Priority Items

NSW Curriculum Reform (Ref: 215/20)

NSW Curriculum Reform

NESA has launched a range of projects that will reform the NSW Curriculum. The reform of the K-2 English and Mathematics syllabuses has begun, with lead reviewers analysing current syllabuses. Following the review by Professor Geoff Masters, the NSW Government supported reforms that build strong foundations in the early years by:

  • providing every child with solid foundations in the basics, especially oral language development, early reading and writing skills and early mathematics knowledge and skills;
  • making explicit in the curriculum that oral language development, early reading and writing skills and early mathematics skills are top priorities in the early years of school, particularly for children who are less advanced in these areas;
  • developing a detailed and explicit curriculum for the teaching of reading as part of new syllabuses to assist teachers to establish and diagnose where individual children are in their reading development;
  • structuring the early mathematics curriculum to support teachers to establish the points children have reached in their mathematics learning, including by diagnosing conceptual gaps and skills deficits.

NESA is also in the process of identifying members of expert panels and expert curriculum writers to assist in the process. Revised K- 2 English and Mathematics curriculum will be available for implementation from 2022. Teachers can expect ‘leaner syllabuses’ and more extensive support materials.

Any comments or queries regarding the NSW Curriculum Reform can be sent to

NSW Curriculum Reform (Ref: 210/20)

Scholaris will provide regular updates on the NSW Curriculum Reform. This will include useful links, NESA information, key matters considered by the NESA Curriculum Reform Steering Committee, and other information as it becomes available. In the meantime, keep an eye on the NSW Curriculum Reform website, where you can also peruse the NSW Curriculum Review Final Report and the NSW Government Response.

At its first meeting on 13 September, the NESA Curriculum Reform Steering Committee considered strategies to ensure appropriate representation of all sectors, including the NSW Catholic sector, in consultation processes moving forward.

Catholic Schools NSW will ensure that this representation is inclusive of regional dioceses, and teachers with expertise in meeting the diverse needs of all students. Danielle Cronin, Director of Education Policy, represents Catholic Schools New South Wales on this Steering Committee.

Live streaming and recording end of year events – new licence (Ref: 208/20)

On Friday 25 September 2020, the National Copyright Unit (NCU) announced that it had negotiated with APRA/AMCOS/ARIA a gratis interim music Licence for schools, which is in effect immediately until 31 December 2020. The terms of the interim Licence mean that:

  • Schools can now livestream a school event (such as a graduation ceremony or sports event), where live or recorded music is being played, from more places than the school’s own website (which was the previous limitation). The interim Licence now also allows schools to livestream via a social media platform (eg Facebook Live, YouTube) or a video conferencing platform (eg Zoom). This also extends to livestreaming events which feature electronic presentations or videos set to music.
  • Schools can now also upload recordings of school events where live or recorded music is being played onto more places than the school’s intranet (which was the previous limitation). Now, schools may also upload these recordings to the school’s website, school’s official social media pages, and Apps used for school communications (only where used for educational purposes). Schools can also email/message the recordings to the school community or distribute physical copies (eg via USBs) for no cost or on a cost recovery basis only.

Where social media platforms such as YouTube or Facebook are used, even though the interim Licence allows this, it is still possible that it will be taken down or muted by the relevant platforms. This is not due to a breach of copyright or the terms of the Licence, but rather, is due to ‘default’ defensive actions taken by the platforms to ensure that it does not broadcast anything which breaches copyright.

Schools should remember to comply with the other terms of the Licences when using these expanded rights (for example, labelling and crediting the works) and also ensure that their privacy consent forms are up to date and cover the use and distribution of student personal information that may be included in these livestreams or recordings.

Click here for more information on the interim Licence.

In addition to this, APRA/AMCOS/ARIA is currently working with the NCU to put in place a new (permanent) Licence agreement for schools in 2021, which is expected to include those expanded rights plus other changes to the current Licences. We will provide further updates as they become available.

Update to COVID-19 changes: electronic signing, virtual meetings and financial reporting extensions (Ref: 212/20)

Earlier this year, we advised of the temporary changes made by the Commonwealth and NSW state governments to relevant legislation in response to the COVID-19 environment. Many of these amendments were originally scheduled to shortly expire, but both the Commonwealth and NSW state governments have now extended the expiry dates of some of these amendments. By way of update:

  • Extended until 21 March 2021 – 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.
  • No further extension – For entities which are associations regulated by the NSW Office of Fair Trading, AGMs may be conducted “when restrictions are lifted” or 2020 financial information may be presented to members at the 2021 AGM. The NSW Office of Fair Trading has now also advised that until  25 March 2021, associations may conduct committee meetings and general meetings using technology and pass ordinary and special resolutions by either postal or electronic ballot even if this isn’t stipulated in their constitutions. Members must still have an opportunity to participate in meetings using technology. More information.
  • No further extension – For entities registered with the ACNC, there is no longer any extension in place for Annual Information Statement due dates (although entities may contact the ACNC to seek their own extension). 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.
  • Extended until 21 March 2021 – 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.
  • Extended until 26 March 2021 – 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. More information.
  • Extended until 26 March 2021 – 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.

There have been no further extensions to the relief provided by ASIC earlier in the year for delay of AGMs and financial reporting. That is, public companies with financial year ends from 31 December 2019 to 7 July 2020 are allowed to delay their AGM, so long as this occurs within 7 months after the end of their financial year. There is also no longer any general extension in place for entities to lodge financial reports under the Corporations Act (entities can however contact ASIC to seek their own extension of time).  More information.

Let's talk about principal care (Ref: 211/20)

Dear Colleagues,

Our partnership with the Association of Catholic School Principals has received an excellent response and we invite you to a third and final session for 2020 of ‘Let’s Talk about…Principal Care”.

On Thursday 12 November join Rob Unsworth, experienced Principal and Principal mentor, in conversation about the benefit in building a network of support to enhance professional capital.

Follow this LINK to register.

Please note that places in the morning session from 9:30 -10:30 are limited.

Please also see below information for Principals from session 1 and 2 including:

Want to buy Andrew Fuller’s book?
Follow this link and use the code CATHOLICED to receive a 10% discount.

NESA School nominations for Learning First research (Ref:213/20)


NESA is currently reviewing syllabus and support materials for K-2 English and Mathematics to deliver on the recommendations of the NSW Curriculum Review.

To inform the syllabus review, NESA is working with Learning First to understand how NSW schools implement the curriculum. Learning First will conduct research in schools to identify how teachers interpret and use the curriculum and associated instructional materials. The purpose of the research is to understand the decision-making processes that inform what is taught and assessed in classrooms.

Learning First wants to speak directly with teachers. Its research will inform NESA’s new K–2 English and mathematics support materials to provide teachers what they need to teach the syllabus.

We are able to nominate 15 primary schools to participate during Term 4, 2020. Primary schools will be selected to ensure representation across:

  • geographic location (metropolitan and regional schools)
  • performance (high and low performing schools)
  • student diversity
  • socio-economic status (high, medium and low)
  • size of school

Selected schools will be invited to participate in either interviews or in focus groups.


Schools will nominate up to five staff members to participate in an interview. Interviews will last approximately 60 minutes. Interviews can be scheduled for any date or time suitable for the participants. Each interview will focus on either English or mathematics. There is no need to prepare for the interview. Potential interview questions include:

  • How easy are the syllabuses to use and understand?
  • What tools and resources do you use to implement the curriculum?
  • What enablers or barriers have you experienced in curriculum implementation?

At the interview, participants will be asked to provide sample artefacts such as teaching and learning plans, scope and sequence documents, or student learning tasks, and work samples. These artefacts will be used to provide a contextual and structural understanding of curriculum implementation.

Focus groups

A further 16 teachers will be invited to participate in one focus group for either English or mathematics. Teachers cannot participate in both activities. Focus groups will last approximately 60 minutes. The questions asked in focus groups will be the same as the questions asked in interviews. All research will be conducted virtually. Participants and schools will be anonymised in the final report. All materials collected in this research will be used solely by NESA for the purpose of informing the syllabus review.

NESA is looking for the appropriate mix and balance of schools across all sectors and may not contact all nominated schools.

Please forward the details for schools you with to nominate to Belinda Wooldridge ( by Thursday 15th October.

Danielle Cronin
Director, Education Policy

2021 Save the Date: ACER Research Conference (Ref:214/20)

15/16 August 2021, ICC Sydney.

Attention Teachers of Science K – 12:

The Science Teachers’ Association NSW and the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences present the annual conference BEEINS 2020, 27 and 28 November 2020. The 2020 conference themes are:

27 November  – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives

28 November  – Future Focus

Further information regarding the program, presenters and registration can be accessed here.

Attention Teachers of Geography K-12:

The Geography Teachers’ Association NSW & ACT has released a Term 4 Digital Professional Learning Package consisting of several pre-recorded talks with support materials accessible via a weblink. Topics covered include virtual fieldwork, design thinking in Geography, creativity in Geography and building cultural capabilities. Further information can be accessed

Attention Teachers of Stage 6 PDHPE/CAFS:

The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education , and Recreation are conducting a series of workshops in late October/November 2020 to support teachers of Stage 6 PDHPE and Community and Family Studies.

Further details can be accessed

Ordering your Transport Concession Entitlement Cards (Ref: 209/20)

Ordering your Transport Concession Entitlement Cards (Ref: 209/20)

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is rolling out a simpler way to issue student transport concession cards. New Transport Concession Entitlement Cards will replace the older-style cards. The new cards are more durable, which should mitigate the need to order replacements. There are no changes to students’ eligibility for the cards. Cards for 2021 will be ordered via the TfNSW School Portal and TfNSW has developed the following resources to help schools with ordering cards: