The department produces an annual report for the South Australian parliament containing information about the department’s activities and outcomes for the calendar year.
State NAPLAN results improvement
In 2015, South Australia’s NAPLAN results improved in 12 of the 20 test domains, according to the summary report released by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). The results also revealed that between 2014 and 2015, South Australia moved closer to the Australian average in 15 of the 20 test domains.
Better SACE results for public students
Six of the 12 students in South Australia who achieved the top Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.95 attended government schools. For the third year in a row, South Australia’s government schools have increased the number of students achieving SACE, with 508 more students receiving their certificates in 2015 than in 2014.
During 2015, Families SA embarked on a major staff recruitment drive for frontline child protection roles, as well as several initiatives to reinvigorate the extensive volunteer program. For the fourth year running, more South Australian children were placed in kinship care (1261) than foster care (1158) at 30 June. This is particularly true for Aboriginal children, with 443 placed in kinship care and 261 in foster care for 2015. The Linking Families project commenced during 2015 to provide phone-based case management and referral services for vulnerable families.
Building a high-performing system
During 2015, the transformation of DECD’s corporate structure and model of service delivery began. More than 30 change projects were conducted during the year, plus other stand-alone reviews to improve operational processes. Partnership performance reviews were conducted in all partnerships across the state, and a performance review framework was released to better evaluate student education outcomes.