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As part of building and maintaining public confidence in the department, we need to be open about our policies, decisions, actions and achievements as a department. We do this by being publicly accountable and reporting on our activities and expenditure.
The department must comply with state policy and federal legislation about how we collect, use and keep personal information. The department's information management policy has more detail about how we deal with privacy, information security, records management, and freedom of information.
External audit and review
The department is externally reviewed by different authorities.
The SA Auditor-General reviews processes that cover finance and compliance, information systems, and performance management systems.
Ombudsman SA does audits and freedom of information reviews, and monitors the use of information sharing guidelines for promoting the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and their families.
Parliamentary committees investigate specific issues. They monitor and review public sector organisations against relevant legislation or particular areas of activity.
Our internal audit (staff login required) is an audit and advisory service for the department including corporate office, Families SA sites, schools, and preschools. It helps us by identifying improvements in risk management, control and corporate governance processes, systems and practices.
We participate in various national and state agreements which include performance reporting activities.
South Australia has agreed to national performance reporting that includes:
- an annual national report on the outcomes of schooling in Australia
- a biennial COAG report on overcoming Indigenous disadvantage
- national reporting on performance of individual schools via the MySchool website
- schools providing plain language student reports to parents and carers, and an annual report on the school’s achievements
- national reporting on delivering services to promote family wellbeing and to protect children (via the Productivity Commission report on government services)
- national reporting with detailed statistics on state and territory child protection and support services (via the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare child protection Australia report)
- national reporting on measures for out of school hours care standards.
Our public reporting at a state level includes:
- an agency statement as part of the state budget
- an annual report about our activities and outcomes for each calendar year
- publishing regular information about ministerial and chief executive spending on credit cards, mobile phones, and overseas travel
- regular updates on the DECD website.
Our local reporting includes:
- annual reports for individual schools and preschools are required under the Education Act 1972, published on each preschool and school’s website
- annual performance development plan (PDP) review dates are recorded in our HR management information system (HRS or CHRIS). More information can be found on the page about PDP recording in the HRS (staff login required).
- additional annual school and preschool reporting requirements outlined in the site annual reporting requirements (staff login required).
Measuring the performance of the department as an organisation is another way we are accountable to the South Australian public. We measure performance at various levels of the department.
Corporate performance measures
We will implement performance reviews for all areas of our corporate business.
Local partnership performance measures
The education and child development (EDC) local partnerships have performance reviews linked to our educational achievement standards including outcomes in numeracy and literacy, as well as student engagement. The reviews look at outcomes for all children and students from preschool through to secondary school. Performance is assessed against past results and focuses on improvement.
School and preschool performance measures
The improvement and accountability policy (staff login required) sets out the quality assurance expectations for all department preschools and schools. Site leaders make clear, measurable improvement goals and plans. These should be measured against standards, and be part of a quality self-review process.
The National Quality Framework applies to most long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten and out of school hours care services. Under the framework, the department’s early childhood services are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard (NQS). Ratings are made public and promote transparency and accountability and help parents assess the quality of education and care services.
Continuous improvement – school reviews
Over a 4-year period, all government schools will be externally reviewed against the question: ‘how well does this school support student achievement, growth, challenge and equity?’ Schools will generally be reviewed every 4 years, but if greater improvement is required, a review might happen within 1 year.
A high-level report is given to each school reviewed and published on their own website. The principal and the education director must develop an improvement plan that details how they will deal with the recommendations. The external review process is outlined in our external school review improvement framework (staff login required).
Financial management compliance framework
We have an internal control environment that meets the Treasurer’s Instructions 2 – financial management and 28 –financial management compliance program.
Office of the Chief Executive
Level 9, Education Centre
31 Flinders St
ADELAIDE SA 5000
Phone: 8226 1540
Email: DECD.CE [at] sa.gov.au