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The NSW Department of Education welcomes applications for research that are of high quality and of value to public education, or, to education more generally. Applications to conduct research in government schools are made under the State Education Research Applications Process (SERAP).

SERAP supports the quality of research activities in government schools by assessing applications to conduct research. Research cannot be conducted in NSW government schools without the approval of the department.

SERAP approval is required for researchers wishing to conduct research in all NSW government schools including:

  • pre-schools
  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • central schools
  • community schools
  • environmental education centres.

SERAP should also be used by researchers who wish to conduct research using extant data (existing data sets and summary statistics) held by the department. Research cannot be conducted in NSW public schools, or using extant data, without SERAP approval.

When assessing research applications, the department gives consideration to:

  • benefit – the potential benefit of the research to the department, the researchers and the wider community.
  • feasibility and methodology – the likelihood that these benefits will be realised.
  • the benefits versus the risks of releasing personal and/or sensitive information for research purposes, and the adequacy of privacy and security arrangements.
  • cost – the impact on, or time and effort required by the department’s staff and students, as participants or co-investigators.
  • ethics – whether the participants are accorded the respect and protection that is due to them.

Likely benefits, feasibility and methodology are considered in relation to likely costs and ethical requirements.