NCEC Stakeholder meeting - Feb 2018

Posted on 23 February 2018
NCEC Stakeholder meeting - Feb 2018

Above: Representatives of key stakeholders meet with NCEC Staff 4 times a year

On Wednesday February 21 Andrew Watson and Frank FitzGerald attended the first stakeholder  meeting for 2018 of NCEC, CSPA, ACPPA and CaSPA held in Sydney.

Firstly it was an opportunity to meet the Interim Director of NCEC - Ray Collins - who spoke of the importance of Principals being supported in the running of their school, which was heartening to hear from CaSPA's perspective

The issues discussed at the meeting were:

Update from NCEC (Ray Collins and NCEC staff):

o NCEC response to NSRB regarding SES review
o Review of the Australian Qualifications Framework
o Review of the ACNC legislation (see attached submission)
o Update of arrangements for National Directors of Catholic Education forum

Other matters discussed were:

o Update on CSPA research project
o A future NCEC Conference
o Response of the Catholic education sector to the Royal Commission's recommendations and governance models for Catholic secondary schools post the Royal Commission
o Gonski 2.0 and possible impact on the Catholic education sector


Net Meeting:

May 1 at Thomas Carrr College, Tarniet, Victoria

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ACSP Executive meets with CaSPA members

Posted on 22 February 2018
ACSP Executive meets with CaSPA members

On Monday Feb 19, 2018 the NSW Catholic Principal Association [ACSP] held its Executive Meeting in Sydney. CaSPA was delighted to receive and invitation from ACSP President - Fran Bonnano - to attend the meeting and provide an update on CaSPA activities.

Representing CaSPA at the meeting were:

  • Andrew Watson - President
  • Rob Laidler - the new CaSPA liaison for NSW
  • Frank FitzGerald - Executive Officer

Maria Pearson [NSW Director for CaSPA] was due to attend but was unable to do so due to ongoing poor health,

The CaSPA President provided some broad background on the structure and organization of the Association and also observed that due to a range of factors, CaSPA has not always been able to engage as closely as it would have liked with the jurisdiction that has the largest number of Catholic Secondary Schools - NSW. This is due to a number of factors including geographical distance, the fact that there are so many different dioceses who tend to work independently of others and the historical "divide" between system and independent Catholic Colleges. This is in sharp contrast to other parts of Australia where despite similar challenges, the Catholic Secondary Principals have managed to form the one network within each State or Territory for support and collegiality.

In order to support NSW Principals to move to a similar arrangement, CaSPA has appointed a NSW Liaison person, Rob Laidler.  Rob is a former Catholic Secondary College Principal, who until recently lead Loyola College in Mt Druitt.  He has now taken up a role where he will meet with NSW principals - both individually and in groups - assist them in their networking with colleagues. As part of this, he is planning to travel to all Dioceses over the course of 2018 to attend scheduled meetings of principals in those networks.

It was also encouraging to see that both the President and Executive Officer of ACSP will be attending the annual meeting of CaSPA Presidents and Executive Officers at the Cairns Confer enc in July this year. Likewise, CaSPA has indicated that all of its Directors have scheduled their May 2019 Board meeting to coincide with the ACSP Biennial Conference in Sydney.


Posted in: State Associations Catholic Secondary Principals Australia   0 Comments

CaSPA Executive meet with Tanya Plibersek

Posted on 21 February 2018
CaSPA Executive meet with Tanya Plibersek

Above: Rob Laidler, Andrew Watson, Tanya Plibersek, Frank FitzGerald

Earlier this week members of the CaSPA Executive had the opportunity to meet with shadow Minister for Education Tanya Plibersek in her Sydney electoral office. A number of important issues were discussed including:

  • The proposed Australian Education Research Program - an initiative of the ALP where they will invest $30 mil annually in education research should they be in government after the next election
  • The importance of fair and equitable funding for all sectors in education
    • to provide equality of opportunity and outcome
    • also to cease the destructive public claim and counter claim by vested interests - a process that often only succeeds in "trashing the brand" of education generally
  • Ensuring greater transparency on the number entering teacher training and the quality of preparation they receive
    • also broadening pathways for those who wish to enter the Teacher Profession later in life after following other careers
  • Encouraging the "voice of Principals" when key education policy and initiatives are being considered - this is in the light of what would seem more and more education decisions are being taken by systems when often those making the decisions have only limited experience in classrooms and school leadership
  • Support for ongoing broader consultation such as the Education Forum held in Melbourne late in 2017
    • it was encouraging to see that similar events are scheduled around Australia in coming months
  • Appreciation and support was expressed for vocational programs/initiatives currently underway in schools and an assurance that within future governments funding arrangements vocational education will receive support and encouragement. The way forward is seen as promoting:
    • greater linkages and partnerships across sectors eg TAFE, Industry, Schools and Universities
    • these in turn will assist in creating multiple entry/exit pathways and enhanced opportunities for students

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition indicated that it was her particular choice to take up the Education portfolio given the importance of education in shaping the lives of young Australians and hence the future of our country.

The members of the CaSPA Executive who attended the meeting were appreciative of the opportunity to discuss such items of mutual interest.

Attempts to have similar meetings with the current Minister for Education have not been successful up to this point.

Posted in: Government Catholic Secondary Principals Australia   0 Comments

Funding Opportunities - 20 Feb 2018

Posted on 20 February 2018
Funding Opportunities - 20 Feb 2018
1.     Social Ventures Australia (SVA) Bright Spots Schools Connection
Social Ventures Australia (SVA) is a social purpose organisation that works with partners to improve the lives of people in need. The SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection supports exceptional school leaders in disadvantaged schools to improve the outcomes of their students. For more information see the SVA website

2.     Navitas Education Trust (NET)
The Navitas Education Trust (NET) was established in 2013 to support charitable organisations and activities. Education-oriented organisations are encouraged to apply to be considered for a partnership (DGR status required). Applicants should base their submissions on the NET guidelines. Applications close 15 February 2018. See the website for more information

3.     Honda Foundation Grants
Applications are now open for grants from The Honda Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to charities and organisations doing amazing work across a range of social and environmental issues. It aims to inspire goodwill by donating much-needed funds to worthy causes nationwide. DGR status required. Applications close 22 February 2018.

4.     Local Sporting Champions grant
The Local Sporting Champions (LSC) program is an Australian Government initiative designed to provide financial assistance for young sportsmen and women aged 12-18. If successful, applicants will receive a $500 grant that can be used towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing, coaching or officiating at an official national sporting organisation (NSO) endorsed state, national or international sporting championships, or a School Sport Australia state, national or international championships. Round Three applications close on 28 February 2018.

5.     Western Chances 2018 Renewal Scholarship (VIC)
To be eligible for the renewal round students must have previously received a Western Chances scholarship and be enrolled at a government secondary school. All applicants must continue to demonstrate that they are talented, motivated and require financial assistance. Applications close 9 March 2018.

6.     Grow your school's sustainability in 2018 (VIC)
Momentum Energy and Junior Landcare are partnering again in 2018 to fund 200 sustainability or environmental projects in Victorian schools, childcare centres and youth groups. Applications will be opening early in term one, and closing on 22 March 2018. Grants of up to $1,000 will be available.

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School Employment and Religious Freedom

Posted on 19 February 2018
School Employment and Religious Freedom
In a joint submission with Adventist Schools Australia, the association warned the review - led by former minister Philip Ruddock - that the "essential nature" of schools would be undermined if they were no longer able to employ staff with shared values and beliefs.
"If freedom of religion is to remain a legitimate hallmark of Australian education then the rights of school communities to operate in accordance with religious beliefs must be upheld," the submission said.

"This must include the right to choose all staff based on their belief in, and adherence to the beliefs, tenets and doctrines of the religion concerned."

The associations argued schools must also retain the right to select students and families based on religious criteria.

"Faith communities, including Christian schools, must be able to take action that separates individuals from that community when their actions undermine the community," they said.

"While not a preferred outcome this option remains a necessary response to situations determined by a community to be a threat to that community."

The associations called for the appointment of a "freedoms commissioner" within the Australian Human Rights Commission.

They also recommended protections pushed by conservatives in last year's same-sex marriage debate, including freedom of speech on defining marriage and securing the charitable status of religious organisations.

However, campaigners behind the push to legalise same-sex marriage campaign told the inquiry that enabling legislation struck the right balance and should not be revisited.

Submissions lodged by LGBTI rights advocates and human rights organisations called for religious exemptions to discrimination law to be wound back or dumped.

"We oppose all state, territory and commonwealth provisions that allow discrimination and vilification on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status and relationship status," LGBTI rights group Just.Equal said.

"This includes those provisions that allow discrimination and vilification by religious individuals and organisations including schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and aged care facilities."

Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins, president of the National Council of Churches in Australia, said the right to freedom of religion was in reasonable shape.

However, the council said it was seeing more verbal and physical abuse of people based on their religion.

The ability to eject students who posed a threat to religious communities must also remain intact, Christian Schools Australia said.

The council recommended the government examine the possible benefits of a bill of human rights, and review the way schools teach about major religions of the world.

From: EducationHQ News Team

Posted in: Government Catholic Secondary Principals Australia Industrial Relations   0 Comments
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