Priority Items

A Pathway to Better, Smarter Regulation for Catholic Schools in NSW (Ref: 241/20)

Catholic Schools NSW (Catholic Schools New South Wales) is pleased to present to you the final report of Catholic Schools New South Wales’s Better, Smarter Regulation initiative.

Teachers and principals have consistently reported that compliance requirements take precious time away from teaching. Teacher workloads have increased because of this, despite additional resources and more support staff.

This report, developed through a programme of consultation, recommends changes to government regulations that will allow more time for teachers and school leaders to focus on student outcomes.

The report identifies four priority areas for reform:

  1. Teacher accreditation: Simplifying the pathway to teacher accreditation while continuing to improve teacher quality.
  2. Financial compliance: Supporting better financial accountability through streamlining financial reporting.
  3. Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability: Promoting better support for students with disability by giving teachers more time to focus directly on students.
  4. School governance: Better supporting school principals by providing more time to focus on the core mission of schools.

Catholic Schools New South Wales will take this report to the NSW and Commonwealth Governments and advocate for sensible reform in support of a better professional experience for our teachers and leaders.

To view the report please click here.


Free Tutoring to Support Students (Ref: 238/20)

For the first time in NSW, students will receive free tutoring in 2021 thanks to a landmark $337 million program that is part of the NSW 2020-21 Budget.

The program increases the ongoing support for students’ education after a disruptive school year.

The Government is employing up to 5,500 additional staff to deliver small-group teaching at every NSW government school, as well as non-government schools with the most significant levels of need.

$31 million of the package has been allocated to non-government schools.

Registrations of interest for individuals to apply to become a tutor for this program are to be completed via this link. 

FACT SHEET: Welfare Arrangements for Under 18 International Students (Ref: 239/20)

DESE has released a Q&A fact sheet for education providers addressing questions around welfare arrangements for under 18 international students. to download a copy of the fact sheet please click here. 

Special funding for fire affected schools - National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) (Ref: 240/20)

The National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) is an initiative funded by the Commonwealth Government to provide chaplaincy services throughout Australia.

The purpose of the program is to support the wellbeing of Australian school students through the provision of pastoral care services and strategies to support the wellbeing of the broader school community.

Following the devastation of the Dec/Jan bushfires Catholic Schools New South Wales has received additional special funding for fire affected schools.

A total of 68 Catholic schools across 6 diocese have been identified by the Commonwealth as being recipients of the funding.

Diocese & RI/PJP schools who qualify will be notified.

For more information please contact Jennifer Coen (State Manager Wellbeing, Catholic Schools New South Wales) at:

Professional Learning

Classroom Strategies for Inclusive STEM Learning Environments (Ref: 233/20)

Catholic Schools New South Wales are pleased to provide you with a link to Classroom strategies for inclusive STEM learning environments. The recently launched online guide complements the Girls in STEM Toolkit (the GiST) website.

This information has been produced by Education Services Australia (ESA) and in support of the Australian Government’s vision of an Australian society that provides equal opportunity for people of all genders to learn, work and engage in STEM.  The guide is based on The Girls in STEM Toolkit’s Seven principles for a gender-inclusive learning environment research that informed the development of the GiST.

To further support classroom application of the Principles, ESA engaged The University of Adelaide to undertake a systematic literature review of recent research on engagement in STEM education with a particular focus on girls and young women. The key research findings were then aligned to The GiST’s Seven Principles for Inclusive STEM Education, resulting in a collection of practical strategies and resources that teachers can use to bring these critical Principles to life and create an engaging and inclusive STEM classroom.

For more information and to access the online version of the guide please visit the Gist website at


Child Safe Standards Professional Development – Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) (Ref: 228/20)

Introduction to the Child Safe Standards for School Staff on November 24,  3:00-4:30. This is an introduction to the child safe standards suitable for school staff. The OCG encourages any school leaders or teachers who have not attended any previous sessions or who want to update their knowledge about the child safe standards to attend. Register here.

There is an expectation that new Child Safe Standards legislation will be introduced into the NSW Parliament soon. This will make implementation of the Child Safe Standards mandatory for every school in NSW.


NSW Curriculum Review

NSW Curriculum Reform: ‘The Later Years’ (Ref: 230/20)

The NSW Government’s response to the recommendations in the final report on the review of the NSW Curriculum regarding the later years (Years 11 and 12) highlighted the need to strengthen senior secondary pathways, and to reconsider the impact and relevance of the current strong divide between vocational and academic learning in the senior years.

‘The NSW Government supports the development of a smaller number of rigorous, high-quality HSC courses. All senior secondary subjects must provide a strong foundation for future learning and life beyond school.’ (NSW Government Response to the NSW Curriculum Review Final Report, page 12)

Catholic Schools New South Wales continues to contribute to current and recent reviews relevant to the senior years, such as the recent Review of Senior Secondary Pathways. The current review of the NSW Vocational Education and Training sector is relevant to the discussions about vocational education in the school sector as part of the reform of the NSW Curriculum. This topic will be one of several the Catholic Schools New South Wales VET Advisory Group and other key stakeholder groups will explore further. We await further advice from NESA regarding curriculum reform developments for the later years. Having implemented innovative and best practice 21st Century school structures and curriculum provision in many of our secondary schools, the NSW Catholic sector is well placed to contribute to these reforms.



Not-For-Profit Governance Compliance Self-Check Tool (Ref: 232/20)

The NSW Department of Education has recently launched a Not-For-Profit Governance Compliance Self-Check Tool.

The tool was developed by the NSW Department of Education with input from Catholic Schools NSW and the Association of Independent Schools.

The aim of the tool is to assist schools’ governing body members to revisit the not-for-profit obligations and identify areas where further work may be needed, including how to action strategies for improvement, if relevant. An additional benefit of the tool is the ability for Responsible Persons to test their knowledge of the duties and obligations which accompanies the role of Responsible Person.

The governance tool provides a useful summary of background information regarding the regulatory environment for NSW Non-Government Schools. The main component of the tool is a questionnaire, designed as a ‘self-check’ instrument. A series of self-refection questions then assist a governing body to develop a plan of action.

The tool can be accessed by clicking here.

Responses to the questionnaire are confidential to those who complete it. They are not collected by the Department of Education. Further queries or feedback regarding the tool can be emailed to


School Newsletter

Online safety webinars for your parent and carer community (Ref: 231/20)

Each term, eSafety Education will offer a new parent and carer webinar topic that will run numerous times. These webinars will provide parents and carers with the knowledge, skills and tools to support their children to have safe, positive online experiences. This is especially important in an era when we are all online more than ever before.

The Term 1 webinar topic is eSafety’s guide to cyberbullying and online drama. This will be offered five times over the term.

Click here for eSafety’s 2021 webinar schedule. We would be grateful if you could note the dates as you start planning the year ahead, then advertise them in 2021 through your communication channels with parents and carers.