Newly appointed Education Minister Hon Kate Jones MP has today met with the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, the peak body for the state’s 299 Catholic schools.
QCEC Executive Director Mike Byrne said he was pleased that the Minister had prioritised a meeting with the Catholic sector in her first days in office.
“I recognise that the Minister has an extremely busy schedule this week, including supporting the many school communities affected by Cyclone Marcia, so I am grateful that she has found this time to meet with us today,” he said.
Mr Byrne said the aim of the meeting was to develop relationships and open channels of communication and
consultation with the new Minister.
“Catholic education educates around 148,000, or almost 1 in 5 Queensland students, so it is vital that our voice is heard when government policy is formulated.
“Today’s meeting confirmed for me the Minister’s great passion for the education portfolio and her commitment to support all Queensland schools to provide the best possible opportunities for our children.
“The Minister expressed her desire to work closely with us on all matters affecting education in Queensland, which is pleasing,” Mike Byrne said.
Mr Byrne said the Minister also praised Catholic schools for their contribution to education in Queensland, making special mention of the ethos of Catholic education in reaching out to the underprivileged and students with special needs.
He said he had sought a follow-up meeting with the Minister Jones to discuss a number of priority issues.
“In particular, I will be seeking certainty of direction for our schools around some of the key ongoing policy issues including the implementation of the Great Teachers = Great Results program and the review of senior
assessment and tertiary entrance processes.
“The ALP also made strong and welcome pre-election commitments to assist us to develop the infrastructure necessary to meet the schooling needs of Queensland’s growing population and this will be also be a key item for discussion.
The 16 member QCEC includes Directors of Catholic education from the five Queensland dioceses along with
representatives of the Bishops, Religious Institute schools and Parents and Friends Federation.
Hon Kate Jones MP Member for Ashgrove was sworn in as Minister for Education, Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Small Business, Minister for Commonwealth Games on Monday 16 February.