Frequently Asked Questions
How can I contact CSNSW?
Catholic Schools New South Wales (CSNSW) is located in Sydney CBD, and can be contacted by phone, email or in person. Please visit the Contact Us page for specific contact information, or view Our People for details of key staff members.
How do I log in to NETiD
To access the user specific services that are available through our website, you must log in through NETiD. A link to the NETiD login screen is available through the NETiD link located on the right hand column of the Home page.
If you do NOT have a NETiD user name and password, or have forgotten your password, use the “Sign up now” or the “Forgotten Password” links at the bottom of the login screen.. Please note that you will only be approved for services once they have been authorised by your School Principal, or Diocesan Director.
What’s the difference between a CEO and the CSNSW?
CSNSW is a policy and finance coordination body appointed by the NSW Catholic Bishops to support Catholic schools in NSW. CSNSW does not administer schools. Catholic schools are conducted by each of the 11 Catholic Dioceses, the Church’s constituent bodies are each headed with a Diocesan Bishop or a Catholic Religious Institute of brothers, nuns or priests. Each Diocese has a Diocesan Catholic Schools Authority known locally as either the Catholic Education Office (CEO) or Catholic Schools Office (CSO), which supports the administration of the Diocesan system schools. Religious Institutes are responsible for the administration of Congregational schools, with access to support from the local Diocesan Catholic Schools Authority.
Why choose a Catholic school?
Catholic schools in Australia respond to and serve the needs of parents who seek a Catholic education for their children. Catholic schools contribute to the Church’s mission to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. They offer the Catholic community and the people of Australia an educational foundation for life to the full, meaning the full development of the person – intellectually, spiritually, physically, morally and emotionally. They fulfil parents’ rights in a democratic, pluralist society to choose the schooling for their children which reflects their own values, beliefs and hopes as Australians. Catholic schools have proven over successive generations since 1806 that they contribute significantly and positively to the development of the Australian community.
How are Catholic schools funded?
There are three sources of funding for Catholic schools. All are derived ultimately from parents, either through taxation or through fees and related contributions. The Australian Government historically makes the largest contribution to the funding of Catholic schools in NSW. Commonwealth funds are provided in three main forms:
- General Recurrent Grants which support the day to day operation of Catholic schools;
- Targeted Programs or National Partnership Funds which address particular education needs; and
- Capital Works Grants which are used to renovate existing schools and build new ones.
Parents of children enrolled in NSW Catholic schools pay fees to support their children’s schooling. They also have to provide school uniforms and learning resources, particularly in secondary schools. Because the costs of operating schools are so high, schools commonly have additional fund raising activities to which families contribute.
What is the history of Catholic schooling?
Catholic schools have operated, in one form or another, for almost 2,000 years. Catholic schools, in the form with which we are familiar, date from the Seventeenth Century. Jean le Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) introduced an integrated curriculum with students grouped by ability and achievement. This approach to schooling, based on groups of students, is used in most Catholic and other schools today. The first Catholic school in Australia dates from 1806. By 1833 there were ten Catholic schools in the colony of NSW. Catholic schools, as with other denominational schools, enjoyed government financial support until that was removed by the NSW Education Act of 1870.
The response of the Catholic Bishops to the withdrawal of funding was to engage Religious congregations of brothers, nuns and priests (now known as Religious Institutes) to staff Catholic schools. Through the enormous efforts of the congregations and the Catholic laity who supported them, Catholic schools flourished in the Australian colonies and in the Commonwealth. By the 1960s when government funding began to be restored, 50 per cent of Catholic children were educated in Australian Catholic schools though non-Catholic students were enrolled too if there was space.
Since the 1960s, Catholic schools have continued to prosper. The proportion of Religious Institute staff in the schools has declined. They have been replaced by lay staff, trained in universities and teachers colleges. Most schools are now administered by Diocesan Catholic Schools Authorities and some are still conducted by Religious Institutes. Catholic schools in NSW are accountable, under the NSW Education Act 1990, to the NSW Board of Studies for registration as schools and for accreditation to present students for the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate. In 2008, there were 538 Diocesan schools and 45 independent Catholic schools in NSW, staffed by 18,191 teachers, educating 238,680 students.
What safeguards are in place in Catholic schools to protect students? E.g. Cyber bullying.
Child protection in Catholic schools is governed by state and national legislation and protocols. The NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 applies to students and staff in all schools. Specific resources have been developed for Catholic schools to support the implementation of the act.
The National Safe Schools Framework was developed by the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA). It incorporates existing good practice and provides an agreed national approach to help schools and their communities address issues of bullying, harassment, violence, child abuse and neglect. It is a collaborative effort by the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments and non-government school authorities including Catholic Schools Authorities. The framework presents a way of achieving a shared vision of physical and emotional safety and wellbeing for all students in all Australian schools.
Currently all NSW Catholic schools are engaged with the implementation of the State government’s new child protection strategy “Keep Them Safe”. For further information on “Keep Them Safe” visit the Department of Community Services website.
What is the structure of Catholic schooling in NSW? I.e. Systemic, Congregational and Special Schools?
The Catholic schools of NSW are conducted either by Diocesan Catholic Schools Authorities or Religious Institutes. Most Catholic schools are Diocesan and are known as systemic schools. There are 11 Catholic Dioceses in NSW. Each Diocese is headed by a Bishop who, under Canon (Church) Law, has responsibility for the quality of Catholic schools in his Diocese. Bishops exercise this responsibility through their Diocesan Catholic Schools Authority, which also provide direct administrative and educational support to the schools in the Diocese.
Congregational schools are conducted by the Religious Institutes of brothers, nuns and priests or by their agents. These schools undertake their own administration with some support from the local Diocesan Catholic Schools Authority.
While Catholic schools provide for a full range of student educational needs, some schools are conducted by the Religious Institutes to address the special needs of students with a range of specific disabilities. These schools are known as Special Schools. Special education services are also provided within systemic schools and independent Catholic schools.
Must my child be Catholic to attend a Catholic school?
While Catholic schools were initially established to educate Catholic children from Catholic families, they have enrolled non-Catholic children since they first opened in NSW. All schools have enrolment policies. Catholic schools give preference to children from Catholic families. However, once those places are filled, children from non-Catholic families are often enrolled. Local schools will provide details of their enrolment policies, which are also generally available on the school’s website.
Which children have Special Education needs?
Children with special education needs include children with learning difficulties, a behaviour disorder and/or a disability. These children have diverse abilities as well as learning support needs. The term “disability” includes children with: an intellectual disability, vision impairment, hearing impairment, physical disability, language disorders, social communication or mental health conditions.
Children with special education needs usually experience difficulties with learning in one or more areas of the curriculum. These difficulties may vary in cause, nature, intensity and duration.
Parents or caregivers are often the first to notice that their child’s development is delayed or that their child is having problems at school. Parents who are concerned with their child’s progress at school should discuss these concerns, in the first instance, with the school principal, teacher or school counsellor.
If you believe your child has special learning needs that require additional support, please contact the principal at your child’s school. The principal will consider your child’s needs in consultation with the Diocesan Coordinator or Advisor.
All schools in Australia have service delivery obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act: Education Standards 2005.
Catholic schools support a parent’s right to choose the most appropriate school for their child. Each Diocese has a coordinator or advisor who will be able to assist parents in choosing the most appropriate school for their child. Then advisers can also assist a local parish school to support a child with a special education need and their family/caregivers.
Are there Catholic Special Schools?
There are seven Catholic Special Schools in NSW. More information including contacts for each of these Catholic Special Schools can be found on the The Association of Catholic Special School Services (ACSSS) of New South Wales page.
Are students enrolled in NSW Catholic schools able to access the School Student Special Transport Scheme?
The School Student Special Transport Scheme (SSSTS) aims to assist eligible students with disabilities to access educational services in both government and non-government schools in New South Wales with a maximum of two funded trips per day.
Transport services are available to students enrolled in government and non-government special schools and support classes or in placements in regular classes for students who are mobility dependent.
To be eligible to apply for transport assistance, students enrolled in Catholic schools in NSW must:
- Have a CSNSW disability confirmation form that confirms the student meets DET established criteria;
- Be enrolled in the closest appropriate Catholic school to their home, following consideration of educational needs and the impact of travelling distance and time on individual learning programs;
- Have parents and/or carers who have demonstrated in writing their inability to provide or arrange travel for the student either fully or in part; and
- Be a permanent resident of New South Wales.
Please contact your school principal in relation to any enquiries and applications for access to the SSSTS. You may also contact the Student Special Transport Unit on 131 071 for further information on the Scheme.
What is the Positive Partnerships: Supporting school aged students on the autism spectrum project?
The Positive Partnerships: supporting school aged students on the autism spectrum project delivers two components of the Helping Children with Autism package as implemented by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). The aim of both components is to improve the educational outcomes for school aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The two components are:
- Professional development for teachers and other school staff who are working with students with ASD (Professional Development Component); and
- Workshops and information sessions for parents and carers of school aged children with ASD (Parent/Carer Component).
Both components are delivered nationally by the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium (AAETC).