Much of the Federation’s important work is carried out by its Education Policy Committee, established by the Federation’s Council during early 2018. The membership of this committee is:
Kitty Guerin – Councillor & Committee Chair
Chair of Board – Brigidine College, St Ives
Chair of Board – St Lucy’s School, Wahroonga
Principal – Brigidine College, St Ives
CEO/Principal – Mater Dei, Camden
Executive Officer – Jesuit Education Australia
Regional Director – Marist Schools Australia (NSW & ACT)
Professor Marea Nicholson
Chair- Education Committee – Catholic Religious Australia
Dr Anne Wenham
Head of College – St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst
Each member is a senior educator, providing valuable insight. The committee meets regularly, maintaining an issues-based focus in a range of areas. It is the point of contact between the Federation and Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW), contributing to discussion and communicating with principals of the 45 RI and PJP member schools. Important issues during 2019 have included Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on Students with Disability; capital funding through the NSW Catholic Block Grant Authority; the NSW Curriculum Review; and, planned changes to the methodology for determining recurrent funding of non-government schools.
During this year, a survey of principals conducted by the committee provided valuable data on the support needs of RI & PJP schools, to assist in working with CSNSW towards services and representation in a relationship that best targets schools’ unique requirements. On 16 August 2019, the Education Policy Committee hosted its third Principals’ Forum. The meeting was well attended and we encourage attendance at future gatherings as they are seen as beneficial connections for principals.
The meeting outlined the work being undertaken in the development of a memorandum of understanding between Canonical authorities and provided opportunity for principals to discuss their most important needs and for the leadership of CSNSW to respond to them. Dallas Mcinerney, Chief Executive Officer of CSNSW informed principals that a working group, including representation from CSNSW was continuing to work through the detail of new funding arrangements, and that while confidentiality agreements prevented disclosure of specific information, CSNSW had undertaken to provide support and assistance to schools in dealing with potential financial impacts upon them. We encourage schools to take up this offer of support.
Other important connections by the committee have been with Sydney Catholic Schools and the leadership of NESA, providing opportunity to discuss the respective parties’ contributions to Catholic education.