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Catholic schools are accountable: Greens need to stop dividing the education sector

The Australian Greens’ claim that there is no line of sight on how non-government schools spend government funding is a gross misrepresentation of the facts says National Catholic education acting executive director Sally Egan.

“As made clear by the Department of Education in Senate Estimates today, Catholic and other non-government schools are required to provide annual reporting to Federal and State governments, acquitting the total funding received according to requirements under legislation,” Ms Egan said. 

“Annual reporting is just one of the rigorous detailed school and system level educational and financial reports non-government schools must provide.

“Greens’ Senator Penny Allman-Payne seems to have disregarded the advice of the Department of Education assuring the Senator non-government schools are required by the legislation to distribute funding on a needs-based model,” said Ms Egan.

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Catholic education says religious freedom legislation must go hand-in-hand with Law Reform Commission review

The National Catholic Education Commission looks forward to progress on religious protections that enable Catholic schools to continue to operate according to their values and beliefs.

National Catholic education acting executive director Sally Egan said today’s announcement of the terms of reference for the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) review of laws protecting faith-based schools shows some progress on this important issue, but must go hand-in-hand with proactive legislation to protect religious rights in Australia.

“Religious freedom deserves the same protection as other rights in Australia, ensuring a fair and reasonable balance with other protected rights,” Ms Egan said.

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Catholic education looks forward to collaborating on the draft National Teacher Workforce Action Plan

Catholic education welcomes the draft National Teacher Workforce Action Plan released today by the Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare.

“Catholic education has been involved in the consultation and development of the draft plan to attract, train and retrain teachers,” National Catholic education acting executive director Sally Egan said.

“This is an important issue and an opportunity to respond to teacher workforce challenges and to recognise the vital role teachers play within our schools, educating and supporting more than 785,000 students in Catholic schools across Australia. It is critical that we grow and strengthen the teaching profession to improve student learning outcomes.”

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Federal Budget: Labor’s first budget shows a commitment to teacher workforce, early childhood and student wellbeing says Catholic education

Catholic education has welcomed the Albanese Government’s first budget and commitments to additional university teaching places, early childhood education and student wellbeing.

National Catholic education acting executive director Sally Egan said the government’s first budget has focused on a number of critical areas for education. 

“The federal government’s move to allocate 4,036 additional teaching places, including 1,469 for early education teachers, is a positive step towards addressing the teacher shortage and ensuring there is a teacher in front of every student every day,” Ms Egan said.

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The Future is Listening - Catholic education community gathers in Melbourne for national conference

Over 1,300 delegates including educators, clergy and religious, students, parents, academics and others will gather in Melbourne next week (4-7 September) for the 2022 National Catholic Education Conference.

National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) Executive Director Jacinta Collins says this is the first time in six years that a national gathering will be held.

'We’re very excited to have the opportunity to come together after the pandemic delayed our conference by two years,’ Jacinta said. ‘While 95 per cent of delegates will be attending in person, we are also offering virtual participation to cater to those who prefer not to travel at this time.’

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Catholic education looks forward to working with new Education Minister

Catholic education congratulates the new Federal Minister for Education, Jason Clare MP, and thanks outgoing Shadow Minister for Education Tanya Plibersek for her commitment and support over the past six years.

“I congratulate Minister Clare on his appointment and look forward to working with him, the Assistant Minister for Education, Senator Anthony Chisholm, and the new Labor government to support Catholic schools as a genuine and affordable choice for Australian families,” National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said.

“I also thank Tanya Plibersek for her long-standing commitment to education and support of Catholic schools, particularly in finalising the implementation of a new 10 year-funding agreement for non-government schools, which gave greater clarity and certainty for our school communities.

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Catholic education commends the extension of the Sporting Schools Program

A re-elected Morrison Government’s commitment to provide more than $20 million to expand the Sporting Schools Program to Year 9 and 10 secondary students has been welcomed by Catholic education.

National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said the program would focus on secondary students increasing their physical activity, improving their overall health and wellbeing, and help young people to develop a strong sporting ethos.

“The school sporting program highlights the importance of sport for young people with Catholic education already implementing their existing grants in many of our schools across Australia,” Ms Collins said.

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Catholic education commends election focus on quality teaching

Catholic education has commended the Coalition and Australian Labor Party for policies aimed at growing Catholic education has commended the Coalition and Australian Labor Party for policies aimed at growing and strengthening the teaching profession to improve student learning outcomes.

National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said, during the election campaign, the Coalition and Labor have announced policies to address the growing shortage of teachers, to attract high achieving students to the profession and respond to the recommendations of the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review.

“We know from the Quality Initial Teacher Education Review that we need to attract high-quality, diverse candidates to the teaching profession, supported by evidenced-based preparation and training,” Ms Collins said.

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Catholic education seeks clarity from parties on election priorities

The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) is calling on the major parties and a number of candidates in key seats to respond on policy matters in the leadup to the federal election.

The NCEC is the peak body representing over 785,000 students from 465,000 families and employing over 102,000 school staff in 1,755 Catholic schools. This represents around three quarters of a million voters.

NCEC Executive Director Jacinta Collins said the responses will be used to inform parents and staff ahead of the 21 May election.

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Live and Virtual: The National Catholic Education Conference 2022 offers educators a book now, decide later experience

Registrations are now open for the National Catholic Education Conference (NCEC2022) to be held in Melbourne from 4-7 September this year, both live and virtually.

National Catholic executive director Jacinta Collins said after two years of COVID-19 disruptions, the conference would definitely proceed.

“This is the first time in six years that Catholic educators have been able to move beyond virtual gatherings in what will be an important opportunity to network with and learn from leaders in Catholic education,” Jacinta said.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic still presenting challenges for many, the conference will be held both live and virtually at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to ensure maximum participation."

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