Media Releases | Aug 06, 2021

Safety, Certainty and Learning for Term 3 in NSW Catholic Schools

MEDIA RELEASE: Safety, Certainty and Learning for Term 3 in NSW Catholic Schools

Catholic Schools NSW welcomes the announcement from the NSW Government today and has overlaid this with additional detail.

Acknowledging that the pandemic continues to surprise, it is our ambition to provide as much certainty and clear guidance as possible for school operations, teacher planning, student participation and family support.

Having regard to health and other government advice, the following details the approach for the rest of Term 3 and into Term 4 for Catholic schools in areas subject to published health orders and level 4 restrictions:

HSC Students

• The Premier’s desire for early support for HSC students is strongly supported by Catholic Education; so too is the guidance from the Premier that a uniform policy is not needed, and responses should reflect “what is happening in their [local] communities”.

• Catholic schools are firmly committed to our students receiving an HSC award in 2021, including safe participation in the scheduled, public HSC examinations in a written format.

• Noting the Trial HSC Examinations are not a mandatory form of assessment, decisions regarding Trial Examinations are devolved to individual schools and Systems, who will determine what alternative assessment or student activity will be implemented, these decisions will have regard for NESA’s HSC assessment advice.

• HSC students will not participate in any Trial HSC Examinations onsite at schools, and will not return to school for normal onsite learning in Term 3 until all students have been cleared to return, allowing remote learning to continue as an acceptable alternative. Schools will determine how they run assessments on a school by school basis.

• Consistent with the Public Health Order, HSC students, for whom it is necessary to attend school will be supported to do so. Students will be supported to meet assessment requirements for their major works, performance rehearsals and oral exams, where applicable. Our schools are well positioned in this regard.

Kindergarten to Year 11

• More definitive advice on whether face to face teaching can resume in Term 3 after 28 August will be issued as health advice is updated. Noting that Term 3 continues for some weeks into September, we seek the earliest possible advice from the government about this matter.

• Parents should be assured that Catholic schools are preparing for the contingency of remote learning for the remainder of Term 3, with only those students who need to attend school doing so. This can be delivered and will enable teachers to plan remote learning interventions with greater certainty.

• Term 4 will return to onsite learning for all students, contingent on government advice and in a manner reflecting health guidelines.

Catholic schools will develop plans for assessment and reporting for K-11 that address the constraints of Term 3, including the Record of School Achievement and HSC 2022 activities for current Year 11 students.

Catholic Schools NSW CEO Dallas McInerney said that our ambition has always been to support our students, staff, parents and families as best we can.

“What school communities need at present is certainty for their learning and assurance on their safety. Our plan delivers both.”

“This statement covers the HSC students but goes beyond, noting these issues are being felt throughout entire school communities.” he said.
“We hope students will return to school this term but we are planning for the very real possibility that this does not happen. Our plan ensures our parents and families can feel confident that their children will be supported.”

Mr McInerney added that Catholic Schools across NSW would continue to follow the health advice and work closely with the government as has been the case throughout the pandemic.

“Our schools have best been served when we have worked as one with the government, this continues to be the core abiding principal of our approach.”
Catholic Schools NSW represents the state’s 598 Catholic schools, which educate some 255,000 students

Read the full media release here

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