Priority Items

Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2020 (Ref: 184/20)

Education Council has introduced new requirements under the National Regulations for approved providers of education and care services that offer, or arrange, transportation of children. The new requirements will commence on 1 October 2020.

Children are sometimes transported, or travel on transport arranged, by children’s education and care services – for example, transport to and from the service and a child’s home or other location.

Transporting children may present additional risks, including during transition between a vehicle and a service premises or other location. To better manage these risks, all governments have decided to introduce new requirements to strengthen oversight arrangements when children are being transported under the care of an education and care service.

From 1 October 2020, approved providers of education and care services that offer, or arrange, transportation of children will be required to have in place transportation-specific policies and procedures. New requirements for transport-specific risk assessments and obtaining written authorisations will also apply. Minor corresponding changes relating to excursions that involve transporting children will also take effect.

The Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2020 are available here and will also be available on the NSW Government legislation website.

This ACECQA information sheet provides details of the changes. It includes links to relevant risk assessment templates that providers may wish to incorporate within their own risk material. Updates to the Guide to the NQF will be published in September ahead of the changes taking effect.

The Australian Teacher Workforce Data (ATWD) initiative (Ref: 185/20)

The ATWD is an exciting initiative that is building a comprehensive picture of the national teaching workforce, across all systems and sectors, from initial teacher education through to end of teaching career.

Learning from teacher experiences

To properly understand the teaching workforce, AITSL need to hear from teachers. The ATWD Teacher Survey is the teacher voice in the ATWD, providing an opportunity for teachers to help us understand their work experiences and how we might address the opportunities and challenges facing the profession.

The ATWD Teacher Survey

This year, teachers and principals will be invited to participate in the ATWD Teacher Survey via an email from the NSW Education Standards Authority on 17 August 2020. Please watch out for your invitation.

If you’re a school leader or teacher, AITSL encourage you to complete the ATWD Teacher Survey yourself, and encourage colleagues to also participate.

The survey takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete and is voluntary. Data in the ATWD is fully de-identified.

The work experiences of every teacher and principal in New South Wales are an important part of the picture of our workforce and AITSL appreciate your input into this important initiative.

For more information about the survey:

For more information about the ATWD initiative:

Australian Catholic Super and NGS Super to merge (Ref: 179/20)

Australian Catholic Super and NGS Super have announced the planned merger of their two leading industry funds servicing those within education and community services.

The new fund will deliver enhanced value for members, grounded on our mutual objectives, shared values and importantly our culture.

There are a number of factors leading to this announcement. The superannuation industry is currently undergoing significant consolidation driven largely by legislative change post the Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services.

For more information please click here.

2020 Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey Launch

The 2020 Australian Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey will open for existing participants on 24th August 2020.

Principals who have not previously participated in the survey are welcome to participate from 31 August 2020 using this link  .

Please use this website going forward and you may find reading last year’s report useful, The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey 2019.


Give low-income parents a school choice: that's the key to equity - Blaise Joseph & Glen Fahey (Ref: 176/20)

Blaise Joseph and Glen Fahey from the CIS penned an notable article on school funding and equity in the Sydney Morning Herald last week. To read the article please click here.

‘School’s In, School’s Out – Says Who?’ - Kathleen Burrow Research Institute Publication (Ref: 167/20)

An important question has arisen throughout the COVID-19 period: who makes decisions about school hours, the closing and opening of schools, and the school calendar?

The Kathleen Burrow Research Institute, an education think-tank within Catholic Schools NSW, explores this issue in its publication ‘School’s In, School’s Out – Says Who?’.

It explains that these decisions are, for non-government schools, largely left in local hands. This arrangement is the result of over a century of productive dialogue between government and the non-government schools sector, which continues today.

This works well for Catholic schools. The history of this issue also shows how productive dialogue can help find the right balance between the public interest and giving schools flexibility and discretion for their own communities.

You can view this Issues Brief on the Catholic Schools New South Wales website here.

Professional Learning

ASIC's Moneysmart financial literacy funding (Ref: 183/20)

ASIC’S Moneysmart program has made school grants available to primary and secondary schools who have designed new and creative financial literacy projects that:

  • teach kids how to budget and plan in the digital age
  • embed financial literacy across the whole school
  • incorporate cross sector collaboration
  • boost parents’ understanding of good money management
  • include the local community.

Grants of up to $5000 are available now. Further information, guidelines and application forms are available on the Moneysmart in schools website


The Early Years Foundations for Learning website is now live! (Ref:171/20)

We are delighted to be launching ‘Phase One’ of the Early Years Foundations for Learning website.

The Early Years Foundations for Learning project responds to the national and NSW bilateral reform priority to support students, student learning and student achievement, with a particular focus on boosting early achievement in literacy and numeracy.

The project has been funded under the Commonwealth Government’s Non-Government Reform Support Fund.

The website can be found here.


New RBA Topical Talk - Monetary Policy in 2020 (Ref: 173/20)

Expressions of interest are now open for a new online Topical Talk to support teachers’ professional development.

Deputy Head of Domestic Markets, Andrea Brischetto, will discuss Monetary Policy in 2020. This talk will focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the Australian economy and the RBA’s response to it.

Date: Monday, 24 August

Time: 3.45 – 4.45 pm

The talk is free for educators, and expressions of interest can be made here


Free phonics check for all Year 1 students (Ref: 164/20)

Parents, teachers and educators can now access a free tool to help students master the fundamentals of learning to read.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan yesterday launched stage one of the Year 1 Phonics Check that will help parents and teachers ensure children are developing the skills to become strong speakers, readers and writers.

The Year 1 phonics check, phonics check for families and resources can be found on the Literacy Hub website here.



Fairtrade certified sports balls (Ref: 174/20)

Through Catholic Schools New South Wales’s work with the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network, we have been advised of an offer currently being made to schools by RREPP, which makes Fairtrade Certified match quality sports balls. RREPP is offering each school a bulk order discount of 20% – schools only need to purchase a minimum of 5 sports balls to obtain this discount. Schools can reach out directly to Scott Goddard at RREPP with any inquiries or to place an order. His details are:
Scott Goddard & The RREPP Team
M: 0422 004 954

Because of shipping delays due to COVID-19, RREPP is taking orders by the 1st November at the latest, to be able to make deliveries by the beginning of Term 1 in 2021.

The purchase of goods from Fairtrade-certified suppliers is one way that schools can take action to minimise the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains and help protect the rights and conditions of vulnerable workers. See the Fairtrade website for further information.


Proposed new copyright reforms (Ref: 175/20)

The Australian Government has proposed a number of changes to Australia’s copyright laws, which includes some proposed amendments which will assist schools in an increasingly digital environment. The proposed changes will be contained in draft legislation which the Government expects to be released for public consultation later this year.

In brief, the Government has announced that the proposed reforms will comprise:

1. The introduction of an ‘orphan works scheme’, allowing the use of copyright materials that do not have an identifiable copyright owner where a ‘reasonably diligent search’ for the copyright owner has been undertaken. Works will still need to be clearly attributed to the author as far as reasonably possible.

2. A new fair dealing exception for non-commercial quotation, which will enable quoting of copyright material for non-commercial purposes by educational institutions (and others), so long as certain criteria is met (including ‘standard fairness factors’). The Government has stated that this new exception “will reduce uncertainty and administrative burden for schools….when they quote words from a book, a passage from a piece of music, or a visual image taken from a work of art”.

3. Amendment of library and archive exceptions, which will enable materials held to be available online for browsing, so long as reasonable steps are taken so that the person accessing the material does so in a way that does not infringe copyright.

4. Amendment of the education exception as follows:

(a) Removal of some of the current limitations, so that copyright materials that can validly be used in a school or classroom learning environment can also take place outside of the premises (eg in an online environment). Reasonable steps will need to be taken to limit wider access to copyright materials than that reasonably necessary;

(b) A ‘special cases’ exception for education institutions to cover other reasonable uses of copyright material that will not impact the creator’s commercial market, including in times of regional or national crisis;

(c) Restoration of the exception in section 106 of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) which impacted on public schools only (ie not independent schools) playing sound recordings for non-curricular activities such as school concerts.

5. Updates to the Government copyright licensing scheme, including (relevantly) changes to the fee structure for collecting societies including removing the requirement for a sampling system (survey) to be used.
More information about the proposed new reforms can be found here


School Newsletter

GERRIC (UNSW) presents eight-part Gifted Parenting series (Ref: 182/20)

It’s common for parents of gifted children to feel confused about the educational needs of their gifted child. Sometimes, the advanced development of the abilities of a gifted child outpaces the child’s physical development, and results in frustration for both parent and child. Additionally, challenges exist for parents in understanding the affective needs of gifted children, which may be very different to the rest of the population.

This eight-part series will assist parents to develop a greater understanding of their gifted child’s needs both at home and at school; interact with other parents of gifted children; and learn from current research and experts in the field of gifted education.

This series is delivered online (via Zoom), 7-8:30pm Tuesday and Thursday nights, over the month of September will be led by our GERRIC academics: Associate Professor Dr. Jae Yup Jung, Dr Geraldine Townend, and Dr. Peta Hay.

Save the date: 2020 World Teachers’ Day (Ref:186/20)

This year, NSW will celebrate World Teachers’ Day on Friday 30 October 2020.

It is an opportunity to acknowledge the immense work of the 160,000+ early childhood, primary and secondary school teachers in NSW.

Teachers have gone above and beyond for their students and communities over the past year – ensuring students are supported and continuing to learn during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NESA have a range of #WTD2020 resources available to help recognise teachers, including thank you card templates for you to send out to your school community, upload to your school website, or share on social media.

To access the resources please click here.

Last chance to register for Fruit & Veg Month (Ref: 181/20)

Fruit & Veg Month is just three weeks away. Over 550 schools have already registered to participate and their free resource packs are on the way in the mail.

4 good reasons to register

  1. It’s flexible – we provide the resources, tools and ideas and you can run it in any way that suits your school.
  2. It’s free – the program is funded by NSW Health so there is no charge for schools to participate.
  3. It’s suitable for both school and home-based learning – many of the lessons and worksheets can be used in the classroom or at home.
  4. It’s important -‘Planet Fruit & Veg’ is probably one of the most important Fruit & Veg Month themes we’ve ever had, providing the opportunity to teach your students to think about the positive impact their simple actions and decisions can have on their own health and the health of our planet.Click here to register.