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ACT Secondary Education Study

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From Early Learning Centres through to universities, the Catholic Education institutions in our Archdiocese deliver quality education and pastoral care to the students in our community.

The Canberra and Goulburn Catholic Education Office administers the delivery of Catholic education within our Early Learning Centres, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. Its mission is to provide an inclusive and welcoming community that “gives witness to the values of Jesus Christ through leadership, support and services to Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese”.

59 schools come under the auspices of the Catholic Education Commission; of which 3 are Congregational schools.

The Catholic Education Commission (CEC) advises the Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn as he makes decisions regarding Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. The CEC is made up of advisors with a range of expertise, including parents, principals and members of the clergy.

The ACT Catholic Secondary Education Study has been initiated by the CEC and includes all 5 ACT System Colleges and the 3 Congregational Colleges. It is a forward looking strategic exercise that will respond to the expressed needs and aspirations of our communities, demographic changes in Canberra, enrolment pressures and future sustainability.

“As Chair of the Catholic Education Commission, I assure you that we are always seeking ways to promote excellent educational outcomes consistent with our Mission. Integral to this endeavour is the support for all our educational leaders, from the newest teacher graduate to our most senior Principal. We believe that they are the key to the success of our system and the successful engagement with students and their parents. We have developed a study brief and a project plan to provide an opportunity for the Commission to understand the needs and aspirations of its secondary school communities in light of the changing urban landscape of Canberra. It is an opportunity to imagine the future shape of Catholic education in our city in order to continue to provide exceptional outcomes for all students.”
Dr. Patrick McArdle, Chair CEC.

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In 2016 the CEC commissioned the Study into the Provision of Catholic Secondary Education in the ACT. This follows on from studies in the 1990s and more recently in 2009.

Within the Catholic Education Office and in our schools, we know we have got many things right. We know that thousands of families seek a Catholic education for their young people.

Education and the world outside our schools is undergoing change. There are jobs that our students will be taking up in 5 years’ time that don’t exist at the moment. Technology is continually changing the way we teach. Canberra is growing and changing with new suburbs and new transport links.

We know that good teaching and learning is critical to student outcomes and is shaped by strong leadership. We know that good mental health and strong communities are all important to successful outcomes. We know that many of our students now only come into contact with the Catholic Church through our school system.

We are committed to community and the Catholic ethos. We are committed to social justice and achieving equity in our schooling system. We are committed to collecting data about student outcomes and planning for the future based on sound research. We are committed to consultation and collaboration with our school communities including parents, staff, students and clergy.

This Study aims to look at what our community values and what needs to change to produce even better student outcomes. We need to know where to build new schools. We need to know what the key drivers are for people making choices about secondary education. We know our communities are diverse and have individual needs and aspirations. We also know that we have to manage for the best outcomes across the Archdiocese within the resources available to us. This Study is not about creating an unachievable wish-list for our Archdiocese. It is about listening to our communities, consulting the experts and the research and coming up with plans that work for us. Change may be minimal; but we will be certain at the end of this Study that our way of providing secondary education is up to the task of delivering for our students and communities for the next 20 years and beyond.

This webpage is the portal for your participation. It details meeting dates, has links to submission templates and surveys and shares updates about the Study as it progresses.

As of June 2016 the Study is in a LISTENING phase. Please look out for meetings in your school community. Input from those meetings will be used to focus the Study and will be integrated with the survey input which everyone will be asked to complete in August.

The Catholic Secondary Education Study Steering Group is comprised of Mary-Jane Carroll-Fajarda (Chair and CEC Member), Bob Brady (Parent Rep and CEC member), Angus Tulley (Principal), Daniel Lawler (Principal), Bradley Cooney (Senior Office at CE), Fr Mick MacAndrew (Parish Priest, Cooma) and John Barker (Head of Resource Management and Strategy CE and ex-officio CEC). Thank you for your co-operation on behalf of the Steering Group.

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