Welcome to Term 2
April 30th 2020
A warm welcome back to Term 2 whether your children have returned to school physically or whether they will continue to learn from home for a while longer.
Catholic School Parents WA welcome Catholic Education WA’s endorsement of parents’ right to choose what is best for their children, by supporting them in making the decision of whether to send their children back to school or to keep them home for the first three weeks of term two. This option was initially made very clear in a media conference given by Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery on Friday 17th April and we thank them also for acknowledging that parents are best placed to know what is right for their own children.
What does seem to have caused some confusion, however, is the type of education our children will be able to access. Years 11 and 12 are strongly encouraged to return to school this week where they will access a traditional face-to-face education. Children from Kindy to year 10 will access the curriculum on-line, whether they are at home or at school. The words below from Dr Debra Sayce, Executive Director of Catholic Education WA explain clearly what will happen:
“Every child who attends a Catholic school in the coming days (at home or at school) will receive equitable access to engaging teaching and learning opportunities, and attentive pastoral care. Children will not just be supervised. Children attending school will be taught. Children at home will be taught. The content and mode of delivery will be same. Our schools will ensure that all children, regardless of the choice made by parents, will be provided a quality Catholic education”.
As an organisation who for many years has advocated for equal access for all children to a quality education, CSPWA are fully supportive of every child currently having equal access to their education in the same manner - online. It would be most unfortunate, if because of a parent’s valid decision, during these challenging times, children were penalised in any way through receiving differing types of education. We are also aware, through conversations over the past weeks with many of our parents who are also teachers, that they have been working long, hard hours ensuring that the online curriculum is rigorous and ready to go, with the expectation that their students will engage with it in the same way, whether that is from home or from school.
It was disappointing therefore to hear in the media, the suggestion that our children in Catholic schools are being provided with a form of inferior education (and therefore parents should be asking for a discount!), as this will not be the case, it will just be an equitable one.
CSPWA thank our teachers and all school staff enormously for the time and effort they have put in to make this happen. As Jimmy Barnes recently acknowledged on social media, “you guys are the rockstars right now!” and CSPWA agrees.
CSPWA staff will be back at work from Tuesday this week, (although just like everyone else involved in education at the moment, we have continued with our advocacy in ensuring the parent perspective is heard in conversations which relate to our children, during the Easter break).
We are available as always to provide advice, support and information which may help you in your role as parents and as members of your school parent groups. You will also find a new section on our website which will hopefully provide you with additional assistance to get you through these difficult times, please have a look by clicking here.
Although we welcome the news that we can now gather in groups of ten, and in particular catch up with our extended families (while still maintaining social distancing!), we are aware that we still have a long way to go. We urge you all to continue the great work, particularly in and around schools, in adhering to the guidelines put in place to keep all of us safe.
Here at CSPWA we are looking forward to a productive and positive term, and we very much look forward to when we can visit schools again to assist you in the work that you as parents do, to make our schools the wonderful communities they are.
Onwards and upwards!