What is the purpose of this consultation?

    Sydney Catholic Schools delivers excellent parish based education throughout the Inner West North region, and has done for a long time. Our parish based primary and secondary schools deliver highly respected, high achieving, faith centred, and community based education. We are committed to continuing and improving this proud tradition.

    We presently have nine primary schools and three secondary schools across the parishes of Eastwood, Denistone, Marsfield, North Ryde, Meadowbank, Ryde-Gladesville, Drummoyne and Hunters Hill (including Woolwich). We currently have growth in enrolments in some areas and enrolment decline in other areas. As the population grows and our demographics change over the coming twenty years, our understanding of the education experience is evolving. Our challenge is to deliver a model of education and networks of schools that best meets the needs of our community now and into the future.

    To help inform our future thinking Sydney Catholic Schools will undertake a community consultation process to explore our community’s interests, aspirations and experiences. We want to know why you choose our schools, what we could do better and what sort of education experience you want your children to have throughout their entire school life from early learning to Year 12 and beyond.

    The Church is at the centre of every parish community and we want to support active Catholic faith communities. We have an opportunity to consider broader types of community services offered on school and parish sites. We invite feedback from schools and parish communities on additional services or facilities that may serve our faith community.

    We invite our parish and school communities including staff, parents and students to contribute to this process. There will be a series of workshops held and online surveys conducted over the coming months, your school or parish will provide details for each event and how you can contribute as this consultation proceeds. You can always check this website as well, we will be posting updates here as the consultation progresses.

    What is a P-12 school network?

    A school network is a cluster of schools that collaborate to provide a clear educational pathway from early learning (preschool) to Year 12, with an overarching pastoral plan for the region. 

    A network aims to bring together parishes, students, family, friends, the early childhood sector and industry to deliver opportunities for world-class education outcomes within the context of a Catholic faith community. A network will provide opportunities to support collaboration within and across schools and to improve education pathways that better support personalisation for each learner.

    Which schools and parishes are included in this consultation?

    The schools and parishes included in the consultation are:

    - Holy Cross College Ryde

    - Marist Sisters Woolwich

    - Marist College Eastwood

    - St Charles Ryde

    - Our Lady Queen of Peace Gladesville

    - St Kevin’s Eastwood

    - Villa Maria Hunters Hill

    - St Therese’s Denistone

    - St Anthony’s Marsfield

    - St Michael’s Meadowbank

    - Holy Spirit North Ryde 

    - St Mark's Drummoyne

    Will there be changes to schools as a result of this project?

    This project is focused on hearing a range of views on how to deliver the best possible educational experience for our community. The consultation is designed to allow genuine feedback from schools, parents and parishioners on what they would like the future of Catholic education to be in the area.

    We invite you to share your feedback through our online survey. Your feedback will help inform potential future school models and will be considered by Sydney Catholic Schools as part of their decision making process.

    We would hope to see clear opportunities to make our schools even better. We will provide feedback to the community about what we heard, and keep you informed of any future decisions. This is a gradual process and we highly value the opinions of our school and Parish communities

    Why should I participate?

    This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of Catholic education in the Inner West North area. We are genuinely interested in how to improve our schools, the way we teach and how we plan our school facilities.

    Parents, teachers/ staff, students and parishioners have important insights on these issues. While there are many inputs into this process, your views are important in guiding planning for the future.

    What will the consultation process be and how can I get involved?

    This will be a staged consultation process. Information about each stage will be available through this website. Schools and parishes will also provide details for each event and how you can contribute as this consultation proceeds.

    A series of workshops will be run for school staff, parents and parishioners in August. We invite you to join us for these and RSVP to one of the events. If they fill up and you are keen to contribute please let us know – we will run extra sessions if there is sufficient interest. 
    There will also be a survey available online for all members of our school, parish and local communities to complete. The results of this survey will be anonymous.

    We will also be running a small number of focus groups with people not yet in the Sydney Catholic School system and consulting with the local parish priests to ensure their insights are captured in the feedback.

    Will the consultation consider views on coeducation for secondary schools?

    We will seek community input on a range of education models and concepts, which will include single sex and coeducational secondary options as well as preferences for different specialisations and extracurricular activities, education pathways, and pedagogy. 

    The Inner West North region will be an area of significant population growth in the coming two decades and subsequently there is a need to increase capacity at our local schools. At present there is no local coeducational systemic Catholic secondary school option in this area, and female secondary students are only served by a single systemic Catholic school in Woolwich. Sydney Catholic Schools is committed to providing quality Catholic education and to meet the needs of our communities. 

    Will school fees be considered?

    Sydney Catholic Schools establishes school fees and costs, which are reviewed regularly. We are interested to explore what effect school fees may have on families accessing Catholic education. This is one part of the broader conversation about future educational models and how families make choices about schools.

    When will we know the outcomes?

    Consultation activities will occur during Terms 3. Followign this, Sydney Catholic Schools will consider the outcomes of consultation. A summary of what we heard will be provided by the end of the year to school and parish communities.

    What effect will this consultation have on the local parish?

    Our parish priests will be consulted as an important part of this engagement and their input will be sought. We will also have a program of consultation with parishioners and we would like to encourage you to fill in the online survey and take part in any workshops. The consultation will have no operational effects on the parish. 

    I am a teacher/staff member at one of the schools being consulted. What effect will this consultation have for me?

    We welcome all teachers and school staff members to take part in consultation through the dedicated staff workshops. These will provide a chance to have your say and discuss new ideas and pedagogical approaches with your colleagues across the region. 

    Sydney Catholic Schools is committed to providing quality future-focussed school offerings to all Catholic families. We have an exciting opportunity to better understand the aspirations of our school community, now and in the future, and to re-imagine education provision for this network for the long term. 

    We will keep you informed of the outcomes from this consultation. Any future planning or changes this may bring will take some time. We will keep school leadership teams informed of any future progress.