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Education law reform – Education and Children's Services Act

The Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 (the Act) and the Education and Children’s Services Regulations 2020 that support the Act, commenced 1 July 2020.

The Act replaces the Education Act 1972 and the Children Service’s Act 1985 and provides a contemporary framework for delivering high-quality children’s services and compulsory education in South Australia.

Benefits of the Act

The Act modernises the way we deliver children's services and education in South Australia, strengthening our commitment to focus on the best interest of the child in everything we do.

It promotes parent, caregiver and community involvement in educating and developing children and students, while acknowledging the efforts of all teachers and educators.

It brings together employment arrangements for government school and preschool teachers and leaders, and more closely aligns these arrangements with the Public Sector Act 2009.

The Act and non-government schools

While the Act largely deals with government schools, preschools and children’s services, some parts apply to non-government schools.

For example:

  • the requirements for compulsory enrolment and attendance of children at school
  • protections for teachers and staff of schools, preschools and children’s services.

Find out more about the Act

You can find a summary of the changes by visiting our overview of Education and Children’s Services Act changes webpage. However, we strongly recommend reading the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 and Education and Children’s Services Regulations 2020 in full.

The delivering better schools infographic (PDF 418KB) also highlights of some of the benefits of the Act.

Policies associated with the Act

We have developed and updated a number of policies to support the new legislation.

They are available via the department’s policy portal.


Legislation Reform Unit

Phone: 8226 1386
Emailedlawreform [at] sa.gov.au