Professional Learning

Managing suicidality and self harm - Black Dog Webinar (Ref: 65/23)

In response to increasing numbers of students presenting with complex mental health issues, Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) partnered with The Black Dog Institute in 2022 to develop guidelines for school counsellors to manage suicidality and self-harm.

In this 60 minute webinar, Dr Kris Kafer from The Black Dog Institute will discuss clinical issues around suicidality and self harm and familiarise staff with the CSNSW guidelines.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 2 May and will commence at 3.30pm.

This webinar is aimed at principals, assistant principals, school leaders, school counsellors and wellbeing staff, however, anyone interested in increasing their understanding of the process around managing student mental health in a school setting is welcome to attend.

Register HERE!


Register Now: Dr Justin Coulson Webinar: School Sucks! (Ref: 64/23)

School non-attendance is an increasing concern across all education sectors in Australia. Evidence suggests that the causes of non-attendance can be divided into three subcategories: students who dislike coming to school; those with psychosocial issues and those experiencing difficulties at home.

Wellbeing staff, chaplains, school counsellors, student attendance officers and teachers are invited to join Justin Coulson on 3 May at 10.00am for the School Sucks! webinar.

Justin will discuss some of the psychosocial issues around non-attendance and practical strategies staff can use to recognise, respond and support vulnerable students.

Register for the webinar HERE.


Register today: Positive Schools Conferences for All Primary and Secondary Educators (Ref: 60/23)

Positive Schools is getting ready to present the 15th year of Positive Schools conferences around Australia, and they are excited to be back in Sydney!

Catholic school educators across NSW are invited to attend the conference which will be held from 14-16 June 2023 at the Sydney Masonic Centre.

This year’s event theme is Wellbeing In Action, and will offer presentations and workshops to help school communities be trauma sensitive and inclusive.

All Catholic school educators who register are welcome to use the discount code CATHED23 which will provide a 10% discount on the registration fee.

Please note that this offer can only be used once per person and will last until 30 April, 2023.

Find more information and register here: Positive Schools 2023 LR


Resources for Learning

ORDERS CLOSING ON THURSDAY 6 April - 2023 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations (Ref: 66/23)

A reminder to schools that online orders for the 2023 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations closes at 5pm, Thursday 6 April.

The CSSA, a division of Catholic Schools NSW, creates premium CSSA Trial HSC Examinations by education experts.  Our contributors have syllabus expertise and extensive teaching experience to create Trial HSC Examinations.

The CSSA has posted a Letter to the Principal containing essential information regarding the 2023 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations. If a Principal requires technological assistance with sign-in to their registered school account in the CSSA website, please email There is a CSNSW verification process in place to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of each Principal and their registered school account with the CSSA.

Key Dates to assist schools:

  • The 2023 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Timetable is from Monday 31st July to Monday 14th August with a security period up to and including 8am, Thursday 17 August
  • The 2023 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Principal Information Package was emailed to Principals on Friday 10 February
  • 2023 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations online ordering is available as of 9am, Monday 13 February and until 5pm, Thursday 6 April (Week 11, Term 1)
  • Schools must contact the CSSA regarding CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Disability Provisions by 9am, Friday 31st March (Week 10, Term 1)
  • The 2023 Draft CSSA Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be provided in the Principal Information Package and then made available on the CSSA website
  • The 2023 Final CSSA Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be emailed to Principals in Week 1, Term 2 and then made available on the CSSA website

CSSA website and individual School Accounts:

School data in School Accounts with the CSSA must be kept up-to-date by individual schools via the CSSA website |Account Settings.

Relevant personnel in CSSA registered schools should ensure that school data available and fields of information on the CSSA website is checked, updated and completed as necessary. This will ensure that your School’s address, phone number, email address and contact details are correct – this information is critical for communication with schools and the secure delivery of CSSA Trial HSC Examinations. Remember to click on the “SAVE” button at the end of the process.


School Updates & Newsletter

STUDENT WELLBEING BOOST: update following Commonwealth Government Announcement (Ref: 61/23)

On 2 February 2023, the Commonwealth Minister for Education, The Hon. Jason Clare MP, announced that the Government will invest $203.7 million to help young people in every school across the country through the Student Wellbeing Boost (media release).

Under the Boost, each school will receive up to $20,000 (depending on its need, size, and location) to support their students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Important points to note:

  1. The Student Wellbeing Boost is a separate initiative to the National Student Wellbeing Program (formerly known as the National School Chaplaincy Program).
  2. Under the Boost, schools will receive up to $20,000 after applying the prescribed funding criteria.

However, before schools can receive funding under the Boost, the Commonwealth Government must sign bilateral agreements with the states and territories.

The NSW Government did not sign their bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth before the NSW caretaker conventions took effect at the beginning of March 2023. Therefore, until a new government is formed following the state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Department of Education cannot provide CSNSW with further details on the Boost.

As soon as these details are available, CSNSW will update the sector accordingly.

NOW OPEN: Schools Reconciliation Challenge (Ref: 57/23)

The 2023 Schools Reconciliation Challenge has now been launched.

The theme for this year is:

What Stories will You Dream?

Stories are how we understand the world around us. They inform what we know and shape how we act. The Australia we live in today is built upon the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Throughout the long history of what is now known as Australia, the world’s oldest living cultures have told and shared stories of culture and Dreaming; stories of hurt and devastation; stories of strength and resilience; stories of change; and stories still unwritten.

In an Australia where racism still exists and health and educational outcomes are significantly poorer for First Nations peoples, this year’s theme asks teachers and students to consider how we can advance the work of those who came before us in creating a fair and equitable society.

What story will you dream for reconciliation?

How will you contribute to making it a reality?

Schools can register now to take part in the challenge, with entries closing Friday 1 September (Term 3, Week 7). There are many links to lessons and activities online to support teachers and schools in participating in the challenge. By registering for the challenge, schools are also eligible to access free and exclusive Schools Reconciliation Challenge webinars.

Together for Humanity’s Intercultural Understanding Partnership (ICUP) Grants (Ref: 67/23)

Together for Humanity, an inclusive educational organisation that seeks to foster intercultural understanding, have just launched a new call for expressions of interest for an Intercultural Understanding Partnerships with schools. It is a funding opportunity that allows schools who are successful to receive up to $10,000 to address an intercultural and/or interfaith challenge in the school community.

ICUP schools can work closely with an experienced, highly skilled facilitator using a collaborative approach to implement and review initiatives that directly address the identified issues.

Projects can address a range of issues including:

  • increased incidents of racism,
  • challenges in schools with a high number of refugee enrolments,
  • providing regional students with an understanding of, and connection to, people from different cultures,
  • facilitating greater belonging for Indigenous students and more.

To apply, complete their online Expression of Interest (EOI) or download the EOI pdf and email it to

Applications close 30 April 2023. Applicants may be contacted for further information.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a follow-up interview. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email.

If you have any questions prior to submitting your EOI, please contact Andrea Hogg on or 0493 024 228

For more information see the flyer here: 2024_2025_ICUP_Flyer_Final.

2023 NAPLAN concludes (Ref: 68/23)

NESA has reported a successful 2023 NAPLAN. 2023 NAPLAN was the first time the annual assessment has taken place in March instead of May.
Success has been attributed to close collaboration and attention to preparation by all stakeholders – especially schools and students.

NAPLAN’s move from May to March is one of several improvements to the assessment from 2023 including:

  • Student achievement will be reported using 4 proficiency standards: Exceeding; Strong; Developing and Needs Additional Support rather than 10-bands.
  • A new NAPLAN measurement scale and time series will be implemented.

NESA will provide schools with information on release of results closer to the time.