CaSPA News


How to help keep your school Cybersafe

Posted on 3 February 2018
How to help keep your school Cybersafe
Happy New Year! 2018 is shaping up to be a big year in the cyber security space and we are excited to be working with you.

To kick start the new year we have a range of resources that you can use in your workplace to encourage your team to practice good cyber security behaviour.

Here are some ideas to help get you started:
  • ·         These screensavers and desktop backgrounds can be used to share simple cyber tips with your staff.
  • ·         You can put this poster up around the office, meeting and break rooms.
  • ·         Our regular news articles are great for your intranet, internal newsletters and blogs.
  • ·         Our practical guides are a great quick reference resource to promote good online security habits. Printed copies are available on request.
  • ·         Take the opportunity to refresh your team during staff meetings on your cyber policies.

If there are other resources you are interested in, or you have ideas on how we can work together, please get in touch.

Safer Internet Day 2018
This year's International Safer Internet Day is on Tuesday 6 February, and the theme is 'Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you.'

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has a range of resources for you to use to promote the day. Stay Smart Online will also be sharing content on Facebook in the lead up to and on the day, and we encourage you to share.

Commonwealth Games 2018
The Commonwealth Games is taking place on the Gold Coast in April 2018. Not surprisingly, a major live event like this can draw unwanted attention from cybercriminals, making Games-goers a prime target for scams.

To help you remind your audiences of the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online, we will be providing partners with a resource kit including social media content news articles and imagery.

So stay tuned and we'll be back in touch in touch soon!

Stay Smart Online team
Attorney-General's Department
W:   |  E:
Posted in: Government   0 Comments

Minister criticises ABC for demeaning private schools

Posted on 2 February 2018
Minister criticises ABC for demeaning private schools

Education Minister Simon Birmingham [above] has hit out at the ABC for publishing an online tool that seeks to convince parents they've made the wrong decision in sending children to a private school.

"The piece is clearly designed to pit school sectors against one another," he said.

Users are asked whether they lean towards a government or non-government school, after which they're provided with statements that argue for the alternative. Parents are then given the options to change their mind at the end of each section, given titles that include "It's not what you know, it's who you know" and "Do you really get what you pay for?" Senator Birmingham said Australia should be proud of both government and non-government schools "rather than demean them with such rubbish".

"It's deliberately provocative click bait that has factual inaccuracies. The ABC should hold itself to a higher standard," he said.

Kevin Donnelly, a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, said the ABC's publication was a "perfect example of fake news" that reinforced pre-existing stereotypes.

Dr Donnelly said the use of social commentator Jane Caro, "a critic of Catholic and independent schools", to argue for public schools reinforced the ABC's intention to "make parents believe there's no benefit in non-government schools".



The Australian, Australia  by Luke Griffiths
01 Feb 2018

Posted in: Government   0 Comments

CaSPA Principal appointed to important National Child Protection body

Posted on 1 February 2018
CaSPA Principal appointed to important National Child Protection body

Ms Kerrie Tuite [pictured above in 2015 receiving her CaSPA service certificate from president Phil Lewis] current principal of Mt Alvernia College in Brisbane has been appointed to the Catholic Church's new, independent child protection standards setting, auditing and reporting organisation.

In recent years Kerrie has served as a Director on the CaSPA Board as well as being president of CASPAQ - the Association of Catholic Secondary Schools Queensland. She will join the board of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) in February 2018.

CPSL has been established by the leadership of the Australian Catholic Church in response to the Royal Commission's findings of institutional failure in the management of child sexual abuse claims within Catholic schools, parishes, homes and other Catholic organisations.

CPSL will develop, audit and report on compliance with professional standards across Catholic entities. It represents a new national Church approach to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people.

Posted in: Catholic Secondary Principals Australia   0 Comments

STEM Forum receives submission from CaSPA

Posted on 31 January 2018
STEM Forum receives submission from CaSPA

Above: Australian Chief Scientist chairing the STEM Forum in Melbourne on Jan 30th

CaSPA was among a group involved in the Education and Industry sectors to provide input at a Forum held in Melbourne on January 30th. The Government have been looking at ways to enhance the delivery of STEM in schools and so value add to the economy.  There is data to suggest that Australia is slipping behind other countries in its promotion and training in STEM related areas.

The Forum looked at a range of issues in including how best to measure the preparation students receive in STEM areas - is for example, the international assessment tools such as PISA providing accurate enough data on Australian students.

There was also some discussion on the worth of school-industry partnerships in areas such as work experience for students, career guidance, exposure to leading edge technology and opportunites for teachers to experience work placement in industries.

Views were divided on the worth of the Teach for Australia program in the promotion of STEM, though CaSPA was able to advise the forum that it is crucial program to assist remote schools in having approriately trained teachers in many STEM areas.

While the focus of the Forum was on School-Industry partnership, CaSPA was able to report on the worrying trend of teachers having to work "out of field" in taking STEM classes in areas such as Maths and Science. We also presented the growing difficulty for schools to get their high performing Maths teachers to take on the role of leadership of the Maths Faculties.

CaSPA Board Member Paul Rijken has prepared a submission on this area in conjunction with those in his local community and input from the CaSPA Board.  It can be viewed below:

Optimising STEM Industry-School Partnerships: Inspiring Australia's Next Generation. 

Response by Catholic Secondary Principals [CaSPA]

There is a considered opinion that if the Commonwealth government invests into STEM now and into the future that this directly linked to greater and sustained productivity.

We believe that a strategy needs to be considered in terms of government's vision, industry's vision and our nation's aspiration of building our cultural capital towards technologies and the new sciences.

This strategy needs to be underpinned by a process of incentivize universalize and formalize

All stake holders whether they are students, parents, schools, tertiary institutions, industry, and businesses should see benefit of this vision and direction through incentives (elaborate below).

All initiatives which are considered should be universalized in training and education

All initiatives which are considered should be formalized in practical ways for implementation.

In no particular order, here are some recommendations:

1. Subsidize and create dedicated courses in STEM at TAFE and Universities

2. STEM needs to be integrated across all courses in both secondary and tertiary fields (i.e. Cert II in Childcare should have STEM, how important is it to have STEM in Early Learning)

3. A dedicated program in STEM should be introduced in the National Curriculum and make it compulsory. (Languages are compulsory why not STEM)

4. Industry needs to be incentivized to engage with pre-university sectors in a formal way and provide opportunities for mentoring and workplace learning opportunities

5. Commonwealth needs to look at providing tax incentives for businesses prepared to be involved in number 4 above

6. PISA and TIMSS could be used as longitudinal studies into the impact of STEM learning especially into Year 8 (TIMSS effect from primary) and Year 10 (PISA effect of middle schooling)

7. Perhaps a national measure such as NAPLAN for STEM based on PISA and TIMSS could be considered with families and students on the basis of progress and rewarded with incentives Unbonded and Bonded scholarships for those wishing to follow STEM pathways at school

8. Governments as a result of a skill shortages have funded VET training and developed a skills shortage list maybe a similar list needs to be created for the professional STEM employment sector

9. A Government organized body such as a "Future Council" to be established to report directly on the future of the nation regarding the economic requirement to prepare a society for the STEM jobs of the future their work to be evidenced based

10. Governments have over time disbanded programs such as the CSIRO schools program, Investigating Science Education etc perhaps this needs to be revisited and new programs established to promote STEM in schools.

11. There used to be a Science program for primary schools called "Labs on Legs" as primary schools do not have specialized lab programs, a mobile lab comes to a school for a week to promote science etc. This has long disappeared but a similar awareness of STEM oriented activities need to be made available for primary schools to allow students to engage with STEM from an early age.

12. Innovations, technology and pathways into STEM need to be promoted with families as they have an important influence on the decisions that students make at a very early age

13. There are a range of programs at both a state and national level that need to be more actively promoted such as F1 Racing, Robocup, Subs in Schools, Defence Industry Partnership Programs and Concept2Creation. These programs provide rich STEM learning with an incentive for students to match their learning and innovation through a competition with other students.

14. STEM learning requires it to be positioned within real life scenarios and contribute to student and social outcomes

15. Active recruitment of a far greater number of "STEM Natives" to undertake teacher training

16. Attention to teacher pre service training particularly for those intending to take on primary teaching to no only desmystify STEM,  but encourage a confidence in these learinging areas in teachers that hopefully will flow through to students

17. Incentives for those taking on leadership of STEM learning areas in schools [industry could assist by providing financial help or "in kind" assistance to schools in their communities]

18. Extend the concept of Teaching Australia to recognise that "Gen Y" embrace a multi career working life. At the moment the entry to teaching is still based on the premise of completing antiquated pre service courses at Universities. There should be other means to identify and qualify those who wish to come to teaching of STEM later in life

19. Active promotion of the following in schools:

  • a. Scientist in Residence
  • b. Mathematician in Residence
  • c. Environmentalist in Residence &c

20. Recognise Coding as a legitimate LOTE

21. Review the relative worth of VET subjects in the assessment of ATAR

22. Special emphasis on promoting girls and women in STEM - very low female participation in technology and science - incentives recommended

23. Tackle systemic sexism in these areas eg women in medicine in specialities such as surgery, urology, research ( refer to the work of Prof Michelle Simmons)

24. Up skilling of Teachers needs investment of resources to gain long term outcomes

25. Recommend Task Force to advise and lead implementation of strategies across the country

26. Curriculum acceleration STEM streams supported across the country

Posted in: STEM   0 Comments

New Acting Director for NCEC appointed

Posted on 30 January 2018
New Acting Director for NCEC appointed

CaSPA congratulates Mr Ray Collins [above] following his appointment as the acting executive director of the NCEC following the resignation of Christian Zahra for family reasons on 18 January 2018.

We are hopeful of meeting with Ray and the other stakeholders at our scheduled meeting with the NCEC on Feb 21 coming.  There are many important agenda items of concern for national Catholic Education bodies.

This short bio of Ray was contained in the NCEC Media Release:

Ray is the former director of schools for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle serving in the role for nine years until his recent retirement in December 2016. He has a 44-year career in education, including 19 years in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.

In 1988, Ray joined the Diocese of Bathurst Catholic Education Office as an education consultant before commencing at the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office (CSO) in 1998, where he was later appointed as director of schools in September 2008.

Ray has displayed an integrity and dedication to his vocation as a Catholic educator, earning the respect of his colleagues and fellow directors. He provided steady guidance throughout his time at the CSO with a particular focus on Catholic identity and serving the marginalised in our community. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of our current educational and political environment. He will serve in the role until a new executive director can be appointed.

Posted in: NCEC   0 Comments



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