Flawed funding estimator hides cuts to schools

Dec 13 2017
The Federal Government has once again come unde...

New Director of NCEC applauds the diverse work of CaSPA Schools

Dec 12 2017
Above: Pete's Place students with Dr Fra...

VET student outcomes 2017

Dec 11 2017
Australia's largest survey of VET students ...

Robots Taking conducting classes in your school - a futurists view of Education

Dec 10 2017
Robot colleagues and classes studying emotion t...

7 reasons to attend EduTECH

Dec 09 2017
Connect with the latest in tools, techno...

ACARA Curriculum Activity Report Oct-Dec 2017

Dec 08 2017
Dear colleagues,
This is the final report ...

An opportunity to invite past CaSPA Principals to assist your school?

Dec 07 2017
There are a growing number of past CaSPA Pri...

Catholic Principal writes book on Cultivating a Positive Culture

Dec 06 2017
Education systems around the world keep strivin...

Changes to use of SES in Funding for CaSPA Schools in 2018

Dec 05 2017
As we are all aware the SES is one of a numb...

CaSPA Schools come in all shapes and sizes

Dec 04 2017
The recently released August Census of enrol...

CaSPA establishes Liaison Person for NSW - Rob Laidler

Dec 03 2017
As we are all aware, the largest jurisdictio...

New CaSPA Director nominated from South Australia

Dec 02 2017
The South Australian Catholic Secondary Prin...

Profiles: Clare Kanakis [WA]; Br Steve Hogan [NSW]: Steve Todd [NSW]

Dec 01 2017
We thank the following colleagues for sharing t...

Principal Vacancy - Downlands College, Qld for 2019

Nov 30 2017
Please pass this on to staff at your school who...

Melbourne CaSPA School wins Sustainability Award for 2nd year in a row

Nov 29 2017
Catholic Regional College St Albans has won the...

CaSPA News

 

Flawed funding estimator hides cuts to schools

Posted on 13 December 2017
Flawed funding estimator hides cuts to schools
The Federal Government has once again come under scrutiny for the figures released in its recently relaunched school funding estimator with the Shadow Minister for Education and Training Tanya Plibersek saying it hides cuts to public and Catholic schools.

In a media release, the Opposition deputy leader said parents "deserve the truth" about how the government's "unfair funding policy will affect their child's school".

"Mr Turnbull's unfair policy cuts $17 billion from schools. While public schools and Catholic parish schools bear the brunt of these cuts, many elite private schools will actually do much better. His priorities are all wrong. Parents, teachers, and our children deserve better."

"Malcolm Turnbull will always put elite private schools first. Under Mr Turnbull, private schools are getting more funding than ever before. That's not fair, needs based, or sector blind," said Ms Plibersek.

The revamped version of the estimator shows average per-student funding projections for Catholic schools across Australia and 18 other independent school systems.

In an interview with The Age, National Catholic Education Commission executive director Christian Zahra said the Catholic sector made its concerns known in May about the original funding estimator, but did not ask for the current changes.

"The NCEC did not push for funding for Catholic schools to be shown as an averaged or system amount on the estimator, although it was widely agreed that the previous approach was flawed," Mr Zahra said.

"The Catholic sector supports a transparent and consistent funding model and we don't believe the current model delivers that. As an example, the transition arrangements mean Catholic schools will lose $1.1bn in funding in real terms over the next decade compared to independent standalone schools in the same situation," he said.

"The SES scores relied upon by government to fund non-government schools have also been widely discredited and the government is now having a formal review into models that can more accurately assess need. This has been strongly advocated for by Catholic school leaders."

The tool shows that in Victoria, the average Catholic school student will receive $12,705 in Commonwealth funding by 2027, in NSW $12,746, Queensland $12,534 and Western Australia $12,813.

The estimator shows that higher SES Catholic school like St Kevin's in Toorak has the same figures as the more disadvantaged Sacred Heart School in Fitzroy.

Catholic Education Commission Victoria executive director Stephen Elder wrote to his principals late last week urging them to disregard the estimator.

Posted in: NCEC Funding   0 Comments

New Director of NCEC applauds the diverse work of CaSPA Schools

Posted on 12 December 2017
New Director of NCEC applauds the diverse work of CaSPA Schools

Above: Pete's Place students with Dr Frank Malloy, Christian Zahra and Michael Whitton.

Serving over 765,000 students in 1730 schools, the Catholic education sector in Australia is as diverse as it is large. Executive director of the National Catholic Education Commission Christian Zahra wanted to give prominence to some of the unsung stories of schools "working at the edges" of Catholic education. He spent some time this week with inspiring Catholic school leaders doing outstanding work with vulnerable students.

In early December, Mr Zahra spent the day with national director of Marist Schools Australia Dr Frank Malloy to visit three Marist schools and programs in New South Wales.

As a former Marist student, having attended Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon (formerly St Paul's College), Mr Zahra reflected on the impact of his own Marist education.

"One of the Brothers, Br Maurie Bambridge, spent many years working in Central Australia and taught us all about the Indigenous communities he worked with," he said. "It made me think deeply about the meaning and purpose of my own life. That commitment I learned from Br Maurie and other Marist Brothers to Indigenous communities and supporting disadvantaged people really stuck with me and has strongly influenced the work I've done, including working twice as CEO of Indigenous organisations in rural and remote Australia."

"St Marcellin Champagnat's mission was to serve the most vulnerable in society," he said. "We often hear the stories of excellence in Catholic education, and we celebrate our sporting and academic achievements, which is very important, but I wanted to highlight and celebrate some of the stories of schools that do amazing work with vulnerable students and go quietly about their work often without much acknowledgement."

Pete's Place, named after Peter Robinson who bequeathed the building in Blacktown to the Brothers, is run by the Marist's outreach arm, Marist180, and is an alternate pathway for young people aged 12 to 16 years who have disengaged from school.

The school accommodates up to 25 students whose attendance has been a constant challenge. Newly-appointed principal Michael Whitton introduced a one-off incentive program to encourage the students.

"Some of the typical educational approaches don't work for these young people, so we wanted to introduce the incentive of giving movie tickets to students who attended school regularly," he said. "I thought I would have to buy two tickets, I ended up having to buy movies tickets for over 20 kids."

"Prior to some of the changes, student attendance fluctuated day to day," said Mr Whitton who was previously the assistant principal of St Clare's Catholic College in Mount Druitt. "Now we have about 23 students and attendance, other than genuine sick days, is nearly 100 per cent."

Mr Whitton said the teachers use a therapeutic approach to support and engage students to enable their social, emotional and academic growth.

"I don't want people to see Pete's Place as a 'behaviour' school. We are working with young people who have been seriously traumatised in many ways. The behaviour that might bring them here is a symptom of other underlying issues like depression and anxiety," he said. "The difference is we don't give up on them. These young people are used to being pushed away and when they come here they aren't being pushed away. For many of them school has become their respite."

A personalised approach is the foundation of the Marist's new joint venture with Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP), the Marist Learning Zone (MLZ), which will open to students in Mount Druitt next year.

CEDP's program manager Patrick Barrett said the MLZ will support students for up to 100 days while they are still enrolled in their mainstream school. The program will provide additional support with the aim of re-engaging students back into school or to support them to find another pathway through vocational programs, apprenticeships or work.

"We will be developing an individualised program for each student at MLZ because each one will have different needs," said Mr Barrett. "We will work with them, their families and teachers and create a program to best support them. Some students might be here for two weeks, others might be here for a longer time."

"We can't treat students the same; it reduces their life chances," he said. "We have to recognise the needs of each student, where they currently are in learning, and where they want to be so they are challenged beyond even their own expectations."

The program will be a support to schools in conjunction with other options like CEDP's wellbeing and counselling services. The students will be referred from their school based on a number of factors including chronic school avoidance.

Marist Brother Jonnel Sisneros, who has recently arrived from the Philippines, will be one of four Marist teachers and two CEDP staff who will work in the Marist Learning Zone which will accommodate up to 20 students at any one time. Located at CEDP's Aengus Kavanagh Centre at Mount Druitt the MLZ, for the moment, is almost empty of furniture.

"We didn't want to buy too much furniture to start with because we want the students to help us design the best use of the space," said Br Jonnel. "The space will need to respond to their needs."

The students will have access to a range of services on the site including literacy and numeracy support, a creative and performing arts program, the Jarara Indigenous support team and multimedia studios.

The John Berne School, located at Lewisham has recently undergone a major refurbishment that principal Br Mark Paul says has made a huge impact on the way the students think about themselves. With a capacity of 48 students, the Marist school was founded in 1998 and had 37 students enrolled this year.

"When we moved back onto the site earlier this term, the students were saying we are now a 'normal' school because we have the same resources as other schools," said Br Mark. "They felt like they had a certain standing in the community."

Creating the right kind of environment and opportunities is critical to student success says Br Mark who works with business partners and ambassadors like Labor politician Kristina Keneally to provide activities, excursions, immersion and work experiences. Students are involved in boat-building, sailing, artist and photographer in residence programs and one week of work experience each term in Years 9 and 10 to support the development of the whole person.

"Many of the students who come here have reading difficulties, so they misbehave in class because it's the easiest way to get out of school work," said Br Mark. "But the problem is not misbehaviour, it's a range of social and educational challenges that need to be addressed and we have to work with their parents who are often struggling too."

"Our work is to help these students tap into their gifts, which we do by exposing them to opportunities and creating an environment where they are respected and valued," he said.

The Marist charism lies at the heart of these schools and programs, but it is often not as explicit as teaching religious education. Faith is shared in a very practical way by talking about students' life experiences and creating moments of reflection for students.

"Young people need some quiet time to think about what's holding them back from school and participation in life," said Br Mark. "Faith is central to being a change agent in the world and there is a great thirst for faith with these young people, which is being made alive here."

For more information visit Marist180, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and the John Berne School
Posted in: NCEC Catholic Secondary Principals Australia   0 Comments

VET student outcomes 2017

Posted on 11 December 2017
VET student outcomes 2017
Australia's largest survey of VET students has revealed that graduate satisfaction with overall training quality remains high at 87.3%, up 1.3 percentage points from 2016.

The National student outcomes survey 2017, which elicited over 150 000 responses this year, provides information on student employment and further study outcomes as well as training satisfaction and relevance.

The new data show that 77.7% of graduates were employed after training and that 86.1% of graduates were either employed or enrolled in further study after training.

View the collection

Posted in: VocEd   0 Comments

Robots Taking conducting classes in your school - a futurists view of Education

Posted on 10 December 2017
Robots Taking conducting classes in your school - a futurists view of Education
Robot colleagues and classes studying emotion that's how futurist Ross Dawson sees education evolving in years to come.

Commonwealth Bank has released a 'Jobs and Skills of the Future' report, authored by Dawson, which sheds new light on the changing role of teachers.

The report details the ways that advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, data analytics and virtual reality might affect the classrooms of the future.

Dawson says one of the most significant changes will be a new focus on student capabilities, as opposed to skills.

"In a changing world with developing machine capabilities we are effectively competing with computers, competing with machines and so we need to focus on those uniquely human capabilities such as creativity, imagination, relationships, empathy, expertise that keep us ahead," he tells EducationHQ.

"You can have classes to understand, studying emotions, what are the differences between emotions? How we can see those, how can we respond to those, what can we do to inspire people?" he explains.

Dawson says that a focus on these capabilities would help to prepare students for employment areas that will resist automation or grow in response to it.

Robots will not just affect the world outside the classroom, however Dawson believes it is likely teachers will end up sharing in-class responsibilities with them.

"One of the key shifts will be the role of the teacher," he explains.

"The teacher will always be fundamental, but now instead of the teacher being the source of the teaching they will be essentially an orchestrator of resources, and critically their role will be to inspire children to tap their capabilities and to build their love and joy of learning," he says.

"The single most fundamental role of the teacher is to inspire, it is to help them to see the possibilities, to inspire them, to give them the joy of learning. That is not something that a machine will ever be able to do, that is deeply and fundamentally human."

Dawson says that instead, robotic teachers could help facilitate a transition to larger, more flexible classes.

"Some students in the class may sit for a while with a robot or computer which is interacting with them individually ... this can enable a teacher to, in fact, to spend more time with individuals as well.

"The fact that a few of them are spending a little of their time having an individual interaction or conversation with a robot means that the teacher can support them in that interaction, spend more time with other individuals, circulate more," he says.

Dawson says this will make for more efficient and flexible lesson delivery.

"The current structure is quite rigid, in the sense that we have a single class with a number of students and one teacher, and in order to make that more personalised ... we can start to move those configurations around and maybe one time when everyone is with one teacher, then maybe other times when they're broken into groups with different teachers."

"It's just a simple thing of moving beyond the rigidity of single class, single group, single teacher, to one that has flexibility and being able to redesign that as best suits the needs of the students."

Dawson says the education system must begin preparing students for the not so distant future.

 

By Geordie Little
Published November 27, 2017 in Educationhq.com.au

"These are times of exceptional change, and the world of work is being disrupted significantly ... there many things that we can do today [to] ensure a more prosperous future for individuals and societies in Australia, and so much of that is centred on education," he says.

"It is critical that all of us, including individuals, parents, governments, educational institutions, focus on what it is we can do today to focus on the education of the future, because that is what will be able to create a prosperous society for Australia."

Posted in: Leadership   0 Comments

7 reasons to attend EduTECH

Posted on 9 December 2017
7 reasons to attend EduTECH
  • Connect with the latest in tools, technologies and trends in education
  • Gain Professional Development Hours by attending any of EduTECH/EduBUILD's congresses or masterclasses
  • Exclusively network and learn from the world's best regarded education experts
  • Stay up to date with changes in curriculum, assessment and standards
  • See case studies from leading Australian schools and learning institutions
  • Attend dedicated masterclasses and seminars for hands-on engaged learning
  • Access to Australasia's biggest education technology exhibition...it's FREE to visit

Register now and enjoy Holiday prices

Posted in: sponsors   0 Comments
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