Thank you for considering Sydney Catholic Schools in the educational journey of your family.
As a parent myself, I know choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions a family can make. At Sydney Catholic Schools, we want your child to love learning and to be excited to come to school every day.
Our schools are places where you and your family will feel welcome, cared for and inspired. They are places of immense promise for all students. The opportunity to grow, to learn, to find things they love and to imagine a future where they are the very best person they can be.
We are inviting you to be part of a thriving Catholic community through excellent teaching and learning. This is our commitment to work in partnership with you, and your family, to ensure your child’s academic, emotional and spiritual growth.
Our educational programs include rigorous literacy and numeracy foundations, along with music, languages, sport, creative arts and personalised programs for all students, including those who are academically gifted, and those with diverse learning needs.
Our aim for our students is to become confident, curious and resilient young adults, who are proud of their faith and individuality, ready to contribute through work, family and the broader community.
Thank you again for considering us, and we hope to see you, and your child soon.
Mr Tony Farley
Executive Director, Sydney Catholic Schools
The form is to be completed in English using blue or black pen. If you need help filling out the form, our school has an enrolment secretary available to help you. They are at our school office from 10am to 2pm, Monday-Friday, and if you’re coming to see them, please bring your form and the documents listed on this information sheet.
Throughout the form, if you need extra space, you are welcome to provide further information on an attached sheet. If you would prefer to type the required information, you can request a form to download at www.sydcatholicschools.nsw.edu.au.
You will need to complete, print and sign the form, then return it to the school you are applying to attend.
Following your application, we will contact you regarding the next steps, which may involve an enrolment interview. After any additional steps have been completed, we will notify you of the outcome of the application.
If your application is accepted, the information you provide on the application form will be used to enrol your child.
Please do not purchase items, such as uniforms until you receive an offer of enrolment from the school principal.
When you come to school to enrol, please bring copies of the following documents with you:
Completed application form
Birth certificate or identity documents
Parents’ photo identification
Most recent school reports and NAPLAN results (if applicable)
Copies of any family law or other relevant court orders particularly Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) as they relate to the student (if applicable)
Relevant medical information including clinical/educational assessments (if applicable)
All current assessments or records related to exceptional abilities, disability or complex social or emotional needs (if applicable). If your child is a permanent resident but not an Australian citizen, you will also need to provide:
Passport or travel documents
Current visa and previous visas (if applicable). If your child is not an Australian citizen, you will also need to provide:
Passport or ImmiCard
Current visa grant notice for student. If your child is a temporary visa holder you will also need to provide:
Evidence of the visa the student has applied for (if the student holds a bridging visa)
Do parents have to answer all questions?
Yes, we are required by law to ensure the health and safety of students, staff and visitors on our premises. It is therefore, necessary, for you to answer all questions on the enrolment application form.
The information you provide will assist the school to communicate with you and to care for your child while at school. Should you choose to submit an incomplete form, processing your application may be delayed.
Giving false or misleading information can be a criminal offence in certain circumstances. In the event that statements made in this application later prove to be false or misleading, any decision made as a result of this application may be reversed.
Why have we asked for information about your occupation and education?
All Australian education ministers have agreed on the National Goals for Schooling in the 21st Century. The national goals specifically state that the achievement of students in schools should not be affected by discrimination based on sex, language, culture, ethnicity, religion or disability, or by differences arising from social and economic background or geographic location. The goals also state that ‘the learning outcomes of educationally disadvantaged students [should] improve and, over time, match those of other students’. To help us to make sure we are achieving this goal, all parents across Australia, no matter which school their child attends, are being asked to provide information about family background.
The main purpose of collecting this information is to promote an education system which is fair for all Australian students regardless of their background.
Providing information about your occupation and education is voluntary but your information will help us to ensure that all students are being well served by Australian schools.
The four groups listed on page 15 of the Application to Enrol are used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to classify occupations. You will need to use these groups to answer the questions on pages 6, 7 and 8. Please choose the group that you think best describes you.
If you have retired or stopped work in the past year please choose the group in which you used to work.
‘Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney are called to work in partnership with and support parents as the primary educators of their children.’
The Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Sydney
At baptism, the Catholic Church makes the commitment to support parents in their role as the primary educators of their child. When children go to school, parents share their educational responsibility with the teachers, staff and parish priest of their local Catholic school community.
The partnership between parents and their school community is based on a spirituality of communion, which sits at the heart of every Catholic school.
The Parent Charter for Sydney Catholic Schools outlines for parents the principles and expectations that underpin the partnership between parents and schools. It is an important touchstone for all partners in Catholic education, to help build school communities based on the enduring values of faith, hope and love.
Sydney Catholic schools strive to nurture a partnership between parents and schools where:
all relationships are based on mutual respect, trust and a spirit of collaboration in accordance with the ethos and values of the Catholic Church
parents are recognised for the primary role they play in their child’s faith formation, learning and wellbeing
teachers and staff are respected for their professional skills and competence in educating students in the context of Gospel teachings
parents, schools and parishes work in partnership to achieve the best possible outcomes for
WORKING TOGETHER: PARENTS AND SCHOOLS IN PARTNERSHIP
In choosing a Sydney Catholic school, parents enter into a partnership with the school where the responsibility of their child’s education is shared between them, as the primary educator of their child, and their school community.
This partnership between parents and their school community is based on the guiding principles described in the Parent Charter for Sydney Catholic Schools. It takes place in an environment of open, respectful and two-way communication where the expectations for the partnership are understood by everyone involved.
Parents at Sydney Catholic schools can expect that their child’s school will:
offer a loving, faith-filled environment where each student comes to know the person of Jesus Christ
be a place where each student can learn and feel safe
treat every member of the school community with courtesy and respect
involve them in decisions that affect their child’s faith formation, learning or wellbeing
provide timely and accurate information about their child’s progress
enable them to ask questions and speak to their child’s teacher or member of the school leadership team at a mutually convenient time
allow any concern or complaint to be heard and that ongoing relationships will continue respectfully.
Sydney Catholic schools can expect that parents in their school community will:
model responsible and respectful behaviour within the school community in both the real and digital worlds
treat every member of the school community with courtesy and respect
listen, talk collaboratively and share relevant information with teachers and school staff to understand and resolve any issues, misunderstandings or concerns
respect the privacy of every member of the school community
uphold the school rules and guidelines that are in place for the wellbeing and effective learning
contribute to a safe school community where intimidation, bullying or harassment are not tolerated
adhere to the commitments made at the time of enrolment, including the prompt payment of school fees.
Communicating with your school
Sydney Catholic schools strive to be welcoming communities of faith, hope and love, where communication takes place in an environment of openness, trust, mutual respect and is in the interests of all students.
Schools provide many opportunities to communicate and meet with parents through regular school newsletters, mobile alerts and formal meetings, such as parent teacher interviews and information nights.
It is natural that there will be other times that parents will need to speak with their child’s school teacher or members of the school leadership team to discuss and resolve any issues, misunderstandings or concerns. For everyone’s wellbeing, these matters should be carried out in the spirit of the parent charter, and all people treated with courtesy and respect.
As welcoming and inclusive communities, Sydney Catholic schools encourage two-way communication with parents. So that this communication can take place in a respectful and meaningful way, parents are asked to observe a number of guidelines when communicating with their child’s school:
Teachers are the first point of contact.
To discuss your child’s learning or experiences at school, parents are asked to make an appointment to meet with the appropriate teacher so these issues can be discussed constructively. In primary schools, the appropriate teacher will be the classroom teacher. In secondary schools, the appropriate teacher may be the year coordinator or the pastoral care coordinator.
Members of the school leadership team are also available.
If the appropriate teacher cannot resolve the issue or concern, members of the school leadership team are also available to talk with parents. Parents are asked to make an appointment to meet at a mutually convenient time.
Parents should not approach other students or parents to clarify any issues or concerns involving their own child.
All matters should be discussed with the appropriate teacher who can then discuss the matter with the relevant staff and students.
Please be patient.
Schools are busy places where the main priority of each staff member is to provide a high-quality Catholic education to each student. Phone calls, emails or requests by parents for information or meetings will be responded to as quickly as possible.
There will be times when parents disagree with a school decision or process. These matters are best addressed within a framework of dignity, respect and truth. Parents are encouraged to refer to the Resolution of Complaints policy for guidelines on the process of making and resolving a complaint.
In the rare circumstance where there are consistent and/or proven breaches of the parent charter, as determined by the principal and, where necessary, in consultation with Sydney Catholic Schools, the school has the right to implement certain actions, which may include:
an informal meeting between the parent/s with the principal or a member of the school leadership team to remind parents about the expectations outlined in the parent charter
a formal meeting between the parent/s and with the principal and/or a member of the school leadership team
a formal escalation of the matter to the Sydney Catholic Schools office where parents may be required to meet with staff and/or independent consultants
exclusion of a parent from the school under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 (NSW)
in the case of unlawful or aggressive behaviour, bullying or intimidation of school staff, the matter may be referred to the NSW Police or other appropriate agencies.
Parent is used in this document as a term to include natural, adoptive or foster parents, guardians and caregivers of students.
At Sydney Catholic Schools, we believe child safety is a community responsibility – and it’s one we take very seriously. Our schools undertake a number of preventative and responsive steps to ensure all children are protected.
Such steps include complying with NSW laws in our recruitment practices, screening people who work with children, risk assessments, responding to complaints and reporting allegations of abuse or neglect to relevant authorities. Steps include ensuring relevant policies and procedures are accessible for parents and carers.
Also crucial is creating a safe school environment for children to learn within. This means we expect others in the community, who are involved in our schools, to support our school processes for ensuring student safety and wellbeing. This includes staff, volunteers, parents, family members, students themselves, visitors, contractors, religious and clergy.
1) Preventative Responsibilities
Induction and Training
All employees, contractors and volunteers working with children in Sydney Catholic systemic schools undertake an induction in child safety.
Anyone seeking to volunteer in a Sydney Catholic systemic school must complete an application form to volunteer, be registered and attend an induction for volunteers at the school. It is expected that all volunteers (including parents, family members, carers, clergy and religious) will support this process if they wish to be approved to volunteer in a Sydney Catholic systemic school. Relevant forms for volunteers will be provided by the school.
Contractors or Visitors
Sydney Catholic systemic schools have procedures for the engagement of contractors and visitors engaging with our schools’ activities. All contractors and visitors must adhere to the SCS Child Safe Communities framework.
Schools have a duty of care to ensure that children are safe when under the supervision of the school. Therefore, if a principal has a concern that a person, (whether an adult or young person), may pose a risk to a student, including any serious disruption of education, the principal has the discretion and authority to request that person to disengage from the school activity and leave the school premises until further assessment can be undertaken.
Similarly, if a principal assesses that an activity poses a risk to a student, they have the authority to stop that activity until further assessment can be undertaken to reduce the concerns. There are procedures in place for such situations, if they arise.
Language or behaviour that presents a risk to safety or disruption of education for any student in our schools, which occurs on school premises or at any school activity, is not acceptable.
Obtaining Information from Other Agencies
A principal may request information from certain authorities and other agencies if that information is required to assess, investigate or respond to the safety, wellbeing or educational needs of a student.
NSW Working with Children Check – Screening
Our schools comply with NSW laws on screening people to ensure they are suitable to work (paid or unpaid) with children. This process is administered by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (OoCG). This process is called a Working with Children Check (known as the WWCC) and includes a national criminal history check and review of findings of workplace misconduct involving children. The result is either a clearance or a bar. The process identifies persons who are prohibited by law to work or volunteer in our schools.
This means that any person who seeks to work (paid or unpaid) with children at a Sydney Catholic systemic school must comply with the requirements of the NSW OoCG which includes undertaking a WWCC.
Information for parents about the process can be located on the OoCG website
SCS verifies the clearance number for those required to undertake the WWCC
to ensure they are cleared to work with children. This is managed centrally
2) Responsive Responsibilities
A schools’ response to concerns about the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child/young person in general
A. Reporting requirements
Department of Communities and Justice
The abuse of a child is an offence under NSW law. The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) is the government authority responsible for responding to reports that a child (under the age of 16 years), or a young person (aged 16 or 17 years), is at ‘risk of significant harm’.
Staff in our schools are mandatory reporters. This means they are lawfully required to report to DCJ if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect a child (age 0-15 years) is at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect and those grounds are identified in the course of, or from, the person’s work.
Principals, teachers, counsellors, as well as many external professionals working with children in our schools, are all mandatory reporters. It is an offence for these people not to comply with their legal duties under the legislation.
Additionally, it is a SCS policy that staff make a report to DCJ for a young person, (age 16 or 17 years), given their duty of care to children in our schools, when in their professional judgment they believe a statutory intervention is required for the young person’s safety and wellbeing.
Staff are required to make a report to DCJ when they have reasonable grounds to
suspect a child/young person is at significant risk of harm, including:
• Physical abuse.
• Neglect of supervision, physical shelter/environment, food, medical care, mental health care, or education.
• Sexual abuse.
• Problematic sexual behaviour.
• Psychological harm.
• Relinquishing care.
• Carer concerns – parent/carer substance abuse, parent/carer mental health, parent/carer domestic violence.
• Unborn children.
It is DCJ’s responsibility to assess if intervention is required. The school’s responsibility is to report certain information and not to assess the validity of that information.
The NSW Police will be informed of any information received by our schools which may be of a criminal nature.
NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (OoCG)
All schools in NSW are required by law (Children’s Guardian Act 2019) to report to the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian allegations of ‘reportable conduct’ involving an employee, certain contractors or volunteers. Allegations requiring reporting include:
a) Any sexual offence, or sexual misconduct, committed against, with or in the presence of a child (including a child pornography offence or an offence involving child abuse material).
b) Any assault, ill-treatment or neglect of a child.
c) Any behaviour that causes psychological harm to a child, whether or not the child gave consent.
The role of the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian is to oversee how the agency manages such reports. The process requires making a report within 7 days to the NSW OoCG, making reasonable inquiries into the allegation, assessing the information obtained, and making a finding. SCS has a process in place for such matters.
This is an allegation-based scheme. Therefore, the requirement to report and investigate is at the point an allegation is received. The type of allegations required to be reported can be viewed in the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian Fact Sheets on their website: www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au
A person’s Working with Children Check (WWCC) may be subject to review in instances where sustained finding are made in the following categories:
a) Sexual misconduct (including sexual offences) committed against, with or in
the presence of a child
b) Any serious physical assault of a child.
B. Other SCS Internal procedures
SCS has internal procedures for managing and responding to reports of information that relates to the safety of a student in our schools. Any concern in relation to safety and protection is assessed and the appropriate policy and process implemented. As outlined above, this may involve reporting to external authorities such as the NSW Police or DCJ.
It may require the school or SCS to undertake its own inquiries and investigations. It always involves risk assessment and management.
Our schools consult and work closely with the NSW Police and DCJ to respond to concerns of safety for children and young people. Our schools will assist police and DCJ with inquiries, when required.
SCS has a Child Safety team, as well as a Student Wellbeing team, who support and advise
schools with any issue relating to child protection, safety and wellbeing.
3) Underlying Child Safe Communities Principles and Practice
SCS and its schools have a number of policies and procedures they follow to respond to, and address any concerns about a child’s safety while on school premises or in a school activity.
These processes include:
Any concern about a child’s safety while at school should be reported immediately to the principal.
The principal will determine if the matter requires a report to an external authority and undertake a risk assessment. If the matter requires a mandatory report to DCJ or NSW Police, this will be undertaken by the principal. If the concern relates to an environmental safety issue – such as the security of a gate into the school – the principal will contact its safety personnel at the SCS central office.
The principal will work with parents/carers and child to address any safety issues at school.
If a concern about a child’s safety relates to actions of a staff member, a contractor, or a volunteer, the principal will work with SCS to investigate the concern in accordance with school and SCS procedures. In some instances, the concern may require a report to an external authority as noted above for example – NSW OoCG, NSW Police or DCJ. If a concern regarding safety relates to a principal, a report should be made immediately to the SCS central office. In making the above assessments, the protection of children is paramount and takes precedence over any other competing interest.
4) Parental Responsibilities and Child Safe Communities
Sydney Catholic systemic schools recognise the joint parenting responsibility naturally afforded to parents. In this regard, our schools will engage with all parents and legal guardians objectively and equally in relation to their child’s education and wellbeing at school, unless a court order under the Family Law Act, 1975 (Cth), changes the responsibilities of either parent in relation to the child’s education. A copy of any court order that changes the parenting responsibilities of a parent should be provided to a school to assist the school
in undertaking its own responsibilities in educating the child.
Any conflict between parents or carers is not tolerated on school premises as it poses a risk to the safety of children and disruption to their education. It is expected that parents and carers will resolve any disputes in relation to their responsibilities for parenting of a student outside the school, and through appropriate processes.
5) SCS Responsibilities
Sydney Catholic Schools supports principals in working to build a strong culture in which:
a) There are processes in place to ensure persons engaging in work (paid or unpaid) in the school are suitable.
b) Staff and others engaging with our schools are open to, and capable of, responding to concerns of a child protection nature.
c) Students and staff are comfortable and supported to report any concern of a child protection nature.
Some of the ways SCS supports schools include:
Providing information and professional development to ensure all staff are aware of their legal and pastoral care responsibilities to students in relation to child protection.
Providing information and resources for principals to induct and assess the suitability of volunteers in our schools.
Educating teachers in the effective implementation of child safety education to help students understand personal safety.
Having in place appropriate recruitment practices for paid employees to ensure persons who are fit and proper to be working in education with children occupy positions in Sydney Catholic systemic schools.
Having in place policies to support schools in reducing risks to children such as acceptable use of social media or anti-bullying policies.
Having in place a clearly documented process for responding to complaints of improper conduct with or involving, students by employees, contractors, and volunteers.
Ensuring clear procedures are in place and accessible so SCS and its schools can comply with all legislative and reporting requirements in relation to child safety.
Having in place a process for the receipt of, and response to, any historical allegation of child abuse relating to a school or SCS.
Accessible information and policies for parents/carers in respect of child safe communities (child protection).
Advice and support services for principals in managing difficult behaviour of parents or students that may pose a risk to safety or disrupt the education of children in the school.
Supporting the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
6) what can parents do if they have concerns about a student’s safety at school?
Parents should raise any such concerns with the principal in the first instance. If the concern involves the principal they should take their concern to the SCS central office. These steps are outlined in SCS’ relevant policies available to parents/carers.
Parents/carers always have a right to report a relevant concern to the NSW Police or DCJ at any time.
7) Helpful Contact
NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
General Phone: (02) 8219 3600
WWCC Phone: (02) 9286 7219
Department of Communities and Justice
Child Protection Helpline: 132 111 (TTY 1800 212 936)
• Your local police station
• Phone 131 444 for general police inquiries
• Phone 000 for emergencies
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Phone: 1800 099 340
Support services offered by the Royal Commission include:
• A 24/7 telephone and online crisis service.
• Counselling, information and referral for anyone in Australia who has experienced or been impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
• Trauma specialist counsellors.
Sydney Catholic Schools Child Protection team
For further information on the policies and procedures referred to in this document please contact your school’s principal, or the Sydney Catholic Schools Child Protection team at the central office.
Phone: (02) 9568 8298
* A Sydney Catholic systemic school is a school administered by SCS under the direction of the Archdiocese of Sydney.