Following a thorough national search and the identification of a number of highly-qualified candidates, the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education announced today, 17 May, that Christian Zahra will serve as the next executive director of the National Catholic Education Commission.
Making the announcement, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, said, ‘Across a range of spheres – including politics, community development and business – Christian has been a major contributor to Australian society over the past two decades. In this new role, he will help to shape the educational opportunities of the one in five children and young people being educated in the 1,737 Catholic schools across the country. Continue reading
The Bishops Commission for Catholic Education, speaking on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has expressed concern at some elements of the Federal Government’s budget announcement regarding Catholic school funding.
As Bishops, we acknowledge the difficult financial situation currently faced by the Government and the nation. We are fully aware of the need for restraint and responsible stewardship of the nation’s resources. We also acknowledge the Government’s recognition, in its funding proposals, of its responsibility to facilitate parental choice in the matter of education. It is this principle that undergirds the now well-established practice of funding a Government education system and a Catholic education system, as well as hundreds of Independent schools.
We are encouraged that the Government has now announced that there will be a minimum funding indexation for all Australian schools in the medium to long term. The Government’s proposed floating indexation rate had been creating uncertainty for schools, school systems and families. Continue reading
Bishop Mark Edwards
First published in the Herald Sun on 20 July 2016.
More than 3000 Australian youth are brimming with excitement at the prospect of attending a Papal mass with 2.5 million devoted Catholics in Poland.
Among Victorians heading to World Youth Day in Krakow are five students from Catholic Regional College Sydenham.
Andrew Owen, 16, said he had travelled overseas before but this would be different: He had a spiritual purpose.
“It’s not a holiday. It’s not a time for us to relax. It’s time for us to build connections, to think, reflect and be spiritual with other people. It’s about understanding our faith better,” Andrew said.
The students agreed seeing Pope Francis and celebrating the open air mass would be the highlight.
Geraldine Vytilingam, 16, said: “It’s literally a dream come true. I’m really excited to meet Pope Francis. I think he is an incredible example of mercy.” Continue reading
A report from the Centre for Policy Development released today contains analysis of the Australian education system. National Catholic Education Commission executive director Ross Fox says the report contains flawed analysis and unsubstantiated claims.
Projections on school funding
The report’s authors claim that by 2020, Catholic schools will be receiving higher levels of funding from government sources than government schools. The methodology used to create those so-called projections is seriously flawed and not credible, Mr Fox said.
“The funding projections have been done using historical funding data, a ruler and a pencil,” Mr Fox said.
“When looking at future trends in school funding, it makes no sense to assume that future trends will be identical to past trends. The ‘projections’ in the report ignore the major changes to Commonwealth funding of schools that arose out of the Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling and began in 2014. These arrangements have bipartisan support until 2017.” Continue reading
The National Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the Coalition Government’s announcement of $1.2 billion in additional funding to support all Australian schools, saying it has placed school education at the centre of this year’s federal election campaign.
“Schools are important institutions in the community and well-directed investment in schools will determine the future of Australia as a society and an economy,” NCEC executive director Ross Fox said.
“Catholic education is pleased that the Government has today committed to future funding that reflects real costs for schools.”
In its announcement, the Coalition said per-student school funding from 2018 will increase at 3.56 per cent each year, which it says is in line with recent increases in school costs. Over the past two years, the NCEC has led calls for needs-based funding for all schools, with funding that keeps pace with school costs. Continue reading