Case Study - Experience as a Principal Interstate - David McInnes

Oct 20 2017
33 of our current 455 Catholic Secondary Pri...

Instructional leadership the way forward

Oct 19 2017
Principals who are instructional leaders hav...

School wrong for banning turban

Oct 18 2017
By not allowing five-year-old Sidhak to attend ...

Girls crack the code for success with STEM

Oct 17 2017
When Sarah Moran and her Geek Girl Academy coll...

Assistance for your school to partner schools in Asia

Oct 16 2017
2018 Australia-Asia BRIDGE applications closing...

Ombudsman rules against school who suspended Yr 12 student from Graduation Formal

Oct 15 2017
A Year 12 student missed her high school formal...

Principals' Salary Conditions - Comparison across Australia

Oct 15 2017
Over recent years, CaSPA has undertaken to summ...

Funding available for your school to visit Parliament House in Canberra

Oct 14 2017
We know a visit to Parliament House is a potent...

Civility costs nothing - Ignoring it in the workplace can pay a hefty price

Oct 13 2017
Nasty people don't just make others feel...

Our best on a par with Singapore's struggling students

Oct 12 2017
"We are condemning our children to a se...

Stephen Elder speaks out against wealthy private schools 'gaming the system' to double disability funding

Oct 10 2017

Victorian independent schools have been accus...

Case Study - From Greenfields site to Flourishing College - Lauretta Graham

Oct 09 2017
Above: Early days of construction...Lauretta...

St Virgils Students head to the chilly south..

Oct 08 2017
Above: Australian Antarctic Division di...

Cairns 2018 - Conference Program now available

Oct 08 2017

Cairns 2018 - Expressions of Interest Now Open

Oct 07 2017

CaSPA News


Case Study - Experience as a Principal Interstate - David McInnes

Posted on 20 October 2017
Case Study - Experience as a Principal Interstate - David McInnes

33 of our current 455 Catholic Secondary Principals have moved interstate from their previous school where they were Principal. There are always "gains and challenges" with such a move, We are grateful to David McInnes who moved from Champagnat Catholic College MAROUBRA NSW to St Teresa's Noosaville, QLD for sharing this reflection on such a move:


Relocating to Queensland in July 2016 came about when the opportunity to lead another Marist school in another state arose. Leading a school in the Marist tradition at the time was a great joy and satisfaction, therefore the opportunity to remain in this network of schools was appealing.

Relocating midyear is never easy, however the welcome and support I received form the school community and the parish made the transition quite smooth. This is what one would expect from a Catholic, Marist community.

Adjusting to the different educational frameworks in Queensland was somewhat of a challenge, moving from BOSTES to QCAA processes.

The dual moral purpose of our faith and learning work however remained the  focus and this was no different than previous experiences. 

I look forward to working with colleagues in introducing the new Queensland Certificate of Education into our work, combining a new senior curriculum with external examinations to inform ATAR scores.

The privilege of leading a strong faith and learning community at St Teresa's has made the move from Sydney a great delight.

Posted in: CaSPA Case Study   0 Comments

Instructional leadership the way forward

Posted on 19 October 2017
Instructional leadership the way forward

Principals who are instructional leaders have three to four times greater impact on student results than transformational leadership

(Robinson, Bendikson & Hattie 2011).

Principals are seen as the font of all knowledge about teaching and learning.

They run multi-million dollar budgets, use data and evidence to inform teaching practice, support children with special needs, navigate a complex operational environment and engage with their local communities.

It's a hugely demanding job and every principal will tell you how busy they are just dealing with the day-to-day demands of running their school.

Research over the past 25 years demonstrates that principals are critical to school, teacher and student improvement and the most effective school leaders have a sustained focus on improving teacher quality and student learning.

The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation in NSW is our one-stop-shop for research and analysis and its publication, Effective Leadership, provides valuable information about the style of school leadership that has the biggest impact on student learning.

The most effective leadership has a very strong instructional focus and constantly seeks to improve student learning and outcomes.

Instructional leaders focus clearly on students and analyse the impact of the teachers and the school on learning.

These leaders are in the classroom observing lessons, working with teachers on targeted professional development to enhance teaching, modelling high expectations for both students and teachers and creating a school environment that fosters, supports and prioritises learning and student wellbeing.

Every education system is, of course, different.

In NSW we are working systemically to lift the standard of all our schools, because if we lift schools we will lift the system.

And we know we can lift schools through instructional leadership. Our new School Leadership Strategy for the 2200 public schools in NSW responds to the research on instructional leadership and to the findings of an independent study the Department of Education commissioned into principals' workload to identify the pressure points on principals' time.

We engaged Deloitte to undertake the principal workload and time use study and the findings validated what many principals have told us anecdotally.

Principals reported that 40 per cent of their time was spent on school management and 30 per cent on leading the teaching and learning within the school.

The factors that took them away from instructional leadership included insufficient administrative support, not enough training or preparation for the role, and inadequate tools or systems to meet the demands and pressures of the job.

In September we announced the first tranche of the School Leadership Strategy to significantly increase the department's support for school leaders so they can focus on leading teaching and learning.

The strategy focuses on quality leadership preparation and development; stronger collegial support for school leaders; and improved services and support to schools.

Next year we will create our own Leadership Institute to provide more and better support for current and future principals.

The institute will start with a focus on aspiring principals and we want to put several hundred leaders through a development program so that when they start on day one as a principal, they are systematically prepared for that role.

Over time the Leadership Institute will grow to support leaders and aspiring leaders in all types of roles.

It will provide systematic development and a focused suite of courses and programs that are essential to meeting the leadership challenges in schools.

We will be developing these courses in the department, with professional organisations and universities.

We see great value in this education being offered through the Leadership Institute, and we will also offer 20 scholarships a year for principals to go overseas together to undertake a major training program, to learn together and come back and share their learnings and experience with us.

The strategy puts a big focus on leadership development and stronger collegial support.

Just like our principals, we found that our school directors are incredibly busy and don't have enough time to fulfil the valuable mentoring and support role we want them to have.

The average director looks after 34 schools, which is far too many, so we are recruiting new directors to lower this ratio to one director for 20 schools.

The role of Director, Educational Leadership will be focused on being an ally and a sounding board for principals.

To provide better services and support, there is an extra $50 million in flexible funding to schools next year.

This is funding to release principals from administration or other tasks that take them away from instructional leadership.

Principals, as the key teaching and learning agents in schools, will decide how best to spend the money.

It might be buying in more administration support, joining with other schools to employ a business manager, or providing more release time for the school's senior team.

The School Leadership Strategy is just the first phase of our commitment to improve services and support to our principals, now and in the future.

By investing in our people, we are investing in the future of our children and young people.

By Mark Scott
Secretary of the New South Wales Department of Education.

This story appeared in the November 2017 edition of Australian Teacher Magazine.

Posted in: Leadership   0 Comments

School wrong for banning turban

Posted on 18 October 2017
School wrong for banning turban
By not allowing five-year-old Sidhak to attend Melton Christian College wearing a patka, or children's turban, the school breached the Equal Opportunity Act, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found on Tuesday.

"Whilst MCC is a Christian school, it has an open enrolment policy which means that it accepts enrolments of students from other faiths," VCAT member Julie Grainger found.

"A little over 50 per cent of the school community does not identify explicitly as Christian and many families at the school have no religious beliefs.

"It is not reasonable to accept enrolment applications from students from non-Christian faiths only on the condition that they do not look like they practice a non-Christian religion."

Sidhak's parents, Sagardeep Singh Arora and Anureet Kaur Arora, tried to enrol their son at the school in 2016 because it was close to home and where Sidhak's cousins studied.

The tribunal found the school could have amended its uniform policy to allow the child to wear a turban in school colours, and Grainger ordered the parents and school negotiate an agreement on what orders could be made to resolve the situation.

"I consider that MCC's uniform policy, in so far as it prohibits head gear of a non-Christian faith, could be described as 'openly discriminatory'," the VCAT finding read.

In a statement, Sagardeep Singh Arora and various Sikh groups said "we are very pleased that religious freedom ... is alive in Victoria".

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission said the decision was an important test case for exemptions to the Equal Opportunity Act.

"VCAT's decision shows that all schools must ensure their uniform policies are not discriminatory," commissioner Kristen Hilton said.

Melton Christian College , which during the hearing insisted its decision was lawful under exemptions to the Equal Opportunity Act, said it would work with the family to find "a constructive way forward".

"We had thought that we were acting in accordance with the law, and so we respect the finding of VCAT," principal David Gleeson said.


Girls crack the code for success with STEM

Posted on 17 October 2017
Girls crack the code for success with STEM
When Sarah Moran and her Geek Girl Academy colleagues were pondering why they have not only survived but thrived in the male-dominated world of technology, they realised they all learned to code as kids for fun by making their own games.

It's a passion the Victorian start-up hopes to instil in girls aged five to eight across the nation with activities such as their #MissMakesCode events.

"Back in the mid-90s, to make the computer work and play a game on it, you had to do some sort of physical level of coding," said Ms Moran, the co-founder and chief executive of the Geek Girl Academy.

"You had to be able to bash it in and turn the game on by hand," she said. "For us, if we wanted to make the games work, we had to learn how to program the computer."

"We didn't have technology curriculums back then either - it was just a matter of whoever had a computer and could work out how to use it, good on you."

The hands-on #MissMakesCode events, the first of their kind in the world for 5-8-year-old girls, are aligned to the national digital curriculum and can be rolled out in any school, in any community.

The event is designed to build confidence through a fun learning environment in the areas of algorithmic thinking, programming and coding.

The Geek Girl Academy which is dedicated to boosting the number of women with successful science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) careers wants girls to become comfortable with technology and coding as they learn to read and write.

They also want to get in before any gender biases set in.

"It's about getting girls into a room and saying this is an activity girls do and having that social impact from an early age, then they won't ever think that girls don't code," said Ms Moran.

The academy's #MissMakesCode school holiday event in Melbourne runs in collaboration with the NAB.

The bank supports the work of the academy through its Girl Geek in Residence, part of the Connecting Women in Technology program.

Helen Sultana, the #MissMakesCode program lead, said it taught foundational skills such as problem solving that could be applied to any topics.

Esther Warren, 7, and Jia Patel, 5, both said making games as well as new friends was a highlight of the event.

Ms Sultana also runs boot camps for teachers so they can learn the program to teach to their students.

For the Geek Girl Academy members - who are real-life women trailblazers in STEM it's not just about fun and games but also recruiting girls into technology fields from the start.

Their mission is to teach 1 million Australian women to build technology and create start-ups by 2025, and they also run other programs including #SheHacks and #SheMakesGames.

"We can say we're from industry and we're calling on you to join us. You could be us. You can be game developers, and you can build your own technology," Ms Moran said.

The Australian, Australia  by Stefanie Balogh
Posted in: STEM   0 Comments

Assistance for your school to partner schools in Asia

Posted on 16 October 2017
Assistance for your school to partner schools in Asia
2018 Australia-Asia BRIDGE applications closing soon

Don't miss your chance to apply for one of the generously subsidised places in our nationally acclaimed 
BRIDGE school partnerships program. In 2018, partner with a school from

  • Indonesia,
  • Malaysia,
  • Thailand,
  • Vietnam,
  • Brunei,
  • Singapore or
  • The Philippines.


Applications close 15 October.

Posted in: curriculum   0 Comments
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