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Catholic education election report card on major parties

Catholic education has released a federal election report card assessing the responses from the major political parties on education priorities.

The report card assess the Coalition, Labor and Green’s responses to the priorities of:

  • Genuine school choice through fair funding and ensuring affordable contributions from families
  • Enabling faith-based education through religious protections
  • Improving capital funding
  • Support for delivering national priorities such as quality teaching, early childhood education, mental health and wellbeing programs and Closing the gap initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Islander students

National Catholic Education executive director Jacinta Collins said the report card shows the Liberal National Coalition and Labor are on par in addressing Catholic education’s priorities, particularly on school choice.

“We are fortunate that both major parties continue to support genuine school choice in Australian education and are committed to families who choose a Catholic education for their children,” Ms Collins said.

Responses sought from key independent candidates are also being evaluated.

The full report card and major party responses is available via https://www.ncec.catholic.edu.au/federal-election-2022 or can be viewed below:

Authorised by J Collins, National Catholic Education Commission, Level 3, 156 Gloucester Street, Sydney.

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Greetings once again,

With the Federal Election now less than two weeks away we are forwarding to you the most recent responses from the major parties to policy questions put to them in regard to Catholic education. You will also find a ‘Report Card’ which compares responses from the three major parties to a series of questions. Please, with your Principals permission forward them to the parents in your school community for their reference. These resources have been developed to ensure that you as voters can make an informed decision as you go to the polls on May 21st particularly with regard to support for Catholic education.

As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to the office on 9338 9985 or Siobhan on 0409 025 683.

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Parent/carer support

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The National Assessment Plan for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) commences for students this year on Monday 10 May.

As children progress through their school years, it is very important that checks are made along the way to see how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and mathematics – skills that will set them upon the path to success as adults.

NAPLAN is a point-in-time assessment that allows parents and carers to see how their child is progressing in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia. At the classroom level, NAPLAN provides additional information to support teachers’ professional judgement about student progress.

Federal, state and territory education ministers agreed to gradually transition NAPLAN online by 2022. NAPLAN online is a tailored test that adapts to student responses, providing better assessment and more precise results.

To access the parent information brochure, please follow the link below -

https://nap.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/naplan-information-brochure-for-parents-and-carers.pdf 


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Being able to read is a vital life skill. From filling out forms, to opening bank accounts to reading the newspaper or being able to enjoy the recent 'bestseller,' being able to read is essential. Teaching children to read is a joint responsibility between parents and their children's teachers. Teachers bring the expertise in developing the skills that children need to learn how to read and parents provide the opportunity at home to practice those skills. Even in the ever busy world that we live in, we as parents should prioritise time every day to read with our children and to encourage them to enjoy the world that reading opens up to them. Reading with our children does not have to stop once they are competent readers. Hopping into bed with your teenager and reading a chapter of their book with them is a great way to keep connected with them.

The Premier's Reading Challenge is a great incentive for children to put the gaming device down and picking up a book. Please take the time to check the information below and help your child to get organised for the Challenge.

Be their reading legend. Reading just 10 minutes each day makes a difference.

Reading takes you anywhere, and by making time each day to either read with your child or children, or by encouraging them to read, you are making a huge difference to their literacy.

We are excited for you to join the Premier's Reading Challenge and be your child’s reading legend.

Get started
  1. Sign up and create an account using your email address and details.
  2. Complete your child or children's details to register them for the challenge.
  3. Let your child select an avatar.

You can register more than one child at a time.

The challenge

In your account you will have access to your 2022 Premier's Reading Challenge where you can:

  • access your child or children's reading challenge account.
  • find more than 7,000 book titles from our booklist.
  • log your child’s books - these can be books from our booklist or new titles (these include recording foreign language material and books read in a different format).
  • encourage your child to add a review or 'like' the book.
  • view your child's bookshelf, to see the books you have logged during the challenge.
  • track your child's progress in the challenge.

You will need to log at least 12 books your child has read over this challenge, but feel free to keep adding more titles as they read.

By logging your child's books, they will be in the running to win some fantastic prizes, including family holidays and experiences across Western Australia.

A reading record is available if you cannot access an online account.

We want everyone to have access to books, in any format this is needed. We have partnered with the State Library of Western Australia to try and have as many of the challenge books available, and in as many formats possible. Your school library may also have these books.

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The federal election will be held on Saturday 21 May. The Catholic education sector, in collaboration with Catholic School Parents Australia, has already commenced discussions with the major political parties and candidates in some electorates, to highlight the key priorities for our school communities. To find out more about the key priorities please follow the link below -

https://www.ncec.catholic.edu.au/federal-election-2022 

Additional information can be found here -

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As alluded to by Siobhan in her welcome, we are always extremely grateful to both Federal and State government for their ongoing financial support in addition to their support of school choice and the ability for parents to choose the education which best suits their chldrens' needs. However parents should also be aware of the significant contribution that Catholic education makes to both National and State economies. To see how that looks here in Western Australia, please follow the links below,

https://www.cewa.edu.au/publication/building-a-brighter-wa/

https://www.everychildcounts.net.au/  

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Has someone shared a nude image of your child or young person without their consent?

This is called image-based abuse and it’s never OK.

This is a confronting conversation for both young people and their parents, however, sadly one that needs to be had.

Watching the harrowing story of 15yo Tilly Rosewarne on 60 Minutes recently has prompted us to remind all young people and their parents of the existence of the eSafety Commissioner and the recently legislated Online Safety Act.

Even if you or your young person feels sure that no nudes have been shared unfortunately ‘fakes’ that have been made to look like someone else can be the cause of massive anxiety and distress.

If this has happened to you or one of your children, you are not alone and there is a lot of practical support out there including help to have these images removed.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has welcomed the commencement of the Online Safety Act, which provides additional protections for Australians in the fight against online harms.

“The Online Safety Act has now come into force and makes Australia’s existing laws for online safety more expansive and much stronger,” said eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

“These new laws cement eSafety’s role as a world leader in online safety. They place Australia at the international forefront in the fight against online abuse and harm – providing additional protections for Australians in the fight against online harms through our approach of prevention, protection, and proactive change in the online space.”

For the past year, eSafety has been planning for the commencement of the Online Safety Act, issuing a series of regulatory guidance pieces to prepare industry and other stakeholders for how eSafety will be implementing the new legislation. 

Now the Online Safety Act has commenced, eSafety can receive reports which fall under the new legislation through their website.

Every situation is unique and every matter reported to eSafety will be considered on a case-by-case basis. eSafety will be able to offer support, information and advice, even in situations where they are unable to take regulatory action under the new laws.

To access some tips on how to take action and get help.

https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/my-nudes-have-been-shared

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National Volunteer Week will be held between 16 – 22 May 2022, with this years theme being Better Together. Volunteering brings people together; it builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. 

You may like to visit the Volunteering Australia website for ideas on how to get involved and how to thank the volunteers in your community: https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/get-involved/nvw/

CSPWA has several resources available on our website with tips on how to engage volunteers, and the benefits of volunteering. Please see: https://cspwa.schoolzineplus.com/resources.

We will also be posting resources and stories on our Facebook page so please make sure you are following us: https://www.facebook.com/cspwesternaustralia

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The 68th CSPWA Annual General meeting will take place on Thursday 16th June 2022 from 7-8pm. Parents from all Catholic Schools across WA are invited to attend. If you have any items you would like to place on the agenda, please forward them to admin@csp.wa.edu.au by Friday 3 June.

Each financially affiliated school parent body is entitled to two votes. These votes will be held by delegates. Where there are more than two delegates from an eligible school, the additional participants are observers and have no voting or speaking rights.

Members from schools who are financially affiliated with CSPWA are also invited to consider nomination to Council at the AGM.

Registration information will be provided in the coming weeks, and the agenda and nomination for council forms will be forwarded after registration.

Nominations to CSPWA Council:

The Council of Catholic School Parents WA Inc (the Council) is responsible for the governance of the organisation and ensuring that its objectives are met. Elected members of the Council represent all parents of children in Western Australian Catholic Schools.

Council members also have the opportunity to represent CSPWA on national, state and Catholic education sector committees and working parties as it fits with their personal circumstances and availability, area of expertise, interest and knowledge. 

If joining our council is something you might be interested in or if you would like to find out more, please contact Siobhan Allen, Executive Director CSPWA on 0409 025 683.

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The Council of CSPWA, with the support of the office staff, have been working to update the CSPWA Strategic Plan for 2022 - 2025.

We are now happy to announce that this work has been completed and we attach here a copy for your interest. Although our key role is still to provide advocacy, service and represention for parents who choose a Catholic education for their children, we have also chosen to highlight the work we do in building partnerships with others in Catholic education, such as school advisory councils, school leadership teams, CEWA and those schools who now sit outside the CEWA goverance structure. We work on these partnerships to ensure that the parent perspective can be heard in all of the conversations that matter.

Whilst all school parent groups will receive a hard copy in the coming weeks, you can have a first look here: https://cspwa.schoolzineplus.com/about-cspwa/strategic-plan-2022-2025

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Pilgrimage along the Camino Salvado

SAVE THE DATE!

The members of CSPWA Council and Staff would be delighted to have you join us for our first ever Parent Pilgrimage.

The Camino Salvado is a pilgrimage from Subiaco to New Norcia WA in the spirit of Dom Salvado, a pioneering monk from Santiago in Spain. The pilgrimage generally traces Dom Salvado's footsteps in 1846 when he founded Australia's unique monastery town of New Norcia. 

The CSPWA pilgrimage will follow the first section of this pilgrimage route. It will commence at St Joseph's Church in Subiaco, go through the city to St Mary's Cathedral and along the river to Bardon Park in Maylands (a distance of approximately 8kms).

On Pilgrimage, we encounter God, ourselves, others and nature. The CSPWA pilgrimage will be an opportunity for participants to learn more about, and to experience the ancient faith tradition of pilgrimage, while spending time with others from our Catholic Community.

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The Awards of Excellence in Building Positive Catholic School Communities is a rewarding part of work that Catholic School Parents WA does in acknowledging and celebrating the wonderful work that is carried out within our Catholic school communities.

The awards celebrate those within our school communities who contribute to and demonstrate positive outcomes for students, families, and the wider school community. There are five award categories. These include an award for an 'Individual Parent', 'P&F /Parent Group', 'Parish', and 'Principal'. The fifth award is 'The Agnes Weymouth Award' and is awarded to any individual / team within a school community who contributes to building a positive school community. The criteria for each award are listed below and the nomination forms are available to download from the CSPWA website at: https://cspwa.schoolzineplus.com/CSPWA-awards-of-excellence

Criteria for Parent award -

  • works collaboratively with the Principal, staff and other parents
  • actively works for the benefit of the school, its parents, and students
  • promotes and affirms the work of the school in the education of the children
  • creates opportunities in the school to build community

Criteria for P&F/Parent Group award -

  • works collaboratively with the Principal and staff
  • organises and /or promotes social initiatives to encourage community involvement
  • promotes and affirms the work of the school in education of the children
  • takes the time to listen to and support school requests
  • provides good networking opportunities in the school to build community

Criteria for Parish award - 

  • works collaboratively for the benefit of both the school community and the parish
  • actively engages with social initiatives
  • promotes and affirms the work of the school and the parish
  • provides good networking opportunities in the school and parish to build community

Criterial for Principal award -

  • works collaboratively with the school community
  • actively engages with and supports P&F/ Parent Group initiatives
  • promotes and affirms the work of the P&F/ Parent Group in their school
  • takes time to listen to the parent perspective
  • supports the building of community and networking opportunities

Criteria for Agnes Weymouth Award -

  • any member of school community is eligible for this award - especially if they sit outside one of the four previous categories (Nominees could include, but are not limited to teachers, maintenance teams, administrative staff or those staff members who commit to extra-curricular activities.)
  • supports the school by working in partnership for the best outcomes for all

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Siobhan

Welcome to Term 2, and to a very much more positive start than that of Term 1.

The break over Easter was a welcome one and I hope that you all managed to have some special/family time with your loved ones.

Covid-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted which is good news for all and masks are not required to the same extent as before. We see from the news every evening that cases are still quite significant although thankfully the number of people having to be hospitalised seems to be dropping. It should be remembered however that as we move towards winter, it is more important that ever to ensure we are all fully vaccinated if possible, including with the flu vaccine.

As we move towards a more ‘normal’ way of existence, we continue to encourage P&Fs /Parent Groups to reach out to your communities. In particular, we encourage you to reach out to the parents and families in Kindy and Year 7 who will have been impacted by not being able to participate in activities on school sites in Term 1 and therefore get to know the other parents/ carers in their children’s year groups. Many of us developed great friendships and support groups in those transition years which continued on through our children’s journey through primary and then secondary school. For many parents, especially those who do not have family close by, school becomes an important part of their community, and our key role as parent groups is to engage with as many of those in our community as we can. This brings significant wellbeing outcomes to all members of our community, parents, teachers and of course our children and young people.

We are reminded of the important role that P&Fs play in our schools as we look toward Volunteer Week commencing on May 16. Volunteering is such a rewarding experience, both to participate in but which also demonstrates to our children the importance of putting some time by to help others. Further along in the newsletter you will find information about the benefits of volunteering as well as some tips on recruiting volunteers for your school parent group. Thanking those who give of their time, whether it is one hour or ten, is an important part of this, so take time to thank the volunteers in your school community during Volunteer Week!

CSPWA recognise the wonderful work that volunteers commit to in our schools through the presentation of the annual ‘Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities’. The date for this year’s Awards of Excellence event is Friday 5 August and nominations are now open! You will find information on how to participate further down in this newsletter. We urge you to recognise those in your schools who contribute to building positive school communities by nominating them for an award this year!

With just over two weeks to go before the Federal Election, members of CSPWA in collaboration with Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) have been busy meeting with as many politicians as we can to ascertain how they intend to support those families who choose a Catholic Education for their children, as we move forward. In addition, here in WA, CSPWA has been working in close partnership with Catholic Education WA (CEWA) not only in putting forward our requests to our local politicians but also, importantly, ensuring that they are aware of the contribution that we as parents make to the economy of both the State of WA and Australia  through choosing a Catholic education for our children. Whilst we continue to be extremely grateful for the financial assistance we currently receive from both Federal and State governments it is important that all are aware of the very real benefits that Catholic Education to the state and national economies. You will find in this newsletter links to several resources which you will find useful should you have the opportunity to meet with your local candidates. It is important that as parents we are aware of the funding arrangements for our schools, which enables us to have meaningful and relevant conversations with our elected representatives. As always, if you need any assistance with this please don’t hesitate to contact the office. 

The National Assessment Plan for Numeracy and Literacy (NAPLAN) commences this month for students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9. This year for most students NAPLAN will be completed online which provides a more engaging experience for our children. We have included in this newsletter a link to the Autralian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) website which provides information for parents regarding NAPLAN. Importantly it is important to support your child by reassuring them that NAPLAN is just another part of their school program and reminding them to simply do their best.

Lastly, but importantly please note the date for the CSPWA AGM has been set for Thursday June 16. The AGM will be a hybrid meeting and those of you who wish to join us on the evening will be able to join us in person (Covid-19 permitting) or online. Additional information will be forwarded to you over the coming weeks.

I hope that you enjoy the wide variety of articles in this newsletter and as always please don't hesitate to contact the office if you would like any further information regarding any of the topic covered.

Enjoy the rest of the term!

Warm regards

Siobhan

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May the resurrection of Jesus Christ bring you and your family new hope, joy, and happiness into your lives.

This Easter holidays take the time out with your family and enjoy your time together.

The Council and Staff of Catholic School Parents WA wish you all a Happy Easter.

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Did you know that approximately 80% of young people turn to their parents in the first instance for careers advice?

Do you feel competent as a parent to provide that advice?

The reality is that there are job opportunities for young people today that didn’t even exist ten years ago - jobs and career pathways that didn’t exist ten years ago.

Career conversations therefore are more important than ever to ensure our young people are aware of all the opportunities available to them. These sessions will also help to build the capacity and knowledge of parents to engage in these important conversations in a meaningful way.

There are plenty of options to choose from so book one today using the QR code provided in the flyer below.

Web Article
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As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in wellbeing and pastoral care have never been more important in Catholic schools.

"The CEWA Wellbeing Framework seeks to enhance the capabilities, connections and conditions for students, staff and wider school communities".

Business News - March 2022

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NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) is the only national assessment that all Australian children undertake. It provides comparable data about student performance in literacy and numeracy nationally and over time.

It is a nationwide measure to see whether or not young Australians are developing the literacy and numeracy skills that provide the critical foundation for other learning, and for their productive and rewarding participation in the community.

Many of you will have heard in the media recently, that there are changes coming to NAPLAN from 2023. By clicking the link below you will find a FAQ’s document which should answer most of the queries you may have.

NAPLAN improvements frequently asked questions.

For more information about how NAPLAN fits into the education landscape please click below.

https://www.myschool.edu.au/naplan-explained#N1

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Siobhan

What a term!

Rarely have I anticipated and looked forward to the joy of the Easter season more. I suspect that I am not the only one and that all members of our statewide Catholic school community will welcome the break from routine that the school holidays afford us.

Whilst although on one hand we are all very aware that here in WA we have been blessed regarding the severity of our COVID-19 experience, we extend our sincere condolences to those who have lost family members in recent months. We also keep in our prayers those who are in hospital and in intensive care and wish them all a speedy recovery.

According to the many parents we have been in touch with this term, the work that is going on in our schools to keep students and staff safe is just phenomenal. Although it is an anxious and uncertain time for all, our Catholic school communities are pulling together for the good of everyone. While there is no doubt that there are those who are frustrated with the frequent but necessary changes in instructions from the Chief Medical Officer, our schools have managed to keep parents informed as quickly and effectively as they can. We know that the extra load placed on our school leaders as they take on the responsibility of contact tracing along with managing the added financial burden placed on them as they seek to provide the additional resources required to ensure the health and safety of our children and their teachers, could only have been made possible with their total and utter commitment to their school communities.

We also know that many P&Fs are continuing to have meetings, albeit online. (We will all be experts at Teams and Zoom by the time we are through all this?) CSPWA applaud those of you who continue to persevere with these meetings as the importance of continuing to reach out your school communities cannot be understated. There seem to be never-ending stories across the media about the impact that COVID-19 is having on the health and wellbeing of many members of our society, particularly our young people. Every little thing we can do to stay connected with one another is important even if it is just to check in on how others are going. P&Fs are generally in a good position to reach out to members of their communities, and we strongly encourage you to continue doing so. I know that many are planning events and good things later in the year and we are looking forward to hearing about these in due course.

However even as we continue to navigate our way through COVID-19 school life moves on. We know through the social media pages of schools that teaching and learning continues, celebrations of special days, such as Harmony Day, Bullying No Way Day and St Patricks Day to name but a few, are as creative as always.

You will all be aware, by the appearance of key Federal politicians in our state in recent weeks, that a Federal election looms large. This provides a great opportunity for you as school parents to build on the relationships you may already have with your local Federal representatives or indeed to build new ones.  We encourage you to reach out to politicians from all sides of the political divide and question them about how they propose to continue their support of Catholic education. A key concern for us as parents within the Catholic education system here in WA is that of COVID-19 financial support. To date we have received very little financial support, while diligently complying with all the measures put in place by our state government to keep our communities as safe as we can. Here at CSPWA we have always maintained that COVID-9 is not an educational issue but in fact a health issue and therefore it seems most unfair that our children cannot access their fair share of public funding to help with the vital additional measures that have had to be put in place to ensure their safety. This is a topic which should be raised with your local representatives. If you would like any help or assistance with setting up meetings or agendas for these meetings, please do not hesitate to contact our office and we will be very happy to assist you.

I don’t feel that I can sign off without mentioning the dreadful situation that is unfolding in Ukraine. It is heart wrenching to watch the news and to see the plight of Ukrainian families being torn apart through death, destruction or having to escape to other countries. We urge you all as we approach the holy season of Easter to pray hard for these families and to that end, we share a prayer provided by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB in this newsletter. You may choose to read it at the commencement of your next P&F meeting or indeed just privately with your own family.

It is often distressing for children or young people to witness war or conflict on TV or elsewhere and so I share with you here an article which you may find useful in having a conversation about this very confronting and distressing situation.  https://theconversation.com/how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-invasion-of-ukraine-and-why-those-conversations-are-important-177983

Finally on a more positive note, on behalf of the council and staff of Catholic School Parents WA I wish you all the joys of the Easter season and the wonderful message it brings to all, that out of darkness comes light.

God Bless

 

Siobhan

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Hello my name is Nicole and I joined CSPWA in March 2021 as the Admin Officer. At the beginning of this year, our team did a little bit of restructuring, and as a result I have also taken on the role as "Support Officer", which has traditionally been know as the Liaison Officer. My email address is support@csp.wa.edu.au and I look forward to meeting all of you (including by email and phone) over the course of the year.

Usually in term 1, the Support Officer would be attending P&F meetings to provide information, support new P&F members with setting things up, or offering ideas for events and ways to attract more volunteers. Even though there are restrictions in place, I just wanted to let you know that the offer is still there to join your P&F meetings via Zoom or Teams, or I am happy to arrange a virtual catch up with any of the Office Bearers from your Parent Group at another convenient time to provide support and information.

You may also like to check out the resources section on our new website, which we have been updating over the last year (https://cspwa.schoolzineplus.com/parent-groups). If you can't find what you are looking for online, please give our office a call on 9338 9985 and we can look at developing a new resource to add to the list.
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New research by Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) aims to capture parent perspectives on issues of concern to help inform future federal government policy.

“We will be gathering evidence nationally on existing and emerging issues of concern for Catholic school families, especially issues that impact on their children’s health, wellbeing and learning,” CSPA chair, Karl Rodrigues said.

“We are keen to hear parent perspectives from a cross-section of families including those with children experiencing challenges around learning and from families with children in remote school settings.”

The research will incorporate surveys, parent/carer interviews and strategic reference group discussions.

“We will be working with our CSPA state and territory members and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth to undertake this research across Terms 2 and 3 this year,” Karl said. 

“It’s an exciting opportunity that will shed critical insights into how to enhance parent engagement in student learning, and will no doubt capture the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on school communities.”

CSPA is the national representative body for parents/carers with children and young people in Catholic schools. Working with Catholic school principals and parents, CSPA seeks to better understand how parents and carers can work in partnership with school staff to benefit the health, wellbeing and learning of students. CSPWA is an affiliated member of CSPA.

Learn more about work already undertaken on the Parent Engagement website and watch out for new video resources which will be available by early 2023. CSPA acknowledges the funding received from the Australian Government for this work.

Find out more about CSPA here.

Image: Catholic School Parents Australia

Article: Australian Catholic Education News

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