Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Southern Cross : November 2011
November 2011 Page 11 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross Education Minister Peter Garrett's renewed promise in Adelaide recently not to cut Catholic school funding after the widely anticipated completion next month of the Gonski Review has received a lukewarm response. Federation of Catholic School Parent Communities (SA) Executive Director Ann Bliss said Mr Garrett's promise meant very little without indexed funding to reflect the increased costs of education over time. Mr Garrett told delegates at the National Catholic Education Convention in Adelaide in September: "You can be assured that no Catholic school, along with other schools, will lose a single dollar per student as a result of the Gonski Review. "As you would be aware I am a firm proponent of the importance of government schools, but I also understand and support the role of Independent and Catholic schools in our education system," he said. Closing the seventh national conference, Mr Garrett praised Catholic educators for their work, particularly in teaching the nation's most disadvantaged children and youth when no-one else will. "In many communities in the north and west of Australia, Catholic schools are the only schools in the community," he told the convention. "We know that we won't be able to close the gap in educational outcomes between indigenous and non- indigenous Australians without your help." The Federal Government's Review of Funding for Schooling panel, chaired by Chancellor of the University of NSW David Gonski AC, is currently preparing its report to the Government on a new school funding model. The Government expects to receive the Gonski Review report in December -- it is the first comprehensive review of its kind since 1973. In its submission to the funding review panel earlier this year, the Federation of Catholic School Parent Communities called for funding to support and build parental engagement in schooling. Mrs Bliss said the Federation wanted the new funding model to more equitably reflect the needs of students across all education sectors, especially those with disabilities, and increase capital funding. The National Catholic Education Commission's submission says the Catholic education sector "needs at least the current level of total government funding in real terms to continue to provide Catholic education". Catholic Education South Australia says increased recurrent funding was vital for Catholic schools to reach the average income levels of government schools and ensure Catholic schools remain affordable and accessible to all families. In addition, CESA says the Gonski report must address increased funding for targeted equity groups (especially students with disabilities and indigenous students) and much more capital assistance to meet government projections of increased enrolments. PROMISE: Education Minister Peter Garrett speaking at the National Catholic Education Convention in Adelaide. More photos can be viewed online at www.thesoutherncross.org. au Photo: John Hemmings A Catholic college in Mt Barker will next year be the first in South Australia to adopt a unique senior school program which does away with traditional Year 10 subjects, effectively lessening the load of Year 12. In 2012, 100 Year 10 students will begin the first of a three-year program under the new South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in a purpose built, two-story building at St Francis de Sales College (R-12). The new senior school centre has 240 Year 10, 11 and 12 students enrolled for next year and will provide "a flexible learning space to better prepare them for tertiary study, work and life-long learning", said principal Pam Ronan. Under the three-year program, Year 10 students will begin studying a full timetable of SACE stage-one subjects a year earlier, giving them more time to taste-test subjects that might gain them the scores they need for further education and training. In Year 11, students study stage-one and stage-two SACE subjects and in Year 12, they complete their stage- two subjects. "The SACE is the most current, innovative and flexible senior school certificate in South Australia," said Mrs Ronan. "So it makes sense that our students take full advantage of what it has to offer." She said the three-year SACE program at St Francis de Sales would avoid Year 10 students having to study under four different curriculum frameworks: SACSA -- (South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability), SACE, the new Australian curriculum, and a vocational qualification. She said each curriculum framework assessed and described learning differently. "Year 10 is a critical year for the retention, engagement and achievement of young people and so to expect the students to make sense of their learning under these different frameworks is a very big ask." Also, the enormous pressure on students to succeed in Year 12, said Mrs Ronan, was alleviated by introducing the three- year SACE system. "Some parents anxious about students who might be struggling, feel that by having three years that their children have extra time to be more successful," she said. High-achieving students in Year 12 also have the chance to incorporate a university subject as part of their final-year SACE program. Julian Kluge, head of the senior school, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to engage with rich and deep learning for a sustained period of their schooling and they are really looking forward to the challenge." "It's very unique," said Mrs Ronan. "We are the only school in the state doing this and there are a lot of schools watching to see how it all goes." FIRST IN SA: St Francis de Sales College principal Pam Ronan with students who will next year study at the Catholic school's new senior school centre. Photo: The Courier, Mt Barker Garrett: Catholic schools will not lose Rebecca DiGirolamo New SACE senior school schools | Rebecca DiGirolamo