramac Solutions

Labour resources


Gregory Berry

Audit and risk services


Hays Specialist Recruitment

Labour resources


Hender Consulting

Labour resources


Hoban Recruitment Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Hoops 4 Life

School mentoring program


HRM Matters

Performance and development workshops


Hudson Global Resources (Australia)

Labour resources


Human Capital International

Climate Survey project


Incept Labs Australia Pty Ltd

Learning Design Assessment and Moderation project


Incompro Aboriginal Association

Youth and student mentoring


Infoquest Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental research and initiatives


Information Multimedia Communications Pty Ltd

Professional services to support workforce and system development


Interpreting and Translating

Translation and interpreting services


Iocane Pty Ltd

Professional services to support school ICT infrastructure


Ipar Rehabilitation Pty Ltd

Professional services to support workers compensation


IPAU Technologies

Professional services to support school ICT infrastructure


Jessica Ellis

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Jodie Benveniste

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Johani SLR

Professional production services


John P Malcolm

Professional assessment services


K Welsh & Co Pty Ltd

Professional financial administration services to support Wiltja Residential Program


KESAB Environmental Solutions

School waste and resources audits


KPP Ventures Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Kylie Heneker Executive

Professional services to support departmental programs


La Trobe University

Professional services to support departmental programs


Labs 'N' Life Incorporated

Labs and Life in schools program


Lettscom Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery


LinkedIn Singapore Pty Ltd

Professional training services to support staff in accessing quality online learning opportunities


Loop Software Pty Ltd

Professional services for software development


Mahony's Lawyers

Professional legal services


Manpower Services Australia Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Martin Anders Barrister

Professional legal services


Matthew Nairn

Psychological assessment services


Maureen Hegarty

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program


Maxima Tempskill

Labour resources


MG Tapscott & SJ Tapscott

Keeping Children Safe from Bullying


Microsoft Pty Ltd

Professional services supplied by Microsoft Premier Support


MIMP Computer Cable Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery


Minter Ellison Lawyers

Professional legal services


Mission Australia

School mentoring program


Mixed Mediums

Professional online training aids


Monash University

Professional evaluation services to support departmental initiatives


MTA Group Training Scheme Incorporated

Introduction to automotive services for School Retention program


My Psychologist Frances

Psychological assessment services


Nanette Smibert

Professional services to support departmental programs


National Children's and Youth Law Centre

Online bullying prevention resource


National Excellence In School

Wellbeing toolkit and Managing Emotional Demands training


National Science Summer School

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program


NEC Australia Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery


New Focus Pty Ltd

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs


NGS Global Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Novita Children's Services

Psychological assessment services


Nuago Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery


Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment

Traineeship program flexibility for the future


Oncall Language Services Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


Our Lady Of The Visitation School

Preschool support


Outsidein Group

Reports and customer content, assessment methodology and educator assessments


Oxford University Innovation

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program


Pathways CBS Pty Ltd

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy


Paxus Australia Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Peoplebank Australia Limited

Labour resources


Peter King Communications

Professional school audit services


Phoebe Monagle

Literature review


Piet Crosby

Psychological assessment services


Pinnacle Workplace Consultants

Workstation assessments



Strategic audit and risk services


Psychology SA

Psychological assessment services


PT Trimitra Duta Mandiri

Professional development services


Rachel Mann Writing Services

Professional services to support Resource Allocation Adjustment Panel applications


Randstad Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Relationships Australia (SA)

Care Leaver Discussion and Case Management programs


Richard Mitchell Removals and Storage Pty Ltd

Removal and storage services


RNTT Pty Ltd (Trading as Excel Recruitment)

Labour resources


Rob Ball

Professional audit and risk services


Royal SA Deaf Society Incorporated

Sign language interpreting services


Salisbury Lutheran Kindergarten

Preschool support


Samantha Wilkinson

Human resources operations projects


Sammy D Foundation

Mentoring services


Save The Children Australia Trust

Professional tuition services for school retention program


Schools Ministry Group

National School Chaplaincy Program Annual Funding


She Creative Pty Ltd

Professional services to deliver departmental initiatives


Showpony Advertising

Professional services to support Orbis


Social Ventures Australia Limited

Case management services 


Software Works Pty Ltd

Professional services for software development


Soji Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental workshops and events


Square Holes

Market research and focus groups


Squiz Australia Pty Ltd

Program for anti-bullying


St Margaret Mary's School

Preschool support


St Thomas School - Goodwood

Preschool support


Stacy Consulting Trust

Plink learning management system


Switch Education Recruitment

Professional services to support Future Leaders initiative


Talent International (SA) Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Talent Options

Labour resources


Talk Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology services


Taptu Pty Ltd

Information Technology support and setup


Tauondi Aboriginal Corporation

Welcome to Country services and Aboriginal Youth Representation Model


Telethon Kids Institute

Professional services to deliver rapid response support


Terry Sizer

Professional services to support workforce operations


The Deaf Society

Sign language interpreting services


The University of Adelaide

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Thompson Reuters (Professional)

Professional services to support departmental operations


Thornhall Pty Ltd

Professional workshop and training services


Tiffany Marchant

Professional services to deliver Student Pathways project and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics workshop


Transforming Education

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Translation Consultants

Interpreting and translating services


Triple P International Pty Ltd

Positive Parenting Program


Unified Solutions Group Pty Ltd

Site assessments and labour for the Preschool Information Technology Infrastructure project


Uniting Country SA Limited

National School Chaplaincy Program annual funding


University of Melbourne

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


University of South Australia

Payments for various programs such as National Disability Coordination Officer; Chinese Bilingual; and the Teachers and Scholarships program


Various NAPLAN Contractors

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy


Vettrak Pty Ltd

Review of Registered Training Organisation project


Visually Creative Studio

Professional production services


Voice Project Pty Ltd

Professional online survey and reporting services


Wenn B Lawson

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Whitelion Youth Agency Limited

Mentoring services


Woman's & Children's Hospital

Professional services for Strong Start program


Yellowscope Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Zed Management Consulting

Professional services to support the delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy





Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

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.

Other information


Risk management

Risk and audit at a glance

The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) provides independent advice to the Chief Executive and the Senior Executive Group on the department’s risk, control and compliance framework, and its external accountability responsibilities. 

The ARC comprises five members of senior management and three independent external members. Representatives of the Auditor-General's Department attend as observers. The committee met on five occasions during 2019.

During 2019, the ARC has focused on the following matters:

  • Corporate governance and risk management frameworks
  • External accountabilities and financial legislative compliance
  • Internal audit coverage and review of significant issues identified in audit reports and actions taken.
  • External audit - oversight of implementation and actions taken to address issues raised in Auditor General’s audit reports.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud

Number of instances





NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The Department for Education is committed to maintaining a working environment free of fraud and corrupt behaviour and promotes this position through the department’s fraud and corruption control policy and framework. The policy and framework articulates the department's prevention, detection and response strategies and provides the processes for managing suspected and/or actual fraud or corruption.

Fraud control risks are reviewed and assessed annually to ensure that processes are in place to adequately manage potential fraud risks.

Any instances of misconduct are treated seriously by the department, and where these occur, prompt action is taken to ensure that they are thoroughly investigated and that those responsible are held to account.

Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

Whistle-blowers disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993:


Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Reporting required under the Carers’ Recognition Act 2005

The Department for Education supports carers who are employees and students.

Awareness: There is a system to ensure all management, staff, and volunteers, parents and students have an understanding of the Act and Carers Charter.

Consultation: There is a system to ensure consultation with carers, or persons or bodies that represent carers, in the development and review of human resource department plans, policies, and procedures and practice.

Practice: There is a system to ensure the principles of the Carers Charter are reflected in human resource department practices.

Public complaints

Number of public complaints reported (as required by the Ombudsman)

In 2019, a range of system and operational improvements (including a new case management approach and increased offer of mediation services) enabled more detailed capture and reporting of education complaints.

This has resulted in the ability to separate complaints data from enquiry topic data (which were not complaint related) reducing the overall numbers against each category from previous years.

Category of complaints by topic*

Number of instances



Staff Performance


Bully/Harassment - Physical


Behaviour Management


Duty of Care


Exclusion / Suspension




Special Education


Bully/Harassment - Verbal


Staff Misconduct


Safety Issue


Class Placement


Bullying/Harassment - Staff


School Policy


Unfair treatment


Behaviour Third Party


Family Law Dispute






Government/Departmental Policy






Privacy Breach


Sexual Assault/Harassment




Unethical Behaviour/Conflict


Child Protection




Bullying/Harassment - Cyber




Aboriginal Education


Alternative Education


Parent Restriction


School Facilities Access/Use






Policy - Curriculum


Private Education




Total number of topics*


Total number of complaints


*Note a single complaint received may involve multiple category topics, so the total number of topics listed is more than the total number of complaints received during 2019.

Additional Metrics


Number of positive feedback comments


Number of negative feedback comments


Total number of feedback comments


% complaints resolved within policy timeframes


*Note capturing and reporting of specific feedback is new and relates only to written feedback received from complainants by the Customer Feedback Unit about schools/preschools.

Data for previous years is available at the South Australian Government Data Directory.

Service Improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2019

Nature of complaint or feedback*

Service improvements as a result of complaints or consumer feedback

Policy application

A school developed a local cyber safety guide and published it on their website to better support parents/caregivers, following parent complaints and enquiries about this topic. 

Service Quality

A school incorporated parent feedback to update the process for seeking parent/caregiver permission for students to participate in external activities following a complaint about the lack of clarity/consistency with their processes.

Following a parent complaint about an increase in snake sightings on school grounds, a school undertook additional preventative measures regarding habitat control on the grounds.

A number of WHS practices and protocols were reviewed and updated (in addition to legislative requirements already in place) at a school once they became aware of an injury to a child resulting from an incident (note the injury was rated as low risk however an ambulance was called at the parent’s request).

Following a parent complaint, a school updated their communication processes to provide clarity to parents/caregivers regarding the inclusivity of all students attending school events.

*Across government complaint categories

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2018-19