16 April 2020
The Catholic education sector has welcomed the National Principles for School Education response to COVID-19 agreed at the National Cabinet today.
National Catholic Education Commission Executive Director, Jacinta Collins, said the National Principles reiterate the commitment of federal, state and territory governments for the continuation of quality schooling for Australian children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The National Principles show a continued commitment by governments to ensure Australian students receive a high quality education, while allowing for the delivery of remote schooling as needed during the pandemic,” Ms Collins said.
“They also recognise the need to ensure the health and safety of students, teachers and staff.
“The first priority for all Catholic schools is the health and safety of students and staff, and as such, the Catholic sector is monitoring and responding quickly to the advice of federal, state and territory governments and health authorities.
“Catholic schools will continue to remain open for students who need to attend, and provide remote learning to ensure that all students can continue their schooling during this period.
“We are supporting students and families through fee relief and the provision of devices, internet connectivity or other measures, to ensure students can access learning in the best way possible.
“Our school communities are to be commended on how they are responding to both the educational and health challenges arising from the pandemic,” Ms Collins said.
“Catholic education will continue to work with governments over the coming weeks to enable students to return to classroom learning as soon as practicable.”
Nationally, Catholic schools educate more than 764,000 students – or one in five Australian students – in 1,746 schools, the vast majority of which are low-fee schools.