Preamble

Catholic Education Western Australia Limited

Catholic Education Western Australia Limited (CEWA) has been established by the Bishops of Western Australia as the governing body for Catholic schools and offices in Western Australia. CEWA is governed by its Constitution and the System Order gazetted by the Minister for Education (WA) in accordance with the School Education Act 1999 (WA).

CEWA exists to enact the vision to be a Christ-centred and student-focused community of engaged learning environments, inspiring all to actively live the Gospel.

CEWA is accountable to the Bishops of Western Australia and State Minister for Education for the governance and management of Catholic schools.

The Catholic Eduation Commission of Western Australia

The Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia (CECWA), as the Board of Directors of CEWA, publishes this Policy (‘CECWA Policy’) giving effect to the Bishops’ Mandate for Catholic Education in Western Australia, the System Agreement with the Minister for Education and relevant laws as listed at Appendix 1, as amended from time to time.

The Executive Director of Catholic Education Western Australia

The Executive Director of Catholic Education Western Australia (the Executive Director) is responsible to CECWA for supporting each principal to design and safely deliver the educational programme to each student in their community of faith.

The Executive Director must appoint Directors, Principals and other staff and delegate authority to them to assist in discharging this responsibility.

The Executive Director must issue Executive Directives giving effect to Canon Law, CECWA Policy, the System Agreement and associated Registration Standards for Non-Government Schools in Western Australia, and relevant statutes and laws, for the good and safe operation of CEWA schools and offices.

Executive Directives have legal status of CECWA Policy unless stated otherwise.

In accordance with the Bishops’ Mandate, the Executive Director is the official spokesperson for Catholic Education Western Australia.

The Executive of Catholic Education Western Australia

The Executive Director must appoint Directors to form the Executive of Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA Executive). The Bishops of Western Australia appoint the Director of Religious Education.

Principal

The principal is responsible to the Executive Director for the design and safe delivery of the educational programme to each student in their community of faith by building relationships with students, staff, and the school community. This duty takes precedence over all others.

The Executive Director must advise the process for a variation to an Executive Directive.

A principal is responsible to the Executive Director for ensuring every member of their school community understands and follows CECWA Policy, Executive Directives including approved variations.

School based procedures and plans are not variations to the Executive Directive, they enact contextual decisions, they have the legal obligation of CECWA Policy for people acting under authority or direction of the Principal, unless otherwise stated.

A principal is responsible to the Executive Director to ensure school based procedures and plans comply with CECWA Policy and Executive Directives.

Imperatives

CECWA Policy, Executive Directives, Principal Directives and associated decision-making processes and practices must apply the Catholic Social Teaching principles of the dignity of the human person, preferential option for the poor, care for our common home, subsidiarity & participation and solidarity.

Executive Directives must integrate Gospel truths, virtues and values in appropriate ways, promoting a Gospel vision of society, and encouraging a critique of social attitudes, values, practices and trends in social, commercial, political and legal structures.

Executive Directives must acknowledge parents as children’s first and most influential educators, and that learning is a lifelong process of which Catholic Education is one part.

CECWA Policy, Executive Directives must be interpreted and applied with the education, safety and wellbeing of students in their community of faith as the paramount consideration.

CECWA Policy, Executive Directives must be applied in the manner described in the Code of Conduct.

CECWA, the Executive Director, CEWA Executive and Principals must establish and maintain processes ensuring the views of students are sought and expressed freely through the development and enactment of Policy and Executive Directives affecting them. A student’s view must be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the student.

In any case of conflict between CECWA Policy, Executive Directives CECWA Policy takes precedence followed by Executive Directives.

Scope

All CEWA staff, contractors, students, parents and volunteers must follow CECWA Policy, Executive Directives, unless stated otherwise.

1. CATHOLIC IDENTITY POLICY

1.1 Catholic Faith, Life and Culture

The Executive Directive on Catholic Faith, Life and Culture requires principals to partner with Bishops, families, and parishes in the formation of young people to live as Christians. The principal must serve the Church and contribute to its evangelising mission.

Catholic schools offer a rich religious life to their communities. They nurture and enrich the religious and spiritual formation of students through prayer and liturgical experiences; the celebration of sacraments; faith formation and social justice activities.

Executive Directives must be issued ensuring effective evangelisation planning, Christian Services Learning and retreats reflecting their integral part of school life.

1.2 Sacramental Preparation and Celebration

Students must be prepared by the school to celebrate first sacraments in their parish. This preparation consists of teaching the mandated religious education program, providing catechesis and an environment that witnesses to Gospel values.

The Principal must work in partnership with the Parish sacramental team and with parents to support the sacramental journey of students.

2. EDUCATION POLICY

2.1 Religious Education

Religious Education teachers must deliver the Religious Education programme required by each Bishop and be committed Catholics to give witness to Catholic beliefs.

2.2 Aboriginal Education

CECWA recognises Aboriginal people as the original inhabitants of Australia whose rich histories, spirituality and cultures benefit all students and communities. CECWA must be fully involved in a process of reconciliation through the recognition, acceptance and celebration of Aboriginal cultural traditions and values.

The Executive Director must enable collaborative decision-making and capacity building with Aboriginal people, giving them an equitable education that maintains their cultural identity, and increases their employment and vocational opportunities.

2.3 Curriculum Assessment and Reporting

Religious Education is the first learning area in the Catholic school curriculum. Executive Directives must ensure the learning environment, curriculum, and pedagogy are inclusive of all students and be developmentally and culturally appropriate.

The educational programme must develop each student’s knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes and reflect Catholic Identity.

The Executive Directive must define and describe any requirements for Early Childhood Education.

2.4 Early Learning Centres and Outside of School Hours Care Services

Executive Directives must define and describe any requirements for CEWA Care Services.

2.5 Offsite Activities and Incursions

The principal must deliver the educational programme at school or elsewhere. A principal must notify and inform parents about student participation in an offsite activity. The principal is responsible for all activities conducted under their direction, authority, or control, on or offsite school premises.

2.6 Class Sizes and Hours of Instruction

Executive Directives must address class sizes and hours of instruction.

2.7 Out of School Learning and Training

Executive Directives must address the delivery of out of school learning and training. CECWA Policy and Directives apply to out of school learning and training unless stated otherwise.

3. COMMUNITY POLICY

3.1 Code of Conduct

The Executive Director must maintain a Code of Conduct reflecting the dignity of the human person by describing the manner of behaviour required by students, staff, volunteers, contractors, visitors and other members of the CEWA community.

The principal is responsible to the Executive Director for ensuring staff are sound in doctrine and manner of life and comply with the Code of Conduct.

3.2 Disputes and Complaints Resolution

Disputes and complaints must be dealt with fairly, objectively and in a timely manner, using processes that are child-friendly and reflect the dignity of the human person, participation, co-responsibility and subsidiarity. They must also inform CEWA’s continuous improvement.

3.3 Enrolment

The Executive Directive will outline the enrolment process, enrolment priorities, full fee-paying overseas students and Catholic/non-Catholic ratios, giving preference wherever possible and practicable to Aboriginal students.

3.4 Fees

Financial grounds must never be the reason for the non-enrolment in, or exclusion of, any child from a Catholic school. The Executive Directive details fee setting and collection processes.

3.5 Incident and Crisis Management

The Executive Director outlines the processes to manage prevention and response to any incident or near miss, including reportable incidents, that may threaten the safety and wellbeing of adults and students, or the stability of the delivery of the educational programme.

3.6 Student Safety Wellbeing and Behaviour

The safety and wellbeing of students must be the paramount consideration in all Executive Directives and decision-making. This must take precedence over all others.

The Principal must create and maintain a healthy environment for students.

Every adult must contribute to the safety and wellbeing of every student. The Executive Directives describes the duties of every adult and student as part of their extended guardianship.

Every adult must immediately notify CECWA, the Executive Director, a principal or a responsible adult of any risk to the safety and wellbeing of any student, including the failure of any adult to act in the best interests of a student. The person notified must take immediate steps to protect the student.

The Executive Directives ensures the safety and wellbeing of all students take precedence over communication and administration, defining processes for decision makers reflecting this priority.

No person shall take any adverse action against any other person as a result of the second person acting reasonably and in good faith to protect a student.

The Executive Directive outlines the requirements of student attendance and the implications should a student be absent.

The Executive Directive defines expectations on school staff encouraging student behaviour that maximises individual student learning with the common good. Exclusion is always an act of last resort.

3.8 Work Health and Safety

The Executive Directive outlines the processes to provide all adults participating in or contributing to the CEWA community a safe and healthy environment.

4. STEWARDSHIP POLICY

4.1 Employment

The Executive Director and principals must give preference, as far as practicable, to employing staff who are practising Catholics, have a clear understanding and commitment to the Catholic ethos, and are witnesses to the Gospel.

The Executive Directive directs the appointment, accreditation, professional development, performance management, misconduct and termination of principals and staff. Every staff member must have a working understanding of Catholic faith, tradition and practice appropriate to their duties.

4.2 Information

All information collected and stored while applying CECWA Policy, Executive Directives and discharging employment duties is CEWA information. CEWA information must be collected, stored, used and disclosed for the purpose of supporting, designing and safely delivering the educational programme to each student in their community of faith. Information must be used in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

The Executive Directive must address the collection, storage, use, access and disclosure of information.

4.3 Capital Planning and Development

Resources permitting, all Catholic children must be able to enrol in a CEWA school. All students must have access to the same opportunities and outcomes insofar as resources allow.

CECWA must, after appropriate consultation with Religious Orders, parishes and school communities, make recommendations to the diocesan Bishop on the establishment and closure of schools.

Executive Directives must outline the processes undertaken for all capital planning, maintenance and development in schools.

4.4 Financial Management

The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring schools and offices operate financially in accordance with Catholic social teaching principles.

4.5 Contracts and Procurement

The Executive Director must ensure goods and services acquired are the result of transparent and lawful decision making.