Terms of Reference, 1 July 2013
1. The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) is commissioned by and responsible to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) through the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education (BCCE) for developing, enunciating and implementing policy at the national level for the Church’s work in Catholic schools.
2. Education in Catholic schools shall be the major focus of the NCEC’s deliberations and work. NCEC shall maintain active links with other vital aspects of the Church’s educational endeavour, particularly in relation to Catholic children attending state and independent schools, and Catholic tertiary education.
3. In fulfilment of its commission from ACBC, NCEC shall:
3.1 give systematic witness to a commitment to Christ and to the truths and values of his Gospel and his Church within contemporary ecclesial, educational, social and political milieux;
3.2 develop and articulate a rationale for the continuing contribution of Catholic schools to the common good, and for the special nature and mission of Catholic schools;
3.3 develop and articulate a rationale for the rights of Catholic parents and their children attending Catholic schools to a just allocation of public monies from the Commonwealth and State Governments to fund their education and to maximise access to Catholic schools by Catholic families;
3.4 build on and enhance the work of State/Territory Catholic Education Commissions, and diocesan and religious order structures and services in Catholic schools, particularly in the areas of Faith Formation and Religious Education, ensuring at all times that the principle of subsidiarity is given proper precedence;
3.5 work to extend, enhance and consolidate collaboration at the national level to enable the Church to respond effectively to emerging national school policies and trends: recurrent, capital and special purpose funding; curriculum (including Religious Education); accountability and governance; school quality; school effectiveness and efficiency; early childhood education; teacher training; teaching and learning standards;
3.6 work towards developing and sustaining a national policy consensus that will promote the most effective application and use of all resources devoted to Catholic school education in Australia;
3.7 monitor trends in educational theory and practice, national and international, and ensure that a Catholic position is declared on issues which are raised or should be raised in the public forum;
3.8 negotiate on behalf of ACBC and BCCE with national political authorities and government instrumentalities;
3.9 collaborate with other national bodies associated with school education;
3.10 act as an organ of communication at the national level on matters pertaining to Catholic schools;
3.11 assemble, maintain, utilise and disseminate data relevant to Catholic schools;
3.12 undertake, support or commission appropriate educational research, particularly through service arrangements with State Catholic Education Offices;
3.13 establish liaison with international educational bodies, Catholic and other, and with experts in education and related fields of potential value to Australian Catholic schools; and
3.14 perform other tasks as requested by BCCE.