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BOSTES policies, reports and research

BOSTES has developed a range of policies, reports and research, some in partnership with other individuals or organisations, across the areas of curriculum, assessment, credentialling, initial teacher education, teacher professional development and BOSTES regulatory programs for schools and home schooling families.

Refer to BOSTES Official Notices for the latest information, decisions or action by BOSTES for which there is a legislative or regulatory requirement that schools comply.


The Assessment Certification Examination (ACE) website

The Assessment Certification Examination (ACE) website provides current, easily accessible information to principals, teachers, parents and students about the rules and procedures set by the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW for secondary education in New South Wales.

The ACE website supersedes the ACE Manual (2005) for all information on policies relating to the Higher School Certificate.


BOSTES Annual Reports

See the BOSTES Annual Reports section for the latest report and access to previous reports.


Compressed (vertical) model – see vertical model


Guidelines for Equivalent and Alternative Courses of Study

The most appropriate pathway for most students is to remain at school to complete Year 10. However, a very small number of students experience exceptional circumstances that require them to access other options. The Guidelines for Equivalent and Alternative Courses of Study describe how various provisions in the Education Act relate to courses of study for a child of compulsory school age.


Home Schooling Research

The report Academic Outcomes of Home Schooling – Review of Research and Analysis of Statewide Tests examines available evidence on the academic outcomes of children who have been home schooled. This evidence includes a literature review of previous studies and analysis of results in statewide assessments such as the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, School Certificate and Higher School Certificate.

Academic Outcomes of Home Schooling


Masters Report – Fair and Meaningful Measures?

The Board has considered the Masters Review into the New Higher School Certificate examination program: Fair and Meaningful Measures? and voted to adopt all 20 recommendations. The Board commissioned Professor Geoff Masters, Executive Director, Australian Council for Educational Research, to undertake the review.

The report is copyright free to schools and school organisations.

Board of Studies NSW Action Plans related to the recommendations in the Masters Report

Mathematics Review and Development Project 2006–2008

The Board’s Mathematics Stage 6 Review and Development Project commenced in 2006. This document reports on the strategies used to gather data in the first phase of the Syllabus Review project.

A critical analysis of selected Australian and international mathematics syllabuses for the post-compulsory years of secondary schooling. Prepared for the then NSW Board of Studies by Mary Coupland, PhD, MAustMS, Department of Mathematical Science, University of Technology, Sydney. These materials are provided for research purposes and may contain opinions that are not shared by BOSTES.

A symposium was held at Georges River College, Oatley Senior Campus, on Saturday 19 August 2006. Read more about the Mathematics Stage 6 Symposium Proceedings

Middle Years Literature Review Report

Literature and research review of curriculum issues in the middle years of schooling by Associate Professor Roslyn Arnold (University of Sydney, Faculty of Education).

While there is a large amount of research, action research and literature on the nature and issues of the middle years of schooling, they tend to focus on:

  • issues of adolescence, particularly alienation
  • teaching
  • implementation of a variety of middle schooling strategies through structuring and teaching existing curricula in different ways.

This review concentrates on material from which ideas about future curricula can be drawn.

Middle Years Literature Review Part 1

Also available in Word format

Middle Years Literature Review Part 2

Also available in Word format


Overseas recognition manual

Manual for the recognition of schools outside NSW to present candidates for the NSW Record of School Achievement and/or Higher School Certificate. This document contains the Expression of Interest and application forms and the criteria used for the assessment of these forms.

Manual for the recognition of schools outside NSW to present candidates for the NSW Record of School Achievement and/or Higher School Certificate

Published June 2013


Registration and Accreditation of Non-government Schools (RANGS) manuals

BOSTES is responsible for providing advice and making recommendations to the Minister for Education about the registration of non-government schools and for making decisions about the accreditation of non-government schools to present candidates for the Record of School Achievement and Higher School Certificate. The requirements for registration and accreditation are detailed in the following manuals, one for individual non-government schools, the other for schools belonging to a registration system.

Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual

Registration Systems and Member Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual

Registration for Home Schooling

Under the Education Act 1990, a parent may educate his or her child in the child’s home. BOSTES is responsible for registering children of compulsory school age who are home schooled and not enrolled in a school. The information package details the requirements and process for registration.

Registration for Home Schooling in NSW – Information Package

Registration process for the NSW Government school system manual

In 2014, the Education Amendment (Government Schools) Act 2014 amended section 27 of the Education Act 1990 to enable BOSTES, with the assistance of the Department of Education and Communities (DEC), to provide advice to the Minister for Education on the compliance by NSW government schools with requirements similar to those necessary for the registration of non-government schools.

The Registration Process for the NSW Government Schooling System Manual describes the requirements for the registration process for the NSW Government schooling system.


Schools with overseas students

The requirements for approving school providers seeking to deliver courses to overseas students in NSW are detailed in the BOSTES Guidelines for Approved NSW School Providers Delivering Courses to Overseas Students.


Teacher Accreditation

A broad range of policies outlining the requirements and processes for teacher accreditation, professional development provider endorsement and initial teacher education program accreditation are currently housed on the policy section of the BOSTES Teacher Accreditation website.  All BOSTES policies are approved by the Quality Teaching Council  and provide a transparent and fair framework for the NSW teacher accreditation system.

The site also houses reports and research for more information about teacher quality, teaching standards and teacher accreditation.

Technology Statement K–12 Development

The Technology Statement K–12 broadly defines the continuum of learning in technology syllabuses K–12 and defines identified areas of study and elective syllabuses in the TAS KLA that appropriately address advances in technology.

Report on the development of a K–12 Technology Statement

Published February 2002


Delivering the HSC using a vertical (compressed) model

A small number of schools use a vertical model (also referred to as a double time model or compressed system) to deliver the HSC program. In this model, students’ study requirements for the HSC are usually completed over a conventional two-year period.

Schools delivering the HSC program using a vertical model and seeking to commence Preliminary courses prior to Day 1, Term 1 of Year 11 are required to have permission from the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW.

Read more about delivering the HSC using a vertical model.

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