The Ministry for Education and Science was established in August 1969, essentially as a ministerial office. Its role was 'to develop a co-ordinated poicy within the administrative framework of the Department of Education, the Department of Technical Education and the various statutory boards and instrumentalities' which were the responsibility of the Minister. (1)
An Under Secretary and permanent head was appointed in January 1976. (2) In 1977 its role was described as follows:
"The Ministry for Education is responsible for co-ordination and advising on the development of policies over the whole education spectrum. [The] main functions [of the agency are to]
Provide co-ordinated and consistent advice to the Minister on policies, procedures and plans covering all sectors of the portfolio
Ensure provision of adequate information on the operation of all sectors of the portfolio to the Minister and agencies within the portfolio
Provide specialised secretarial and research services to policy committees in education
Provide publicity and general services to the Minister
Provide administrative and policy services to five boards and three other agencies."
The relevant Boards were the Nurses Education Board, Australian Music Examinations Advisory Board of New South Wales, the Board of Adult Education, the Board of Teacher Education and the Higher Education Board and the agencies - the Adult Migrant Education Service of New South Wales, the Teacher Housing Authority and the Conservatorium of Music. (3)
The Ministry underwent a number of title changes between 1980 and 1992 viz:
1980-1984 Office of the Minister of Education
1984-1988 Ministry of Education
1988-1990 Ministry of Education and Youth Affairs
1990-1990 Ministry of School Education and Youth Affairs
1990-1991 Ministry of Education, Youth and Women's Affairs
1991-1992 Office of Education and Youth Affairs
1992-1995 Ministry of Education and Youth Affairs.
In 1992 the role of the agency was described as follows " The Ministry provides assessment and advice on direction on education in NSW from an independent, non-operational perspective by identification of priority issues in education and the provision of strategic leadership for the portfolio. The Ministry works closely with the Minister and with the departments within the portfolio, providing a strategic co-ordination and monitoring role where appropriate. It also consults with relevant professional and community groups and with other government departments (state and Federal) on strategic aspects of policy and resource allocation." (4)
The agency was dissolved in 1995 when its functions were removed and distributed in the following way:
- the Board of Studies became the Office of the Board of Studies
- the Music Examinations Advisory Board was added to the Office of the Board of Studies;
- the Erudition Unit transferred to the Office of the Board of Vocational Education and Training;
- the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group was added to the Department of School Education;
- the Office of Youth Affairs and all central policy units were added to the Office of the Board of Vocational Education and Training and those branches were abolished; and
- all other branches (including the Higher Education Unit) were added to the Office of the Board of Vocational Education and Training. (5)
There have been a number of Boards and Authorities associated with the Ministry. Included amongst its portfolio were the Advanced Education Board; the Education Commission; the Higher Education Authority; the Higher Education Board; the Board of Adult Education; the Adult Migrant Education Service; the Nurses Association Board; the Teacher Housing Authority; the Conservatorium of Music; the New South Wales Universities Board; the Department of School Education; NSW Technical and Further Education (TAFE); the Board of Studies and the NSW Tourism Commission.
(1) Report of the Minister for Education for 1969, p.6; Archives Authority of NSW. Concise Guide. 2nd edition, 1992 Ma-Mi, "Ministry of Education", p.113.
(2) NSW Government Gazette, 30 January 1976, p.419.
(3) NSW Government Directory, 1977, p.105.
(4) Ministry of Education and Youth Affairs, Annual report for the year ended 30 June, 1993, p.6 Overview of 1992-93.
(5) NSW Government Gazette (No.39) Special Supplement, 5 April 1995, p.1860.
(1) "Concise Guide", 2nd Edition. "Ministry of Education " p.113.
(2) NSW Public Service Notices 1980, 1984, 1988.
(3) NSW Government Directory, 1991-1995.