2016 July Newsletter Number 12

Association of Catholic School Principals NSW View Online

2016 Newsletter Number 12 -18th July

Dear Principal

Homily - 2016 National Catholic Education Commission Mass -Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB Archbishop of Perth
“The treasure of Catholic Education, therefore, is always a gift. But, like all gifts, it needs to be received with gratitude and treated with care. It is, of course, a gift given to us not only or primarily for ourselves to rejoice in and celebrate but, rather, so that it can be offered, in all its integrity, to those for whom it is ultimately intended: the children and young people who have been entrusted to us by their families.” – 
Vatican City

The Vatican and Sunni Islam's leading institution of higher learning have begun looking for ways to restart formal dialogue.

Acting on Pope Francis' expressed desire, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was sending a top-level official to Cairo to visit al-Azhar University, the council said in a written press release July 12.

Spanish Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the pontifical council, will attend a "preliminary meeting" July 13 with Mahmoud Hamdi Zakzouk, a member of the university's Council of Senior Scholars and director of the al-Azhar Center for Dialogue. Archbishop Bruno Musaro, the apostolic nuncio to Egypt, was to also attend the meeting. READ MORE

National Catholic Education Commission executive director Ross Fox has said recent media reports questioning the long-standing tradition of governments providing funding to support students in all Australian schools, based on their needs, are an attempt to smear faith-based schools and must be resisted.

Writing on the Vox Fox Blog, Mr Fox referred to separate Fairfax Media reports that made comparisons between schools affiliated with the Exclusive Brethren and the Church of Scientology with nearby government schools. He said the faith background of a school, a student or a family isn’t a factor in determining the level of funding governments allocate.

“Government funding has supported the education of students in all Australian schools for 50 years,” he wrote.

“Religious beliefs of parents and students are irrelevant to school funding. This is true for Catholic schools, Jewish schools, Anglican schools, Muslim schools and any other faith-based school. It should not matter if schools happen to be affiliated with the Church of Scientology, the Exclusive Brethren or the Steiner philosophy.”

Mr Fox said education is seen as a joint national endeavour, with $50 billion spent on school education in 2014, but “attempts to smear faith-based schools damage the great partnership that Australian education represents”.  READ MORE

The former general manager of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority says much of the angst around slipping results on the Programme for International Student Assessment should be tempered by the reality that high-performing school systems often look to Australia’s education system with envy.

Phil Lambert, responding to insights shared in a new book on the pressure students face, especially in secondary schools, said international measures are “helpful” and “should inform policy”. But he said countries that perform well on PISA’s narrow tests often produce students who lack a broader range of skills. READ MORE

Race Discrimination Commissioner's Student Prize now open!

The Race Discrimination Commissioner's Student Prize is an annual competition for school students aimed to promote research and discussion of racism among young people.  The competition is open to students in Years 10 and 11 in an Australian school.

What do entrants need to do?

Entrants may write an essay (maximum 1,000 words) or record a speech (video or audio maximum 7 minutes). 

Entrants must answer one of the following questions:

1. What role should the law play in Australian society's response to racism?

2. Ignorance is the root of racism. Discuss.

3. What challenges does racism pose to Australian society today?

Prize and judging

The winning student will be awarded a book voucher from Dymocks worth $150. Their work will also be featured in the Commissioner's monthly newsletter.

The winning student's school will be awarded a book voucher from Dymocks worth $500. 

The best entry will be selected by the Race Discrimination Commissioner and the winner will be awarded their prize at the Annual Kep Enderby Memorial Lecture in Sydney in October 2016.  

For more information, please visit Racism it Stops with Me website.

Entries close on 17 September 2016

Nominate a Year 6 student who is a making a difference in their community. 
Fred Hollows used to say that “real humanity is shown when we care for others”. The Fred Hollows Foundation is keeping his vision alive through an Award to recognise Year 6 students who show care and compassion for others. The Humanity Award is a fantastic opportunity to recognise students outside the sporting and academic realm, and when it launched in NSW last year it recognised the positive contributions of 97 students from 77 primary schools across the state.

Principals, teachers and parents can nominate a Year 6 student at hollows.org/humanityaward. Nominations will open on July 19 and close Sunday 21 August.  All nominees will be recognised by Gabi Hollows at a presentation ceremony, where a state Junior Ambassador to The Fred Hollows Foundation will also be announced.  “Fred was an ordinary person with a big dream. You never know, we may just find the next Fred Hollows in a New South Wales classroom,” says Gabi Hollows. To nominate a student visit




Julie King
ACSP Executive Officer


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Association of Catholic School Principals


Email: exec@acsp.catholic.edu.au
Address: PO Box 111 The Entrance NSW 2261
Phone: 0458 122 150