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Annual Report 2020

The 2020 Department for Education annual report is on this page. You can also download the department's 2020 Annual Report (PDF 8.9MB)

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: 25 March 2021

The Hon John Gardner
Minister for Education

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987, and the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 and 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 Persse

Despite the challenges faced by our schools and preschools during 2020, our work to build a world-class public education system in South Australia continued to gain momentum.

Just 3 years into our 10 year strategy, and year-on-year we’re seeing measurable improvement across the state.

For our schools and preschools, excellence in teaching is the number 1 predictor in improving a child’s education outcomes. One of our key areas of focus for 2020 was developing and rolling out new, high-quality, classroom-ready curriculum resources for our educators in what was the biggest curriculum development initiative ever seen in South Australia.

Every single public school and preschool now has a quality improvement plan that details the areas they will focus on to improve the learning outcomes for their students.

Our key specialist education strategies – music, languages, entrepreneurial learning and aboriginal education – are in various stages of implementation and making great progress.

This is combined with the establishment of Orbis – an elite professional learning academy – through our partnership with Harvard and the University of Melbourne, access to more student data, and access to greater support in the classroom so teachers can focus on their profession.

There’s a raft of initiatives that sit below the surface, from leadership succession planning to improved technology in schools that are helping create the conditions for growth for every learner in every class in every school and preschool.

In 2020 we also focussed on making sure the education of South Australian children and students was not affected by the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

In fact, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown South Australians how dynamic and adaptable our public education system is.

As an education system, it enabled us to innovate and move quickly. Every step in response to the pandemic has been considered in the context of how it will help to deliver our long term plan of creating a world-class education system, and potentially accelerate it.

We prioritised the safety of our staff and students so their learning wouldn’t be compromised. We moved quickly to stand up technology, our workforce upskilled, and a wave of innovation was unleashed. We’ll continue to build on that as we move forward with our improvement agenda.

The collective community effort to rein in any outbreaks, combined with the hard work and skill of principals, teachers and support staff to design and deliver classes differently, means our young people have not missed out on any learning that can’t be made up in the short-term.

We also continue to carefully monitor and quickly respond to any impacts associated with the pandemic – particularly the wellbeing of our students and staff.

On behalf of the Senior Executive team, I thank our principals, educators, support staff and staff based in central for all of the fantastic leadership and work throughout 2020. I couldn’t be prouder to have such a professional and dedicated group of colleagues.

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 through their transition to adulthood, in all communities.

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

Our Vision

To build a stronger future for our children by making South Australia’s public 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.

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.

Changes to the agency

During 2019-20 there were no changes to the agency’s structure and objectives as a result of internal reviews or machinery of government changes.

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 Senior Executive team

Rick Persse Chief Executive
Anne Millard Executive Director, Partnerships, Schools and Preschools
Ben Temperly  Executive Director, System Performance
Bronwyn Milera Director, Aboriginal Education
Caroline Croser-Barlow Executive Director, Early Years and Child Development
Chris Bernardi Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer
Deb O’Riley A/Executive Director, Infrastructure
Julieann Riedstra  Chief Operating Officer
Laura Schonfeldt    Executive Director, People and Culture
Leah Manuel  Director, Communications
Peta Smith    Executive Director, Strategic Policy and External Relations
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

Note: the Education Act 1972 and Children’s Services Act 1985 and the associated regulations listed above were repealed by the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 and Education and Children’s Services Regulations 2020 on 1/7/2020.

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 Aboriginal Children and Young People

Commissioner for Children and Young People

Education Standards Board

Flinders University

History Trust of South Australia

SACE Board of South Australia


Teachers Registration Board of South Australia

Torrens University

University of Adelaide

University of South Australia

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 from the 2020 year include:

  • Improvements in year 1 phonics screening check results, with 63% of year 1 students scoring at or above the expected achievement level, up from 52% in 2019.
  • 8015 government students completed the SACE in 2020, with 312 achieving at least 1 subject merit in Stage 2, up 66 students from 2019.
  • Appointed 4 new school principals that will lead our new world-class public schools in Angle Vale, Aldinga, Whyalla and Goolwa in 2022.
  • Continued support for student learning outcomes with the release of our third series of school improvement resources in September 2020.
  • Successfully ran a pilot program to introduce year 7 to high school at Mitcham Girls High School, Wirreanda Secondary School and John Pirie Secondary School.
  • Completed the high-speed internet rollout to 99% of public schools across South Australia, and begun extending the rollout to all preschools and children’s centres as part of the second stage of the SWiFT connectivity program.
  • Provided response and support to government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure the continuation of education and learning outcomes, and maintain the health and safety of all staff, educators, children and families throughout the duration of this challenging event.

Agency response to COVID-19

The Department for Education has implemented a range of measures and extensive planning in response to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in South Australia. These include:

  • Established an overarching system plan and a centralised COVID-19 response coordination function to respond to the pandemic.
  • Maintained safe face-to-face delivery of education and care, delivered by professionals, in recognition that it is the most effective way to meet learning, economic and societal needs and outcomes.
  • Supported schools and teachers to use the flexibility of the SACE to deliver students’ learning and assessment, and support those completing their SACE in 2020.
  • Streamlined the approach to management and allocation of relief teachers and retained the pool of teachers for hard to staff locations.
  • Established a dedicated supply and distribution team to source and deliver hygiene products to public schools across the state.
  • Significantly increased cleaning services at all department sites.
  • Sourced and stockpiled technology devices and internet solutions for urgent deployment when needed. As at 4 December 2020, 1231 devices and 2166 home internet solutions were provided to students across a range of sites and year levels who needed to learn from home.
  • Launched Our Learning SA website to support students, teachers and families through online access to curated curriculum resources across all learning areas taught in schools and preschools. Since the launch on 22 March 2020, the website has received over 830,000 page views, accounting for 15% of all traffic on the education website.
  • Rolled out video conferencing capability to all public schools and teaching staff, enabled through the Cisco Webex platform, allowing teachers to create their own individual virtual classrooms to support learning between the classroom and home. Over 20,000 Webex video conferences were held since April 2020.
  • Improved business continuity through the roll out of EdRemote and EdWorkspace to allow for remote access to the corporate network to support flexible working arrangements.
  • Established a contract support team to support staff in schools, preschools and corporate offices who manage contracts impacted by COVID-19.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Key objective

Agency’s contribution

More jobs

VET for school students reforms

Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy

International Education Strategy

New schools and major capital works

Lower costs

School Card assistance provided to approximately 57,000 South Australian government school students

Support package for families affected by bushfires

Better Services

Our Learning SA website

Literacy Guarantee Unit

Year 7 to high school

Improved internet services for schools (SWiFT)

Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP)

Bullying prevention

Languages Strategy

Aboriginal Education Strategy

Music Education Strategy

Further information about our initiatives.

Agency specific objectives and performance

Agency objectives



Challenging Learning

Curriculum Resources

Develop curriculum resources to support teachers in all learning areas from reception to year 10.

Consultation held with learning area associations, principal associations and teacher reference groups to provide input and feedback about the curriculum resources.

The first round of resources were published in September 2020.

Literacy and Numeracy

Effectively deliver the phonics screening check for year 1 students.

The Phonics Screening Check was delivered for year 1 students in term 3 2020, with an 11% increase in the number of year 1 students who scored at or above the expected achievement from 2019 to 2020.

1600 teachers and school leaders participated in Phonics Screening Check professional learning.

Year 1 teachers were provided with follow up support to assess and respond to phonics results.

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

All preschool leaders and teachers were supported to implement evidence-based, high impact teaching strategies from the preschool literacy and numeracy guidebooks.

In 2020, 37% of preschools were supported in preschool improvement planning, aligned to the preschool quality improvement planning handbook.

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

At the end of 2020, 239 school sites (47%) and 872 teachers had accessed at least 1 Thinking Maths program.

Thinking Maths-based professional learning led by program graduates is expanding the reach of the program and has broadened its scope by targeting the needs of non-mainstream student cohorts.

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.

School literacy guidebooks support leaders to identify/enact key actions for improvement.

The Literacy Guarantee Unit works to support schools in improving student’s literacy skills through the following measures: direct coaching for teachers, including support in the teaching of explicit phonics and interventions to support students with learning difficulties, including dyslexia; teacher resource development and professional learning opportunities.

The annual Literacy Summit was held to ensure that principals, preschool directors and literacy leaders in sites can learn from the best and most current local, national and international literacy research and practice.

Additionally, all teachers and leaders were able to access 2 state-wide Literacy Guarantee conferences delivered in 2020.

This builds on the advice provided through Best Advice Papers and Practical Guides to support teacher practice in the classroom.

The Literacy and Numeracy First funding for primary schools commenced in 2018 and is supported by advice for leaders and teachers to enable increasingly targeted teaching, informed by student’s specific needs and by the best of local and international research.

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

In 2020, 21,826 students from 327 schools were supported through EALD funding.

Through the Learning English Achievement and Proficiency (LEAP) levels tool and associated professional learning, teachers of EALD students are equipped to program and plan teaching and learning to best meet the English language and literacy needs of their students. Over 60 EALD teachers participated in an EALD program induction in 2020, with LEAP professional learning reaching over 900 EALD teachers.

For Aboriginal students learning English as an Additional Language or Dialect, the EALD Hub project is supporting enhanced teacher knowledge and practice, contributing to indicators of progress in student achievement.

In 2020, over 1800 educators registered with the online EALD Hub professional learning program, increasing the reach and accessibility of evidence-based teaching and learning advice, support and knowledge for EALD educators, leaders and students.

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.

The Languages Professional Learning Program was delivered online to over 150 teachers and instructors from department and Ethnic and Community Language schools in South Australia in 2020, across more than 15 languages.

School of Languages offered school holiday programs for SACE students to increase their oral proficiency in July and October 2020. Languages offered include Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Innovative Language program grants (ILPGs)

5 ILPGs were conducted over 2019/2020 at:

  • Athelstone School
  • Goodwood Primary School
  • Leigh Creek Area School
  • Sandy Creek Primary School
  • Seacliff Primary School

Expanded options for SACE

– School of Languages – Let’s Talk

Each April and July school holiday period, the School of Languages (SoL) host a 2 day oral-intensive program for students enrolled in 7 SACE Languages subjects. The sessions are held at the West Croydon site.

School of Languages - Languages Alive!

Each April, July and October school holiday period, the School of Languages (SoL) host a 5 day program for primary school aged students to get a taster of learning languages. Sessions are held at the West Croydon site, as well as in regional areas.

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.

All schools and preschools have implemented the Improvement Planning Cycle.

International Education Strategy

Develop and launch the International Education Strategy 2019-2029.

Marketing and promoting SA public schools in key source markets.

Engaged schools and academics to identify best advice for embedding intercultural understanding across the curriculum.

11 schools were selected for locally based student intercultural experiences scholarships for 2021.

International Baccalaureate

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

Roma Mitchell Secondary College achieved early accreditation to deliver the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, commencing in 2021.

Aberfoyle Park High School, Norwood Morialta High School, and Unley High School remain on track to achieve accreditation for 2022.

STEM learning strategy

Build expertise in designing and delivering STEM learning.

Curriculum resources for mathematics and science (years 5-9) were published in September 2020.

Engage students in STEM education.

STEM scholarships awarded to 49 students.

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

Developed resources and professional learning to support STEM school-industry partnerships.

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.

There were over 350 specialist enrolments in entrepreneurial programs and subjects across the 5 schools in 2020. A further 35 initiatives were funded as part of the Entrepreneurial Education Strategy, reaching over 1840 students. In total, over 2200 students were engaged in entrepreneurial activities and projects throughout 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.

Professional learning programs developed and provided to:

Early years

171 directors/educators (+27 additional participants funded by Early Years Learners).

127 preschools with at least 1 participant each.

Primary Years

394 teachers attending at least 1 session.

199 schools with 1 to 2 participants each.

Secondary years

185 leaders and teachers.

2019/2020 – 89 schools with 2 to 4 participants each.

2019/2020 Professional learning resources

12 formative assessment online modules based on Dylan Wiliam 5 key formative assessment strategies.

More flexible apprenticeship pathways

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

School-based apprenticeships and traineeships grew by 37% in the 12 months to 31 March 2020. A large proportion of these students are in flexible apprenticeships and traineeships.

Music Education Strategy 2019 – 2029

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

The South Australian Quality Music Education Framework was developed and launched in October 2020. The framework guides approaches to music education and provides practical clarity and guidance to all stakeholders involved in implementing and enabling a high-quality music education.

52 applicants from schools and preschools received grant funding from the Music Innovation Fund.

4 music education field officers were embedded in networks of schools and preschools, providing direct mentoring and upskill to 149 school and preschool educators, as well as delivering 24 metropolitan and regional professional development sessions to 374 attendees.

In collaboration with professional music associations, 63 teachers and educators participated in 3,6 day music professional development courses, with a further 194 teachers, educators and leaders engaging in a music education webinar presented by Dr Anita Collins, neuromusical educator and researcher.

Early Learning Strategy

Develop an early learning strategy to support all young children to thrive and learn.

Engagement began with key stakeholders, as well as broader community consultation through YourSAy, to help shape the future of early learning across the state through informing development of the department’s Early Learning Strategy.

2 key streams were identified for further explorations – ‘Growing learners together’ and ‘World class preschools’ with data as a key enabler. The strategy development process is currently identifying potential policy responses.

Quality People

Orbis School leaders participate in high-quality instructional leadership professional learning to enhance their leadership capability. 100 leaders graduated the Instructional Leadership program.
Teachers participate in literacy and numeracy professional learning programs to enhance their effectiveness. 201 teachers graduated from Literacy R-3, Numeracy R-3 and Literacy 7-9.
Thought Leadership Series provides access to online episodes delivered by global educational experts with reflective questions to enable action learning in the local context. 13 online episodes delivered, with 1373 views.

Future Leaders Initiatives

Identify high potential, aspiring leaders and accelerate their development for roles as principals or preschool directors.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 6 Future Leaders cohorts were run in 2020.

69 individuals participated in the Future Leaders development process. Of the 69, 26 (37.6%) have since won acting or tenured roles.

In response to COVID-19, the program was revised for online delivery. This was piloted with 1 regional cohort and will be assessed for effectiveness to determine use for regional sites.

Employee Psychological Health and Wellbeing

Implement the myWellbeing program to support leaders and employees to manage their psychological health and wellbeing.

The Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing Procedure was implemented.

A post-implementation review of the psycho-social risk survey was completed, following use in a sample of sites and corporate divisions in 2019.

Leadership Development Leaders participate in tailored programs and initiatives to build their leadership capability.

Over 1200 leaders participated in leadership development offerings, from schools and preschools and corporate teams.

In response to COVID-19, virtual and blended modes of delivery were implemented which improved accessibility and support for regional and remote leaders.

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 continued to partner with external agencies such as the Clontarf Foundation, and Shooting Stars Foundation to support the mentoring and engagement of Aboriginal students.

In 2020 negotiations occurred to expand the number of schools participating in the Clontarf foundation from 6 schools to 9. The expansion will commence in 2021.

Clontarf completed the year with 224 enrolments. 18 of the enrolments completed their SACE and 15 of the SACE completers will transition into post school employment pathways.

Negotiation occurred with the Shooting Stars Foundation to commence in 2021 an engagement and mentoring program for girls within the Whyalla community. The pilot will commence in 2021.

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

The department has continued to partner with SAAETCC to ensure the voice of Aboriginal students, families and community are reflected within new and ongoing service delivery.

Examine opportunities for improved pedagogy in early childhood education settings.

A project report was delivered which outlined how culturally responsive methods of teaching were implemented in South Australian early childhood settings.

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 in August 2019.

Professional learning and collaboration with Elders and community from selected Aboriginal Nations are underway to document science knowledge for teaching resources and digitised cultural materials to support SA science teachers.

On country professional learner was conducted by Cultural Consultants from the following Nations:

  • Kaurna Nation
  • Ngarrindjeri Nation
  • Narungga Nation.

Research was completed in relation to Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Narungga knowledge and ways of knowing in relation to Science. Scripts have been developed for the photographed Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Narungga collection items.

A ‘Kaiki’ Video featuring Major Sumner (Ngarrindjeri Elder and Cultural Consultant) has been completed and endorsed by Major Sumner.

Dr Kaye Price has been engaged to review the resource review guidelines and pending draft teaching and learning resources.

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

The Aboriginal Learner Achievement Leaders’ Resource (ALALR) was distributed to all 543 schools across South Australia in September 2019, as part of a tranche of school improvement resources.

Throughout 2020, 2 Principal Implementation Managers have worked across metropolitan and regional schools, partnerships and portfolios, providing leaders with a range of tailored support to implement the ALALR. This includes online and in person presentations, school visits, advice and connecting the work across the department, for improved Aboriginal education outcomes

In addition to school based support professional learning session were provided to:

  • Student Support Services
  • Learning Improvement Directors and Project Officers
  • Aboriginal Community Education Team leaders
  • Review Improvement and Accountability Officers
  • Local Education Teams.

Additional resources to support leaders implementing at the local level were developed during 2020 including videos for sharing with whole of school staff during staff meetings and professional development days.

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

The One Plan project is in its third year of implementation to integrate a range of learning plans that a child may have into a single coordinated plan. Aboriginal learners are a priority cohort for One Plan. At the end of term 4 2020, 72% of Aboriginal learners have a One Plan.

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

Aboriginal Community Language and Culture Partnerships Initiatives funds were distributed to 5 Aboriginal language organisations to support continued community-led work. The languages were:

  • Adnyamathanha
  • Bunganditj
  • Kaurna
  • Narungga
  • Ngarrindjeri languages.

34 Schools received Aboriginal Languages Programs Initiatives grants to teach 7 Aboriginal languages.

A projected 5100 students benefited from the grants which is an increase of 1280 students when compared to 2019.

The R-10 Australian Curriculum drafts were finalised for 5 South Australian Aboriginal languages: Adnyamathanha, Bunganditj, Kaurna, Nharangga, Ngarrindjeri for Language Revival Learner Pathway. It is intended that they will be trialled in 2021.

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

During 2020 a draft online Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara language and culture awareness course was developed.

Round 2 scholarships were made available for UniSA Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara language and culture summer school.

Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara resources were developed and provided to Anangu and other schools with Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara speakers. The resources included picture books and an online Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara literacy program.

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 and 7 EAL/D Hub coaches have been recruited to support sites.

During 2020 the 6 coaches have supported the following Portfolios and Partnerships:

  • Flinders 4 Portfolio (focus schools: Avenue College, Wandana PS, Woodville HS, Challa Gardens PS)
  • Beach Road partnership (focus schools: Christies Beach PS, Christies Beach HS)
  • APY lands (focus schools: Indulkana, Mimili, Fregon, Ernabella, Murputja, Pipalyatjara)
  • Port Lincoln Partnership (focus schools: Port Lincoln PS, Port Lincoln HS).

In addition the EAL/D Hub Network Schools program has supported the following partnerships:

  • Blue Lakes partnership
  • Peachey and Salisbury partnerships
  • Far West partnership.

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.

During 2020, the Workabout program has provided 62 programs to 376 students enrolled in 61 schools.

As a result of participation in the Workabout program students achieved the following outcomes in 2020:

  • 5 apprenticeships
  • 5 school based traineeships
  • 1 traineeship
  • 33 entered into employment.

In addition, 69 students enrolled in Workabout completed their SACE.

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

Early 2020 suitable local Primary/Area Schools were identified for flexible traineeship, education support placements.

12 applicants were successful and accepted offers for Flexible Traineeship, Education Support placements. These placements were deferred due to COVID-19 and will recommence in 2021.

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.

The South Australian Aboriginal Secondary Training Academy (SAASTA) expanded from 16 to 21 academies to support students in the far north, south east, Adelaide hills, eastern metropolitan and Paralowie regions.

During 2020, 478 students were enrolled across the 21 Academies and 108 students completed their SACE.

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

Consultation for the development of the 2021-2031 Aboriginal workforce plan was completed and included visiting the APY Lands. Launch will occur in 2021.

The department’s Aboriginal Workforce Network (DAWN) was launched during 2020 and has 139 members.

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.

Towards the end of 2020, work commenced on the development of a culturally responsive framework to build the cultural capabilities of the department.

Research and evidence to inform the framework has been completed.

Initial concept has been tested internally.

Finalisation of culturally responsive framework and full consultation will occur in 2021.

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.

An online portal which supports schools to create local best practice bullying prevention, behaviour and attendance policies and plans has been implemented with over 275 schools having started a policy or plan using the portal.

A trial and evaluation of a family conferencing model for chronic non-attendance was completed in September 2020. This is a new escalation pathway to support the department’s continuum of responses to improve attendance. State-wide implementation of an education family conferencing model will commence in 2021.


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

The 3 year state bullying prevention strategy provides support and resources to keep children safe from bullying.

An online portal for schools to create best practice bullying prevention, behaviour and attendance procedures and plans was implemented. At December 2020 over 275 schools has started a policy or plan using the portal.

Children in Care

Enhance the participation, attendance, retention and education outcomes of children and young people in care who are attending government schools.

A joint Department for Education and Department for Child Protection plan of action was developed and released to support the education and wellbeing outcomes of children and young people in care.

VET in Schools

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

Implementation of the VET for School Students policy continued throughout 2020, including development of 26 Flexible Industry Pathways (FIPs) to clearly articulate student pathways through school to further education and employment. The FIPs have been endorsed by the Training and Skills Commissions’ Industry Skills Councils.

Guidelines for best practice career education have been developed to provide guidance for schools on how to deliver effective career education, and the department has partnered with youth organisation Year 13 to deliver state-wide career events focussed on key growth industries for SA.

Connections with industry continue to grow, with the Industry and Employer Immersion program being piloted throughout 2020 and 2021 in preparation for full implementation of the policy in 2022.

Better Support

Year 7 to High School

Run pilot program to teach year 7 in Mitcham Girls High School, Wirreanda Secondary School and John Pirie Secondary School from 2020, and identify and apply lessons from these pilots.

Establish additional support for schools to enable the move of year 7 into high school, including grant funding where appropriate.

Implement workforce recruitment strategy targeting permanent primary school teachers to move to secondary schools.

Launch workforce skills and readiness to support the move of year 7 to high school.

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

Over 360 year 7 students enrolled in the pilot high schools. Insights from the pilot were shared with schools and families, and are informing workforce planning, funding, support for students and student transition processes.

$2.85 million distributed to schools to set up new classrooms.

Commitment of $3 million grants for staff readiness and $3 million grants for transition of a double cohort.

103 permanent primary teachers appointed have been appointed to roles in secondary schools to commence in 2022.

Procurement process facilitated for professional learning programs designed to cover core curriculum areas, 7-9 Literacy, Specialised Education, and Understanding Adolescent Learners.

Professional learning will commence in 2021.

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 SWiFT connectivity program will provide all schools, regardless of location, quality internet services with the capacity needed to meet modern education requirements.

As part of an $80 million partnership with Telstra by the end of the 2020 school year 525 school sites were connected to the fibre network representing connectivity to 99% of our public schools. A further 278 preschools have received connectivity to the SWiFT high speed internet service. The remainder of the preschools will be completed by July 2021.

The department entered a $50 million partnership with Telstra for Stage 2 of the SWiFT project to provide targeted ICT equipment, software and services to schools and preschools to maximise their new high-speed internet connections. This program of work is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

Preschool ICT upgrade Provide every preschool and children centre with world- class ICT foundations, digital capabilities and high-quality support.

The Preschool Upgrade Project (PUP) will improve and modernise ICT in every preschool and children’s centre across the state, to world-class standards.

The first phase of the project (upgraded internet connectivity, Wi-Fi network and staff devices) will be completed by mid-2021 in approximately 380 sites.

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 has commenced its rollout, with 45 preschools using EMS at the end of 2020. The preschools were provided with the School Administration, Student Management, Teacher Toolkit and Learning Management modules.

The accelerated rollout will commence from term 1 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022/early 2023.

Substance abuse in schools

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

As part of a government commitment to address substance abuse in schools, funding for the delivery of drug education in South Australian schools continued to be provided to selected providers.

All providers have reported a significant increase in the numbers of schools and students accessing the services, since funding commenced in 2018. In particular, until early 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions came into place, access by rural and regional schools has more than doubled for many of the programs being offered.

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 meet the required performance indicators for full payment under the Universal Access National Partnership agreement with the Commonwealth. The 2019 assessed performance indicated:

  • 100% of children enrolled in an early childhood education program in the year before full-time school, and
  • 96% of children enrolled in an early childhood education for 600 hours in the year before full time schooling.


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

South Australian government preschools continue to be rated higher than the national average. As at 31 December 2020, 99% meet or exceed the NQS with 77% exceeding the NQS.

Legislative Reform

Implementation of the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 and regulations.

The Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 and regulations commenced on 1 July 2020. This new legislation provides a contemporary framework for delivery of high-quality children’s services and compulsory education in South Australia.

Amendments to the Teachers Registration and Standards Act 2004.

The Teachers Registration and Standards (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2020 passed Parliament on 15 October 2020. The Act amends the size and composition of the Teachers Registration Board, expands its functions, and supports the implementation of relevant recommendations from national reviews related to teacher registration. It is expected implementation of the Act will occur in 2021.

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.

There are more than 100 school upgrades underway that will deliver new and improved learning areas and additional special options spaces in high schools.

High schools have been prioritised to ensure additional capacity is completed in readiness for the year 7 transition to high school in 2022.

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

In 2019-20, the state government has overseen completion of approximately $22m worth of major capital works projects, including the Avenues College amalgamation 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.

Construction of both schools commenced in April 2020 and is on track to open for term 1 2022.

Council Enhancement Deeds have been signed to accommodate community use of the school facilities.

The principals were appointed in July 2020.

Following consultation with the local community, the schools have been named Aldinga Payinthi College and Riverbanks College B-12.

Delivering a new contemporary, environmentally sustainable 7-12 school in Whyalla that supports contemporary pedagogy and innovative teaching, allowing 3 existing schools to amalgamate onto 1 site.

Construction commenced in April 2020 and is on track to open for term 1 2022.

The principal was appointed in July 2020.

Following consultation with the local community, the school has been named Whyalla Secondary College.

Delivering a new 7-12 school in Goolwa that supports contemporary pedagogy and innovative teaching.

The former Investigator College campus in Goolwa was purchased in July 2020 and will be redeveloped into a government secondary school.

Construction is scheduled to commence in January 2021, with the school to open for term 1 2022.

The principal was appointed in November 2020.

Consultation commenced in December 2020 on the school’s name.

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.

The state government has entered into a joint investment with Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) to establish a new technical college through the expansion of the Rosewater Trade Training Centre. The college will commence enrolments into courses relating to the defence and shipbuilding industry from semester 2 2021.

Disability funding

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

Preschool and school children and students in government schools and preschools continue to access teaching and learning support via the department’s Inclusive Education Support Program (IESP).

The term 3 2020 enrolment census audit identified 21,115.8 FTE students are supported by the IESP.

Corporate performance summary

  • Successfully negotiated the South Australian School and Preschool Education Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020, which was approved by the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) on 7 April 2020 for a period of 3 years, and commenced its implementation.
  • Updated and implemented a Workplace Equity and Respect Action Plan and the Domestic and Family Violence Workplace procedure to address the department’s commitment to end gender based violence and increase the number of leaders trained in domestic and family violence, respectively. This focus on gender equity contributes to the department’s commitment to safe, inclusive and respectful workplace and re-accreditation as a White Ribbon workplace in April 2021.

Employment opportunity programs

Program name


Traineeships & Graduates

11 trainees and 1 graduate were appointed from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

6 trainees are awaiting final confirmation of the completion of their traineeship, with 1 continuing their traineeship.

3 trainees completed their placements, with 2 appointed into ongoing roles, and 1 appointed temporarily.

Amy Levai Aboriginal teaching scholarship program which includes 2 components:

  1. For senior secondary students on track to commence an initial teacher education program.
  2. For people enrolled in an initial teacher education program.

On successful completion of their qualification, the program provides a pathway to employment.

34 Aboriginal people were supported through the program in 2020. This includes:

  • 4 senior secondary students
  • people in initial teacher education (13 are employed by the education department in ancillary roles)
  • 9 early career teachers.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system


The department’s approach is guided by the Performance and Development Policy and Guideline.

Employees and their managers are expected to engage in regular performance and development conversations, including bi-annual reviews.

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

At 31 December 2020, 55% of all eligible departmental employees had completed a performance and development review within the previous 6 months. This is an increase of 10% since June 2020. Due to the impact of COVID-19, departmental employees were not required to record 6 monthly performance reviews. However, emphasis was placed on continuing informal performance discussions on a regular basis. The requirement for formalised reviews and recording will resume from term 1 2021.

The Perspective Survey, completed by 9358 employees in September 2020, showed approximately 70% of site-based respondents’ perceived value in the performance and development process. They provided feedback that professional learning and growth was actively supported, performance conversation supported their development for future success and leaders provided valuable feedback to improve performance. This was a strong result in a challenging and dynamic year.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program name


Workplace Violence

To support the prevention, effectively management and reporting of incidents of workplace violence, the department launched a Workplace Violence Framework in August 2020 that brings together the resources, tools and information available to support leaders and employees . In addition, printed resources were developed and distributed to department workplaces to position the expectation of a safe place to work and learn.

Partnership with Kidsafe SA

The department entered into an agreement with Kidsafe SA in 2017 to provide services to build the capacity of the department to meet duty of care requirement for playground safety. The agreement has been extended for a further 2 years to ensure the department meets its duty of care and legislative requirements.

Return to Work Services Program

The department provides professional and comprehensive return to work services to all employees injured in the course of their employment, to support their return to the workplace. The department is audited by Return to Work SA and has the highest rating for injury management.

Workplace injury claims

Current year

Past year

% Change
(+ / -)

Total new workplace injury claims








Seriously injured workers*




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




*number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)

Work health and safety regulations

Current year

Past year

% Change
(+ / -)

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




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




**an increase in the reported figure from 13 to 16 in 2018-19 is due to 2 notices not being not reported to the department, and 1 adjustment made due to a reporting anomaly

Return to work costs***

Current year

Past year

% Change
(+ / -)

Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)




Income support payments – gross ($)




**before third party recovery

View work health and safety data for previous years.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification

Number of executives

Chief Executive


SA Executive Services Level 1


SA Executive Service Level 2


Principal Band A – 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 and Children’s Services Act Section 121 Negotiated Conditions


View executive employment data for previous years.

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 2019-20 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 2019-20 financial year was $3.6 billion, an increase of $110.4 million from the previous financial year.

Key factors contributing to the movement include:

  • Appropriations from the State Government increased by $68.7 million, which includes funding for capital projects and increased funding for public schools.
  • Revenue from the Australian Government also increased by $53.8 million, mainly relating to increases associated with the Quality Schools funding program totalling $52.6 million.
  • Grants and contributions received were also $16.5 million higher.
  • A $27.9 million reduction of resources received free of charge, primarily relating to property transfers within the SA Government during the 2018-19 financial year.

Our expenditure – how our funds were spent

Total operating expenses of the department and schools for controlled activities, increased by $130.3 million to $3.607 billion compared with the previous financial year.

The increase is mostly attributable to:

  • Employee benefit related expenses increased by $108.2 million. This relates to a range of factors including increases in remuneration rates paid under enterprise bargaining agreements and awards as well as higher staffing levels, offset in part by the impact of the revaluation of long service leave liabilities.
  • Supplies and services expenses increased by $33.5 million which was mainly due to increased information technology and communication expenses, additional cleaning costs associated with COVID-19 and site maintenance works.
  • A $23.2 million increase in grant and subsidies expenses.
  • Partly offsetting the increase was a reduction of $31 million in cash returned to the Department of Treasury and Finance under the Cash Alignment Policy.

Summary of our assets – what we own

The value of assets for department and schools totalled $5.949 billion as at 30 June 2020, which represented an increase of $140.8 million compared with the previous financial year.

Cash and cash equivalents increased by $97.1 million from the previous financial year, mainly relating to additional deposits held to cover increased employee benefit liabilities and funding of capital works projects.

Property, plant and equipment and assets held for sale increased by $25.1 million resulting primarily from additional capital expenditure on construction projects and other asset additions, partly offset by depreciation expenses, asset sales and disposals.

Right of use assets increased by $7.1 million from the previous financial year, with additional leased assets recognised following the application of the new leasing standard.

Receivables were also $12.3 million higher than at 30 June 2019.

Summary of our liabilities – what we owe

The value of liabilities for the department and schools totalled $1.286 billion as at 30 June 2020; an increase of $106.6 million compared with the previous financial year.

Employee benefit liabilities and worker’s compensation provisions increased by $55.5 million from the 2018-19 financial year.

Financial liabilities increased by $43.4 million reflecting the construction progress of 2 new schools at Angle Vale and Aldinga, under a public, private, partnership agreement; and lease liabilities associated with the application of the new leasing standard.

Materials and services charges

The materials and services charge set by each governing 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 shall reflect the actual cost of the materials and services provided.

For 2020, the standard sum applicable to schools was $244 for primary students and $322 for secondary students. Governing councils are able to poll their school communities to seek majority support to charge an amount greater than the standard sum as well as including specific subject charges where applicable.

For the 2020 school year, the estimated amount for schools’ material and services charges including specific subject charges and ‘school card’ assistance was over $60 million.

Statement of Comprehensive Income









Past year 2018-19



Total Income

3 591 843

3 600 167

8 324

3 489 799

Total Expenses

3 625 056

3 607 483

(17 573)

3 477 179

Net Result

(33 213)

(7 316)

25 897

12 620

Total Comprehensive Result

(33 213)

(4 242)

28 971

75 757

Statement of Financial Position









Past year 2018-19



Current assets

889 660

1 096 405

206 745

986 434

Non-current assets

4 821 816

4 852 535

30 719

4 821 711

Total assets

5 711 476

5 948 940

237 464

5 808 145

Current liabilities

501 227

414 323

(86 904)

372 395

Non-current liabilities

739 957

871 334

131 377

806 618

Total liabilities

1 241 184

1 285 657

44 473

1 179 013

Net assets

4 470 292

4 663 283

192 991

4 629 132


4 470 292

4 663 283

192 991

4 629 132

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

All consultancies below $10,000 each - combined



Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

Arcblue Consulting (Aus) Pty Ltd

Undertake a review of the department's procurement spend profile for a benefits realisation approach.


Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd

Review the department’s policies and procedures against the Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure’s strategic asset management framework for an informed development of the department's framework.


BDO Advisory (SA) Pty Ltd

Undertake an independent review and provide a high level scoping study for the department’s operational facilities management in meeting the needs of schools.


Career Industry Council

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


Chris Wardlaw Pty Ltd

Review the department's curriculum support mechanisms to support the needs of South Australian teachers and school and early childhood leaders in order to build a world class education system.


Ernst & Young

Undertake an independent review of the department's System Performance functions for structures and resourcing.


Review and work with targeted executives to provide recommendations regarding future demographic and workforce forecasting capability requirements.


JPE Design Studio

Conduct a Learning Environment Opportunity Study of facilities to improve teaching and learning spaces for Parndana Campus Kangaroo Island.


Kilpatrick Architecture

Conduct a planning study to consider opportunities to co-locate allied health staff and enhance the functionality of spaces at Hackham West Children’s Centre.



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.


Patrea Walton

Review the department's curriculum support mechanisms to support the needs of South Australian teachers and school and early childhood leaders in order to build a world class education system.


PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia

To work with the department to:

  1. Undertake a market sounding to gauge interest of non-government sector organisations to become family day care providers.
  2. Develop a quality management framework and implementation roadmap for the department's family day care services.


Review the salary overpayment processes within the department and Shared Services SA.



Conduct an education and learning gap analysis to improve training competencies to improve safety, professionalism and quality and increase leadership capability.


Telethon Kids Institute

Undertake an evaluation of the whole of school social and emotional wellbeing and bullying intervention Friendly Schools being piloted across 10 schools in the Greater Gawler Partnership to inform systemic implementation of bullying prevention interventions.


Undertake a review of best practice for Learning Together @ Home and Learning Together programs for program logic models.


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.


Conduct a review of the department's Learning Design Assessment Moderation Strategy to strengthen school and teacher practice by:

  1. Aligning recommendations for future work with the findings of the 2019 Curriculum Support Review to ensure effective transition.
  2. Ensuring recommendations support the implementation   of the department's School Improvement model, particularly   as it relates to the use of   curriculum assessment data to determine school and classroom interventions.


The Learning Future Pty Ltd

Review and work with the department to provide recommendations for strategies to guide performance recognition and align these with the Public Education Awards.


University of Melbourne

Review the department's curriculum support mechanisms to support the needs of South Australian teachers and school and early childhood leaders in order to build a world class education system.


University of Queensland

Undertake a review of suspension, exclusion and expulsion arrangements in South Australian government schools about systemic arrangements and processes that would be of benefit to our schools and teachers, families and students.





View consultants engaged by the department data for previous years.

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.

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

ABC Multilingual Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


Abell Mind & Body

Psychological assessment services


Access Testing Pty Ltd

Professional services for the Education Management System (EMS) project


Adelaide Uhak Centre

Professional services for Cheongju National University of Education Training program


Aim To Succeed Tutoring

Professional tuition services for School Retention Program


Aktis Performance Management

Professional services to assist with recruitment


Ann O'Callaghan

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs (Leaders' Day 2020)


AON Hewitt Associates Pty Ltd

Climate survey project


Professional services to conduct perspective survey


Attorney-General’s Department

Debt recovery services for salary overpayments and general debtors


Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd

Professional services to support the public private partnership project


Auslan Services Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


Australian Childhood Foundation

Strategies and Managing Abuse Related Trauma (SMART) program


B&H Australia Pty Ltd

Professional audio visual (AV) installation services


Baptist Care (SA) Inc

Care mentoring program


Barber Consulting

Professional services to support parent engagement


Bastow Institute Of Leadership

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (talent management framework and learning management system)


BDO Advisory (SA) Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (application change request build in Service Now)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (capital works cost recognition)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (review of contract cleaning services)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (school management process)


Bob May Workplace Emergency

Professional services to deliver fire warden training


Bonnie And Clyde Creative

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (curriculum development)


Bormann Communications

Professional services for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) communications installation and maintenance


Broadtec Solutions Pty Ltd

Professional services for ICT communications installation and maintenance


Bronwyn Custance Education

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (how language works)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (redevelopment of teaching strategies)


Carolyn Lloyd

Professional services to deliver Bilingual Schools Capacity Audits Project


Professional services to prepare the submission for the Business Excellence Australia Excellence Prize


Catherine Taylor

Professional audit and risk services



Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Money Smart program funding)


Centacare Catholic Family Services

National School Chaplaincy Program annual funding


Chamonix IT Management

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


Chandler Macleod Group Ltd

Labour resources


Civica Education Pty Ltd

Professional services for the EMS project


Coach In A Box Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Future Leaders and Influence & Impact programs)


Communication Republic

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Future Leaders and Influence & Impact programs)


Complete Tutoring Solutions

Professional tuition services for School Retention Program


Computers Now Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Professional ICT audit services


Connected Self Pty Ltd

Mentoring services


Construction Industry Training

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs (doorways2construction program)


Contracting Site Solutions Pty Ltd

Professional services for ICT communications installation and maintenance (Preschool Upgrade Project)


Corporate Health Group Pty Ltd

Health assessment services


CQR Consulting Aust P/ L

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Cyber Security Best Practise Guide)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Security policies and standards project)


Risk assessment services


Dansie's Head To Toe Pty Ltd

Psychological assessment services


Data 3 Ltd

Professional services delivering software license management


David O'Brien Consulting

Professional services to support departmental programs (Leader Advisor Program)


Davids Hundred Acre Wood

Professional services to support departmental programs (Flexible School Based Apprenticeship Pilot Program)


Davies Stewart Recruitment

Labour resources


Deborah Hancock

Professional services to support departmental programs (Leader Advisor Program)


Debra Panizzon

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Royal institute of Australia evaluation)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (STEM Learning Strategy)


Democratic Outcomes Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Staff Enterprise Agreement)


Denise Higgins

Professional services to support departmental programs (Leader Advisor Program)


Dept of Environment and Water

Facilitation of international student program


Dept of Human Services

Professional services to support departmental programs (Vacation Care Program)


DFP Recruitment Services

Labour resources


Dialogic Learning Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (curriculum development)


DPTI - Building Mgmt

Cleaning and maintenance services


DTF Operating Bank Account

Salary overpayments charge


Edge Recruitment

Labour resources


Education Services Australia

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (myfuture service)


Educentric Pty Ltd

Professional digital services (Cyber Security Online Learning)


Professional digital services (Work Health and Safety (WHS) Induction Work)


Empired Ltd

Professional services to support departmental programs (Go- Fast project)


Enable Professional Services

Professional services for the ICT Service Management System.


Ernst & Young

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Communications Strategy Advisory Review)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Consolidation Tool)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (EMS - Benefits Realisation Plan)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (EMS - Finance Process and Policy Review)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (key policy decisions)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (projections project)



Professional services to support departmental initiatives (security testing and reporting)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (site budget planning tool)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (EMS)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (JobKeeper Funding)


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (International Education Services (IES) Costing Model)


Expert Data Cabling Pty Ltd

Professional services for ICT communications installation and maintenance



Labour resources


Firsthand Studios

Professional filming services to support departmental initiatives


Fuji Xerox Doc Mngnt Solutions

Professional services to support delivery of National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)


Fujitsu Australia Ltd

Professional services for the EMS project



Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Our Learning SA)


Galpins Accountants, Auditors

Professional services to support departmental programs


Gramac Solutions

Labour resources


Gregory Berry

Audit and risk services


Griffith University

Professional development consultancy


Harrison Mcmillan Pty Ltd

Professional recruitment and advertising services


Hays Specialist Recruitment

Labour resources


Helen Coleman

Labour resources


Hoban Recruitment Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Hoops 4 Life

School mentoring program


Hudson Global Resources (Aust)

Labour resources



Professional services for departmental initiatives


Incept Labs Australia Pty Ltd

Learning Design Assessment and Moderation project


Incompro Aboriginal Assoc

Youth and student mentoring


Insync Solutions Pty Ltd

Professional services for the EMS project


Interpreting And Translating

Translation and interpreting services


Iocane Pty Ltd

Professional services to support school ICT infrastructure


JCSF Consulting Pty Ltd

Professional education consultancy services


Jessica Ellis

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Year 7 to high school)


John P Malcolm

Professional assessment services


Joyleen Farrelly Claims

Claims management and consultancy services (WHS)


K Welsh & Co Pty Ltd

Professional financial administration services to support Wiltja Residential Program


Kidsafe SA Inc

Playground safety inspections and workforce training



Labour resources


Knight R

Professional audit and risk services



Professional services for the EMS project


KPP Ventures Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Labs 'N Life Inc

Labs 'n Life program


Link SA Pty Ltd

Bus hire


Lucy Hackworth

Consultant in the areas of gender and sexuality inclusion and competency


Make Learning Better

Professional services to support departmental programs (Leader Advisor Program)


Maker's Empire Pty Ltd

Subscription for electronic learning tools


Manpower Services Aust Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Map Instructional Design

Consulting services (registered training organisation compliance)


Matthew Nairn

Psychological assessment services


Maureen Hegarty

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program


Maxima Group Training

Labour resources


Maxima Training Services

Staff training and development


MEGT (Australia) Ltd

Labour resources


MIMP Computer Cable Pty Ltd

Professional services for ICT Infrastructure in Schools


Mission Australia

School mentoring program


Mixed Mediums

Professional filming services to promote recognition programs


Modis Staffing Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Musica Viva Australia

Professional services to support departmental programs (musical performance support)


My Psychologist Frances

Psychological assessment services


Nanette Smibert

Professional services to support departmental programs (Literacy for Learning Online)


Nation Creative Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental programs (illumiNATION)


National Children's And Youth Law Centre

Online bullying prevention resource


NEC Australia Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery


NEC IT Services Aust Pty Ltd

Professional services for ICT infrastructure backup and maintenance (corporate)


New Focus Pty Ltd

Professional services to support delivery of departmental programs (family group conferencing evaluation)


NoTosh Limited

Professional services for departmental initiatives (STEM Research Project)


Novita Children's Services

Psychological assessment services


NTT Australia Pty Ltd

Professional services for ICT infrastructure (corporate)


Nuago Pty Ltd

ICT audit services


Oncall Language Services Pty Ltd

Translation and interpreting services


OutsideIn Group

Professional services for educator assessments


P & Y Mclaren

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Future Leaders program)


Pairwise Pty Ltd

Professional services for learning improvement (2019 survey)


Pathways CBS Pty Ltd

Professional services to support delivery of NAPLAN


Paxus Australia Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Peoplebank Australia Ltd

Labour resources


Pernix Pty Ltd

Professional services for the EMS project


Phoenix Australia Centre For Posttraumatic Mental Health Inc

Psychological First Aid Training


Piet Crosby

Psychological assessment services



Professional, strategic audit and risk services (disability in preschools and schools internal audit)


Professional, strategic audit and risk services (Single Touch Payroll (STP) advice)


Psychology SA

Psychological assessment services


Randstad Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Recruitment Solutions

Professional services for staff recruitment


RNTT Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Rob Ball

Professional audit and risk services


Robert Thiele

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Future Leaders program)


Royal SA Deaf Society Inc

Translation and interpreting services


SA Bushfire Solutions

Professional services for bushfire protection and risk assessments



Professional services for ICT infrastructure


Sally Washington Consultant

Professional services to support departmental programs (Strategic Policy Models)


Sammy D Foundation

Mentoring services


Sarah Sutter Consulting

Professional services for departmental initiatives (physical education and literacy programs)


Schools Ministry Group Inc

National School Chaplaincy Program annual funding


Sensei Productivity Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives


She Creative Pty Ltd

Professional services to deliver departmental initiatives (English and science documents)



Professional services to deliver departmental initiatives (mathematics and science documents)


Professional services to deliver departmental initiatives (mathematics documents)



Professional services for departmental initiatives (Child Protection Curriculum)


SMG Health Pty Ltd

Professional wellbeing checks and services


Soji Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental workshops and events (intensive school-based staff workshop)


Professional services to support departmental workshops and events (internal consultant workshops)


Square Holes

Market research and focus groups


Squiz Australia Pty Ltd

Program for attendance, behaviour and anti-bullying


SRA Information Technology Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (migration of Arts SA finance reports)


St Margaret's Kgtn - Woodville

Preschool support services


Stillwell Mgt Cons Pty Ltd

Professional recruitment and advertising services


Switch Education Recruitment

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Future Leaders program)


System Partners Pty Ltd

Professional services to support ICT delivery



Vocational education and training


Talent International (SA) Pty Ltd

Labour resources


Talent Options

Labour resources


Talk Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology services


Telethon Kids Institute

Professional services to deliver the Friendly Schools Greater Gawler Partnership Trial


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (validating wellbeing and engagement tools)


Telstra Corporation Ltd

ICT and telecommunication expenses


Terri Janke And Company

Legal and consultancy fees for Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Protocol


Terry Sizer

Professional services to support departmental programs (Leader Advisor Program)


The Deaf Society

Translation and interpreting services


Tiffany Marchant

Professional services to deliver Student Pathways project and (STEM) workshop


Translation Consultants

Interpreting and translating services


Turner Townsend Thinc Pty Ltd

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (Modular Capital Works Program Project)


Unified Solutions Group Pty

Professional ICT audit services


Uniting Country SA Ltd

National School Chaplaincy Program annual funding


Professional services to support departmental initiatives (engagement and wellbeing program)


University Of South Australia

Various programs such as the development of potential performance evaluation frameworks


Various projects such as the effects of pastoral care workers on student wellbeing


Various programs such as Languages and Literacy Levels Tool; Professional Learning Programs; Chinese Bilingual; and the Aboriginal Education Strategy


USG Education Services Pty Ltd

Professional ICT audit services


Voice Project Pty Ltd

Professional survey and reporting services


Wenn B Lawson

Professional services to support departmental initiatives (complex needs support and document writing)


Whitelion Youth Agency Ltd

Mentoring services - School Retention Program


WJ Leadership

Professional services to support departmental programs (Leader Advisor Program)


Words On Wheels

Provision of educational excursions for international students


Working Womens Centre

Professional training for recognising and responding to domestic violence in the workplace


Yorke Communications

Professional services for ICT communications installation and maintenance


ZED Management Consulting

Professional services to support delivery of NAPLAN


Professional services including the development of Capital Works Assistance Scheme (CWAS) policy and procedure





View contractors reporting to the department data for previous years.

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 5 members of senior management and 3 independent external members. Representatives of the Auditor-General's Department attend as observers. The committee met on 5 occasions during 2020.

During 2020, the ARC has focused on the following matters:

  • Corporate governance and risk management frameworks.
  • COVID-19 response plans and measures introduced to manage the pandemic event.
  • 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

Misconduct 5





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 prompts 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.

View fraud data for previous years.

Public interest disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018:


View whistle blowers disclosure data for previous years.

Note: Disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019.

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 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, 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

Complaint categories



Number of Complaints


Professional behaviour

Staff attitude

Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile; cultural competency


Professional behaviour

Staff competency

Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided


Professional behaviour

Staff knowledge

Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge



Communication quality

Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer




Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly


Service delivery


System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design


Service delivery

Access to services

Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities


Service delivery


Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive



Policy application

Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given



Policy content

Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer


Service quality


Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose


Service quality

Access to information

Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English


Service quality


Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met


Service quality


Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness


Service quality

Service responsiveness

Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations


No case to answer

No case to answer

Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate





Note: the root cause analysis (RCA) is the primary cause of lodgement based on the complainant’s view. The RCA is determined by an Assessment & Resolution Officer using a list of complaint categories.

Additional Metrics


Number of positive feedback comments


Number of negative feedback comments


Total number of feedback comments


% complaints resolved within policy timeframes*


*complaints data collected is in relation to schools and preschools only.

View public complaints data for previous years.

Service Improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2020

Nature of complaint or feedback*

Service improvements as a result of complaints or consumer feedback

Access to services

A preschool engaged extra staffing resources to provide tailored support for a child with complex needs to ensure appropriate accommodations are made for their individual circumstances.

Following a parent complaint regarding their inability to locate an available disabled parking spot, a school granted the parent permission to use another dedicated carpark if needed.

Communication quality

A school revised a communications process to ensure relevant parents and caregivers are better consulted and made aware about proposed changes to the student’s transport arrangements.

Feedback from a carer about a child experiencing some difficulties at school lead to the school working with a Social Worker to implement trauma informed practice so tailored support could be provided.

Policy application

To reduce any likelihood of student subject combinations affecting ATAR completion, new quality assurance processes and training of staff was implemented at a school about course selection and that parents or caregivers consent is gained.

Policy content

Following a complaint from a parent not understanding a school’s local policy about student attendance after illness, the school will now provide written/email advice to parents in addition to verbal advice enabling greater clarity about policy requirements and how it relates to their own children.

A school reviewed and updated their local policy regarding materials and services payments and timelines to ensure a more consistent approach is taken, aligning with the broader department policy requirements.

Following a parent complaint about the request for the residential address evidence for an enrolment, a school improved their communication processes to provide greater clarity regarding the requirement and due dates of specific documents for enrolment applications.


To reduce communication delays in notifying parents or caregivers about the outcomes of class enrolment decisions, a school will now forward the correspondence via email instead of post to improve timeframes.


A preschool developed a volunteer’s agreement and updated their local excursion policy to ensure volunteers clearly understand their requirements in supervising students after a complaint was received following an excursion.

*Across government complaint categories

Appendix: Audited financial statements 2019-20