Priority Items

Priority Vaccinations for School Staff (Ref: 223/21)

On Wednesday last week, Catholic Schools New South Wales CEO Dallas McInerney wrote to the NSW Premier, asking that she urgently consider options to accelerate the rollout of COVID-19 Vaccinations for school staff.

We are pleased to share the news that the government has agreed to give priority access to vaccinations this week for the school workforce in all LGAs listed as an identified area of concern. The priority vaccination program runs from Monday 16 August through to Sunday 22 August and applies to staff who live in the following LGAs:

  • Bayside
  • Burwood
  • Blacktown
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Liverpool
  • Paramatta
  • Strathfield.

or the suburbs of:

  • Caddens
  • Claremont Meadows
  • Colyton
  • Erskine Park
  • Kemps Creek
  • Kingswood
  • Mount Vernon
  • North St Marys
  • Orchard Hills
  • Oxley Park
  • St Clair
  • St Marys.

Refer to Authorised worker priority appointments for more information and to book your appointment.

School staff will need proof of address and proof of employment in education when they turn up at their appointment.

Those aged 16-39 years can book in for the Pfizer vaccine, and anyone aged 18+ can book in for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Staff must not attend a vaccination appointment if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. As always they should get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative test result. They should also not attend if they are a close contact.

Any further questions should be directed to the relevant Diocesan Schools Office.

HSC - COVID-19 Special Consideration Program (Ref: 224/21)

Following a meeting of the NESA COVID-19 Response Committee, NESA has announced the following:

The NESA COVID-19 Response Committee has extended the COVID Special Consideration Program to most HSC major projects being completed by HSC students across the state.

This means teachers will provide a mark or estimate for their students’ major projects in:

  • Drama
  • Textiles and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • Industrial Technology
  • Visual Arts

Students will need to submit their projects by the published due dates and teachers will have until 22 October to submit marks to NESA.

When providing a mark or estimate, teachers will take into consideration any impact of COVID-19 restrictions on students’ work.

Teacher provided marks will be moderated by NESA to ensure equity across the state.

The decision was made to limit the movement of NESA markers within and beyond Greater Sydney and is in line with Health advice for protecting the health and safety of everyone involved in the HSC exams.

The following major projects (that are submitted online) will continue to be marked online by NESA markers (unless an application for special consideration is made):

  • English Extension 2
  • Music 1 (compositions)
  • Music 2 and Extension (compositions and musicology)
  • Society and Culture Personal Interest Project

The Special Consideration Program is already in place for students completing language oral and performance exams across the state.

Written exams will go ahead from 19 October and NESA is working closely with NSW Health to ensure strict COVID-safe protocols are in place.

NESA page: COVID-19 Special Consideration Program 

Professional Learning

Registrations open for Catholic Schools NSW Virtual Education Law Symposium (Ref: 225/21)

We are excited to announce the 2021 Education Law Symposium will be going ahead in a virtual capacity with a new date of Thursday 23 September 2021. Catholic Schools NSW invites principals, heads of governance and compliance, finance officers and others designated as responsible persons to the 2021 Education Law Symposium: Catholic School Governance for the Common Good.

This professional development forum will cover topics related to the unique governance challenges Catholic schools face. The day will feature presentations by guest speakers and panels, including high profile industry experts and experienced administrators, providing insight and guidance for the future of our sector.

Join us for an enjoyable day of questioning, learning and connecting.

Catholic Schools New South Wales is a NESA approved provider of Governance Training and the Symposium will constitute 6 hours of approved governance training for ‘responsible persons’.

Please register your interest today via this link.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email within 48-72 hours.

If you have any questions please contact


Catholic Schools New South Wales 2021 DISruptABILITY Conference will be delivered with flexibility (Ref: 216/21)

Need flexibility in these ever-changing times? We understand!

In the same way our schools continue to deliver high-quality learning in uncertain and changing times, Catholic Schools New South Wales prioritises high-quality professional learning in a responsive manner during challenging times. Therefore the conference will be hybrid.

What is a hybrid conference?

A hybrid conference is an event that is delivered both in person and via a virtual platform for delegates that are unable or do not wish to attend in person. Hybrid conferences have become extremely popular in the past 18 months as it offers a level of flexibility should the event need to pivot due to government directed restrictions for the delivery of events and gatherings. Our DISruptABILITY 2021 will be delivered as a hybrid conference.

Find answers to all your questions HERE

 WHEN: Thursday 18 & Friday 19 November, 2021

WHERE: Live Manly Novotel, Virtual, On Demand

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: $495 (until 31 August)

AUDIENCE: This conference seeks to be inclusive of all those who provide educational support and care for students with disability in our schools, and so schools are encouraged to bring teams.




National Child Protection Week 2021 Webinar Program (Ref: 226/21)

National Child Protection is being held 6-10 September 2021 through a series of webinars.

Every child, in every community, needs a fair go. To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to make sure every family and community has what kids need to thrive and be healthy.

Find the full program and join any or all of the webinars HERE.


COVID-19 Copyright advice – Revival of the Storytime Agreement (Ref 221/21)

Further to the copyright guidance which was provided in Scholaris last month for schools during the COVID-19 school lockdown, we are pleased to advise that the National Copyright Unit has now been able to negotiate a revival of the school Storytime Agreement that was in place during 2020.

This means that schools can now are less restricted in the ways they can read Australian stories to students. Previously, before this revived Agreement, teachers could only virtually read stories to students when required for educational instruction (such as in a virtual classroom) and only via password protected digital teaching environments.

Now, there are broader permissions (including access to students’ families and pre-recording) which are set out below:

  • Teachers are encouraged to live stream Storytime wherever possible (such as via Google Classroom, a Zoom call or Facebook live streaming). If a school has the technical capacity to do so, teachers are encouraged to limit access to the live stream to students of the school and their families.
  • If live streaming is not practical, a teacher may make available a recording of Storytime online, provided that:
    • the recording is “view only”, so that no further copies can be made or downloaded. For example, you could film yourself reading a story to children in your class and upload it to your school’s digital learning environment for students to access at home; and
    • wherever possible that recording should be made available using password protected access in a digital teaching environment, rather than made available generally on the internet. For example, if you can give students access to the recording via a platform such as Google Classroom instead of Facebook, you should do so.
  • Teachers must provide bibliographic details of the featured book at the beginning of any published recording of Storytime, including the title, author, illustrator and publisher.
  • This policy is temporary and applies to any primary or secondary school required to provide remote learning for students due to the COVID-19 emergency. Recordings can only be used during the period of the lockdown and:
    • access to the recording by students/parents must be disabled within a month of that school resuming normal teaching practices; and
    • the recording must be deleted by the school 12 months after it was made.

Teachers are encouraged to continue to read Australian stories to students under these Storytime arrangements and to support Australian creators whose incomes from events has declined during the pandemic.

For further clarification or help, you can also contact the Catholic Schools NSW Legal Hotline on 1800 4Catholic Schools New South Wales (1800 427 679).


Implementing the Child Safe Standards (Ref: 228/21)

The Child Safe Standards will soon be legislated for all Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services in NSW. To support services in implementing the requirements of the Child Safe Standards, the NSW Department of Education have produced a Guide to the Child Safe Standards for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services.

The Guide includes:

  • practical strategies and tips to consider when implementing the Standards
  • points for critical reflection
  • case studies as an example of practice and to prompt further discussions within your team.

The Guide is designed to support all service types, including long day care, family day care, outside school hours’ care and mobile and community preschools, and promotes the continued establishment of systems within ECEC and OSHC services that prevent, detect and respond to child abuse.


Working with Children Checks extended for three months (Ref: 213/21)

Working with Children Checks due to expire between 19 July 2021 and 26 September 2021 have been extended for three months. People who are granted an extension will be advised by email and the system will be automatically updated.

Read more here.


School Newsletter

NSW Catholic Schools Position Statement: Safety, Certainty and Learning (Ref: 219/21)

Plans for Terms 3 and 4

The Premier advised on Thursday 5 August that a uniform policy approach towards restrictions is not needed, and
responses should reflect “what is happening in [local] communities”.

In line with the approach of the NSW Government, Catholic Schools New South Wales provides the following NSW Catholic Schools Position Statement (‘Safety, Certainty and Learning’)

NSW Catholic Schools Position Statement – Return to School and HSC

NSW Catholic Schools Position Statement – Return to School and HSC (FAQ)


Government Media Release: Sarah Mitchell Brad Hazzard med rel – Flexible school model for HSC students

HSC Performance and Language Oral Exams (Ref: 220/21)

Following a meeting of the NESA COVID-19 Response Committee on Sunday afternoon, NESA has announced the following:

  • To limit the movement of NESA performance and language oral markers between schools within or outside Greater Sydney the NESA COVID-19 Response Committee has provided COVID Special Consideration to the HSC performance and language oral exams across the state.
  • Under the program, performance exams in dance, drama and music, and the language oral exams, can be organised by individual schools at a time that suits their local needs, in line with Health advice.
  • NESA will provide schools with guidelines and mark packs to support teachers. Schools will have until 22 October to submit the marks to NESA.
  • The marks submitted by teachers will be moderated by NESA to ensure equity across the state.
  • Strict COVID-safe rules are in place for students rehearsing and completing their performance exams.
  • Schools do not need to apply for Special Consideration for the performance and oral language exams. The program continues to be available, by application, for students (at schools under Level 4 restrictions) whose completion of their major project has been significantly disrupted by COVID-19.

Written exams will go ahead from 19 October and NESA is working closely with NSW Health to ensure strict COVID-safe protocols will be in operation.

MEDIA RELEASE: Update HSC performance and language oral exams NSW Education Standards

HAVE YOUR SAY on the new English & Mathematics K–2 syllabuses (Ref: 210/21)

NESA has released the Draft English and Mathematics K–2 syllabuses for consultation. This additional 3-week consultation is to confirm the revisions made after feedback on the draft English and Mathematics K–2 outcomes and content earlier this year.

Given the challenges arising from COVID-19, including remote learning and determinations around HSC exams, NESA has extended the original ‘Have Your Say’ timeline. NESA is inviting feedback from all school sectors on the English and Mathematics K–2 syllabuses until 23 August 2021.

You can access the syllabuses at the Catholic Schools New South Wales Curriculum Reform Hub (login via NETiD) where you can also find other relevant NESA updates and resources.

You can provide feedback via an online survey here. The survey will be open until 5pm on Monday 23 August 2021.

Podcast: Building mental health literacy in schools with Kristen Douglas (Ref: 227/21)

As New South Wales has been forced into a state-wide lockdown, the mental health issues of students, parents & teachers is a major concern.

Jennifer Coen, State Manager (Wellbeing) at Catholic Schools New South Wales speaks with Kristen Douglas the National Director of HeadSpace Schools about the importance of mental health literacy & how HeadSpace Schools can help!

Butterfly Bright - promoting positive body image (Ref: 229/21)

Attend a special virtual event for Catholic Primary Schools in NSW to hear more about Butterfly Body Bright.

For Catholic Primary Schools in NSW only.

Thursday 9 September 3.30-4.15pm (AEST)


Butterfly Body Bright is an exciting Australian first, whole school strength-based program to promote positive body image and healthy attitudes and behaviours towards the body, eating and physical activity in primary school students. The program includes school culture guidelines, online staff training, curriculum content and resources for families.

Registration to become a Body Bright school is FREE until 31st December 2021 (with 12 months free access to all program content).

During the information session, hear from the Butterfly Body Bright Manager, Dr Stephanie Damiano, who will provide an overview of the program, how schools can get involved, and a brief introduction to the risk and protective factors underpinning Butterfly Body Bright. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the program and getting involved.

To find out more about Butterfly Body Bright, please visit You may also be interested in reading the program’s Frequently Asked Questions and Q&A from the Launch Event.

For questions about this event contact:

WriteOn 2021 winners and presentation ceremony (Ref: 228/21)

The WriteOn 2021 competition closed at 4.00 pm on Friday 25 June. Thank you for your entries.

Announcement of the winners and presentation ceremony has been delayed due to COVID-19. The ceremony is rescheduled to 29 October (pending restrictions at the time). Winners will be notified via their schools late Term 3/early Term 4, then announced on this web page.

How to recognise complex trauma in infants and children and promote wellbeing (Ref: 212/21)

Australian Institute of Family Studies in collaboration with Emerging Minds, National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health is offering a webinar on how to recognise complex trauma in infants and children and promote wellbeing.

Complex trauma in early childhood is distinct from other kinds of trauma. It can manifest in ways that affect body and brain development, and lead to poor long-term outcomes if not addressed. Early identification and support, including through trauma-informed practice, is critical to supporting infants and children who have experienced complex trauma.

Effective trauma-informed practice can promote recovery and resilience in infants and children. However, it requires a comprehensive understanding of the signs and effects of complex trauma and the skills to hold protective conversations with parents and caregivers.

This webinar will explore how complex trauma might present in children and impact their development, as well as how practitioners can respond in their work with infants and children, and their parents and caregivers.

This webinar is of interest to professionals working with infants and children, and/or their caregivers across early learning and care services, maternal and child health and other family support services.

Wed, Aug 25, 2021 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM AEST

Register here

Supporting young people impacted by COVID-19 (Ref: 204/21)

In response to the current lockdowns, HeadSpace is running additional Parent/Carer mental health education sessions, over the next 6 weeks.

The sessions are titled supporting young people impacted by COVID-19, and provide Parents and Carers with information and strategies to proactively support their young people during these uncertain times.

The following sessions are available via zoom

  • 17 August, 2021, 6:30 – 7:45pm, Western Sydney
  • 19 August, 2021, 6:30pm – 7:45pm, Randwick

Catholic Schools New South Wales works in partnership with HeadSpace and supports this initiative which provides parents/carers with helpful information during this period of increasing lockdowns and disruptions to daily life.

To register click here