Dear Members of the Marcellin College Community,
As the crisp chill of winter settles upon us, I do enjoy my morning routine of sorting through my scarves! I also enjoy the change and sense of anticipation it brings. Just as nature undergoes a constant transformative process, our community is also called to embrace our own journey of self-discovery and development. Our Year 9– 11 boys will begin their exam period in the coming days. For our Year 9 students this can be a nervous time as they experience this process for the first time. Meanwhile, our Year 12 students enter into their GAT and this marks the beginning of a very different period for them. It is important that we continue to strive for the highest not just in their academic pursuits but also in their overall conduct and presentation. By doing so, our boys not only demonstrate their commitment to excellence but also honour the rich traditions and values that underpin Marcellin College. Together, our community can ensure that our students embrace the challenges ahead and emerge stronger, wiser, and more prepared for the path that lies before them.
We celebrated Champagnat Day a little earlier this year. It was a great day and the sun managed to shine through to ensure that our walk-a-thon was a great success. I joined my Pastoral Group, Redden 1, for the activity and there was a sense of community spirit as we walked the track. My thanks to all for your generosity with our fundraising.
Please read more on the day in Geralyn McCarthy's and Rocky Gentile's reports. Below I have shared some images of the wonderful day - which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
State Budget Shock
Many of you will have heard the announcement last week that in its 2023–24 budget, the Victorian Government will remove a longstanding payroll tax exemption for high-fee non-government schools from 1 July 2024. Non-government schools with Victorian taxable wages of over $10 million per annum will also be required to contribute to the mental health levy.
The change in tax arrangements was unexpected and there was no consultation prior to the government’s announcement. We will be one of the schools impacted by this decision should it go ahead. Parents already make a substantial contribution to your son’s education and this saves taxpayers millions of dollars and reduced pressure on the State budget. We are effectively being punished to help balance the State budget. All this comes about in a climate where the College is facing increasing energy, wage and associated costs.
My hope is that negotiations can occur between the State Government and the Catholic and Independent education sectors and that at a minimum, there is a significant lifting of the fee threshold at which schools become eligible for payroll tax. The Leadership Team of the College will be meeting to look at how we can achieve significant savings and minimise increases in fees for families. At a time of considerable cost-of-living pressures, our community does not need further pressure on already tight budgets.
Australian Council for Educational Research
The College Leadership Team made the decision to invite ACER into the College to inform our ongoing improvements at the College. ACER is a recognised international leader in the development of educational assessment and reporting tools for schools and their School Improvement Tool was used review and reflect on our strategies to improve the quality of classroom teaching and learning. Our four reviewers led school-wide conversations about aspects of current practice, areas for improvement, and evidence that progress is being made. It has been a rigorous week where many students, parents and most staff have shared their perspectives and much data has been gathered. I am looking forward to the recommendations of the review as we continue our work of school improvement. My thanks to all those who have been involved in the process.
North-East Link Project
We continue to work with NELP and Sparx (successful project tenderer) as this process continues to evolve. We have secured funding for the lighting of our ovals and the technical planning for this has commenced. While I would love for the light towers to appear immediately, the engineers tell me this isn't possible!
Marco Di Cesare
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