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The Education Directorate believes that every school should be providing quality learning programs for every student, every day.


Our vision is for children and young people to move successfully through all phases of education and training. We want them to have the skills to lead productive lives and contribute to the economic and social prosperity of our city.


The Directorate shares the ACT Public Service values of respect, integrity, collaboration and innovation. We use these to shape our behaviours and actions when supporting children and young people in ACT Public Schools. These values are also used by staff across all sectors of the Directorate to shape the work they do to support each other.


To guide the Directorate’s achievement of our strategic goals, Action Plans for 2015 and 2016 were developed to focus effort on:

Quality learning actions focus on curriculum, assessment and reporting; literacy, numeracy and science; early years education and care; and vocational education and training.

Inspirational teaching and leadership prioritises quality teaching; leadership capacity; and supporting teaching and learning and workforce development.

High expectations, high performance focuses effort on meeting the learning needs of every student.

Connecting with families and the community aims to engage with families as partners; the community and industry; reduce red tape and ensure compliance through regulatory services.

Business innovation and improvement has a focus on school performance; data for improvement; and learning environments.


Our key clients, stakeholders and partners include:


The ACT public education system has four networks as shown in the figure below.

Each network is led by a School Network Leader as follows:

The image shows a map of the ACT indicating the 4 school network zones and the type of public schools within each zone.

Jervis Bay School is included in the South/Weston Network.
Cranleigh School is included in the North/Gungahlin Network

The image shows data about early childhood education in the ACT, regulation and registration of school education, and vocational education and training in the ACT.


The Directorate is accountable to the ACT Minister for Education, Shane Rattenbury MLA. Joy Burch MLA was the minister responsible within the reporting period, from July 2015 until 23 January 2016.

Our Senior Executive Team comprised the Director-General, Diane Joseph; Deputy Director-General, Meg Brighton; Deputy Director-General, Education Strategy, Deb Efthymiades; and Deputy Director-General, Organisational Integrity, Meredith Whitten.


The image shows a chart of the organisational structure of the ACT Education Directorate as at 30 June 2016.



Director-General, Natalie Howson

The Director-General is responsible for the efficient administration of the Directorate and its corporate and strategic direction.

The Director-General is responsible for implementing legal requirements, policy and commitments relating to education and training in the ACT. In addition, the Director-General has a role in the leadership of the ACT Public Service as a member of the ACT Public Service Strategic Board.

Deputy Director-General, Meg Brighton

The Deputy Director-General oversees ACT Public Schools, coordinates activities across the Directorate and manages a range of national and whole of government initiatives. The Deputy Director-General also responds to issues at ministerial, intergovernmental and at key stakeholder levels.

The Deputy Director-General leads the Governance, Office for Schools, Regulation and Compliance, Business Improvement, Families and Students, and Information and Knowledge Services branches.

Deputy Director-General, Organisational Integrity, Meredith Whitten

The Deputy Director-General, Organisational Integrity has responsibility for the planning and coordination of human, financial and physical resources of the Directorate.

The Deputy Director-General, Organisational Integrity, is also responsible for the coordination of the national assessment programs, performance reporting and the assessment of educational programs through the management of a range of data collections.

This Deputy Director-General also leads the Infrastructure and Capital Works, People and Performance, Strategic Finance, and Planning and Analytics branches of the Directorate.

Deputy Director-General, Education Strategy, Deb Efthmyiades

The Deputy Director-General, Education Strategy has responsibility for the development and implementation of educational strategy and provision of educational support services in ACT Public Schools.

The Deputy Director-General, Education Strategy leads implementation of the school improvement framework through student-centred learning and teaching initiatives. Support services are provided in the areas of student welfare and transitions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, early years learning and special education programs.

This Deputy Director-General leads the Learning and Teaching, School Leadership and Reviews, and Student Engagement branches.

Remuneration for senior executives

Section 10 of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1995 requires its administrative body (the Tribunal) to inquire into and determine the remuneration, allowances and other entitlements of the Director-General and executives within the meaning of the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

The Tribunal, after a review of salary, allowances and other entitlements for executives in March 2016, decided that it would increase the salary for the Director-General and executives by 2.5 percent, effective from July 2016.

Senior Executive Team

The Senior Executive Team is the peak decision making body of the Directorate and is responsible for significant operational, policy and resourcing decisions. The Senior Executive Team establishes and reviews the strategic direction of the Directorate and monitors performance in key areas, including educational and financial performance. The Team is also responsible for ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, accounting standards and Directorate policies.

Corporate Executive

The Corporate Executive is made up of the Senior Executive Team, Branch Directors and School Network Leaders. The Corporate Executive assists the Senior Executive Team in determining priorities through providing advice in relation to strategic policy and management issues. The Corporate Executive reviews and advises on any issues referred to it by the Director-General.

Directorate committees

The Directorate committee structure is designed to improve the effectiveness of decision making, and to ensure that decisions align with and deliver on the commitments of the Strategic Plan.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee monitors and reviews Directorate adherence to relevant legislative requirements and its approach to business ethics and corporate conduct. The committee is responsible for overseeing the risk management and audit functions. The Committee also reviews the annual financial statements and provides advice to the Director-General on significant risks, audit outcomes and implementation of mitigation strategies.

Security and Emergency Management Committee

The Security and Emergency Management Committee provides advice to the Director-General on significant security proposals, directions, policies and training.

Directorate Consultative Committee

The Directorate Consultative Committee was established in accordance with the relevant enterprise agreements. The main objectives of the Consultative Committee are to improve consultation and communication processes between staff, senior managers and unions concerning significant changes to policy and guidelines that relate to the agreements, promote the sharing of information across the Directorate, and provide a forum for consultation.

Respect, Equity and Diversity Consultative Committee

The Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Consultative Committee provides a forum for sharing current and emerging issues and has the responsibility for overseeing all respect, equity and diversity functions of the Directorate and its employees. The RED Consultative Committee provides advice and contributes to the development and implementation of Directorate plans. The committee also provides advice on the implementation of whole of government plans.

Information and Communication Technology Working Group

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Working Group assists the Director-General through developing and implementing ICT policies, programs and strategies. The ICT Working Group makes recommendations to the Deputy Director-General about ICT strategic directions, policies and proposals for system wide ICT initiatives.

Principals’ Advisory Group

The Principals’ Advisory Group is a communication and consultation group. The Principals’ Advisory Group considers key strategic policy and operational matters and provides advice to the Senior Executive Team. The group raises policy and operational issues impacting on effectiveness and improvement from a school perspective.

Student Resource Allocation Program - Principal Advisory Group

The Principal Advisory Group has 16 members from across ACT Public Schools, including representation from all school sectors and networks. The main objectives of the Advisory Group are to ensure that schools’ perspectives are reflected in strategic directions, project planning, policy development and shaping the design of the SRA Program.

Leadership Development Group

The Leadership Development Group assists the Director-General to create a networked learning organisation by developing the workforce capability of all staff. The focus of this group is to set strategic directions, improve strategic planning, ensure alignment with and provide governance for the Directorate’s professional learning and training activities.

Enterprise Agreement Implementation Advisory Group

The Enterprise Agreement Implementation Action Group provides an important link between schools and the Directorate’s Senior Executive in the design and implementation of major initiatives arising from the ACT Public Sector (Teaching Staff) Enterprise Agreement 2014  2018. The Action Group draws on the work already occurring in schools to inform the effective implementation of a number of work streams arising from the Teaching Staff Enterprise Agreement, including: Revised Principal Career Structure; Sustainable Reduction in Teacher Workload; Revised Performance and Development Procedures. Advice provided by principals informs effective and sustainable implementation within schools.

For further information contact:
(02) 6205 5511


The Directorate’s vision, priorities and performance measures are expressed in the Strategic Plan 2014-17: Education Capital: Leading the Nation. Priorities in the Strategic Plan are reflected in annual Action Plans, which detail specific initiatives with across all levels of the Directorate to progress the Directorate’s strategic priorities.

The image shows a diagram of how the school plans, branch business plans, annual action plans and strategic plan 2014-17 of the ACT Education Directorate flows, with our learners at the centre.

Action Plans outline activities for the year and link performance measures from the Strategic Plan against these activities. Activities in the Action Plans are translated into activities for business areas and schools through annual plans. School Annual Operating Plans, endorsed by school boards, are published on school websites.

The Directorate maintains internal controls to monitor and manage risk in delivering the Strategic Plan. The Internal Audit program and the Risk Management Framework are the primary tools to manage, monitor and report on the Directorate’s risk management functions. The Directorate has in place a Schools Best Practice and Accountability Toolkit, which consists of a compliance report, school planning guide and checklist and accounting and administrative tests. The Toolkit has been developed to assist principals to comply with their legislative and policy obligations.
More information on the Directorate’s governance arrangements, including risk management and the audit program, is provided in Sections B.3 to B.6 of this report.


Under the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cwth) and the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (ACT), the Chief Minister allocates responsibility to the various Ministers, Director-Generals and agencies for the administration of ACT legislation. The Minister for Education and the Director-General of the ACT Education Directorate are administratively responsible for the following legislation:

1. The responsibility for Vocational Education and Training ended on 22 January 2016.

Photo of two primary school students, a boy and girl, seated at a desk in their classroom

Photo of a female teacher and a primary school boy seated at desk, working together

Photo of five young primary school students outside in the playground, wearing their school uniform of green hats and green tops

Photo of Education Minister Shane Rattenbury at a local primary school on Harmony Day, with parents and students who are in national costume.

Photo of a female college student gardening, with the greenhouse in the background



The Public Education Excellence Awards celebrate and recognise the excellence, innovation and talents of the ACT Public Education workforce.

The award recipients were:

Photo of award recipients at the 2015 ACT Public Education Excellence Awards, with the then Director-General Diane Joseph, and the Minister for Education and Training at the time, Joy Burch MLA

Award recipients with Ms Diane Joseph, Director-General (front row, second from right) and Minister for Education and Training, Ms Joy Burch MLA (front row, far right).


The Awards celebrate the successes of apprentices, trainees and students, as well as the teachers, trainers, registered training organisations, group training organisations and employers involved in the ACT’s vocational education system.

Photo of the recipients of the ACT Training Excellence Awards 2015

Award recipients:

Category winners Melissa Dinn, Hana Chapman-Speering, Rachel Hounsell-Carey, Hanna Darmody, Samantha Marks-Galea and Tevita Supilani Ma’ilei represented the ACT in the national awards in Hobart.

At the national awards, Hanna Chapman-Speering was runner up in the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year and Samantha Marks-Galea was runner up in the Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year award.


Photo of Diane Joseph, the then Director-General, with the French Ambassador, His Excellency Christophe Lecourtier

In 2015 Diane Joseph, the then Director-General, received The Palmes Académiques Chevalier – Knight of the French Order, from the French Government for eminent service to French education and for actively contributing to the prestige of French culture.

The Ordre des Palmes Académiques recognises those who have made a contribution in academic, cultural or educational fields.

The award was presented by the French Ambassador, His Excellency Christophe Lecourtier.

Diane was the first honorary president of the Australian Association of French English Bilingual Schools.

Australian Scholarships Group National Excellence in Teaching Awards 2015

The Australian Scholarships Group National Excellence in Teaching Awards honour exemplary teaching throughout Australia and New Zealand. The awards provide communities with the opportunity to formally recognise and thank outstanding teachers and leaders.

Jarrod McGrath, from The Woden School in Canberra, was one of 12 outstanding educators from across Australia honoured for their inspiring and innovative contribution to teaching.

Jarrod is passionate about achieving student outcomes and creating a positive school climate through community engagement. He has been teaching at the specialist school for three years and was nominated for his service to students with intellectual and physical disabilities. Jarrod received an Innovation Award for fostering the development of students’ social, vocational and academic skills through a strong connection of community and family. He has been instrumental in creating programs which help give students with disabilities employment skills and has established wider vocational opportunities by organising work experience placements and offering a work ready course.

Photo of award winning teacher Jarrod McGrath, playing soccer with a male and female student

Jarrod McGrath with students at the Woden School.


The Australian Council for Educational Leaders ACT Branch Annual Awards Presentation honoured a number of our public education leaders, acknowledging the significant contribution they have made to education, educational leadership and the improvement of student and organisation outcomes.

Educational Leadership:

Early Career Teacher Leadership:

The ACEL National Honorary Fellowship:

Photo of an award winning teacher at the Australian Council for Education Leaders ACT Branch Awards 2016Photo of an award winning teacher at the Australian Council for Education Leaders ACT Branch Awards 2016Photo of an award winning teacher at the Australian Council for Education Leaders ACT Branch Awards 2016Photo of three award winners at the Australian Council for Education Leaders ACT Branch Awards 2016

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