Published on 21 December 2021
National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) executive director Jacinta Collins will tell a Joint Parliamentary Committee Inquiry today that “Catholic schools should be free to be Catholic”.
Ms Collins will appear with NCEC deputy director Sally Egan at the Inquiry considering the long-awaited Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and related bills.
“Parents should have the right to choose a school for their children that reflects their values and beliefs,” Ms Collins said. “And for Catholic schools this means being able to preference the enrolment or employment of students or staff who are Catholic, or who are willing to support and share in the ethos and mission of the school.”
“We know from a recent survey that 63% of the general population, 82% of Catholics and 79% of parents with children in Catholic schools believe religious schools should be ‘entitled to require employees to act in their roles that uphold the ethos and values of that faith and the school should be free to favour hiring employees who share these values’.”
Published on 06 December 2021
The appointment of Australia’s first Regional Education Commissioner will help support better outcomes for regional, rural and remote education, the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) Executive Director Jacinta Collins said today.
As Regional Education Commissioner former Senator Fiona Nash will apply her long-term commitment to regional Australia and oversee the implementation of recommendations from the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (the Napthine Review). Ms Collins said nearly 40 per cent of the 1,755 Catholic schools were in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia.
“We know that students outside of metropolitan areas are not performing as well as their peers in the cities,” Ms Collins said.
Published on 16 November 2021
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has called on the Morrison Government to move on long-awaited religious freedom legislation, saying proposed reforms to Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act could curb the ability of Catholic schools to act in accordance with their ethos, and lead to unnecessary lawfare.
NCEC executive director Jacinta Collins said governments are obligated to respect and protect the religious freedom of parents who choose to send their children to a school where they will be taught in accordance with their religious convictions.
“The unprecedented character of Victoria’s proposed reforms will create confusion for Catholic schools, particularly in the employment of staff, and could potentially lead to unnecessary litigation,” Ms Collins said.
Published on 15 November 2021
The suggestion that Catholic schools and hospitals levy families and patients to fund sexual abuse payouts lacks substance and won’t go ahead (‘Call for Catholic tax to fund abuse crisis’, The Australian, 13 November).
The notion that Catholic school families or patients would voluntarily pay a 1% levy is nonsensical, lacks any official standing and has no support from Church agencies and leaders.
Recompense for those who have suffered abuse is vital, but ‘taxing’ those who use its educational, health and social services is not a viable way to address the issue.
The Church is divesting assets, supporting small dioceses and contributing to Catholic Church Insurance to ensure it meets its responsibilities, without the need to place financial burdens on families.
Published on 18 October 2021
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) is hosting its second annual Virtual Symposium on Wednesday 27 October at 3pm AEDT with a keynote presentation by international educational expert Dr Lyn Sharratt focusing on school improvement.
The ‘Faith in the Future’ symposium will be held each year to mark World Teachers Day celebrated in Australia on Friday 29 October, and is the final national event for the celebration of the Bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia.
Dr Sharratt’s keynote address titled,‘This is the WORK!’, will explore the need for alignment, focus and resolve by teachers and leaders to ensure every student can meet and exceed their potential.
Published on 05 October 2021
Catholic schools across Australia will have access to the OECD PISA-based Test for Schools as a result of a partnership between the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) and Janison an Australian online assessment company.
National Catholic education executive director Jacinta Collins said the partnership will enable Catholic schools to engage in PISA for Schools with up to 50 Catholic schools participating in the pilot program this year.
“PISA for Schools aims to build teacher capacity and drive school improvement which contributes to our strategic priority of improving student learning opportunities,” Ms Collins said.
Published on 07 September 2021
Published on 25 August 2021
Catholic education acknowledges the hard work and persistence of school leaders, teachers and families on the release of NAPLAN 2021 results showing no significant impact on student literacy and numeracy achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said the summary results also demonstrate an upward trend across most literacy and numeracy domains.
“Given the significant disruption for students during this period it’s encouraging to see improvement in literacy and numeracy achievement, particularly the steady upward trend in reading and signs of improvement in writing,” Ms Collins said.
Published on 02 August 2021
New video resources are now available for school leaders and teachers to support the delivery of Religious Education in Catholic schools across Australia.
The series of professional learning videos are designed to encourage discussion among Catholic educators through the unpacking of the Framing Paper on Religious education in Australian Catholic Schools (2018).
Published on 27 July 2021
Catholic schools across Australia will celebrate Family Week from 8 – 14 August, to recognise the significant contribution parents, carers and families have made to the foundation, growth and continuity of Catholic schools in Australia over 200 years.Catholic schools across Australia will celebrate Family Week from 8 – 14 August, to recognise the significant contribution parents, carers and families have made to the foundation, growth and continuity of Catholic schools in Australia over 200 years.
Family Week coincides with the Feast Day of Australia’s First Saint, Mary MacKillop, who was a passionate educator and advocate for children and families, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Published on 25 May 2021
Catholic students from across the country have joined together in a video performance of the national song ‘Faith in the Future’, to celebrate 200 years of Catholic education in Australia, which marks the anniversary of the first official Catholic school opened in Parramatta in October 1820.
The ‘Faith in the Future Australian Catholic Schools Version’ features 370 students from 29 Catholic schools across Australia including remote, regional and rural communities such as: Our Lady Sacred Heart School Waiben (Thursday Island), St John's Catholic School Richmond in Tasmania, Sacred Heart College Sorrento in Western Australia, and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic College Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
Published on 17 May 2021
A National Mass will be celebrated simultaneously across Australia on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians on Monday 24 May 2021 to mark the occasion.
National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said the National Mass would be a highlight of the bicentenary year.
"As a faith community, our National Mass to celebrate 200 years of Catholic education holds significant meaning, particularly on the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians - the Patroness of Australia," Ms Collins said.
Published on 11 May 2021
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has welcomed $1.6 billion funding for Early Childhood learning and $63.5 million to support gender equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls announced in the 2021-22 Budget, saying it responds to areas of significant educational need.
National Catholic Education Executive Director Jacinta Collins said the continuation of universal access to 15 hours of preschool will enable children to build critical foundations in the year before commencing school.
Published on 12 March 2021
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) said the recommendations from the Review of Disability Standards for Education 2005 are a positive step forward and place the needs of students and their families at the centre of education.
“The report’s focus on empowering families, strengthening standards and service quality, and increasing accountability will help support an ever-increasing number of students with disability in school communities,” said National Catholic education executive director Jacinta Collins.
Published on 11 March 2021
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) said the Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge’s MP speech to the Menzies Research Centre today, which outlines his focus on improving Australia’s educational performance, is on target.
NCEC executive director Jacinta Collins said the Catholic sector has developed its own set of national priorities to support the continual improvement of educational outcomes for all students in its 1,751 schools. In Australia, Catholic schools educate one in five (768,000) students.
“We are heavily focused on working with government and other educational bodies, like ACARA, to identify evidence-based practice to support quality learning and teaching across our schools,” Jacinta said.