How to Write a NSW Department of Education Application | School Administrative Officer (SAO) (Example Covering Letter)

by | Oct 8, 2021 | Writing Advice

The NSW Department of Education requires you to apply for any roles through iworkfor.nsw.gov.au. In addition to a resume, you will usually be asked to supply a covering letter of between 2-3 pages (depending on the role).  You will need to respond to any targeted questions in this cover letter, as well as explain how your skills and experience are relevant to the position you are applying for.  It is also important to ensure you write in the context of the focus capabilities for the role.

Do you need help writing a NSW Dept of Education application?  Our selection criteria writers are experts in these applications. Please get in touch.

​Here is a snippet of a successful NSW Department of Education SAO application example:

Dear Selection Panel,

I am pleased to submit my application for the role of School Administrative Officer (SAO) at XXXX School.  I am confident I have the skills, qualifications, knowledge and experience required to competently fulfil this role.

Qualifications/Certifications

  • Working with Children Check (no: WWXXXXX), valid until 2025.
  • First Aid Certificate, obtained in 2021, with competencies in the provision of CPR, basic emergency life support and first aid.
  • Certificate III in Business Administration.

Skills/Knowledge/Experience

Demonstrated capacity to work effectively as part of a team.

Since 2014, I have worked as a SAO at XXX Public School, where I have worked collaboratively and co-operatively with teachers and other staff members. My demonstrated capacity to work effectively as part of a team is evidenced by:

  • My ability to liaise with the principal, executive team, teachers and office staff to produce the school’s fortnightly newsletter. I access the teacher shared drive, review all articles uploaded by teachers and input them into the newsletter template, editing and reviewing details with teachers as required. Working in conjunction with my Principal I make sure all articles are critiqued and consult with an executive to proof read the newsletter before printing and distributing to all classroom teachers. I have been able to complete this task efficiently and effectively, ensuring relevant information is communicated to families in a timely manner.
  • My commitment to ensuring the school complies with all Work Health Safety requirements. I am on the Work Health and Safety Committee that meets monthly. Together, we review any reported incidents that have occurred, and discuss and implement control measures to minimise any hazards. Through this collaborative approach, the safety of all staff, students and members of the public is maximised. 

Administration skills including knowledge of computer software programs such as Microsoft Office.

Having had over eight years experience in the role of SAO with the NSW department of Education, I have gained extensive experience in administration skills in a school office environment. I am extremely proficient in all aspects of Microsoft Office and a number of other departmental programs enabling me to fulfil my current role in an efficient manner. This is evidenced by my ability to:

  • Use Microsoft Word to prepare the school newsletter and student notes.
  • Utilise the mail merge function to develop labels and name tags.

(note, this is only a small sample of the examples outlined in the actual letter, further development of this answer would be required in an actual application).

Effective oral and written communication skills.

As SAO at XXX School, I liaise with a wide range of stakeholders, including students, parents, staff, executives and customers, maintaining an approachable and professional manner on a daily basis. I use a warm friendly voice on the telephone. I listen to people to understand their requests and perspective, responding to queries as appropriate, or forwarding accurate information promptly when required. My effective oral and written communication skills are evidenced by:

  • My ability to ensure all messages from parents/carers are communicated to the appropriate teacher or staff member in a timely manner. This is especially important when it involves changes to an afternoon pickup point, ensuring the student is not left waiting after school without adult supervision, maintaining the student’s safety.

(note, this is only a small sample of the examples outlined in the actual letter, further development of this answer would be required in an actual application).

Ability to meet deadlines.

Fulfilling the role of SAO efficiently in any school requires one to have the ability to meet deadlines and to have excellent organisational skills in order to do so. In my current role as SAO at XXX I have demonstrated I have this ability by:

  • Ensuring notifications to parents/carers are sent out if their child is absent from school. I check that all teachers have submitted their roll by 9.15am. Then send all students that are absent a notification to their parents/carers. This is processed through Sentral by 9.20am each day ensuring student safety in case parents are not aware of their child’s absence. I consistently adhere to this deadline.

​(note, this is only a small sample of the examples outlined in the actual letter, further development of this answer would be required in an actual application).

Would you prefer we write the application for you? Our selection criteria writers including our Newcastle resume writers are experts in these applications. Please get in touch for a quote.

Nicole Wren

Nicole Wren

Senior Writer

Nicole is the principal resume writer at Resumes to Impress. Nicole loves writing and sharing her knowledge about all things job hunting and career guidance.

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