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Catholic Schools Will Keep Fighting for Better Deal for Students

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin says the Turnbull Government should continue to respond to Catholic education’s serious concerns about how its new school funding policy will affect Catholic schools, teachers and families.

In legislation introduced into the Parliament today, the Government has adopted the NCEC’s recommendation that there be a minimum indexation rate from 2021 for all schools, reversing its previous position and ensuring that indexation won’t fall below 3 per cent in the final seven years of the 10-year funding policy.

“Minister Birmingham and his Government have shown that consultation and negotiation with Catholic education leaders can bring about better policy outcomes for Australian students,” Ms Cronin said.

Click here to read the full media release.

Budget Locks in Raw Deal for Catholic School Students

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin says tonight’s Federal Budget has confirmed that funding for Catholic school students will increase more slowly than their peers in other schools – and funding will decrease in ACT Catholic schools.

“It has been a difficult week for Catholic school leaders as they have grappled with a new funding package that could undermine the future of their schools and systems. They also supported concerned parents and explained how planned changes to school funding will disadvantage students, teachers and families who choose a Catholic school,” Ms Cronin said.

“Catholic school parents, teachers and principals will continue to fight for the educational needs of the 770,000 children in Catholic schools as the Budget shows government schools will continue to enjoy funding increases at much higher levels than Catholic and independent schools."

Click here to read the full media release.

Government Peddles "Fake News" on New Funding Website

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin says the Turnbull Government has further alienated the education community by publishing misleading information about the actual Commonwealth funding amounts that more than 85 per cent of Australian schools receive today and in future years.

The new “School Funding Estimator” was launched last night as part of the Government’s recent “Quality Schools” policy announcement, several days later than expected.

“As pressure mounts on the Turnbull Government, a new website was launched under the cover of darkness that will actually serve to confuse parents and create competition and misinformation for schools about their funding levels,” Ms Cronin said.

Click here to read the full media release.

Devil in the Detail for Catholic School Funding

The Federal Government must reveal the basis for its funding calculations or its new plan
will have no credibility, the National Catholic Education Commission said today.

“The Government has claimed Catholic schools will be better off under its new proposal,”
acting Executive Director Danielle Cronin said.

“However, we have been unable to replicate the Government’s model to test its
calculations. The Government has refused to provide sufficient detail to our sector to enable us to
understand and test the actual impact of the Government’s proposal on school funding
allocations for next year.”

Click here to read the full media release.

Catholic Schools Must Remain Affordable and Accessible to All Families

The National Catholic Education Commission said today that Catholic schools must remain affordable and accessible to all Australian families.

Acting Executive Director Danielle Cronin said it is seeking urgent talks with the Federal Government over the detail of yesterday’s funding announcement.

“The Catholic schools sector had to wait until after the Federal Government announced its new funding program before we were given any meaningful detail about what was in it,” Ms Cronin said. 

Click here to read the full media release.

Catholic Schools Singled Out for Cuts in New Funding System

The Federal Government today has unfairly singled out the Catholic schools sector for funding cuts that will lead to increased fees and less choice for parents.

“It appears that a majority of the 24 schools targeted by the Minister for a cut in funding are independent Catholic schools,” acting Executive Director Danielle Cronin said.

“Worse, the Federal Government is forcing Catholic schools to abandon a mechanism that ensures resources are distributed fairly and according to need among schools that belong to a single Catholic schools authority.” 

Click here to read the full media release.

Frustration, Concern Grow After Another School Funding Delay

The National Catholic Education Commission says the Turnbull Government risks further alienating education stakeholders if it decides to announce the amount of funding the Commonwealth will spend on Australian schools in future years without extensive consultation with the sector.

NCEC acting executive director Danielle Cronin said it has become clear that there will not be meaningful discussion about the issue of future school funding when Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham meets with state and territory ministers in Hobart on Friday.

“For meaningful school funding negotiations to take place, all sectors, including the Catholic and independent school sectors, must have a strong voice in this process,” Ms Cronin said.

Click here to read the full media release.

Independent, Catholic Schools Back Copyright Reform

The peak bodies representing more than 2,700 Catholic and Independent schools have welcomed the Turnbull Government’s plan to update copyright laws to better reflect contemporary practice, but have expressed disappointment that Australian schools will continue to be exposed to possible dangers because the Government has abandoned proposed changes to “safe harbour” provisions.

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) and the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) have been working with other education organisations to seek changes to copyright laws that would simplify the system, allow greater access to material for students with disability and remove some anomalies that have existed for long periods without review and revision.

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New Resource Supports Faith Formation in Catholic Schools

Catholic education leaders have gathered in North Sydney to celebrate the launch of a new National Catholic Education Commission resource to support the formation of the more than 90,000 staff working in Catholic schools and Catholic school systems.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, Archbishop of Perth and chair of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, launched A Framework for Formation for Mission in Catholic Education at Mary MacKillop Place last night.

In his foreword for the document, Archbishop Costelloe spoke of the central importance of God in people’s lives and especially in the lives of those who work in Catholic education.

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High-Gain Schools Can Help Drive Student Performance

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin says the identification of schools where students have experienced significant improvement in literacy and numeracy can help support teachers and students in other schools.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) today released updated information on Australian schools, including details on schools where year 3 students have made significant progress by year 5, or year 7 students by the time they reach year 9.

The analysis examines groups of students as they move through school and assesses their results on NAPLAN testing.

Click here to read the full media release.

Funding Policy Vacuum Allows for Distractions

Catholic education leaders are becoming increasingly frustrated by seeing the future of school funding played out in the media and via unnamed Government sources, rather than through collaborative and constructive dialogue with key education stakeholders, National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin says.

Ms Cronin said media coverage today provides a distraction from the key issues facing schools and schools systems in the coming months.

“Funding discussion driven by Cabinet leaks and media speculation does not help parents, schools or school systems understand how Commonwealth school funding will support a quality education for Australia’s 3.8 million students in 2018 and beyond,” Ms Cronin said.

Click here to read the full media release.

Catholic Sector Left Out of Year 1 Assessment Discussion

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin says the lack of a Catholic representative on the panel developing year 1 literacy and numeracy assessments is an oversight that could limit the group’s ability to create a useful tool for all Australian schools.

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham yesterday announced the six-member panel that will offer advice to the Education Council on the new literacy and numeracy check, which had been foreshadowed in the Turnbull Government’s “Quality Schools, Quality Outcomes” policy.

“Catholic schools educate one in five young Australians, yet the collective wisdom of the tens of thousands of educators in Catholic schools has been ignored in the selection of this panel,” Ms Cronin said.

Click here to read the full media release.

New Schools Open as Demand for Catholic Education Grows

Seven new Catholic schools have opened across Australia this year, allowing more and more families to access the Catholic education they are seeking for their children, National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin has said.

“Tens of thousands of students are starting their educational journey this week and the holistic, Christ-centred education on offer in Catholic schools continues to be a popular choice for Australian families,” Ms Cronin said.

“New Catholic schools have opened in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, taking the number of Catholic schools in Australia to 1,738 – from inner-city locations to some of the country’s most remote areas.”

Click here to read the full media release.

Catholic Education Welcomes Emphasis on Students with Disability

The National Catholic Education Commission says the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on students with disability is helping educators better understand the learning needs of all students, but acknowledges that the current assessment method should be further improved in the coming years.

Education Council chair and Northern Territory Education Minister Eva Lawler yesterday released emergent data on students with disability in Australian schools based on information collected under the new model. NCEC acting executive director Danielle Cronin said the new approach to assessing students to determine how they can best be supported in their education provides a framework for a more coordinated approach to learning.

Click here to read the full media release.

Funding Uncertainty Must Be Addressed Early in 2017

The National Catholic Education Commission has expressed its disappointment that 2016 will end with no resolution to the future of school funding, but looks forward to working with the Commonwealth Government early in the new year to provide funding certainty for schools, school systems and parents.

“While the Education Council meeting did not provide any further clarity on a new funding model, education ministers acknowledged the urgency of consultation on school funding and the proposed new national schools reform agreement for 2018 and beyond,” NCEC acting executive director Danielle Cronin said.

Click here to read the full media release.

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