Annual report 2021-22

Sections in this page


Letters of Introduction

From the Presiding Member

I am pleased to present the Education Standards Board 2021-22 Annual Report.

In December we farewelled Chris Chatburn and welcomed Kerry Leaver as the new Registrar and Chief Executive. The Board thanks Chris Chatburn for over five years of service at the Education Standards Board (Board), regulating through legislative change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kerry Leaver brings a wealth of experience to the Board. She will continue leading the organisation and regulating the sector with a proactive approach that includes educating, guiding and supporting services to implement best practice and comply with legislative requirements.

The Board recognises the unique and irreplaceable contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made and continue to make to South Australia. To deepen employees’ awareness of and commitment to reconciliation, in 2022 the Board completed their Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

The RAP celebrated current achievements and inspired continuous improvement in support of forming and strengthening respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and organisations and increasing employees understanding of First Nations cultures.

To reinforce the Board’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation, we updated our strategic priority to:

Support our people and improve our business by:

Supporting a culture that embodies our values, supports our people and their development, promotes equal opportunity, and demonstrates commitment to reconciliation.

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the sector, I would like to acknowledge the resilience and flexibility of our staff during continual change.

Continuing to ensure the best interests of children and young people in an evolving environment is central to our regulatory role. Providing access to high quality school education and early childhood education and care remains vital for the development, health and wellbeing of South Australia’s children, young people and families.

Ann Doolette

Presiding Member

From the Chief Executive

I am privileged to take on the role of Chief Executive and lead the Board in achieving its vision to deliver improved outcomes for South Australian children and young people through access to high quality education and early childhood services.

I acknowledge Chris Chatburn, the first Chief Executive of the Board. Chris made an enormous contribution, guiding the agency to continually improve its regulatory effectiveness and efficiency.

There have been many highlights during 2021-22 that saw the Board add value in supporting the sector to deliver safe and high-quality services now and into the future. Our actions continue to ensure that regulatory activities have proportionate outcomes and aim to reduce regulatory burden.

The Board collaborated with the Department for Education and SA Health to connect the sector with the latest COVID-19 health information for educators and families to support the safety and wellbeing of children in an early childhood setting.  

Our regulatory role expanded to include student exchange organisations, with new processes and systems implemented to monitor and approve organisations as student exchange programs resumed in South Australia.

The Board also committed to engaging with 11 Community Child Care Funded (Restricted) grant services, on behalf of the Australian Government. This partnership will see these services brought under state-based regulation in the future.

Our focus in 2022-23 is to support the early childhood sector in implementing national reforms, including recommended changes resulting from the 2019 National Quality Framework (NQF) review and transitioning to updated Approved Learning Frameworks.

To do this, in 2021-22 we began preparing new activities to educate and support regulated entities to strengthen their understanding of compliance.

Finally, I thank the staff and board members for their dedication and commitment to continuous improvement in our business, supporting each other through the challenges of COVID-19 to deliver our regulatory functions throughout the past year. 

Kerry Leaver

Chief Executive and Registrar

Overview: about the Education Standards Board

The Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Board, now known as the Education Standards Board (the Board), was established in 2012 in accordance with the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011(Act).

The staff of the Board, comprising 40 FTEs, are commonly referred to as the ESB. The Board is an independent statutory authority responsible for the registration and regulation of early childhood services and registration of schools for domestic and overseas students. This work is carried out to ensure high-quality education services and high standards of competence and conduct by providers.

The Board consists of 13 members, who are responsible to the Minister to ensure efficient and effective performance of its registration and regulatory responsibilities, compliance with its legislative objectives, sound management of the organisation, and attainment of performance objectives.

The functions of the Board under s29 of the Act are to:

  • regulate the provision of education services and early childhood services
  • approve the requirements for endorsement of registration
  • establish and maintain the registers contemplated by the Act
  • prepare or endorse codes of conduct for registered schools
  • provide advice to the Minister
  • carry out any other functions assigned to the Board by the Minister.

As the state regulatory authority, the Board has specific functions under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (Part 12, s260).

In accordance with section 32 of the Act, the Board delegates regulatory powers and functions, human resources management and financial management to the Registrar and Chief Executive. Some delegations are further delegated by the Board to managers and staff at various levels, in accordance with their responsibilities.

The Board has two standing committees. The Internal Review of Decisions Committee carries out internal review of decisions under the Act and the National Law. The Schools Disciplinary Committee conducts inquiries into complaints where there may be cause for disciplinary action regarding a school, under section 60 of the Act. Ad hoc committees may be formed to consider matters and advise the Board or Registrar or to carry out functions on behalf of the Board.

Why we regulate

Access to high quality education and care services can contribute to better social, educational and employment outcomes across a child’s lifespan.

Early childhood education and care services also support families by enabling workforce participation of parents and guardians, including for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board’s priority is to minimise any risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of children. We respond with regulatory action that is responsive and proportionate to the risks and harms being addressed.

Our activities are also designed to regulate education and early childhood services in a manner that maintains high standards of competence and conduct by providers to:

  • recognise that all children should have access to high quality education and early childhood services that address their developmental needs; support educational achievement; promote enthusiasm for learning; and ensure their health, safety and well-being
  • provide for a diverse range of services for parents to access
  • enhance public confidence in the operation of education and early childhood services.

Our regulatory framework

Early childhood education and care

The National Quality Framework (NQF) introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool and outside hours school care services, agreed between all Australian governments.

The NQF includes:

  • National Law and National Regulations
  • National Quality Standards (NQS)
  • assessment and rating process
  • national learning frameworks.

The current NQS (the 2018 NQS) commenced in February 2018. 

The Board also sets standards for, approves and regulates South Australian early childhood residual services out of scope of the NQF, including in-home care and occasional care services.

Authorised officers undertake several types of regulatory activities to meet the Board’s functions under the National Law:

  • Monitoring: authorised officers proactively assess and influence compliance with the National Law and Regulations, providing a strong incentive for providers to comply with their regulatory obligations and to improve quality of education and care at their services.
  • Assessment and rating: the process of assessing and rating a service against the National Quality Standard, including by conducting a service visit.

Regulatory activities are scheduled using a risk-based approach. Indicators considered when scheduling an activity include the service rating, length of time since the last assessment and the frequency and type of notifications received by the Board.

Schools and international education

The Act requires the Board to:

  • maintain a register of Government and non-government schools
  • set standards for registration
  • regularly review schools’ registration.

To be registered, schools must meet the Standards for Registration and Review of Registration of Schools in South Australia (the Standards) and once approved, registration is ongoing. Registration gives the public confidence that a school has:

  • governance arrangements in place to ensure accountability for the satisfactory quality of the education instruction provided
  • policies and procedures for student learning and assessment that effectively deliver education services for each stage of schooling
  • adequate provision for the safety, health and welfare of students.

Newly registered schools are reviewed against the standards 12-18 months after commencing education services. Established schools are reviewed at least once every five years to ensure they continue to meet the Standards.

The Board is the designated State authority responsible for recommending school providers for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), and monitoring schools’ compliance under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Schools must be registered to provide education services to overseas students.

The Board is also responsible for registering student exchange organisations under the Education and Children’s Services Act 2019. Student exchange organisations must comply with the standards in the National Guidelines for the Operation of International Secondary Student Exchange Programs in Australia.

Services we regulate

Education and care services under the NQF

Centre-based care: delivered on premises suitable for education and care, including:

Preschool: not defined in the National Law or Regulations. A service that provides an early childhood education program, delivered by a qualified teacher, often but not necessarily on a sessional basis in a dedicated service. Alternative terms used for preschool include kindergarten.

Long day care: not defined in the National Law or Regulations. A centre-based form of service which provides all-day or part-time care for children age birth to six who attend on a regular basis.

Outside school hours care (OSHC): not defined in the National Law or Regulations. A service that provides care for primary school aged children (typically 5 to 12 years) before and after school and can also operate during school holidays (vacation care) and on pupil free days. Outside school hours services are usually provided from primary school premises. Services may also be located at childcare centres or community facilities. Outside school hours care services are often provided by parent associations or non-for-profit organisations.

Family day care: an education and care service that is delivered by two or more educators to provide education and care to children and operates from two or more residences.

Residual services: Services that fall outside the scope of the NQF. These include:

In-home care services: a service providing education and care to children in premises where the majority of children usually reside and the educator does not reside.

Occasional care services: a service providing education and care to children primarily on an ad hoc or casual basis, where the service does not usually offer full-time or all-day education and care to children on an ongoing basis; and most of the children attending are pre-school age or younger.

Mobile care services: a service providing education and care primarily to children pre-school age or under, that transports equipment, materials and staff to one or more locations on each occasion the service is provided.

Schools under the Education and Care Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011

School: a school is an education establishment where the major activity is the provision of full-time day primary or secondary education or the provision distance education.

Primary education: comprises a foundation year (reception), followed by year levels 1-6.

Secondary education: includes years 7-12.

Combined school: provides both primary and secondary education.

Government schools: established and administered by the South Australian Government Department for Education under the Education Act 1972.

Non-government schools: any school that is not a government school. These schools may be administered by a religious, community or private organisation.

Catholic school: any school specified by notice in writing to the Registrar by the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools Incorporated.

Independent school: non-government schools which are not Catholic schools.

International education under the Education for Overseas Students Act 2000 and Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 (SA)

Student exchange organisation: a registered school or not-for-profit organisation registered to provide secondary student exchange programs to and from South Australia.

Acceptance Advice for Secondary Exchange Student form (AASES): the form used by an international student to apply for a subclass 500 visa to enter Australia and to enrol in a South Australian school.

Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS): a searchable database that provides details of educational institutions approved to deliver education and training services to overseas students, including the courses they offer.

Strategic focus

Our vision:

Making a positive difference to the lives of South Australian children and young people by ensuring they have access to high quality education and early childhood services.

Our goals:

Our organisational goals are to:

  • regulate with a contemporary, risk-and-standards-based approach
  • improve education and care outcomes for children and young people through regulation
  • engage stakeholders effectively
  • support our people and improve our business.

Our values

Our values

What this means

Honesty & integrity

We are consistent and fair in our actions to encourage openness and transparency


We have a culture that strives for excellence and aims to improve productivity


We respond to change and proactively improve

Collaboration & engagement

We collaborate in our work practices


We make decisions that comply with legislation, are ethical and are consistent with approved policy and procedure

The Minister

The Honourable Blair Boyer MP was appointed in March 2022 as the Minister for Education, Training and Skills.

Organisational structure

Board members

In accordance with Section 22 of the Act, the Board consists of 13 members appointed by the Governor in Executive Council on the nomination of the Minister for Education, Training and Skills. Of those members:

  • one (who will be the presiding member) must be a person who has, in the opinion of the Minister, extensive knowledge and expertise in the education and care of children; and
  • two must be from the Department for Education; and
  • two must be from the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA); and
  • two must be from the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools Incorporated (CESA); and
  • two must be from a prescribed childcare body; and
  • 1 must be a legal practitioner.

Expressions of interest are called for the remaining member positions.


Appointment type

Term Dates

Ms Ann Doolette

Presiding member

19/12/19 - 30/06/21

Mr Greg Hayes

Deputy presiding member

Expression of interest

29/02/20 - 30/06/24

Ms Caroline Croser-Barlow

Chief Executive nomination (Public Service – Department for Education)

18/06/20 - 6/04/22

(resigned 6 April 2022)

Mr Trevor Fletcher

Expression of interest

29/02/20 - 15/03/23

(resigned 15 March 2022)

Mr Noel Mifsud

Expression of interest

29/02/20 - 28/02/23

Mr John Mula

Catholic Education SA (CESA)

01/07/21 - 30/06/24

Mr Christopher Prance

Association of Independent Schools SA (AISSA)

01/07/21 - 30/06/24

Ms Mandy Richardson

Prescribed Child Care Body

29/02/20 - 28/02/23

Dr Peta Smith

Chief Executive nomination (Public Service – Department for Education)

18/06/20 - 28/02/23

Ms Anna Standish

Prescribed Child Care Body

21/01/21 - 20/01/24

Mr Christos Tsonis

Legal practitioner

29/02/20 - 28/02/23

Ms Elizabeth Worrell

Association of Independent Schools SA (AISSA)

01/03/21 - 29/02/24

Ms Susan Young

Catholic Education SA (CESA)

01/03/21 - 29/02/24

Chief Executive and Registrar

Kerry Leaver is the Early Childhood Services Registrar, Government Schools Registrar, Non-Government Schools Registrar (Registrar) and Chief Executive (CE), responsible for carrying out the functions of the Registrar and the CE as determined by the Act.

Operational teams

School registration services

The team registers and reviews schools and maintains the Schools Register. The team recommends schools for registration on the CRICOS; monitors schools’ compliance under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and registers student exchange organisations.

Quality assurance

The team receives and assesses applications from education and care providers and services under the NQF and develops and monitors the annual regulatory strategy.

In executing the strategy, the team is responsible for assessing and rating early childhood services and delivering education and support to regulated entities.  

Compliance and investigation

The compliance and investigation team monitors and responds to notifications and complaints received under the NQF. The team undertakes investigations and recommends statutory and administrative compliance action in response to non-compliance, in accordance with the National Law and regulatory principles and to deliver or advance regulatory outcomes.

Corporate services

The corporate services team supports our regulatory teams and board members to execute regulatory functions. The responsibilities of the team include financial management, human resources, information technology, communications, records management and facilities management.

Changes to the Education Standards Board

During 2021-22 there were no significant changes to the agency’s structure.

Recommendations from an internal team review were accepted by the Board in November 2021. The compliance and investigations team structure was updated in May 2022 to more closely reflect the delegated responsibilities of roles.

Legislation administered by the Education Standards Board

The Board approves, registers and regulates early childhood providers and services as well as schools, according to:

  • Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA), incorporating the Education and Care Services National Law (South Australia)
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
  • Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Regulations 2011 (SA)

The Board assesses and recommends schools for registration on CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) under:

  • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019

The Board is responsible for registration of student exchange organisations as determined by:

  • Education and Children’s Services Act 2019 (SA) s85,88 and 89
  • Education and Children’s Services (Fees) Notice 2020 s4

Related agencies (within the Minister's area/s of responsibility)

  • South Australian Certificate of Education Board of South Australia
  • Teachers Registration Board
  • Department for Education
  • Child Development Council

Agency performance

Performance at a glance

In 2021-22 the Board continued to regulate schools, international education and the early childhood sector with a contemporary risk and standards-based approach that aligns with our strategic priorities for 2022-24. 

To engage early childhood education and care services and support their compliance with the NQF, authorised officers performed 579 service visits. Thirty-four school visits were undertaken for reviews of school registration. No recommendations were made to endorse CRICOS schools, due to suspension of international education activity during the reporting period.   

New administrative processes were established for regulation of student exchange organisations, and regulatory processes were reviewed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Board’s regulatory activity in:

  • registration review for the school sector
  • applications and notification management for the early childhood education and care sector.

A detailed outline of the Board’s regulatory performance can be found on pages 17-21 below.

The Board began coordinating with state regulatory authorities to plan the foundations for collaboration and clear communication of the upcoming regulatory changes associated with the 2019 NQF Review and Approved Learning Frameworks review, commencing in 2022-23.

Our response to COVID-19

Our response to COVID-19 involved adopting new responsibilities to rapidly share information and facilitate access to resources, including: 

  • connecting non-government early childhood services with SA Health communications through regular sector briefings
  • taking a key role to support the adequate supply of Rapid Antigen Tests for non-government early childhood education and care services
  • placing a liaison officer from the Board within the COVID-19 control centre during case number peaks to provide support and advice on sector impacts
  • distributing latest information from SA Health, including advice, FAQs, and recommendations relevant to the sector
  • receiving notifications of COVID-19 cases, enrolment reductions, staffing shortages and centre closures in early childhood education and care services
  • reporting COVID-19 cases and resulting closure of services to SA Health and the Department of Education.

After state borders opened in November 2021, early childhood services faced staffing and rostering challenges, evidenced by a high number of staffing-related waiver applications.

Telemonitoring visits were conducted exclusively from January to March 2022, when the Board’s risk committee decided it was appropriate to resume face-to-face monitoring. The focus of monitoring during this period was providing support to services and providers to manage COVID-19 outbreaks and ensure the health and wellbeing of children.

The Board implemented work practices and procedures to reduce the risk of increased transmission rates of COVID-19, including:

  • accommodating services’ requests to postpone assessment and rating visits, on a case-by-case basis
  • reducing on-site time by half for assessment and rating visits by holding related discussions with service staff virtually
  • developing a self-assessment compliance tool to guide services in preparation for an assessment and rating visit
  • conducting virtual review planning meetings for schools undergoing review of registration to reduce face-to-face time
  • delaying the school self-review and verification process to 2023 to relieve regulatory burden
  • waiving registration fees for registered student exchange organisations as operations were suspended during international border closures
  • supporting the Board’s staff in hybrid work to reduce office-based exposure.

Contribution to whole of Government objectives

The Board contributes to South Australian Government initiatives to ensure universal access to quality preschool for families with three-and-four-year-old children and accessible education for children of school age by:

  • ensuring early childhood services are quality assessed and compliance monitored within the NQF to promote consistency in services across SA
  • ensuring schools meet the standards of registration to provide accessible, quality education from reception to year 12.

Education Standards Board objectives and performance

The Board’s strategic priorities for 2022-24 support the delivery of the statutory functions under s29 of the Act.

Objective 1: Regulate schools, student exchange organisations and early childhood education and care services (services) with a risk-and-standards-based approach




Rate and monitor services for compliance against the NQF

Rate 125 services under the NQF

Perform 393 monitoring visits against our regulatory strategy

95 assessment and rating visits completed

5 first tier reviews of assessment and rating decisions  

410 monitoring visits to services

Determine applications under the NQF

Assess and determine applications according to the law and regulatory principles, within legislative timeframes

(Applications include provider approval, service approval, and waiver applications)

74 application visits completed

37 new services approved

438 waiver applications determined

10 applications refused, 115 applications withdrawn or invalid

2 internal reviews of application decisions

96% of applications processed within the regulatory timeframe

Respond to non-compliance under the Act

Receive and assess incident notifications and complaints

Record breaches of the National Law

Issue administrative and statutory compliance actions

4884 incident notifications received, closed on average within 5 days

All notifications requiring action were assigned within 24 hours of receipt

Recorded 525 breaches of the National Law and/or Regulations on the national register (NQAITS)

Issued 311 administrative and statutory compliance actions

Regulate student exchange organisations

Assess applications for registration of student exchange organisations

Issue ‘Acceptance Advice for Secondary Exchange Student’ forms

Two new student exchange organisations registered, renewed one student exchange organisation

Issued 11 AASES forms between January and June 2022

Register and review registration of schools

Assess new school registration applications

Assess changes to school registration

Conduct 22 validation reviews of school registration

358 schools re-issued with registration certificates

Registered one new government school and new campuses for three existing schools prior to commencement of the new school year

Four schools closed and were removed from the register

22 validation reviews of school registration were completed according to schedule

Objective 2: Positively engage with stakeholders




Influence legislation and policy for education and early childhood programs and services

Engage with state government organisations

The Board engaged with the Teacher’s Registration Board, Department of Human Services, SA Health, and Department of Education and commonwealth Department of Education

The Board represented South Australia on 11 cross-jurisdictional committees to inform NQF regulatory practice, policy and reform

Engage, educate, and inform early childhood providers and services and schools to support compliance

Inform the sector about their regulatory obligations and duties

Deliver professional development opportunities for regulated entities

Regular meetings with providers of more than 10 services

Published nine news bulletins, 35 alerts and a guide to support compliance with Quality Area 3

Nine NQF education seminars facilitated in collaboration with Gowrie SA, with 140 small or single service approved providers attending

Held 13 meetings with large providers

40% of services were visited by an authorised officer

Objective 3: Support our people and improve our business




Continually improve our practice

Review and update processes, policies and procedures to gain efficiency and consistency in approach

Implemented 10 electronic smart forms

Improvements made to:

  • NQF compliance & investigation processes
  • applications processes
  • school registration and validation review activities

Protect and promote the welfare, health, and safety of our team and support our work

Monitor our operating environment and work practices to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of our staff

Implemented the following procedures and polices

  • flexible work arrangements
  • emergency response and emergency management pandemic response plan
  • performance management and development
  • work health and safety and grievance resolution policies
  • respectful workplace behaviours policy

Demonstrate a commitment to reconciliation

Complete the Reflect Reconciliation Plan

Embed reconciliation practices into our processes and culture

Completed our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan

Reconciliation training to improve employee understanding and contribution to reconciliation

Updated a strategic objective to reflect the ongoing commitment to reconciliation

Corporate and employment

Employment opportunity programs


Performance management and professional development

Staff performance is managed according to our Performance Management and Development Procedure.

Ninety-seven percent of staff completed a mid-year and end of year performance review with their line manager. 

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Employee health and wellbeing

Our Employee Assistance Program provides each employee with access to three confidential professional and personal counselling sessions for themselves, or an immediate family member, at no cost.

The Board also provides services such as influenza vaccination and internal communication about health and wellbeing topics.

Work health and safety management

The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee is the principle means by which the Education Standards Board consults and works collaboratively with employees to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.

The committee has representation from all teams and meets quarterly.

Injury management

The Board has a service level agreement with the Department of Education for management of injury claims.

Workplace injury claims



% change
(+ / -)

Total new workplace injury claims








Seriously injured workers*




Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)




*number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)

Work health and safety regulations

Nil to report.

Return to work costs**



% change
(+ / -)

Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)




Income support payments – gross ($)



Not calculable

**before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at: Work health and safety and return to work performance of Education Standards Board - Dataset -

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification

Number of executives

Common Law Contract


Data for previous years is available at: Executive employment in Education Standards Board - Dataset -

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

Financial performance

Financial performance at a glance

The following is an unaudited summary of the overall financial position of the agency. See Appendix three (page 40) for full audited financial statements for 2021-2022.

Statement of comprehensive income

2021-22 Budget


2021-22 Actual




2020-21 Actual


Total income





Total expenses





Net result





Total comprehensive result





Statement of financial position

2021-22 Budget


2021-22 Actual




2020-21 Actual


Current assets





Non-current assets





Total assets





Current liabilities





Non-current liabilities





Total liabilities





Net assets










Consultants disclosure

The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the actual payments made for the work undertaken during the 2021-22.

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

All consultancies below $10,000 each - combined


$ 14,196

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

EMA Legal

Workers compensation claim case management

$ 10,276

Inner Clarity Consulting

Compliance & investigation team review

$ 12,375



$ 22,651

Data for previous years is available at: Consultants used by Education Standards Board - Dataset -

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the South Australian Public Sector.

Contractors disclosure

The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the actual payments made for work undertaken during the 2021-22.

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000



$ Actual payment

All contractors below $10,000 each - combined



Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

Cirka Pty Ltd

Cleaning contractor

$ 22,818

Empired Limited

Server upgrade

$ 23,625

Ernst & Young

Auditing service

$ 22,975

Hays Recruiting Experts Worldwide

Temporary staff

$ 55,464

VUCA Pty Ltd

Executive recruitment

$ 26,603


$ 151,485

Data for previous years is available at: Contractors used by Education Standards Board - Dataset -  

The details of South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website. View the agency list of contractsThe website also provides details of across government contracts.

Risk management

Risk at a glance

Risk is managed through the Risk Management Committee and reported to the Board. This year the committee was expanded to include all members of the senior management team. The committee met six times throughout the reporting period.

During 2021-22 the committee achievements were:

  • implementing a risk management information system to improve analysis and reporting
  • updating the risk management framework to support implementation of the system
  • improving regulatory incident reporting mechanisms
  • executing COVID-19 treatment plans and measures to manage risk to staff health during regulatory activity.

Fraud detected in the agency

No instances of fraud detected.

NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

The Board follows whole of government policies for prevention and control of fraud. The Board is committed to the prevention, detection and control of fraud, corruption, maladministration, and misconduct relating to its activities.

The Board’s detection, control and prevention strategies include:

  • appropriate segregation of duties
  • delegations of authority
  • fraud and corruption awareness training for new employees
  • public sector code of conduct training for all employees, renewed every two years
  • risk register that monitors risks of fraudulent/corrupt behaviour in procurement activities, unauthorised or unintentional release of confidential information and physical asset theft
  • employee onboarding and offboarding procedures.

Serious or systemic offences against the Board and/or the South Australian public sector are referred to the Office for Public Integrity (OPI) or inquiry agencies to investigate.

Data for previous years is available at: Fraud detected in Education Standards Board - Dataset -

Public interest disclosure

No public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018.

Data for previous years is available at: Public interest (formerly whistle-blowers') disclosure of Education Standards Board - Dataset -

Note: disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019. 

Public complaints

Number of public complaints reported

Complaint categories



Number of complaints


Service delivery


Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive


Service quality


Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose


No case to answer


Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate




Additional metrics


Number of positive feedback comments


Number of negative feedback comments


Total number of feedback comments


% complaints resolved within policy timeframes



Data for previous years is available at: Reporting of public complaints for Education Standards Board - Dataset -

Service improvements

The complaints and feedback management policy governs the management and administration of complaints. It is publicly available on the Board’s website.

No service improvements were made based upon complaints and feedback received.

Compliance statement

Education Standards Board is compliant with Premier and Cabinet Circular 039 – complaint management in the South Australian public sector


Education Standards Board has communicated the content of PC 039 and the agency’s related complaints policies and procedures to employees.                      



Appendix one: statistical overview

Registered schools at 30 June 2022

Numbers of schools by year at 30 June 2022

The number of registered schools has remained consistent year on year since 2018-19

School type





Total government schools





Total non-government schools





Catholic schools





Independent schools





Government primary schools





Non-government primary schools





Government secondary schools





Non-government secondary schools





Combined government schools





Combined non-government schools





Registered CRICOS schools





Registered CRICOS government schools





Registered CRICOS non-Government schools





NQF providers and services in 2021-22

On 30 June 2022 there were 426 approved providers, a minor decrease from 430 approved providers in 2020-21. Eighty-five percent (363) providers operate a single service compared to 86% (368) in 2020-21.

In SA, 39% of approved providers are government operated, compared to 11% of state/territory and local government providers nationally.

Approved early childhood education and care services

There are 1252 approved services in SA at 30 June 2022, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year. The increase included 16 long day care, one preschool and eight out of school hours care newly approved services.

Residual services

There are 117 residual services regulated under state legislation that are outside the scope of the NQF. Of these, 93 (83%) are provided by the South Australian Department of Education.

Residual service type

Number of services

In-home care


Mobile care


Occasional care


Service performance under the NQF at 30 June 2022

Of 1252 services in SA, 96% have a quality rating, compared to 90% nationally. There are 465 services rated under the 2018 National Quality Standards and 740 currently rated under the 2012 National Quality Standards. Forty-six services are approved and not yet rated as they are within the first 12 months of operation.

South Australia now has 13.5% of services rated ‘Working Towards’, compared to 12.5% nationally. The number of services rated Meeting or higher has steadily increased year on year over the past four years.

Quality ratings of services by year at June 30


Working towards













































Proportion of quality ratings by service type compared to national average at 30 June 2022

*Exceeding also includes services rated as Excellent


Working Towards










Long day care














Outside school hours care








Assessment and rating of services in 2021-22

In 2021-22, 24 services had their first assessment and rating, with 46% (11) rated Working Towards and 54% (13) rated Meeting the National Quality Standard.

Seventy-one services were reassessed in 2021-22.

Eighteen percent (13) maintained a rating of ‘Meeting’, 37% (26) maintained a rating of ‘Working Towards’, 15% (11) moved from ‘Meeting’ to ‘Working Towards’, and 30% (21) moved from ‘Working Towards’ to ‘Meeting’.

Appendix two: glossary

Administrative compliance action: An administrative action taken to guide compliance with the National Law and/or National Regulations.

First tier review: a request to review a service’s rating if the provider disagrees with the rating given. This review is conducted by authorised officers not involved in the original assessment and rating under review.

Incident: any incident, including serious, non-serious, non-regulatory and out of scope incidents.

NQAITS (National Quality Agenda IT System): An information system that manages the approval, monitoring and quality assessment of services under the NQF.

Statutory compliance action: A complaince action under the National Law or National Regulations to enforce compliance. 

Waiver application: An application to waiver compliance with an element of the National Law or Regulations. Waivers allow services to continue to provide compliant education and care while dealing with special circumstances or unexpected events.