Priority Items

Updated COVID-19 guidance for schools (Ref: 001/21)

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and other parts of the state, the Government is taking some precautionary measures to ensure that our schools remain safe places for everyone at the commencement of the 2021 school year.

For Term 1, the Government is reverting back to some of the restrictions that were in place in November 2020. It has made these changes in response to the current situation and in line with NSW Health advice.

 What’s changed

  1. Gatherings are limited to 30 people indoors and 30 people outdoors for schools within Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong or 100 people outdoors for all other locations. If numbers exceed these limits an appropriate COVID-19 Safety Plan must be in place.
  2. School development days (SDDs) will be treated differently to normal/scheduled professional learning activities:
  • There is no limit to the number of SDD attendees provided they are all from within the same school, or the same local school network.

All other Professional Learning outside of school development days will need to follow the limits outlined in item 1 with the additional limit of 1 hour for indoor/enclosed activities where possible. If schools wish to hold Professional Learning that involves more participants and/or exceeds 1 hour in duration, they will require a COVID-19 Safety Plan for functions and conferences.

  1. Parents and carers can enter the school to:
  • purchase or pick up uniforms from the uniform shop
  • meet with school staff with an appointment
  • drop off students for Preschool, Kindergarten and Years 1, 2 and 7
  • attend parent orientation meetings for Preschool, Kindergarten or Year 7 and ‘meet the teacher’ meetings with school staff for all year/stage groups. Meetings should be limited to 1 hour where possible.
    A COVID-19 Safety Plan must be in place.

Further changes are captured in the summary table.

Additional advice

  • Students and staff are not required to wear a face mask while at school. Families and staff should adhere to the NSW Health advice regarding masks. While masks are currently mandatory on public transport and in most indoor settings in Greater Sydney, metropolitan Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong, they are not mandatory for parents and carers visiting schools, provided they maintain physical distancing and hygiene practices while on site.
  • Water fountains and bubblers in schools can now be turned on. However, students are still encouraged to bring water bottles that they can refill throughout the day.
  • Please ensure that COVID-19 posters are placed in high traffic areas around the school.
  • Schools will be provided with advice regarding the use of QR codes in the coming weeks.

NSW COVID Intensive Learning Support Program (Ref: 007/21)

The COVID Intensive Learning Support Program will support small group tuition for students who need it most, providing approximately $18.5 million to the Catholic sector to support more than 252 schools and 21,469 students. The NSW Government announced the Program in late 2020 but is still finalising the funding agreement and guidelines.

The NSW Government has determined which Catholic schools will receive funding based on whether the school has more than 15% of students in the lowest quartile of socio-economic advantage. Catholic Schools New South Wales has written to diocesan offices with the list of eligible systemic schools and the Department of Education has written directly to eligible RI/MPJP schools.

Further details about this program will be circulated as soon as the NSW Government finalises the funding agreement and guidelines. For any questions regarding this program, please contact Andrew Mellas

Single Sign on for NETiD (Ref: 001/21)

We have released an update to NETiD this week that includes changes to the design and layout of the login page, so it will look a little different when you next go to log in. You can read more information about this change here:

This update will also allow you to link your Google or Microsoft account to NETiD, and sign in using that account moving forward instead of a username and password. For a guide on how to link your Google or Microsoft account to NETiD, click here:

We are making this feature available as an opt-in to all users for now, so that they can choose the best time to switch over to Single Sign On (SSO) for them.

2021 HSC Data Analysis Seminar Programme (Ref: 003/21)

2021 HSC Data Analysis Seminar Programme

Diocesan Officers’ Overview   

Target group:            Diocesan & congregational system officers

When:                       Thursday 28th January 2021, 9am-3pm

Programme:              New developments in the 2020 HSC Analysis and 2021 seminar programme, including opportunities for cross-system sharing and key features of the 2020 HSC.

Register at:               Diocesan Officer’s Overview 20210128

Introduction to the Analysis

Target group:            Teachers, KLA coordinators and others who have not attended an HSC seminar before, or those who have but who want to ‘brush up’ on the main ideas behind the Analysis. It’s very handy if two or more people from the same school can enrol for the same seminar.

When:                       Offered twice:  Wednesday 3rd February or Tuesday 16th February 2021, 9am-3pm

Programme:              Why and how we should use data within schools to shape the direction of pedagogy.  What we are trying to do with the Analysis, and how does it fit with the Board’s RAP?  The idea of Comparative Learning Gain, and how it can be used to understand HSC data.  A guided reading of your school’s Analysis.

Register for 3 Feb at:   Introduction to the Analysis 20210203

Register for 16 Feb at:       Introduction to the Analysis 20210216


A detailed reading of your Analysis

Target group:            Experienced users – any teacher, coordinator, AP or Principal who has in a previous year attended at least one HSC Analysis Seminar.  Applicants will be asked to nominate the year in which they attended the earlier seminar.

When:                       Offered twice:  Tuesday 9th February 2021 (Clancy/Gilroy Room) or Wednesday 17th February 2021, 9am-3pm

Programme:              The background data theory will be assumed knowledge.  After a brief revision of the main underlying premise of the Analysis, participants will spend most of this seminar in a detailed, guided reading of their own school’s Analysis, surfacing the questions in it and considering ways to resolution.

Register for 9 Feb at:  Detailed Reading of your Analysis 20210209

Register for 17 Feb at:  Detailed Reading of your Analysis 20210217

Leading your school in the Analysis

Target group:            Principals, APs, Leaders of Curriculum or Pedagogy:  those who have a whole-school focus rather than a one-KLA or year group.  If you are the person within the school to whom the principal delegates the overview of the HSC Analysis, this is the seminar for you.  If you are newly appointed into such a role, you need to be at this seminar.

When:                       Thursday 11th February 2021, 9am-3pm

Programme:              We will explore the intersection of leadership, data, teacher professional learning and student achievement.  The idea of the seminar is to surface the questions that come from a preliminary reading of the school’s Analysis, and then to consider responses to the issues that surface.

Register at:               Leading your school in Analysis 20210211

Supporting a strong start to school in 2021 (Ref: 004/21)

Please find attached Supporting a strong start to school in 2021 social media plan for Scholaris using videos that were filmed across our NSW Catholic schools and early learning centres. Please feel free to incorporate into your bank of transition to school resources. This social media plan is based on a few things:

  • Children thrive when families and educators work together in partnership to support young children’s learning.
  • An effective transition to school is based on belonging & identity, emotions & adjustment and relationships & continuity.
  • The 10 videos are connected with one of the 5 developmental domains. (This is a connection with the AEDC domains as this data collection is taking place again this year.)
  • We visually see children in prior-to-school and kindergarten settings.
  • We hear and listen to the voice of the child.

Catholic Education - Celebrating 200 Years (Ref: 002 /21)

Catholic Education is celebrating 200 years in Australia, marking the bicentenary of the first Catholic school established in Parramatta in October 1820. Please find attached January edition of the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) newsletter here. 

Student Wellbeing (Ref: 008 /21)

As we begin another school year, the 2021 NSW education agenda is firmly focused on the wellbeing of school communities. Student/child mental health is one of NESA’s new accredited priority areas for teachers.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with evidence based wellbeing resources to support existing priorities and promote student mental health.

Be You –

Australian Student Wellbeing Framework –

HeadSpace Schools: –

If you are not receiving  the Catholic Schools New South Wales ‘Wellbeing for Learning’ eNews letter and podcast series then please contact (State Manager – Wellbeing) and put your name on the list.

Kristen Douglas (National Manager – HeadSpace) is our first podcast guest for 2021.

Professional Learning

2020 Catholic Schools New South Wales HSC Data Analysis (Ref: 006/21)

The 2020 Catholic Schools New South Wales HSC Analysis was uploaded by Dr John DeCourcy and made available to users on Friday 15th January.

Access is managed  via NETID with permission granted to new users via their Principal. Authorised users should have access to 2 areas:

  1. HSC Data Analysis Recipients
  2. Tutorial and eLearning.

The e-Learning tutorial has 17 modules aimed at introducing new users to the analysis support, for those familiar with the output, the modules will refresh on particular aspects. A series of face to face training seminars will again be presented during January/February 2021 (003/21).

Please report any access and/or software issues to Catholic Schools New South Wales Application Support .

Analysis support for staff in Systemic Schools is generally provided via your Diocesan Office. Staff in Diocesan Offices  and RIMPJP Schools can gain support from Gary Molloy on (02) 9287 1547 or