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VCEA provides a number of services and undertakes various functions for Catholic school proprietors and Catholic schools in Victoria, working in close collaboration with proprietors. The services and functions relate to government funding of Catholic schools, school regulation, enterprise bargaining, communications and advocacy, Catholic mission, and research and data analysis.

VCEA’s governance structure includes the VCEA Consultation Committee to ensure appropriate collaboration and consultation as it fulfils its responsibilities in the following areas:

Government Funding

VCEA is the approved authority for the funding of Catholic schools in Victoria, and the non-government representative body and block grant authority for the purposes of the Australian Education Act.  Catholic schools receive significant grants from both the Victorian and Australian governments each year to help fund their operations (recurrent grants) and capital requirements (capital grants).

For systemically funded schools, recurrent funding from governments is aggregated and provided to the VCEA. VCEA then allocates government recurrent grants to these schools based on its own needs-based funding models, as agreed by representatives from across Catholic education. This practice is known as “block funding”.

There are similar arrangements for allocating capital grants to schools following a rigorous application and selection process, consistent with government requirements.

Detail on how government grants are allocated to Catholic schools in Victoria is available here.

The Choice and Affordability Fund Agreement is available here and VCEA’s Choice and Affordability annual report is available here.

School registration and compliance

VCEA is the review body for all Catholic schools in Victoria (including school boarding premises) with responsibility for assuring compliance with the Minimum Standards and Requirements for School Registration, as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.  This includes assuring Catholic schools’ compliance with the Child Safe Standards.

Enterprise bargaining

In consultation with the VCEA Consultation Committee, VCEA represents and negotiates on behalf of Catholic school employers in enterprise bargaining, to ensure state-wide collaboration, consistency and portability across and between employers.

Long service leave

A benefit of working within Catholic education in Victoria is that service is portable between all Catholic education school proprietors.

VCEA administers the Long Service Leave Scheme. This includes managing the long service leave liabilities of participating Catholic school proprietors, and promoting the portability of long service leave benefits to employees, whilst equitably sharing the cost of entitlements between participating Catholic employers.

Representation and advocacy

In consultation with the VCEA Consultation Committee, VCEA:

  • formulates and promotes policies which are relevant to Catholic schools in Victoria
  • articulates major policies on state-wide issues concerning Catholic school education
  • leads negotiation with the Australian and Victorian governments in relation to funding for Catholic schools in Victoria, and other relevant education services such as early childhood education and care
  • promotes the benefits of Catholic school education
  • represents the interests of Catholic school education in Victoria on matters of national debate, including through the National Catholic Education Commission.

Catholic identity

Under the oversight of the Bishops, VCEA promotes and deepens the shared identity of Catholic schools in the mission of the Catholic Church, helping to meet contemporary challenges, drawing on Catholic intellectual, spiritual and educational excellence.

Research

VCEA undertakes research relating to various matters concerning Catholic school education in Victoria, including school funding and school quality, viability, and sustainability.  Under the oversight of the Bishops of Victoria, VCEA also undertakes research, as appropriate, on matters concerning Catholic identity as relevant to Catholic schools in Victoria.

State-wide performance of Catholic schools

Catholic schools are committed to excellence in educational standards. VCEA facilitates state-wide initiatives to improve the quality, experience and outcomes of Catholic school education for students, teachers and parents, including the quality of leadership and teaching.

Data collection

VCEA facilitates the collection and analysis of data, to assist Catholic school proprietors and schools in Victoria to meet reporting requirements, and to allow monitoring of the performance and compliance of Catholic schools across the state.

State-wide accreditation

VCEA promotes state-wide standards for accreditation to teach in Catholic Schools, to teach religious education in Catholic Schools and to lead Catholic Schools. It also promotes state-wide standards for governance of Catholic schools.