Priority Items

Updated Teacher Accreditation Requirements (Ref: 282/23)

NESA is implementing reforms to teacher accreditation requirements in NSW. The teacher accreditation reforms are being implemented in stages, and will streamline processes and make it clearer what teachers need to do at each stage of accreditation.

These reforms include the introduction of the NSW Public Register of Teachers and the  NSW Teacher Accreditation Manual (TA Manual)  which replaces all previous teacher accreditation policies.

NESA released a video to explain the reform changes. The video explains why the reforms are being introduced and how they will impact teachers, principals, schools and services.

For more information, visit NESA’s website. 

Now Open: Have your Say – English, History and Mathematics 11-12 draft syllabuses (Ref: 280/23)

Teachers and other stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on the syllabuses through the NESA Consultations webpage. The surveys close on Tuesday 19 December. 

All feedback from the ‘Have your say’ period will be used to inform the development of the final syllabuses. The final syllabuses will be released on the NSW Curriculum website.

Teachers and stakeholders can find up-to-date information on Curriculum Reform at the Curriculum Reform webpage.

NESA Suitability to Teach Assessments (Ref: 281/23)

Further strengthening of child safety measures

In response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and amendments to the Teacher Accreditation Act, NESA is strengthening its existing child safety measures in relation to teacher accreditation.

NESA will now review criminal and disciplinary history for all initial accreditation applicants and re-accreditation applicants. This requires updates to NESA application forms so that NESA can collect information required by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to confirm the identity of applicants. Applicants will need to consent to a national criminal history check when they apply for accreditation.

The criminal history checks will only apply to new and returning teachers and will take effect from 10 November 2023. These checks do not apply to teachers who are already accredited in NSW. NESA will assess the suitability of accredited teacher as and when required. New and returning teachers will still need to hold a current NSW Working with Children Check to teach in NSW.

NESA Principles of Suitability

NESA has also worked with key stakeholders to develop Principles of Suitability, which complement the Teacher Accreditation Manual. The NESA Principles of Suitability set standards of professional conduct for the education community and are to be read alongside an employer’s code of conduct.

Notifications to NESA

NESA relies on information from employers to make suitability decisions about teachers who are already accredited. The NSW Government updated section 42B of the Teacher Accreditation Act (see also section 11.4 of the Teacher Accreditation Manual) requiring employers to notify NESA of a relevant decision or relevant information that may impact a teacher’s accreditation. Employers should send notifications and relevant information to

eSafety Commissioner guidance on distressing online content (Ref: 274/23)

Online spaces should be safe for everyone, but sometimes online content might depict harm or violence, which is not only distressing but illegal.

Under Australian law, the eSafety Commissioner can issue a takedown notice to a platform to remove such content, or block access to protect Australian users from viewing this content.

To support this work, the eSafety Commissioner encourages you to read the following guidance and factsheet, and report content where appropriate.

This guidance is meant to supplement existing school or system policies and procedures for communicating with students, staff and families about disturbing online content.

Professional Learning

TOMORROW: 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.


HSC Data Analysis Seminars (Ref: 272/23)

Teachers, school leaders, and system officers are invited to attend a series of seminars presented by Dr John DeCourcy, discussing the intricacies and importance of understanding and analysing the 2023 HSC Data.

The Seminar Programme spans the following 4 seminars, some with multiple times, and each with a particular audience in mind. Those thinking of registering are reminded to ensure they have a functioning NetID logon and that they can access both the HSC Data Analysis Users portal and an online Tutorial within that portal designed to support intending participants.

More information about the tutorial, prerequisites, and the entire programme can be found here: Seminars-2024-outline

Please see below for the date and time of each seminar with registration links.

Diocesan Officers’ Overview

Who: Diocesan & Congregational system officers.
When: Wednesday 31 January 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Assembly, Mezzanine level, 123 Pitt St, Sydney.

Programme description: this seminar will take participants through using the system-level reports in conjunction with school reports to support schools. There will be opportunities for cross-system sharing and a discussion of key features of the 2023 HSC. A NESA representative will also be present to talk briefly about the 2023 results.

Register here: Overview | Catholic Schools NSW (

HSC Analysis #1: Introduction to the Analysis

Who: Teachers, KLA coordinators, school leaders and interested persons who have not previously attended an HSC seminar.
1.  Tuesday 13 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
2. Friday 23 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Annexe, Mezzanine level, 255 George St, Sydney.

Programme description:  This seminar proposes to discuss why and how data should be used within schools to shape the direction of pedagogy. It will also cover an introduction to the idea of Comparative Learning Gain and how this can be used to understand HSC data.

Register here:
1. Introduction | Catholic Schools NSW ( – first session
2. Introduction | Catholic Schools NSW ( – second session

HSC Analysis #2: A detailed reading of your Analysis

Who: Experienced users, including teachers, coordinators, APs or Principals who have previously attended at least one HSC Analysis Seminar.
1. Thursday 15 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
2. Thursday 27 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Annexe, Mezzanine level, 255 George St, Sydney.

Programme description: Participants will have the opportunity to spend the majority of the seminar in a detailed, guided reading of their own school’s Analysis. This will include a consideration of ways to resolve any problems highlighted by the Analysis.

Register here:
1. Reading| Catholic Schools NSW ( – first session
2.Reading| Catholic Schools NSW ( – second session

HSC Analysis #3: Leading your school in the Analysis

Who: Principals, Aps, Leaders of Curriculum or Pedagogy and anyone with a whole school focus.
When: Monday 19 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: The Annexe, Mezzanine level, 255 George St, Sydney.

Programme description: This seminar will explore the intersection of leadership, data, teacher professional learning and student achievement. Participants will come away having considered a range of leadership responses to their school’s Analysis. Multiple members of a school’s senior leadership team are encouraged to attend.

Register here: Leading| Catholic Schools NSW (


Symposium: 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).


Bringing Mathematics to Life: Thinking and Working Mathematically​​​​​​​ (Ref: 277/23)

The NSW Institute for Educational Research, in association with the University of New South Wales, will convene the 2023 conference ‘Bringing Mathematics to Life: Thinking and Working Mathematically’ at UNSW on 23 November. It will build on the popularity and success of the inaugural conference in 2022 with a focus on teaching mathematics in years 3-10.

The conference offers exceptional value, with keynotes from Eddie Woo, Di Siemon and Anna Wethereld that will offer insights into the successful implementation of the new 3-6 and 7-10 syllabuses. Read more in the conference flyer and register to secure a place, as the 2022 conference sold out quickly.

Register here.


Positive Partnerships workshop series (Ref: 273/23)

Positive Partnerships are running their newest National Online Professional Learning workshop series again this term. This is a free, 3 session interactive workshop series where participants will learn about the components of an online planning tool designed to help support the needs of autistic students.

See attached for further information on these sessions.

Please note that participants are required to commit to attending all 3 sessions. They must also have capacity to have 2 screens/split screen options or a second device. This Professional Learning is for classroom teachers and/or school leadership staff.

Interested staff can email Rachael Dillon at for further information and the registration link.


School Updates & Newsletter

Registrations OPEN: 2024 Best Start Kindergarten Assessment (Ref: 279/23)

The Best Start Kindergarten Assessment (BSKA) is a free optional online diagnostic assessment available to Catholic Schools NSW with a Kindergarten student cohort. Schools complete the assessment in the first 5 weeks of term 1.

More information is available in the Best Start Kindergarten Information for Schools Fact Sheet: BSKA Information For CSNSW Schools Factsheet


If your school wishes to participate in the 2024 Best Start Kindergarten Assessment, please register by Wednesday 1 November 2023, using the following nomination link.

Please note that those schools directed by their Diocesan office to participate in the 2024 BSKA DO NOT need to register.

Ordering new Best Start Kindergarten resources.

The BSKA folder contains the assessment questions and resources required to administer the assessment. As the assessment changed in 2023, schools who have not participated previously or who will have additional Kindergarten classes, will need to order a new folder for each Kindergarten teacher. The cost of each new kit is $75.00.

Schools order their folders are part of the opt-in process.

New Dance and Drama 7-10 Syllabuses (Ref: 276/23)

New Dance and Drama syllabuses are now available for years 7-10.

The new syllabuses are planned to be implemented in NSW schools in 2026 and schools now have an opportunity to plan and prepare in the meantime.

Key features:

  • Clear concise language identifies key concepts, knowlege and skills for all learners.
  • Developed using the latest evidence-based research.
  • Students develop their personal and social capability by working collaboratively with others to achieve individual and collective goals.
  • Revised content develops explicit understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Histories and Cultures.
  • Life Skills outcomes and content provide access for students with intellectual disability.
  • Dance 7-10 supports physical, creative and intellectual development of students, providing the means for them to express and communicate ideas through dance.
  • Drama 7-10 new outcomes and content support the development of engaged, informed and innovative dramatic performance.

The syllabuses are now available on the NSW Curriculum website.

Schools have access to support materials including teaching advice on NSW Curriculum to assist them with implementation of the new syllabuses at this webpage. More resoruces will be made available to teachers over time including online, accredited professional development on NESA’s online learning hub.

For more information on Curriculum Reform, please visit the NESA curriculum reform webpage.

Scholarships and Awards

2024 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship (Ref: 278/23)

Applications for the 2024 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship are now open. Eligible History teachers are encouraged to apply for an opportunity to learn about Australia’s military history while travelling for two weeks with 20 students from across NSW.

The tour will take place in Term 3 school holidays in 2024 and interested teachers can apply through this link: Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship (PAMS) · Office for Veterans Affairs

More details including details about the location of the tour will be released in the coming weeks.