Priority Items

NESA HSC 2020 'What Has Changed for Students' Flyer (Ref:105/20)

NESA has released a flyer outlining the various changes that have been made to HSC 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. To download the flyer please click here.

This Thursday: Catholic Schools New South Wales Facebook Live Q&A with Paul Martin, CEO of NESA (Ref: 106/20)

Catholic Schools NSW will be hosting a Facebook live Q & A session with Paul Martin, CEO of NSW Education Standards Authority and Danielle Cronin, Director of Education Policy at Catholic Schools New South Wales to help our stakeholders understand the changes to this year’s HSC.

▪️ Thursday 21 May 2020
▪️ 5.30 pm (AEST)
▪️ Like & Follow @CatholicSchoolsNSW on Facebook

Anyone can get involved! Just make sure you are following our Facebook page, submit your questions via email to and tune in live this Thursday.

Please find attached a tile you can use to share with your contacts and below links on our social media channels.

We would like to invite as many people as possible to tune in so please feel free to share with your networks.

Send Us Your Good News Stories! (Ref: 092/20)

Whether it is teachers going above and beyond to support families and students, or the community rallying behind schools at this time, Catholic Schools New South Wales would like to hear about it. Please direct any good news stories to

School Animal Care and Ethics Committee Nominations (Ref: 098/10)

The Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW) requires that the use of animals in teaching or research is supervised by an animal ethics committee. The Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee (SACEC) was specifically set up to supervise the use of animals in government and non-government schools. Its role is to:

  • interpret the Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW)
  • prepare and publish a list of approved activities involving the use of animals
  • consider applications for category 4 and 5 activities and those activities which are not listed in the guidelines
  • monitor the use of animals in schools to ensure that it complies with the relevant legislation
  • liaise with teachers and system representatives about matters covered in the terms of reference
  • investigate complaints involving animals
  • report to the appropriate school sector authorities
  • perform other functions as described in its terms of reference.

The committee meets six times a year and members may be asked to participate in school visits in addition to these meetings.

Catholic Schools New South Wales is now seeking nominations for a teacher who is actively involved in animal use for teaching. Nominations can be made by completing Catholic Schools New South Wales Representative Nomination Form and returned to Gerard Delany (State Manager – Education Policy) via email, Nominations should be submitted by Tuesday 19th May 2020.

Professional Learning

Online Professional Learning for Teachers: Professional Associations (Ref: 089/20)

Many professional associations have moved their professional learning programs online in response to COVID-19.

The Professional Teachers Council website provides direct links to member associations and their professional learning programs.

Professional Associations currently provide a range of online courses across a variety of subjects.

To view the full list of courses please visit their website.

Participation in teacher professional learning aligns with Standard 6 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST), in particular 6.2.2. In addition, individual events address other specific standard descriptors of the APST.


Meet the Markers Online Sessions (Ref: 088/20)

Meet the Markers was filled to capacity earlier this year so the presenters have volunteered to present their workshops again online.  Register for MTM online at

Dates for the sessions are below:

May 25 – Meet the Markers – Physics Exam Analysis – 3:30 – 5:30pm

May 27 –  Meet the Markers – Biology Exam Analysis  3:30 – 5:30pm

June 1 –  Meet the Markers – Depth Studies – Exam Analysis – 3:30 – 5:30pm


National Conference for teachers of German (Ref: 90/20)

Join the Goethe Institut for their biennial National Conference for Teachers of German in Melbourne from 4-5 September 2020 to explore the latest teaching programs and trends in research and language policies. Call for Papers and registration are now open.

For more information please click here. 



Support for Bushfire-Affected School Students and Families in NSW (Ref:017/20)

Please refer to the Catholic Schools New South Wales website for a range of resources and information to support bushfire-affected schools, students and families.
Information includes:
– Financial support for families
– Community support
– Mental health support
– How Catholic schools communities and parishes can help

Please note all this information has previously been provided to diocesan directors and school principals via memo over the last few weeks.


COVID-19 Update

Premier Announces Full Return to Face-to-face Learning in Schools (Ref: 104/20)

The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and the Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell announced today that all government schools will return to full in-school learning on Monday, 25 May. Further advice and an outline of social distancing measures that will remain in place is expected later today.

To access a copy of the Premier’s media release regarding this matter please click here.


COVID-19 – Latest Updates and Resources (Ref: 060/20)

For the latest updates and helpful resources and advice regarding COVID-19 and it’s impacts on the Catholic Education sector please refer to the COVID-19 Section on the Catholic Schools New South Wales Website. Diocesan Directors and Principals are encouraged to access the COVID-19 Response Portal for relevant resources and information.


Government Releases Five Studies on Impact of Remote Learning (Ref:081/20)

The Australian Government commissioned five pieces of research to examine the potential impact of remote learning from home on educational outcomes for vulnerable cohorts of children, including barriers to access and evidence-based actions to respond.

For more information please click here.



COVID-19 changes - electronic signing and virtual meetings and financial reporting extensions (Ref: 103/20)

Due to the difficulties that may be posed in holding face to face meetings and executing documents in the current COVID-19 environment, both the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments have made temporary changes to relevant legislation to allow virtual meetings and electronic signatures in certain circumstances. Extensions to lodge financial reports have also been granted by ASIC and the ACNC. In summary, these changes are:

  • Entities incorporated as companies under the Corporations Act 2001 can hold virtual AGMs and other meetings (eg by Zoom) without the need for a physical location. There are certain conditions that still need to be complied with such as giving all those who attend an opportunity to participate and the use of polls for voting. This legislation is intended to over-ride the provisions of a company’s constitution.  More information.
  • ASIC has also stated it will allow public companies with financial year ends from 31 December 2019 to 7 July 2020 to delay their AGM, so long as this occurs within 7 months after the end of their financial year. ASIC has also extended the deadline for entities to lodge financial reports under the Corporations Act by one month for certain balance dates up to and including 7 July 2020 balance dates.  More information.
  • For entities which are unincorporated associations, the NSW Office of Fair Trading  has stated that AGMs may be conducted when restrictions are lifted or entities may conduct the 2020 AGM, for the purpose of presenting the financial information to members, in conjunction with the 2021 AGM. More information.
  • For entities registered with the ACNC, Annual Information Statement due dates between 12 March 2020 and 30 August 2020 now have an extension until 31 August 2020. The ACNC has also  suggested that meetings (including AGMs) could continue be conducted by video conference where face to face meetings are not possible. Where meetings are unable to occur at all, this needs to be internally documented and explained.  More information.
  • Execution of documents by a company under section 127 of the Corporations Act may be done so electronically rather than with ‘wet ink’ and, where there are two signatories, on separate documents provided each of the separate documents includes the entire contents. More information.
  • Video technology platforms (eg Zoom and Skype) can now be used in NSW to witness important legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney and statutory declarations. A witness must see a person signing the document in real time, using the video platform, to confirm the signature is legitimate.
  • To facilitate the witnessing of NSW statutory declarations during COVID-19, the categories of people who are authorised to witness documents has been expanded in line with federal legislation – this means that teachers  employed on a permanent full‑time or part‑time basis at a school or tertiary education institution and ministers of religion can now witness these documents. More information.

These arrangements will be in place until 26 September 2020 (for the NSW unincorporated association AGMs and NSW legal document changes) and until 6 November 2020 (for the Corporations Act meetings and Corporations Act document execution changes).


Animal Research Authority 2020 (Ref: 078/20)

The use of animals in schools for educational purposes is governed by the Animal Research Act (1985) NSW. Catholic Schools NSW meets a requirement of this Act by issuing an Animal Research Authority to each school annually.

Accompanying this advice is the annual Animal Research Authority for the Principal and teachers who use animals to complete and retain within the school. Both pages of the Authority need to be completed. The names of teachers approved by the Principal to handle animals should be listed on the second page of the Authority, along with each teacher’s signature.

The Animal Welfare Liaison Officer, appointed by the Principal, must also be identified. The Principal is the Animal Welfare Liaison Officer in Schools for Specific Purposes, primary and infants schools. In central and secondary schools, it is generally the teacher most qualified to supervise the use of animals for teaching and research purposes. A full description of the role of the Animal Welfare Liaison Officer can be found at Animals in schools>Compliance>Responsibilities accessed at

The information on page two of the Animal Research Authority must be updated when changes in personnel occur at the school. The Animal Research Authority must be retained at the school and made available to appropriately authorised people including officers of the NSW Department of Education, inspectors from the NSW Department of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Unit and officers involved with, and members of, the Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee.

If you require further information about the Animal Research Authority, please contact Gerard Delany, State Manager – Education Policy by email

Further information can be obtained via the link below:

2020 Animal Research Authority Catholic Schools New South Wales v1


School Newsletter

Hey NSW, it’s time for some fruit and veg power!  (Ref:099/20)

Register for Fruit & Veg Month, the free, flexible and fun primary school event that encourages kids to eat more fruit and veg.

The event provides resources including curriculum materials, class posters, student reward stickers, parent resources and a student competition.

Fruit & Veg Month is funded by NSW Health.

The event will be held during the last 4 weeks of Term 3, Monday 31 August to Friday 25 September.

For more details on Fruit & Veg Month, and to fill out the quick and easy online registration form, go to:


Olympics Unleashed Online! (Ref: 101/20)

With Australians adapting to life at home, Olympics Unleashed is now online and ready to connect Olympians & aspiring athletes to schools and students. Olympics Unleashed, presented by Optus is taking athletes into NSW virtual classrooms and homes to inspire and motivate students to be their personal best. Register here today to have an athlete join your classroom.

Aunty Elsie Heiss Scholarship for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Students (Ref:100/20)

A new opportunity now exists with the Archdiocese of Sydney funding a scholarship program through the University of Notre Dame Australia, aimed at making tertiary education more accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The scholarship has been named the Aunty Elsie Heiss Scholarship in recognition of her contribution to the church where she has led Aboriginal Catholic Ministry programs for over three decades at the Reconciliation Church, La Perouse.

Please click here for more information.

Schools invited to apply for a school crossing supervisor (Ref: 076/20)

Schools across NSW are encouraged to apply for a school crossing supervisor in a new round of the Government’s crossing supervisor program.

The NSW Government is currently rolling out 300 additional school crossing supervisors at NSW schools by 2021, as part of a three year $18.5 million initiative to improve road safety for school children.

To apply for a school crossing supervisor, please click here.

2020 NSW Fire and Rescue Open Week Online! (Ref:079/20)

Due to Social Distancing restrictions, this year’s Fire and Rescue Open Day has become an Online Open Week. The 2020 FRNSW Open Day (week) will be hosted online from 16-22 May 2020. NSW Fire and Rescue are aiming to help young people experience something different this year and bring their home (fire stations) to the student’s homes and show them what it’s like to be a fire fighter and provide life lessons about being safe in emergencies.

The key messages for young people this year include:

Get down low and go, go, go

If you see smoke or fire, tell an adult

Get out, stay out. Never go back inside

In an emergency call 000

Have and practice, your home fire escape plan

Stop, drop, cover and roll

Never play with fire

For more information please click here.