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Catholics support NSW Govt schools 'report card'


NSW Catholic schools have welcomed new regulations detailing how they must report their activities to the school community, saying the government and taxpayers are entitled to see how schools measure up.

Private schools will be forced to document their daily business - from anti-racism programs to financial accounts and the number of truants - or risk being closed down under State Government legislation. The 900 non-government schools will also have to employ qualified teachers, publicly report academic results, follow the state syllabus and allow the right of appeal to expelled students.

Dr Brian Croke, executive director of the NSW Catholic Education Commission, said he has no problems in principle with the new regulations.

"We have been involved in consultations with the government on this issue over the last two years," he told the Catholic Weekly. "They are not draconian rules, and we were actively involved in the shaping of them.

"They should also put an end to the misinformed notion that non-government schools are not accountable."

The new regulations require mandatory annual reports from schools to their communities detailing:

Financial information such as income from all sources, including Federal and State government grants and subsidies; fees and donations; expenditure on staffing and administration, and costs such as servicing loans.
Performance in statewide exams such as the Basic Skills Test and HSC, measured against the state average.
Student welfare, discipline and enrolment policies.
Complaints resolution policies.
High school retention rates.
Teacher standards.

Dr Croke said that, like all new regulations, how they are implemented might result in a few problems, but he expected they would be minor.

SOURCE
Tick for Govt 'report card' (Catholic Weekly 8/2/04)

LINKS
Private schools must toe the line (Sydney Morning Herald 28/1/04)
National Catholic Education Commission
Catholic Education Commission NSW

5 Feb 2004