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.


Updated Final Guidance: COVID-19 and the NSW School Vaccination Program (Ref: 245/20)

The Final Guidance on additional measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in school vaccination clinics has been updated to reflect that it is not necessary for nurses to wear a surgical face mask while delivering the school vaccination program. The updated Final Guidance is attached.

In practice, this means that school staff and students will no longer be seeing PHU nursing staff routinely wearing face masks when interacting with students.

To download a copy of the The Final Guidance on additional measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in school vaccination clinics 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.

The fact sheet provides information for
international students and education providers around questions on 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

SAVE THE DATE: Catholic Schools New South Wales DISruptABILITY Conference 2021 (Ref:248/20)

Program: A full two-day conference, hosted at Manly on 18 – 19 November 2021. Conference proceedings also accessible through video conferencing.

Audience: Classroom teachers, middle leaders and senior leadership in schools as well system officers.

Synopsis: Catholic education has a particular orientation and anthropology that is not often addressed in other conferences and professional learning events in this space. This event will provide an opportunity to celebrate and share the innovative and high-quality teaching and learning that is happening throughout the Catholic sector. The conference will provide an opportunity for evidenced based, high-quality professional learning, sharing practice and connecting with colleagues. The interactive format will allow attendees to reflect, collaborate and develop their knowledge. They will evaluate individual and whole school practices to effectively implement strategies and supports for the young people in their care.

Cost:TBC for face to face and video conferencing packages

More details and full program to come early 2021.


Additional Cyberbullying PLP Sessions Available in December (Ref: 246/20)

Additional cyberbullying PLP sessions available in December for anyone involved in the National School Chaplaincy Program who has not attained this certification.

Tues Dec 1          3.30pm to 6.30pm AEDT

Tues Dec 8          9.30am to 12.30pm AEDT


*Reminder: all NSCP chaplains must attend the webinar for the required 3 hours and complete the quiz by 15 December 2020.


2021 HSC Data Analysis Seminar Programme (Ref: 243/20)

A series of NESA approved seminars have been released as part of the 2021 HSC Data Analysis Seminar Programme. The following seminars will be offered:

1. Diocesan Officers’ Overview   

NESA code: DS2011

When: Thursday 28th January 2021, 9am-3pm

Target group: Diocesan & congregational system officers

Where: Taylor/Barlow Room, Level 8, Polding Centre, 133 Liverpool St, Sydney 2000

2. Introduction to the Analysis

NESA code: DS2021

When: Offered twice:  Wednesday 3rd February or Tuesday 16th February 2021, 9am-3pm

Target group: Teachers, KLA coordinators and others who have not attended an HSC seminar before, or those who have but who want to ‘brush up’ on the main ideas behind the Analysis.

Where: Taylor/Barlow Room, Level 8, Polding Centre, 133 Liverpool St, Sydney 2000

3. A detailed reading of your Analysis

NESA code: DS2051

When: Offered twice:  Tuesday 9th February 2021 (Clancy/Gilroy Room) or Wednesday 17th February 2021, 9am-3pm

Target group: Experienced users – any teacher, coordinator, AP or Principal who has in a previous year attended at least one HSC Analysis Seminar.

Where: Taylor/Barlow Room, Level 8, Polding Centre, 133 Liverpool St, Sydney 2000

4. Leading your school in the Analysis

NESA code: DS2061

When: Thursday 11th February 2021, 9am-3pm

Target group: Principals, APs, Leaders of Curriculum or Pedagogy:  those who have a whole-school focus rather than a one-KLA or year group.

Where: Taylor/Barlow Room, Level 8, Polding Centre, 133 Liverpool St, Sydney 2000

To download a copy of the information and registration details for each seminar please click here. 


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


NSW Curriculum Review

Curriculum Reform Update (Ref: 249/20)

NESA website: New fact sheets have been added to NESA’s curriculum reform website. At the bottom of the landing page, you can submit your email address to receive updates as they become available.

Teacher Expert Networks (‘TENs’): Catholic Schools New South Wales has asked Diocesan Directors to nominate teachers who will participate in cross sectoral ‘TENs’. These teachers will perform a critical function in advising NESA about implementation support and professional learning during the curriculum reform process. Teacher participants will reflect the full range of experience of the current teaching workforce, from early career teachers to those who are very experienced. NESA has also requested nominations from teachers with expertise in working with children and young people with special needs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and students whose first language is a language other than English.

English and Mathematics K–2 reform: Consultation with teacher experts is underway. Learning First has been engaged to conduct research in schools to understand the ways in which teachers engage with current NESA syllabuses in K–6 English and Mathematics. The ‘public consultation’ phase of the curriculum reform process in early 2021 will provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to share feedback with NESA on specific reform proposals.

Review of ‘extra-curricular’ issues in the curriculum: As part of the work to ensure that the curriculum contains only essential knowledge and skills, NESA is reviewing ‘extra-curricular’ content in syllabuses.

‘Extra-curricular’ refers to the topics and content that have been added to syllabuses from outside of the usual syllabus development processes. Typically, ‘extra-curricular’ topics are responses to topical events, community concerns, and health and social issues.

The impact that extra-curricular topics have on teaching time will be evaluated, and the syllabuses adjusted. Protocols for including future extra-curriculum topics and content will also be reviewed.

In the context of the NSW Curriculum Reform, ‘extra-curricular’ activities and issues do not refer to outside-of-curriculum sports and cultural activities. Those sit with schools and communities, were not in the scope of the review, and will remain important.

Any queries or comments/suggestions regarding curriculum reform processes can be emailed to <>



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

Transition to school resources including Advice from the Experts! (Ref: 247/20)

Starting school is an exciting time but it’s also a big time of change for children and families. Check out the videos below for some advice from the experts!

Video 1 – What do you need to know before starting school?

Video 2 – What should you do if you need help at school?

For more transition to school resources, explore the Foundations for Learning website!

The Early Years Foundations for Learning website

Transition to school resources

GERRIC Student Programs - 19-21 January 2021 (Ref: 244/20)

GERRIC Student Programs will be running between 19 – 21 January 2021.

GERRIC for Gifted Students program is offered to gifted and talented students (generally students who are capable of performing in the top 10% of their age-peers) in years 3-10 at Australian primary, middle or secondary school. This is a school holiday program that expands the minds of bright, inquisitive individuals looking for an intellectual challenge that is more demanding and more fun than they may sometimes experience at school.

GERRIC Student Programs open a student’s mind to abilities they may not have known they possess. At UNSW, gifted students meet others who share their interests and they are taught by educators who love working in this field. Our program runs for three days and gives students the opportunity to work on a small project.

Registrations will open on Wednesday 25 November: for more information on the GERRIC program visit their website.

Harmony Day 2021 Poster and Song Competition (Ref: 242/20)

Submissions are open for the 2021 Harmony Day poster and song competition. Click here to download a copy of the promotional flyer.