Sets out the required structure and content for all policy in the Department of Education’s policy library.
1. Policy statement
1.1 A ‘policy’ in the NSW Department of Education’s policy library:
- is a clear and concise statement of the organisation’s position on an issue or risk
- articulates overarching statements of intent or principles for public education
- supports staff to perform their roles independently, within set boundaries and constraints, and to discharge their responsibilities and delegations confidently
- identifies staff in the department who can make decisions about a specific policy or the policy management and approval process
- identifies staff who are required to comply with a policy, and states compliance requirements.
1.2 Guidance to assist staff comply with policy requirements should be provided in one implementation document which could be a procedure, guideline, plan, checklist, template, information sheet, fact sheet, or form.
Implementation documents should assist staff to provide evidence they have complied with policy requirements.
1.3 The implementation of departmental policy in a local context is required to be consistent with the original policy and relevant legislation.
1.4 The department expects policy owners to explore the best way to mitigate an issue or risk, before a decision is made to write a new policy or amend an existing one.
1.5 The relevant Executive Director is required to approve any decision to initiate a new policy, create new implementation documents, make significant amendments to an existing policy, or to undertake a priority review of a policy outside of the regular review cycle.
1.6 Policy owners are responsible for overseeing the policy management process. A policy owner can delegate the development, implementation, consultation, evaluation or review activities of policy management.
1.7 A final policy must be approved by the relevant Deputy Secretary, Head of Aboriginal Affairs, or the Executive Group, unless only minor editorial or administrative changes have been made (which can be approved by the policy owner directly).
1.8 On occasions, it may be necessary to rescind a policy. It is the role of a policy owner to:
- make recommendations to rescind a policy which must be approved by the relevant Deputy Secretary, Head of Aboriginal Affairs, or the Executive Group
- communicate the decision to rescind a policy to schools, staff and other stakeholders.
1.9 A policy is to be:
- reviewed every three years from the implementation date stated on the policy, or sooner if major changes have occurred
- structured in line with the policy format template and contain the required metadata
- made available in the policy library
- available to the public unless there are circumstances overriding the presumption of public release.
1.10 ‘Policy owners’ are required to keep formal documentation of a final policy and the policy development process, in line with the department’s Records Management Program Policy.
1.11 Guidance on how to comply with the requirements of the Policy Management Policy is contained in the Policy Management Procedures, and templates are available in the Policy Toolkit.
2. Audience and applicability
2.1 This policy applies to departmental staff involved in the policy management process.
3.1 Policy is only one of a number of tools the department can use to mitigate risk or manage compliance. Other options include:
- providing information to students, staff and the community
- providing training to staff and students
- communicating with an internal or external stakeholder
- implementing or redesigning an IT system or tool
- removing hazards, or where necessary, redesigning buildings and other spaces.
4. Responsibilities and delegations
4.1 Executive Group
- approves the department’s Policy Management Policy and Policy Management Procedures
- approves other policy tabled by a Deputy Secretary.
4.2 Deputy Secretaries and Head of Aboriginal Affairs
- approve a new policy for the Department of Education, or take a new policy to the Executive Group for approval where appropriate
- approve significant changes to a policy, or take an amended policy to the Executive Group for approval where appropriate
- approve rescinding a policy, or take a policy to the Executive Group for approval to rescind where appropriate
- appoint policy owners for specific policy issues.
4.3 Executive Directors
- approve initiating a project to create a new policy
- approve initiating a project to make significant amendments to an existing policy
- approve undertaking a priority review of a policy outside of the regular review cycle
- approve initiating new implementation documents.
4.4 Executive Director, Policy Coordination and Governance
- oversees the governance of the department’s Policy Management Policy and Policy Management Procedures
- monitors compliance with agreed policy review cycles
- where required, provides advice to the Executive Group, senior management, and policy owners on the department’s Policy Management Policy and Policy Management Procedures
- provides advice to policy owners across the department on the development, consultation, implementation, review or rescission of policy.
4.5 Executive Director, Communication and Engagement
- ensures that policy documents are made available on the policy website
- provides advice and support to policy owners on publishing policy documents
4.6 Executive Director, Learning and Business Systems
- chairs the School Policy Governance Group
- coordinates the development and review of policy in the Educational Services division and the implementation of policy in the Educational Services and School Operations and Performance divisions
- provides leadership advice to owners of policies that affect the work of schools on the development, consultation, implementation, review or rescission of policy.
4.7 Director, School Policy and Information Management
- provides advice and support to owners of policy that affects the work of schools on the development, consultation, implementation, review or rescission of policy.
- represents the position of schools during the development of organisational policy affecting the work of schools, which includes providing advice on how policy can be best implemented in schools.
4.8 Policy Owners
- are Executive Directors or Directors
- are required to appoint a policy contact officer
- oversee the policy processes of development, consultation, implementation, and review, and can delegate any or all of these processes to staff reporting to them
- are required to review a policy every three years, unless otherwise stated
- approve minor editorial or administrative amendments to policy documents
- make recommendations to the relevant Deputy Secretary to rescind a policy.
4.9 Policy Contact Officers
- support the policy processes of development, consultation, implementation, evaluation and review or rescission
- respond to inquiries about the policy.
- are required to comply with all departmental policy
- where necessary, should provide feedback to policy owners on the content of policies and how to improve aspects of the policy management process.
5. Monitoring and review
5.1 The Executive Director, Policy Coordination and Governance is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness, every three years.
6. Policy contact officer
Director, Cabinet and Policy Coordination
02 7814 1322