What is a submission?
The department can seek public comment or feedback on a particular topic or programme. A submission 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 made available to the public, preferably via a website or through a contact point within the department. The department reserves the right to refuse online publication of a submission if it does not adhere to the department’s online publishing standards.
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 on the department 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 and contact information should be supplied.
There are particular requirements that need to be met when sending a submission to the department:
- Do you want your submission to be published on the website and made publically available?
- If yes:
- do you want your name to be published alongside the submission?
- Would you like for only your submission to be available and your details kept anonymous
- do you want your name to be published alongside the submission?
- If no,
- please advise the department upon submitting your submission that you do not want your submission to be published on its website or otherwise made publically available.
- If yes:
- Your submission must conform to the Department's Accessibility Requirements (see below for more information)
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 (eg 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 must be met for a submission to be published online:
- All text marked up using appropriate styles (eg, 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 (eg a .doc 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. The department may also redact any personal information contained within the document, or content that is inappropriate or is political in nature.
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 eg 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 files 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 (eg 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
All personal information handled by the department is protected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Any personal information contained in or related to your submission will be collected by the department and stored securely. Your name may be used to attribute authorship of your submission unless you indicate you wish to remain anonymous, in which case your name will not be published or otherwise disclosed. Your email address may be used to enable the department to contact you regarding your submission if it is incomplete or inaccessible. If you do not have an email address or would like to make an offline submission, please contact the relevant area in the department seeking programme feedback in each instance.
Your personal information will not be used or disclosed for any other purpose unless authorised or required by law.
When sending in your submission, it is a requirement that you provide a first name, surname and email address. Although the option to remain anonymous is selectable on the form, you will still be required to submit these details in case the department needs to contact you. Selecting the anonymous option means that your name will not be published with your submission online.
If you do not have an email address, or feel you have a justifiable reason of not submitting your form online, please contact the team who is running the submission round and they will be able to provide you with alternate ways of sending in your submission.
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's 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 Submissions 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.