A New Era in Catholic Education in NSW

Catholic systemic schools in NSW will have a new governing body from July this year.

The Bishops of the state’s 11 dioceses have decided to replace the Catholic Education Commission NSW (CECNSW) with a new company, Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW).

It will represent and oversee Catholic schooling in the state.

An expert Board of Directors will replace the current 21-member representative Commission structure.

The Bishops’ spokesperson on Education and current CECNSW chairman, Bishop Peter A. Comensoli, said the new structure is designed to improve the governance of Catholic schooling in NSW, particularly in compliance, funding, and reporting.

He said it would also lead to the development of efficiencies across the system.

“The new company will become the Approved System Authority for receiving and distributing State and Commonwealth funding, and set policy on compliance and audit issues relating to school funding and registration,” Bishop Comensoli said.

“CSNSW will also provide a strong platform to support each diocese to engage in their mission work and promote the importance of Catholic education through the work of the state’s 545 systemic schools and foster and support collaborative ministry.

“The Bishops believe this decision provides an opportunity for a new and exciting development in Catholic education.”

Bishop Comensoli said the current structure was established more than 20 years ago and served Catholic schools well, but a new framework was needed to meet new goals.

“A single governance structure will mean improvements in policy and educational strategy, better sharing of resources and greater opportunities for cooperation within the Catholic school system.

“This will mean a positive flow-on effect in classrooms and staff rooms.”

Bishop Comensoli said the Board of Directors and CEO will be appointed in the coming months. The role of current Commissioners will finish on 30 June, although the work of the Secretariat will continue during a six month transition.

It is expected the new entity will take over full responsibilities on January 1 next year.

“I want to acknowledge the contribution of CECNSW’s Executive Director, Dr Brian Croke, who has provided excellent leadership and expertise during his lifelong career in education. We look forward to Brian working with us through the transition period as we enter the next phase of Catholic schooling in NSW,” Bishop Comensoli said.


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