Catholic education has engaged extensively with the process for the Australian Government’s Review to Inform a Fairer and Better Education System and looks forward to consideration of the detail of the expert panel’s report, ‘Improving Outcomes for All’, as discussed by Education Ministers today.

National Catholic education executive director, Jacinta Collins said the review panel, after significant consultation with systems and school communities, has recognised the importance that all sectors need to be engaged in national reform to improve the outcomes of all students.

“The report’s focus on equity and excellence, wellbeing and teacher workforce considerations, apply across all sectors and we look forward to continuing to engage in consultation with the Australian Government in the development of the next National School Reform Agreement,” Ms Collins said.

“The Education Minister’s reinforcement of the need to work towards the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration reflects the importance of choice for families, and a holistic approach to schooling in Australia, including the spiritual development of students that attend both faith-based and government schools.”

The National Catholic Education Commission’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s review of the National School Reform Agreement (NSRA), highlights a number of key reforms the Catholic education sector would like to see, including:

• National policy initiatives become more aligned to student outcomes and centered on a strong evidence base, with better planning and costed outcomes.

• Greater consultation in the development of national and bilateral agreements with the non-government sector.

• Funding for teacher professional learning opportunities such as support for teacher curriculum implementation and developing rich formative assessment resources.

• Support for the implementation of consistent, high-quality standards in initial teacher education and a national approach to child protection and safety registration.

“We look forward to ongoing cooperation and participation in the NSRA process, and thank the expert panel who engaged the Catholic education sector in their consultation for this important review,” Ms Collins said.

NCEC is the peak body for Catholic Education in Australia and is responsible for the national coordination and representation of Catholic schools and school authorities. There are 1,759 Catholic schools educating nearly 794,000 or one in five Australian students and employing over 104,500 staff.