Priority Items

Managing bomb threats in schools including during HSC exams​​​​​​​ (Ref: 266/23)

In previous years a number of schools have received bomb and other threats during the HSC exam period and it is important that we remain vigilant. NSW Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), NSW Police and NESA are requesting all Principals to monitor the school for potential threats over this year’s HSC period and beyond, and to follow the advice below if you receive one of these threats.

Upon receipt of a bomb or other significant threat schools must:

  • Call 000 (triple zero) immediately and promptly relay all information to NSW Police.If the threat relates to a bomb being present on the school site, the school should activate its critical incident plan and arrange an immediate evacuation, which is to be maintained until such time as Police attend and the site is deemed safe to re-enter.

All schools must ensure their evacuation area for bomb threats or suspected devices is an identified and cleared space, far enough away from the school to prevent people being injured by glass or other material if an explosion occurs.

As soon as practicable, notify the NSW Department of Education, Incident Report and Support Hotline of the bomb threat on 1300 495 051. No one should touch, tilt or tamper with a suspicious object in case it is an explosive or incendiary device.

Systemic schools should also notify their diocesan schools office and RI/MPJP schools should notify Catholic Schools NSW – David Walker (0432 335 695 or

Read the full memo on managing Specific HSC exam considerations in managing bomb or significant threats here. 

Change to HSC Illness/Misadventure Process for COVID (Ref: 259/23)

NESA has made changes to the Illness and Misadventure process for students who test positive to COVID-19 during exams. Schools remain responsible for their own COVID-smart protocols.

NSW Health recently closed the COVID-19 Register and the requirement for members of the public to register positive PCRs and RATs.

The registration of a positive PCR or RAT test was previously acceptable evidence for HSC students applying for Illness/Misadventure.

The change to NSW Health requirements means students will now be required to provide a doctor’s certificate if they test positive to COVID-19, covering missed exam date(s), the same as any other illness.

In summary:

  • contact their school if they are unwell
  • their school will support with applying for Illness/misadventure
  • their health and safety is the priority during exams.

Stage 6 English, Mathematics, Ancient History and Modern History Inform Sessions (Ref: 267/23)

NESA has determined that curriculum reform in Term 4 in NSW will focus on Stage 6 syllabuses and in 2023 the draft English Mathematics, Ancient and Modern syllabuses with the associated Life Skills syllabuses are up for consultation and will have a two-week inform period. Changes to the syllabuses have been summarised by NESA in video presentations that have been uploaded to the CSNSW Curriculum Reform Hub and can be accessed via this link.

Further inquiries can be made by contacting  Joanne Hack

TOMORROW: Master Class Webinar Series – Assessment and Data (Ref: 255/23)

Master class 1: Wednesday 11 November from 3:30 – 5:30 pm, via TEAMs.

Let’s measure what you value instead of valuing only what you can measure – continuing the conversation

Professor Jim Tognolini will continue the conversation begun at the Assessment and Data Symposium on measuring what you value not just valuing what you measure. Professor Tognolini will review the concept before guiding groups through a process to learn how to measure what they value. Participants are asked to be prepared to work on a concept or activity they wish to measure.

Register via this link.

Master class 2: Tuesday 31 October from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, via TEAMs. 

Using data: A master planning session.

Dr Tim O’Leary will guide you and your team in planning to effectively use data for purposeful and informed decision making. This class is designed for school leadership teams.

Register via this link.

Professional Learning

Webinar resources - Donna Cross: Leading Wellbeing Through Equity and Excellence ​​​​​​​(Ref: 268/23)

Pastoral care and wellbeing programs can significantly impact the culture within a school. This suite of resources, developed in consultation with Professor Donna Cross, will highlight evidence-informed practice that shows how wellbeing can contribute to the achievement of equity and excellence in schools. Practical tools have also been included to ensure that school leaders are equipped with tangible strategies to implement in order to achieve success.

Simply click here to access this invaluable resource.


Webinar: Catfishing, Nudes & Ghosting (Ref: 269/23)

The online world is an integral part of young people’s lives. What happens when things go wrong? Understanding the dangers of online engagement is one way to keep children safe. This webinar will focus on catfishing, nudes and ghosting – three of the most common problems young people encounter online.

3:30pm – 4:30pm on Tuesday 17 October, 2023.

Access the link to the webinar here. 


Australian Catholic Education Symposium (Ref: 256/23)

Join the National Catholic Education Commission on Wednesday 25 October from 3:30 – 4:50 pm for an online symposium with speaker Prof Anna Graham.

This year’s symposium will discuss how Catholic schools can respond to student views for wellbeing, faith formation and learning. This discussion will provide participants with key insights into why we should affirm the purpose and mission of Catholic education in supporting learning, faith formation and wellbeing.

The symposium is held in October to celebrate World Teachers Day and is designed for Catholic system and school leaders, educators and staff to stimulate professional dialogue in their communities around topics of interest.

Prof Anna Graham is a Professor of Childhood Studies and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University. She has a background in primary education, has led over 70 research projects, and was recognised for her service to education with the award of an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Click here for more information and to register for the online symposium.


REGISTER NOW - Creating a Sense of Belonging: Strategies for School Success (AERO webinar) (Ref: 243/23)

The session will run online for approximately one hour on October 18th 2023, starting at 3:45 pm AEDT. This is a non-interactive session where AERO will share the latest evidence on effective practices to improve children’s sense of Belonging.

Click here to register for this FREE webinar.


Building Leadership in Aboriginal Education across Catholic Schools in NSW/ACT (Ref: 242/23)

Senior system and school leaders are encouraged to register for a symposium designed to support educators in leading initiatives to deepen an understanding of and respect for the histories, cultures and languages of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Participants can expect to learn ways in which they can facilitate greater learning outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and can expect to leave with an increased awareness of ways in which they can create culturally safe learning environments for their students.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on 2 November at the Raddison Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney.

Find out more and register here. (You will need to log in to GO1 to access).


The Principals’ Centre in Australia (Ref: 241/23)

The Principals’ Centre in Australia (TPCA) is a collaboration between the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Club of Australia and will be held in Sydney from 15 – 19 January 2024. 

This is a key professional learning opportunity for school leaders from Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Principals and educators involved in school leadership positions from schools including Catholic schools are encouraged to attend. Participants will have the chance to learn how to implement best practice and research-based techniques in their own schools.

Participants can expect to:

  • gain a deeper understanding of the leadership skills needed to set high expectations for instructional quality,
  • learn to cultivate school cultures that prioritise learning for all,
  • learn new leadership approaches for creating change and identifying optimal conditions for student learning,
  • develop leadership strategies informed by relevant school data,
  • learn how to align resources and initiatives around evidence, and
  • foster student achievement and better outcomes by increasing engagement among family members, community, stakeholders, and school leaders.

Registrations close 17 November. There are a range of scholarships available. For more information and to register, please visit The Principals’ Centre in Australia website.


Resources for Learning

The Diocese of Lismore Online Education Centre (Ref: 265/23)

The Diocese of Lismore Online Education Centre (OEC) is now taking enrolments for 2024 Preliminary HSC Students in several 2 Unit subjects:

  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Economics
  • Japanese Beginners
  • Engineering Studies
  • Enterprise Computing – commencing in Year 11, 2024 (replacing Information Processes & Technology)
  • Software Engineering – commencing in Year 11, 2024  (replacing Software Design and Development)

If you have any students who may be interested and would benefit from studying one of these subjects via our online school, please follow the link to the 2024 OEC Enrolment Form.

If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out at


Kids News Junior Journalist Competition (Ref: 258/23)

Kids News is running a competition to find the next generation of news breakers. Children from Years 3 to 9 have an opportunity to compete for the grand prize of a guest appearance on Channel 10’s Studio 10 program, hosted by Narelda Jacobs.

Children can choose to present a story about something that has happened or is about to happen in their school or local community. The following four categories are open for submissions:

  • News story – print
  • News story – video
  • Sports story – print
  • Sports story – video

Kids can send in their submissions via email to before 5 pm 27 October. 

Check the website here for more information and for terms and conditions.


School Updates & Newsletter

Strategies for Addressing School Refusal – Online Webinar (Ref: 270/23)

Children and young people are sometimes reluctant to attend school and the reasons will be different for each child or young person. School refusal can happen at any age but is more likely to occur during times of transition (such as, starting primary or secondary school) or major family events (such as separation or family bereavement).

Join us at 3:30pm – 4:30pm on Wednesday 1 November, 2023 as we discuss some early intervention strategies for school refusal and proactive strategies to support positive attendance.

Register using the link here. 

Access the resource here.

Feedback sought on changes to NAPLAN 2023 (Ref: 264/23)

ACARA is seeking feedback on changes to NAPLAN, including the change of date from May to March this year, and changes made to reporting in order to provide simpler, clearer, and more meaningful results. ACARA is keen to hear from principals and teachers, as well as parents and carers, on these changes.

A link to the survey is here:

Scholarships and Awards

Thoroughly Schooled VET Partnership Program (Ref: 263/23)

Congratulations to the students from Catholic Schools who successfully accessed the highly contested The Thoroughly Schooled Program for five days in September:

  • Hannah Mclean, St Brigid’s Catholic College, Lake Munmorah
  • Jaxon Griffith, St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee
  • Jorja Woods, St Pauls Catholic College, West Kempsey

This immersive career and industry experience, developed through the Regional Industry Education Partnerships program in collaboration with Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association and TAFE NSW, aims to build practical skills for Year 10-12 students and expose them to the many multi-layered facets of the thoroughbred industry.

Activities included a non-accredited course at Scone TAFE campus to gain basic understanding of the equine industry including WHS, visits to the Scone Equine Hospital, and Race Club and visits to three world-class thoroughbred stud farms. Each excursion provided opportunities for students to discover and learn about the Thoroughbred industry employers and employees and highlights the career pathways open to them.

The Program included a work-experience component, opening future job opportunities in this growing sector, advantageous to both the students and the stud-farms.


Catholic Schools in VET State Success (Ref: 262/23)

We are thrilled to congratulate our NSW Training Award State finalists and winner. Catholic Schools were well represented by nine Regional Winners interviewed for the State Awards, resulting in three finalists who were celebrated at the Sydney Town Hall event in September.

In the School Student category, 2 Catholic Schools students were finalists:

  • Montayah Astruc, Caroline Chisholm College Glenmore Park, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
  • Charlize Ashby, Brigidine College Randwick, Certificate II in Kitchen OperationsThe winner of the School-Based Apprentice and Traineeship (SBAT) category was:
  • Molly Smith, McCarthy College Tamworth, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
    It is wonderful to have the incredible work of Vocational Education and Training in our Catholic Schools across NSW celebrated through success in these awards. Finalists at State level are offered the opportunity to become VET Ambassadors for NSW. Additionally, as a State winner, Molly will be interviewed for the Australian Training Awards which will be celebrated in Hobart in November.

The prestigious VET Ambassadorship program initiative opens opportunities for participants to further grow their confidence, competence and capacity by being mentored to share their career journeys, the VET qualifications they have attained, the experiences of establishing themselves in the industry and how VET has worked as a tool to enable them to excel professionally.

Congratulations also to the following direct entry finalists representing NSW (and CSNSW) at the Australian Training Awards in November:

  •  Innovation in VET Award: St John Paul II Catholic College
  • School Pathways to VET Award: CathWest Innovation College


ANZAC Community Grants Program 2023 (Ref: 257/23)

Applications are now open for the 2023 ANZAC Community Grants Program.

The NSW Government’s ANZAC Community Grants Program aims to provide non-government organisations and educational institutions with funds for a variety of projects. Eligible projects for grants of up to $3,000 include projects which commemorate and educate NSW communities about the service and sacrifices of current and former military servicemen. Activities which benefit the NSW veteran community in some way will also be eligible.

For more information and to submit an application, please visit the grants program website.

Applications close Saturday 11 November at 5:00 pm.