Closing Soon: Orders for the 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations (Ref: 78/24)

2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations

The CSSA, a division of Catholic Schools NSW, creates premium CSSA Trial HSC Examinations by education experts. Our writers and independent assessors have syllabus expertise and extensive teaching experience to create the CSSA Trial HSC Examinations.

Key Dates to assist schools:

  • The 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Timetable is from Monday 5 August to Monday 19 August with a security period up to and including 8 am, Thursday 22 August
  • 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations online ordering is available as of 9 am, Monday 12 February and until 5 pm, Thursday 11 April (Week 11, Term 1)
  • Schools must contact the CSSA regarding CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Disability Provisions by 9 am, Friday 5 April (Week 10, Term 1)
  • The 2024 Final CSSA Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be emailed to Principals in Week 1, Term 2 and then made available on the CSSA website.

Technological Assistance for Principals:

  • If a Principal requires technological assistance with sign-in to their registered school account in the CSSA website, please email
  • There is a CSNSW verification process in place to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of each Principal and their registered school account with the CSSA. 

CSSA website and individual School Accounts:

  • School data in individual School Accounts with the CSSA must be kept up to date by individual schools via the CSSA website |Account Settings.
  • Relevant personnel in CSSA registered schools should ensure that school data available and fields of information on the CSSA website is checked, updated and completed as necessary. This will ensure that your school’s address, phone number, email address and contact details are correct – this information is critical for communication with schools and the secure delivery of CSSA Trial HSC Examinations. Finally, remember to click on the “SAVE” button at the end of the process.
  • For your convenience, the link to the CSSA website is here

Monica O’Brien

Head of CSSA Exams

Apply Now: The NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships (Ref: 81/24)

The NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships provide $10,000 or $15,000 for a five-week study tour within Australia or abroad.

The scholarships, funded by corporate supporters and private foundations, are open to permanent and temporary teachers in NSW government and non-government schools, on TAFE NSW campuses and across early childhood centres. Scholarships are awarded in the year prior to the study tour.

The majority of scholarships are for school-based teachers to explore best practice in their chosen focus area. The program delivers significant outcomes for scholarship recipients, students, teacher colleagues and school communities.

The NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships program is an initiative of the NSW Premier’s Department and is administered by the NSW Department of Education.

Applications close 11:59pm (AEST), Friday, 3 May 2024.

Click here to apply now.

Scholarship categories include:

  • Premier’s Anika Foundation Youth Depression Awareness Scholarship
  • Premier’s Creativity across the Curriculum Scholarship
  • Premier’s Early Childhood Education Scholarship
  • Premier’s Hicksons Lawyers STEM Scholarship
  • Premier’s History Teachers’ Association History Scholarship
  • Premier’s Inclusive Education Scholarship
  • Premier’s NESA Quality Teaching Scholarship
  • Premier’s Reserve Bank of Australia Economics Scholarship
  • Premier’s Teachers Mutual Bank Aboriginal Education Scholarship
  • Premier’s University of NSW Rural and Remote Scholarship
  • Premier’s University of Sydney Mathematics Scholarship
  • Premier’s Vocational Education in Schools Scholarship

Closing Soon: The Last NESA 'Have Your Say' Period for Term 1, 2024 (Ref: 62/24)

The Have Your Say period for the syllabuses closes next Monday, 8 April. All teachers, schools, and Systems are encouraged to contribute their professional expertise to the formation of the syllabuses by completing a survey available at Syllabus Consultations or, for Systems, through a formal submission to NESA.

Subjects include:


  • Aboriginal Studies 7–10
  • Commerce 7–10.


  • Agriculture Technology 7–10
  • Aquatic Technology 7–10 (previously known as Marine and Aquaculture Technology 7–10)
  • Engineering Technology 7–10 (new syllabus).

Have your say by clicking here.

Professional Learning

Catholic Schools NSW 2024 Professional Learning Opportunities (Ref: 76/24)

Catholic Schools NSW continues its Professional Learning offering in 2024 with a suite of high-quality, affordable and free offerings to support excellence for each and every student through quality teaching, formation and best practice governance.

A range of professional learning opportunities are available in person, online, and on demand. The full 2024 Professional Learning Catalogue is available online here.

These opportunities address a range of key areas for teachers, leaders, administrators, and governing boards, including:

  • Governance training
  • Employment relations
  • Education Law
  • Data and Assessment
  • Curriculum
  • Diverse Learning
  • Early Years, and
  • Wellbeing.

Already this year, CSNSW has delivered successful events, with the ‘Connected Catholic Communities’ symposium, CSSA Writing, and Managing Behaviour at Schools, among others.

Other major events for the 2024 calendar include the AI in Education Symposium, the Education Law Symposium, the Curriculum Reform Conference, and the ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Conference: Spirit on Country’.

The Avila Leadership Programme for new and aspiring principals will also be run again commencing in December 2024.

If you would like further information on our Professional Learning offerings, please contact Danielle Cronin, Deputy Chief Executive Officer:


Registrations Now Open: 2024 Catholic Schools NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference (Ref: 74/24)

Join us for the 2024 Catholic Schools NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Conference – Spirit on Country: Learning Together, Then, Now and Always, in Tamworth from 22 – 24 October 2024.

Hosted by Armidale Catholic Schools, the conference will provide a unique opportunity for educators, principals, diocesan representatives, teachers, learning support officers and Catholic leaders from across Australia. The conference will advance attendees’ professional knowledge and skills, improve educational outcomes, and champion reconciliation among families and communities based on their improved understanding of culture.

Register for tickets here:

For more information, visit the website here:


2024 NAP Opt-in Assessment in Science Literacy​​​​​​​ (Ref: 54/24)

From 2024, Australian schools can enrol Year 6 and Year 10 students to take part in NAP Opt-in assessments in key curriculum areas at no cost to schools.

These new assessments are part of the National Assessment Program and are completely optional for schools. These new assessments will be phased in over 3 years, starting with Science Literacy in 2024.

Value to schools

Schools choosing to take part in the NAP Opt-in assessment in science literacy 2024 will be able to:

  • Measure student performance against national standards in key curriculum areas beyond literacy and numeracy.
  • Use the results (available only to the participating school) to review, plan and adapt teaching and learning programs.
  • Run the assessments using the online platform at a time that suits them in the testing window. In 2024 this will run from Monday 6 May – Friday 31 May.

The assessments are run directly by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). There is no fee for schools registering to take part. Schools can register via the NAP Opt-in tile on from 26 March 2024.

Participating schools will be provided with 3 types of reports that can be used to inform teaching and learning.

Registration will be open to all schools across Australia for Year 6 and Year 10 students. Principals can register their school at by clicking on the ‘NAP Opt-in ’ tile on the home page.

Key dates

Tuesday 26 March 2024 – Tuesday 30 April 2024
School registration and enrolment window
Monday 6 May – Friday 31 May 2024
Test window
July 2024 – August 2024
Results window

More information: Download the 2024 Science Literacy opt-in FACTSHEET


Student Resources

Growing Towards Wholeness: A Personal Development Program for Students (Ref: 83/24)

Schools can now register for CatholicCare Sydney’s Personal Development Program, Growing Towards Wholeness. This values-based program is suitable for students in Years 4 to 6 and focuses on the physical and emotional changes of puberty. Students have the opportunity to learn and join in open dialogue with their peers and parents/guardians, building connection and communication at the family and peer level.

This program supports staff and schools in implementing the PDHPE Syllabus for Stage 3 and was developed alongside the Catholic Schools’ Towards Wholeness Resource tool.

You can learn more about the program and register by clicking here. 



Free eSmart learning program to help kids stay safe online​​​​​​​ (Ref: 75/24)

All schools nationwide are encouraged to sign up to access free eSmart learning and teaching tools, which will boost the digital skills of young Australians.

Developed by the Alannah & Madeleine Foundation, the curriculum-aligned
Digital Licence+ program supports students aged between 10 and 14 years to
build digital skills and intelligence.

All schools can access the program for free as a result of Government funding,
which helps students learn how to stay safe online, including how to identify
digital scams and report cyberbullying.

Digital Licence+ also teaches students how to balance the use of technology to avoid negative impacts on relationships, physical health, and mental wellbeing.

The Media Literacy Lab—which helps 12 to 16–year–olds develop critical thinking about online content—is also freely available to every school through the government’s commitment.

Teachers and school leaders interested in registering for the Digital Licence+
program – or those who want access to the Media Literacy Lab – can contact the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

For more information, visit:


School Updates & Newsletter

Clarified Assessment Certification  Examination (ACE) Rules (Ref: 71/24)

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) has clarified Assessment Certification Examination (ACE) Rules for schools and students.

The clarified rules will apply to students commencing HSC courses from October 2024, students sitting HSC exams in 2025, and students receiving the RoSA from October 2024. NESA is releasing the clarified ACE Rules a year in advance, so schools and sectors have time to prepare. Clarified ACE Rules are on the NSW Curriculum website.

The NSW Curriculum website is the single source of truth for the clarified ACE Rules. The website makes it easier for schools to navigate the rules and better understand their obligations.

NESA welcomes online feedback on the functionality of the website.

Clarifications to ACE Rules

NESA has clarified ACE Rules to make it easier for schools to understand their obligations. The clarifications include:

  • removing ambiguous, outdated or duplicated material;
  • strengthening the enforceability of a rule (for example, using ‘must’ versus ‘may’ to distinguish between enforceable content and discretionary powers);
  • framing rules around the roles and responsibilities of schools and NESA; and
  • moving most non-enforceable, advisory content to NESA’s website, and providing links to other ACE Rules and webpages.

ACE Rules for the 2023 and 2024 HSC

The current ACE Rules on ACE Online remain in place until October 2024. This means schools must comply with ACE Online rules for the HSC in 2023 and 2024.

Once the clarified rules are mandated in October 2024, ACE Online will be decommissioned and the mandated ACE Rules will continue to be hosted on the NSW Curriculum website.

To find the right contact for enquiries about ACE Rules, visit the ACE Rules contact page:

Scholarships and Awards

Harmony Day Competition 2024 – Entries Closing Soon (Ref: 82/24)

The annual Harmony Day Competition celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. Schools and students can get involved and enter the poster, songwriting or short film categories of the Harmony Day competitions.

In 2024, the competition categories are: Poster, Songwriting, and Short Film (a new category). The theme for the 2024 competition is: ‘Harmony – what can we do?’

Entries close on 12 April.

Click on the following links to enter the different competition categories: Posters, Songwriting or Short Film.


Australia’s Best Teachers Campaign is Back: Nominate Now (Ref: 80/24)

Students, parents and colleagues are encouraged to nominate the teacher who has had the greatest impact on their learning and school community as part of Australia’s Best Teachers campaign.

The campaign shines a light on the wonderful work our teachers do to elevate their status and respect for them in the community and marks their profound influence on both their students and the wider community.

You can nominate someone here.


The NSW Premier's Vocational Education in Schools Scholarship (Ref: 35/24)

The NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships provide an excellent opportunity for educators to collaborate with other professionals in their chosen focus area and inspire positive outcomes for students in NSW schools.

The scholarships are open to current temporary or permanent teachers in all NSW schools, TAFE NSW campuses and early childhood centres.

The Vocational Education in Schools Scholarship is open to teachers in NSW secondary schools, specifically Vocational Education and Training accredited teachers, or teachers undertaking a VET co-ordination role at their schools. The scholarship is for a study to research current issues in vocational education which impact students in schools.

Areas for research may include, but are not restricted to:

  • the role of workplace learning in the delivery and assessment of VET courses
  • school-based Apprenticeship and Traineeship pathways
  • partnerships between vocational education providers and industry
  • curriculum structures, delivery patterns and arrangements of vocational education
  • articulation of vocational education credentials acquired by students inot post-School vocational education and training.

The successful applicant will undertake a study tour and follow-up activities of up to five weeks internationally or within Australia. Study tour travel is to be completed in one block between 1 January and 30 June 2024, with individual follow-up activities and reporting to be completed within 90 days of study tour completion.

Time may involve formal study (e.g., undertaking a short course at a respected tertiary institution) or may involve a program of visits to sites, schools and institutions to conduct interviews, observe exemplary practices and collect resources for the preparation of teaching materials related to the specific scholarship category.

Successful applicants will be eligible for a grant of $15,000 for a five-week study tour to be completed in Australia or internationally.

A portion of time (up to one week) may be allocated toward follow-up dissemination activites (e.g., experience-sharing, professional learning) within and across NSW, either in-person or virtually.

You can apply for the scholarship through this link.


NSW Training Awards: Applications for 2024 Are Now Open​​​​​​​ (Ref: 3/24)

Step up and be recognised with a NSW Training Award! The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW to recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

Why get involved with the Awards?

As the premier awards for vocational education and training (VET) in NSW, the Awards are a great way to receive recognition for the effort that individuals, Employers and Registered Training Organisations put into VET.

For organisations, the Awards are the perfect platform to showcase the organisations’ commitment to VET. Entering the Awards raises the profile of the organisation and the awareness of the industry to the organisations’ dedication to skills for the workforce.

For individuals, the Awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate their achievements and hard work. Nominating an individual for an award can open many doors and potentially become a stepping stone in their careers.

Individual Award Categories relevant for schools:

  • VET in Schools Student of the Year
  • School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year
  • VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Organisation Awards:

  • Industry Collaboration
  • Large Employer of the Year
  • Small Employer of the Year
  • Large Training Provider of the Year
  • Small Training Provider of the Year Awards

National Award categories: (previous successful  school applications)

  • Innovation in VET Award
  • School Pathways to VET Award


Give yourself plenty of time to complete your application. You can still make edits to your submitted application right up until the closing dates:

  • Individual: 17 March 2024
  • Organisations: 31 March 2024

Be sure to access the NSW Training Awards site for:

  • Eligibility and selection criteria
  • Submission tips and videos
  • FAQs
  • Interview preparation videos


Students will be in the final year of their qualification, so generally, Year 12. Teachers/trainers can be relatively new or very experienced.

Winners progress through:

  • Regional Training Awards
    • Interviews: April; Awards: June
  • NSW State Training Awards
    • Interviews: July; Awards: 13 September
  • Australian Training Awards
    • Interviews: October; Awards: November

For an Organisational Award, check you’ve selected the most appropriate category.

Good luck!