Catholic Schools NSW

About Catholic Schools NSW (formerly Catholic Education Commission)

Catholic Schools NSW Limited (CSNSW) is a company established by the NSW Bishops and responsible to them for Catholic education in this state. It replaces Catholic Education Commission NSW, which had fulfilled this role since 1974. CSNSW aims to benefit all NSW Catholic schools and their owner/operators by encouraging and fostering greater collaboration at different levels among all of Christ’s faithful who share actively in the apostolate of Catholic education throughout New South Wales.

CSNSW is governed by a Board of nine Directors and its work is undertaken by a secretariat of some 30 staff.

Serving the community

In its service to schools, parishes, religious institutes and dioceses, CSNSW takes a leadership role, coordinating and representing Catholic education in NSW at a state and national level. In this role, CSNSW is the representative voice of Catholic education agencies in New South Wales.

CSNSW acts to ensure the interests of Catholic schools are protected represented in forums where education policy is formed and resource allocation is determined. CSNSW provides policy guidance and professional services to Catholic school agencies in their development of schools as communities of faith.

Summary of CSNSW Constitution

The following is an overview of CSNSW’s roles and responsibilities. The full CSNSW Constitution is available here.


Catholic Schools New South Wales (CSNSW) was established by the 11 diocesan bishops (bishop members of the company) as the overarching entity for the purposes of advancing education and religion in Catholic schools in NSW.

It also exists to ensure that Catholic schools meet their compliance requirements and can measure their activities in such a way as to maximise the education and faith outcomes of students.

CSNSW fulfils several roles, specifically the:

  • Approved system authority for the financing of the NSW Catholic schools system under the Australian Education Act and NSW Education Act
  • Catholic Block Grant Authority in NSW, and the
  • Representative body to governments for NSW Catholic schools


CSNSW also provides leadership in Catholic education to parents and school leaders in dioceses and Religious Institutes. It functions through consultation with Diocesan Directors, Religious Institutes, principal and parent associations as well as the NSW and Australian governments.

It does not involve itself in the administration of schools, except in relation to compliance with relevant legislation.

This means it is responsible for ensuring NSW Catholic systemic schools, managed by the 11 diocesan schools offices, comply with Federal and State funding and legislative requirements.

The bishop members also require CSNSW to report against a range of efficiency and effectiveness indicators relating to the provision of Catholic education.

CSNSW aims to benefit all Catholic schools in NSW, regardless of location or need. It does this through the encouragement and fostering of greater collaboration at different levels among all Christ’s faithful who share actively in the apostolate of Catholic education.


The primary object of CSNSW is to assist Catholic schools authorities (which include diocesan-based Catholic education offices and Religious Institutes) with their provision of Catholic school education and related services.

CSNSW will do this by:

  • acting as an Approved System Authority in accordance with the Australian Education Act (AEA) and its Regulations
  • ensuring that funding for NSW Catholic Schools is distributed in accordance with relevant legislation
  • complying with government obligations at both Federal and State level
  • assisting the Bishops to comply with Church law and policies regarding Catholic education
  • supporting Catholic schools authorities and liaising with them, particularly in relation to grants administration
  • liaising and developing cooperative links with other groups to advance education
  • acting as a facilitator for opportunities to collaborate with Catholic school agencies on education-related matters and fostering a culture whereby educational leadership can meet and engage in common areas where joint approaches can be developed
  • responding to the needs of parents, students and school communities relating to the activities of CSNSW
  • acting as an advocate for Catholic schools with governments, parliaments, the NSW Education Standards Authority, other education agencies, employer groups, the media; and the general public
  • developing reporting frameworks for use by Catholic school agencies and Bishop Members in relation to efficiency and effectiveness
  • assisting Catholic school agencies and Members in the development of education policies, research materials, benchmarking and information sharing which contribute to the enhancement of education quality in Catholic Schools and the maintenance of Catholic identity, and
  • any other activities necessary to further the above objects.
  • Official CSNSW Role Statement

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”