Benefits of CSA Membership
Advocacy and government relations
CSA is an effective national voice for Christian schools. Our senior executive officers have particular expertise in advocacy, policy and government relations, and CSA is a recognised stakeholder group with national and state governments.
CSA serves members and the wider Christian school movement through:
- regular engagement with elected representatives and policy makers
- ensuring the voice of Christian schools is heard in the media and public debate
- representation on state and national committees
- submissions to parliamentary inquires on critical matters, including religious freedom and funding issues
CSA also provides members with direct advice and assistance in dealing with government authorities.
CSA has executive officers in Canberra and state capitals who work closely on schools’ behalf with commonwealth and state authorities. This allows us to provide an integration of assistance across state/national jurisdictions. For example, we provide advice and assistance on matters of commonwealth and state funding, compliance, and other statutory issues relating to Christian schools assistance with state registration and accreditation.
Advice on Christian school governance, leadership & administration
The movement of CSA members represents a strong and supportive network. It provides collegial support and spiritual fellowship across the membership.
Executive Officers in each state maintain regular contact with schools and are a close source of relationship, fellowship and advice for school leaders, administrators and teachers.
Nationally, CSA has key personnel whose experience includes board governance, policy, government relations, finance, administration and compliance.
Our executive officers provide direct advice and assistance to members on school governance, education, leadership and many aspects of
school administration. State and National staff can work together to help advise schools in a range of key disciplines.
Christian school establishment
CSA can assist those wanting to start a Christian school with both general and specific advice, depending on their stage of development. This includes existing schools wanting advice about starting new campuses, or churches (and others) seeking to start a new, standalone school.
CSA can provide advice and assistance regarding registration and other statutory requirements.
Through the CSA network assistance may also take the form of shared policies and curriculum.
National & State Conferences & Events
One of the major benefits of membership is the personal and professional development available through CSA Conferences and seminars.
Our conferences provide Christian fellowship, professional development and personal and spiritual growth. At CSA conferences members celebrate, worship, learn and grow together.
Timing differs from state to state and sometimes from year to year. Our website provides details of upcoming events.
Christian Schools National Policy Forum.
Held in Canberra in May. The major public policy gathering for Christian schools annually.
CSA Leadership Conference.
Each August, held in a different state each year. To promote and support Biblical standards of Leadership for those serving in Christian schools.
Christian Schools National Business Conference.
For Business Managers, Bursars, IT managers and other Administrative Staff, held every two years at various locations.
Support & Resourcing
CSA has agency arrangements to provide copyright and performance licensing on behalf of members with CAL, APRA, AMCOS, ARIA and Screenrights.
Critical incident support
CSA provides context-sensitive real-time support for members during critical incidents.
CSA can provide timely advice about dealing with authorities, media, the school community and other stakeholders including the wider public. Where requested, CSA can deal directly with stakeholders on behalf of a member school.
As in everything we do, our support is based on clear Biblical principles of relationship, accountability, integrity and compassion.
CSA maintains good relationships with commonwealth and state authorities and media. Our team is experienced and equipped for this task.
Disputes resolution and mediation
CSA can assist school boards and senior staff to
work through difficult issues and suggest ways towards a resolution.
We uphold New Testament principles of relationship, working towards resolution of issues and restoration between the parties wherever possible. We sometimes work in collaboration with Peacewise to provide access to external Christian mediation solutions.
The CSA staff and schools network can provide assistance to schools with emergency needs. This includes appeals to government agencies and applications seeking emergency funding.
While each situation is different, CSA is committed to work towards maintaining access of local communities to quality Christian education. We encourage any school facing difficulty to seek assistance early.
CSA provides direct assistance and training to individual school boards. We provide governance training seminars on a regional basis. CSA recommends a “policy governance” model, and has developed a model handbook for schools to consider.
CSA’s membership encompasses company and incorporated association models, church-run, parent association and self-perpetuating board models. This broad range of shared experience represents a valuable knowledge base within the network.
CSA also provides resources and general advice on the structuring of school legal entities. A model constitution is available to members.
Resources: the MyCSA Portal (under development)
CSA is committed to the ideal of resource sharing across the membership. The implementation of the Australian Curriculum provides an opportunity for CSA members to develop and share curriculum resources across state borders.
Our vision for the MyCSA Portal is for a collaborative online environment that will allow staff in member schools to exchange resources tagged to the Australian Curriculum standards, developed from an integrated Christian education perspective. The MyCSA portal will be a tangible expression of the benefits of national collaboration among Christian schools. Our primary concern is to provide for resources that bring an integrated Christian perspective to the Australian Curriculum.
The MyCSA portal will also include online forums and other web-based tools to encourage collaboration and professional exchange between teachers in CSA schools.
CSA supports schools through the processes of state registration and accreditation. We bring substantial experience to this role with decades of direct involvement in the registration of Christian schools, in ways that meet state requirements while observing the particular beliefs of the movement.
CSA fosters beneficial relationships with school suppliers. We help explain the particular needs of Christian schools to providers of goods and services, and act as a bridge between selected business enterprises and member schools. Our aims are to build stronger relationships between the movement and suppliers, to help educate the wider business community about the goals, beliefs and particular needs of Christian schools, to help identify opportunities for products and services to be tailored to the particular needs of
the movement, to seek, where possible, favourable pricing for member schools, and through mutually beneficial opportunities, to
seek business support towards meeting the operational budgets of CSA, through sponsorship and other arrangements.
Details of these arrangements are made available on our website. We encourage members to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise.
Regular news & information
A mainstay of our service to members is the regular flow of information. This includes regular Briefings – updates on state and national education issues of relevance to Christian schools, notable news about member schools, perspectives on Christian education practice and opportunities for schools to consider, such as mission partnerships.
Information is available in a variety of ways.
Our website www.csa.edu.au is a source of news and information about education issues, with expert commentary and advice.
It is also a source of information for members of the public about CSA member schools. A searchable database helps locate schools by suburb or postcode.
The website also contains a very active and popular jobs listing and search feature. Advertising on the site is free for member schools.
Information from our site is available in a weekly digest that comes direct to your inbox.
From time to time we email members and subscribers with urgent and important breaking news. Available by subscription at the address above.
Newsletters via email
Members are kept up to date on CSA movement activities via email newsletters on a state by state basis. Contact State office to make sure you are on the list.
Twitter and Facebook
Our Job ads and briefings are posted on Twitter and, maximising their coverage.
CSA’s local and national networks support various activities across Christian schools. These differ depending on location but include sporting and cultural activities. Mission trip exchanges between members are also common. State Office can provide details about opportunities in your area.
Media & communications
CSA deals directly with media on behalf of members, including time-critical responses to media enquiries (see Critical incident support on page 15).
CSA also plays a direct role in public debate about Christian schooling. CSA is a key reference point for media on matters to do with Christian schooling and plays a vital role in promoting and defending the movement.
Schools in the CSA movement are characterised by their mission activities at home and in the developing world. Within the CSA membership are many opportunities for information, shared knowledge and partnerships in mission activities. CSA’s state and national offices provide a source of information and advice about these opportunities.
Professional networks are a key expression of the CSA movement. They include subject networks, primary/secondary/middle school, and leadership networks. For local network opportunities, please contact State office.
Promoting and preserving the Christian education distinctive
CSA exists to help preserve and protect the distinctive beliefs and characteristics of the movement. These are recorded in the CSA Charter and in the practice of members, freely shared with other members.
Members have a mutual obligation to ensure that the distinctives of Christian education are preserved and maintained in practice.
Membership signifies a willingness to stand up for these values and to see them strengthened through the fellowship of the CSA movement.
By maintaining their membership of CSA, schools actively support the development and articulation of public policy that protects and enhances the practice of Christian schooling in Australia.
Members of the CSA movement engage in policy development through regular participation in policy forums and other CSA activities, and through direct communication with CSA staff and Councils. CSA’s executive officers regularly ask member schools for feedback and consultation about public policy issues. Periodically, members are provided with resources and asked to actively participate in the task of advocating locally for the needs of Christian schools. This is particularly so during state and federal elections.
CSA is the only Christian school organisation to maintain a full-time office in Canberra, with an Executive Officer specialising in policy research and government relations. Our ‘national goals, local expression’ policy means a consistent approach across both state and national jurisdictions.
CSA organises the Christian Schools National Policy Forum each May, which brings together the broad Christian schools sector with decision makers including MPs and Senators, to discuss public policy.
CSA’s executive staff meet regularly with government, opposition, departments and authorities, provide representation on committees when required, and work closely with other non-government school organisations, specifically bringing a Christian school perspective to these forums. We have positive influence on the public discourse about education, from a Christian perspective.
CSA fosters and encourages prayer support for schools within the movement. Our conferences and other gatherings provide opportunities to worship and pray together, while prayer letters and requests are regularly sent throughout our networks.
CSA has a strong emphasis on professional development (PD) at a school and movement level. These are organised by CSA state and national office, and by the wider membership network. Member schools access professional development at a national, state, regional and local level. PD opportunities include conferences, seminars and workshops, governance training and curriculum days.
International exchange through ACSI
CSA is Australia’s peer association of ACSI – the Association of Christian Schools International. This is the largest global network of Christian schools.
CSA members access ACSI events and resources at member rates. CSA encourages participation in ACSI conferences globally, including the annual Leadership Academy in Colorado Springs. Our peer association relationship with ACSI provides opportunities for professional exchange between members of the CSA movement and the global movement of ACSI schools.
CSA maintains a very active job search feature on our website.
Listing is free for CSA members—currently a saving of $115 + GST per advertisement. This service is extremely popular—the job search pages are among the highest rating on our site, currently attracting more than 4,000 unique ‘hits’ per month. Jobs ads are also posted to CSA’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
Staff Relations Service
CSA provides information, advice and resources to member schools on staff relations, employment and workplace relations matters. Our particular expertise in this area is the integration of a Christian perspective into school employment practices. This makes CSA unique among associations that provide such services.
CSA membership includes
- Model staffing agreements for Principal and Business Manager,
- Sample letters of offer for teaching and general staff,
- Sample EO policy,
- Salary package calculator,
- FBT worksheet and sample documentation,
- Email updates on industrial issues,
- Periodic fact sheets about legislation, awards, employment standards, OH&S, salary packaging, superannuation and anti-discrimination / EO issues (issued when changes occur to employer requirements),
- Information about industrial matters relating to the Fair Work Act, National Employment Standards, Modern Awards and Equal Opportunity/Discrimination legislation,
- Access, for an additional fee, to Christian mediation services for Principal/Board disputes.
Additional SRS services are available on request, for an additional fee.
There is no distinction in membership of CSA: all schools are members in their state and nationally, and schools receive integrated support where national and state legislation interacts: in areas such as funding, employment etc.
A feature of the CSA movement is the provision of close support at a state level, with the State Executive Officer and State Council maintaining close and frequent contact with member schools.
The State Council provides an important link between operational support, networking and CSA’s policy processes.
The Chair of each State Council sits on the National Council. CSA’s policies are locally expressed to provide for united national goals.
The CEO and State Executive staff work with State Councils and members to ensure the Christian school voice is heard in all state policy debates which impact on members.