Non-government Schools Education Council

A. Transmittal Certificate

Non-government schools education council annual report 2014-15

B. Organisation Overview and Performance

B.1 Organisational Overview

The Non-government Schools Education Council (the Council) was established under section 106 of the Education Act 2004 (the Act).

The Council's functions are to advise the Minister on any aspect of non-government schooling and to meet with the Government Schools Education Council to discuss matters of mutual interest. Advice provided to the Minister may be initiated by the Council or may be in response to a request from the Minister. Under section 127 of the Act the Minister must present a copy of the advice to the Legislative Assembly.

The Council identified the following goals to be achieved in the 2014-15 year:

  • to meet and advise the Minister about issues related to non-government schooling in the ACT;
  • to monitor the Risk Management Plan;
  • to liaise with the Government Schools Education Council on matters of common interest relating to schools in the ACT;
  • to articulate the strategic directions for non-government schools in terms of the education portfolio in the ACT; and
  • to provide a response to any issue requested by the Minister.

The key issues considered by NGSEC in 2014-15 were as follows:

  • the Council continued to monitor the Strategic Directions for Non-government School Education in the ACT;
  • provided advice to the Minister regarding the applications for in-principle approval for non-government schools in the ACT;
  • welcomed the Director-General and the Deputy Director-General of Education and Training to meetings to address national issues;
  • contributed to the 2015-16 Budget process, key priorities included, per capita funding, a new process to support capital development in non-government schools, increased support for students with disabilities, early years teaching and learning, installation of fast broadband infrastructure, parental engagement and professional development opportunities for all teachers in both the government and non-government education sector;
  • discussed the Parental Engagement Strategy and amendments to the Education Act 2004, to establish a Ministerial Advisory Committee at Council meetings;
  • the Executive Officer of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies attended a meeting, Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission also attended a meeting to discuss the priorities for Catholic Education in the ACT;
  • the Manager, Liaison Unit attended a meeting and addressed the processes for registration for non-government schools in the ACT, particularly the concept of 'in-principle approval';
  • the Minister for Education and Training attended the Council meetings on two occasions to discuss national issues; the proposed ACT School Education Advisory Council; and the Education Amendment Bill 2015;
  • the Council provided the Minister for Education and Training with advice and options in accordance with the position paper, 'Creation of an ACT School Education Advisory Council'; and
  • the Chair of the Council represented NGSEC on the ACT Curriculum Taskforce.

At the end of June 2015, the Non-government Schools Education Council ceased to operate. During the many years of the Council's operations valuable contributions and advice has been provided to the Minister(s) about the diversity of education provisions in the ACT.

Internal Accountability

Section 109 of the Education Act 2004 requires the Minister to appoint the following Council members:

  • a chairperson;
  • four people who represent the views of the general community (community members); and
  • six people who represent the views of the non-government school sector (education members), including:
    • three education members chosen from nominations of organisations representing Catholic schools
    • one education member chosen from nominations of organisations representing non-Catholic independent schools
    • one education member chosen from nominations of the non-government school union
    • one education member chosen from nominations of organisations representing parent associations of non-government schools.

The Education Act 2004 outlines the conditions under which the Minister may appoint or terminate the appointment of a Council member. As a statutory appointment the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs is consulted on proposed appointments.

During the reporting period, the Council met seven times between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015 including a joint meeting with the Government Schools Education Council.

Table NGSEC 1: Role of Council Members and Number of Meetings Attended/Number of Eligible Meetings
Member name Role Number
Mrs Narelle Hargreaves OAM Chairperson 7/7
Dr William Maiden PSM Community Member and Deputy Chairperson 6/7
Mrs Mary Dorrian Education Member 1/7
Mr Paul Sykes Community Member 7/7
Ms Prue Clarke OAM Community Member 4/7
Mr Andrew Wrigley Education Member 5/7
Ms Julie Sengelman Education Member 7/7
Dr Janet Smith Community Member 5/7
Mr Peter Fullagar Education Member 1/7
Ms Catherine Rey Education Member 0/7
Ms Lyn Caton Education Member 3/7
Mr Paul Carroll Education Member 5/7
Mr Angus Tulley Education Member 5/7

A joint meeting was held with the Government Schools Education Council (GSEC) with special guest, Stacey Fox, Senior Research Manager, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). The focus for discussion was 'Parental Engagement'.

Remuneration for the chairperson is determined by the ACT Remuneration Tribunal in accordance with section 10(1) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1995. The current determination took effect on 1 November 2014. The chairperson is the only member to receive remuneration.

The Council has no funds for which it is responsible; therefore Council does not prepare financial statements.

The Directorate provides secretariat and advisory assistance to the Council. The Council may call on directorate staff to address Council meetings or meet with members to discuss particular issues or programs relevant to the work of the Council. If required, the Council would have access to legal advice through the ACT Government Solicitor's Office.

All new members are provided with the ACT Government Boards and Committees Code of Conduct and asked to sign a Code of Conduct/Conflict of Interest Declaration Form. These documents outline expectations regarding ethical behaviour in order to satisfy standards of probity and accountability that apply to the public sector. These documents also provide information to assist members in identifying, avoiding and disclosing potential conflicts of interest.

B.2 Performance Analysis

Not applicable.

B.3 Scrutiny

Not applicable.

B.4 Risk Management

The Risk Management Plan was monitored by the Council in 2014-15 and reviewed in April 2015.

B.5 - B.9

Not applicable.

Remaining sections of Annual Report Directions not applicable.

For more information contact:
Non-government Schools Education Council
c/- Governance and Assurance
Education and Training Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601