The ACT’s Catholic education authority will spend the next six months examining how to improve its schools to ensure the system is meeting parents’ expectations.
Teachers, principals, parish priests and staff from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn met in Manuka last week to workshop initiatives aimed at improving learning in the system’s 56 schools.
The two-day strategy meeting followed the release of the Archdiocese’s strategic plan late last year, in which it identified performance in literacy and numeracy as a key area for improvement.
The system has battled sluggish growth over the past five years, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data released early this year showing only a 1.66 per cent increase in enrolments at ACT schools between 2012 and 2017. The figure included independent Catholic schools, such as St Edmund’s.
As the Archdiocese’s Catholic education office prepares to turn 160 in 2019, Catholic education director Ross Fox said the system recognised it was time for change.
“We’ve boldly stepped into a new space to say we need to change because our expectations are higher and higher for our students,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity to stop and reflect on what needs to change, but also what’s highly valued and what we want to treasure. We are creating a space to reflect pretty deeply on our work and how we continue to meet the needs of students.”
The Catholic education office has partnered with “innovation consultants” Knowledge Society on the project. The team will focus on existing processes within schools before identifying its next steps, Mr Fox said.
“We’re looking at the performance of our system, so the academic and other outcomes, we’re looking at how we express our mission, whether that’s in social justice or anything else, and then we’re looking at how the system best supports schools to be most effective so principals and other staff can focus on the learning and teaching and put away the distractions that can creep in,” he said.
Article: Emily Baker.Sydney Morning Herald, 31 March 2018 — 12:00am.