Welcome to Term 3, 2021
Welcome to semester 2 – as we get started on the second half of the school year!
As with everyone the council and staff members of CSPWA are busy and involved in many different activities, not the least of which is the State Conference which takes place on 6 & 7 August. As you will no doubt have seen on our website, FB page and through the correspondence we have sent though to schools, the theme this year is ‘Put Your Own Mask on First’. This alludes to the fact that as we help our children and young people navigate their way through school, it is so important that we as parents are as prepared as we can be to help develop independent, happy young people. You will find information about the conference including the wonderful speakers, Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities and registration details on our website and FB page.
It is not too late to register as we have a couple of spots left, including two rooms at the Promenade Hotel, Crown for parents from outside the metro area to attend, through the generous assistance of Lotterywest. If you would like to access more information about this please contact Rose Fogarty on 0438 915 924.
The conference is not the only thing keeping us busy. We have just received the draft design of our new website and we will move ahead with this as soon as the conference proceedings are over. Most of our current content will move across to the new website although as we go through it, we are taking the time to update as appropriate. One of the important documents that we are updating at present is ‘The Effective P&F’. You will notice some subtle changes in a general sense and some significant changes to the role of P&F Treasurer and the monies of the P&F. We are working closely with our colleagues at CEWA to ensure that the advice we provide will be correct and in line with CEWA Ltd.’s requirements. For some parent groups it will mean very little change and for others a bit more, so watch this space.
The other key document we are working on is the new Terms of Reference for P&F Associations/ Parent Groups. This will likely take the place of current P&F Constitutions and again will ensure that P&Fs are operating in a manner which is transparent and in close collaboration with their school. Again, for many Parent Groups this will not entail significant change and CSPWA of course will be on hand and available to assist with any changes advised or required.
CSPWA are continuing to encourage P&Fs / Parent Groups to invite your Government Representatives along to meetings at your schools. The development of positive relationships with representatives at all levels is immensely important as it enables politicians to know first-hand the great work happening at your school and assists them in forming personal connections with parents (voters!). If you would like any assistance in organising these meetings, please do not hesitate to call our office, alternatively you will find a copy of our resource ‘A Guide to Building Relationships with your Government Representatives’ on our website. You will also note further down in this newsletter a copy of the correspondence to parents and carers that many of you will have seen through your own schools from Dr Debra Sayce, Executive Director CEWA, outlining the additional funding that Catholic Education WA seeks in order to ensure our schools remain accessible and affordable for all those families who seek a Catholic education for their children and young people.
The council and staff of CSPWA look forward to working with you on all of these initiatives and in particular to showcasing to our Government Representatives the wonderful story that is Catholic Education WA.
Till next time, stay safe!
‘As government funding only accounts for 76% of the cost of education for students attending Catholic schools, parents are required to contribute to the cost of their children’s education if they chose to send their child to a Catholic School. If Catholic school students were to take up government school places to which they are entitled, the WA taxpayer would have to bear the significant extra costs.’ Contributing to Stronger WA communities’ – 2020
Whilst we are always mindful that the advocacy CSPWA engages in on behalf of parents of children in Catholic schools should not be at the expense of the wellbeing and effective education of those in other education sectors, currently children in Catholic schools are not being treated fairly in many areas.
It is important that as parents we understand the significant contribution that Catholic education makes to the economy of Western Australia. Whilst we are always grateful to both State and Federal government for their continued support of Catholic Education, we live in a time of continuous change and challenge. Not the least of these challenges are Covid 19 and the mental health and wellbeing of members of our school communities. As we encourage P&Fs / Parent Groups to be proactive in meeting with government representatives, please find attached a letter to all parents from Dr Debra Sayce, Executive Director CEWA, outlining the current funding needs of Catholic Education WA.
As I mentioned in my welcome address, it is not too late to register for conference and pre-conference dinner as we have a couple of spots left, including two rooms at the Promenade Hotel, Crown for parents from outside the metro area to attend, through the generous assistance of Lotterywest. Please see our conference flyers and agenda for both days.
Family Week will be held from 8 - 14 August 2021 and is an opportunity for Catholic school communities to celebrate the important role of families in Catholic education in Australia. Please see below the prayer from Pope Francis to the Holy Family.