The Department of Education can seek public comment for feedback on a particular topic or program.
On this page:
What is a submission?
A review or consultation process can be run where a user submits their response to the department containing their views/feedback. Submissions can be submitted by an individual, organisation or company. The collection of submissions provided to the department are generally made available to the public, via a website or through a contact point within the department.
Sending your submission to the department
In most cases, sending a submission to the department is completed using an online form or via an email address provided in relation to the particular submission round. Information about all active and previous submission rounds is available on the Public Reviews and Consultations page on the department’s website. If a user is unable to submit their response using either of these methods, please contact the team running the submission round. They should be able to provide alternative ways in which they can receive a submission, such as via post or fax. Please visit the page on the department website advertising the submission round to access the contact information for the relevant team.
Publication of submissions
When sending a submission to the department, the following should be considered:
Do you want your submission to be published on the website and made publicly available?
- If yes:
- do you want your name to be published alongside the submission?
- do you want your submission to be published anonymously (without your name being attributed to the submission)?
- do you want your name to be published alongside the submission?
- If no,
- please advise the department when lodging your submission that you do not want your submission to be published on the department’s website or otherwise made publicly available.
The department may, at its discretion, choose not to publish some or all of a submission, including where it:
- fails to protect personal privacy and that of others by including personal information about yourself or others
- makes defamatory or libellous comments
- abuses, harasses or threatens others
- vilifies others, incites, induces or aids violence, discrimination, harassment, victimisation or hatred towards others
- uses obscene or offensive language
- infringes the intellectual property rights of others
- does not address issues relevant to the consultation
- promotes commercial interests
- does not otherwise adhere to the department’s online publishing standards.
When sending in your submission, we may ask you to provide certain contact information, including your first name, surname and email address so we can contact you about your submission. However, if you have agreed to the publication of your submission, these details will be removed before your submission is made public. Your name will only be published alongside your submission if you have agreed to that. If you do not provide your contact information and there is an issue with your submission, your submission will not be published or used for policy development related to the subject of the consultation.
Accessibility Requirements for online publication
What it means and why is it important?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, information published to government websites must comply with a set of accessibility standards to ensure that online information and services are accessible to people with disabilities.
Many users require the use of assistive technologies such as screen readers to read out information published online. If the information is not marked up correctly (e.g. styles used to identify headings), then the information can become unstructured and misinterpreted. By ensuring all content and documents are written to meet these requirements, it allows those with disabilities to receive a similar online experience.
Although submission documents are not authored by the department, they still must adhere to accessibility requirements if being published online. The following accessibility requirements should be met for a submission to be published online in document format:
- All text marked up using appropriate styles (e.g. Heading 1 for top level headings, Heading 2 for sub headings, Heading 3 etc)
- All photos/images have alternative text added to their properties
- All graphs and tables have a descriptive caption detailing what the graph contains
- More than one format of the submission document is provided (e.g. a .docx and .pdf)
If a submission is received by the department that does not meet the required accessibility standards, the department may change or convert the format so that it conforms to the accessibility requirements for online publication.
Size limits for submissions
When sending your submission into the department using an online form, certain size limits may be set to ensure files are not too large for others to download and read.
The general size limit is 10MB. If a submission document is larger than 10MB, it should be resized.
What can cause a file to be too large can include:
- Photos/graphs/images – by resizing these before adding them to the submission can reduce the overall size of the document
- Documents that contain a large amount of pages (generally within the hundreds)
- Documents with a lot of data (e.g. tables and graphs)
- Water marks and back grounds used in documents should be removed
If a user tries to upload a submission document greater than the size limit of 10MB, the form may fail to submit.
Due to the vast number of mobile devices available (such as mobile phones, tablets, etc) and the differing browsers (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome etc), some users may experience upload issues when sending in their submission via these devices.
If any issues do occur, it is recommended that a PC be used to send in a submission.
Accepted document types for a submission round
The department accepts most file types for receiving submission documents, provided they can be customised to meet accessibility requirements. Submission documents created from faxes or scanned files voids accessibility as they convert the text to an image. As images cannot be interpreted by assistive technologies, they should not be used.
It is recommended that the primary submission document be sent in as a typed Microsoft Word file. It is also advised that zip files will not be accepted when attached to a submission form.
Supporting documents for a submission
If a submission has supporting documents (e.g. appendixes), they can be uploaded alongside the primary submission document. It is recommended that no more than four supporting documents be supplied. If more than four supporting documents need to be sent in with the submission, they should be collated into one larger document and attached to the submission form.
Legal information surrounding submissions
Your personal information protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act). Your personal information is collected by the department through a contract service provider or via the department directly, as part of a consultations process into the relevant topic or program.
Your personal information may be used for the purposes of:
- administering the consultation process, including contacting you in relation to your submission
- informing or contributing to policy development related to the subject of the consultation
- developing reports
- publishing your submission where you have agreed to that.
If you do not provide your contact information and there is an issue with your submission, your submission will not be published or used for policy development related to the subject of the consultation.
Your personal information may be disclosed to other Commonwealth agencies with an interest in the relevant topic or program.
Where you have agreed, your submission (including any personal information you include in your submission and your name), may be published on the department’s website , which by its nature may involve disclosure to overseas recipients in any country. As such, by agreeing to the publication, you are consenting to your personal information being accessible overseas and acknowledge that an overseas recipient is not likely to be subject to the Privacy Act and the department will not have an obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not breach the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to the published information.
Your personal information will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose unless authorised or required by law.
Ownership of all submissions received by the department remains vested with the respective author(s) of the submission.
In making a submission to this website, you grant a royalty-free licence to allow the department to use, reproduce, publish, perform or communicate to the public your submission on the department website, including converting your submission into a different format to that submitted for the purposes of meeting relevant accessibility requirements.
To the extent that your submission contains material that is owned by a third party, you warrant that you have obtained all necessary licences and consents required for the use of those materials (including for the department to use, reproduce, publish, perform or communicate to the public), and have made arrangements for the payment of any royalties or other fees payable in respect of the use of such material.
For more information, please visit the department's Copyright page.
Current and Previous Public Submissions
The Department of Education Public Reviews and Consultations page provides information on all active submission rounds run by the department and how to send in a submission. It also provides archived submissions from closed rounds with submissions published online for public viewing.