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Proposed reforms to discrimination legislation would make it impossible for Catholic schools to be Catholic

The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) is extremely disappointed with the proposed reforms outlined by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in its current inquiry into religious educational institutions and anti-discrimination laws. 

National Catholic Education Executive Director Jacinta Collins said if the reforms proposed in the ALRC consultation paper Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Law were to be adopted, it would be a major blow to authentic faith-based education in Australia.  

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Cuts to HELP debt for Australia’s most remote teachers an important move

Catholic education has welcomed the move by the Federal Government to cut HELP debt for teachers who stay four years in a ‘very remote location’.

“It is an example of cross sectoral support to address the immediate and future challenges of the teaching workforce and will help attract recent graduates to very remote schools in our sector,” National Catholic executive director Jacinta Collins said.

“It is a positive initiative for very remote schools and communities, an acknowledgement of the issues facing the education sector and the Federal Government’s commitment to address them.”

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National Teacher Workforce Action Plan to focus on immediate and future teacher workforce needs

Catholic education says the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan endorsed today by the Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare, will help address immediate and future workforce needs.

“The strong national engagement has led to a focused plan to address the immediate and future challenges of the teaching workforce,” National Catholic education acting executive director Sally Egan said.

The National Catholic Education Commission has engaged extensively with state and territory Catholic education authorities and school systems on the development of the plan to attract, train and retain teachers.

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Catholic education welcomes holistic review of education including the National School Reform Agreement

Catholic education welcomes the Australian Government’s holistic approach to review education reform in early childhood, school and tertiary education sectors.

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Sally Egan said we look forward to participating in the review of the National Schools Reform Agreement announced today, as part of this broader approach, by Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare.

"The Catholic education sector is committed to improving equitable learning outcomes for all students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds including regional, rural and remote Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with disability, and students from low socio-economic backgrounds,” Ms Egan said.

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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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