Funding Opportunities - Sept 22, 2017

Sep 22 2017
Public Education Foundation's GO Foundat...

Are we developing appropriate skills for the digital economy?

Sep 21 2017
Project overview and objectives This workin...

Memo to the Principal: Are you the source of workplace dysfunction?

Sep 20 2017
Rudeness and bullying are rife, says Stanfor...

Research Confirms Students live up to Expectations of their Teachers

Sep 19 2017
Key  findings of NSW Governement Research ...

Psychometric Testing for 2018 Teacher Training aspirants to be introduced before the end of this year

Sep 18 2017
Victorian schools are scrambling to prepare ...

Australian Curriculum - A mile wide and an inch deep...

Sep 17 2017
A CROWDED curriculum is crushing Victorian scho...

Data Project - How CaSPA data compares to Australian Principals

Sep 16 2017
As you may be aware, the Commonwealth Depart...

You are invited to support Research into Parent Engagement in our Schools

Sep 15 2017
CaSPA is supporting this important initiativ...

Principals' Award Conditions - Comparison across Australia

Sep 15 2017
Over recent years, CaSPA has undertaken to s...

Future bright for quality VET in Schools studies

Sep 14 2017
New research linking the 2006 VET in Schools Co...

Prof Greg Craven meets with CaSPA Board in Perth

Sep 14 2017
The Board of CaSPA sees it is important to m...

Executive Officer Vacancy - Kildare Education Ministries

Sep 13 2017
Kildare Education Ministries is seeking a faith...

Principal Well Being - A new report focused on Catholic Sector

Sep 12 2017
For some time CaSPA has been working with CC...

CaSPA AGM held in Perth 10 Sep, 2017

Sep 11 2017
The CaSPA Constitution directs the Board to ...

Teaching Fellowship valued at $45,000 for you or your staff

Sep 11 2017
The Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards were crea...

CaSPA News


CaSPA Board Meet with WA Principals

Posted on 11 September 2017
CaSPA Board Meet with WA Principals

A key role that the CaSPA Board has undertaken in recent years is to meet in each of the 8 State and Territories in order to meet with local principals and come to appreciate the great work that is being done in the name of Catholic Education across Australia. In recent times, the Board has endeavoured to time its visit when the local principals have one of their scheduled meetings - and this was the case when CSPA WA met at Aranomore College on September 11th this year.

The meeting had 4 components:

  • A presentation by CaSPA regarding its work, structure and current projects
  • An interactive session with the WA Principals regarding issues that are of importance to them
    • matters relating to Well Being and growing work pressures on Principals were mentioned
    • as was the small number applying for senior Leadership positions in Catholic College
  • A robust and enegetic presentation from CEWA Director Tim McDonald on current issues in Catholic Education as a result of the work of the current Royal Commission
  • A response from the Hon Sue Ellery - current Education Minister of WA

The CaSPA Board wishes to thank Declan Tanham and the WA Principals for their attendance and warm welcome to the CaSPA Board

Tim McDonald, Director CEWA

Hon Sue Ellery, WA Minister for Education


Posted in: Catholic Secondary Principals Australia   0 Comments

Snapshot of VET across Australia

Posted on 10 September 2017
Snapshot of VET across Australia

A growing number of CaSPA schools are involved in skills and vocational training for their students. It is significant therefore to have regard to the important trends in this growing area.

Principals can access detailed and current reports from the following link:

Posted in: VocEd   0 Comments

Parramatta Diocese Continues to Expand Education Opportunities and new schools

Posted on 9 September 2017
Parramatta Diocese Continues to Expand Education Opportunities and new schools
St Patrick's Quarter providing Catholic pastoral outreach, education and community support in the heart of Parramatta.

With the population of Parramatta projected to grow exponentially in the next 10 years, the Diocese of Parramatta is planning on revitalising the St Patrick's Cathedral precinct. A multi-stage project known as St Patrick's Quarter is expected to provide more opportunities for Catholic services including pastoral outreach, education, and community support within the Diocese of Parramatta. St Patrick's Quarter will revitalise and renew the northern end of the Parramatta CBD and ensure the Catholic Church remains able to using its presence in that area to do more and be more for the local community.

St Patrick's Quarter has three main elements:

1) A new 'pre-school to post school' known as St Patrick's Cathedral College,

2) A new Church office administration building and

3) A modest commercial/residential hub.

The planning process will focus on the needs of the community and will reflect the principles of collaboration and sustainability. Priority will also be given to ensuring there is sufficient recreational space for students. The Church is also committed to working constructively with Parramatta Council on a robust and viable traffic management plan.

The idea of a revitalised Cathedral precinct has been under consideration for some time and more detailed planning will now commence. Pending regulatory approvals, St Patrick's Cathedral College is scheduled to open in 2020 with the other components of St Patrick's Quarter to follow soon after.

St Patrick's Quarter is working under the auspices of the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv.

Posted in: Strategic   0 Comments

Are you providing optimum opportunities for your Gifted and Talented students?

Posted on 8 September 2017
Are you providing optimum opportunities for your Gifted and Talented students?
  • Teachers are charged with the task of helping each and every student be the best they can be.
  • But what if a student's best is well beyond the rest of the class?

For about 10 per cent of the student population this is the case, and according to Dr Jae Jung, a senior lecturer in the School of Education at UNSW Sydney, many of these students are being let down.

Jung puts this down to a lack of teacher training in gifted and talented education, and says the effects are far reaching.

"We need to remember that our brightest students are the ones who are the most likely to make a real difference in society.

"They're the ones who are likely to find the cure for cancer, they're the ones who can find a solution to global poverty, and they're the ones who are best positioned to address environmental issues like loss of biodiversity and ocean acidification.

"And yet, they're the ones who are most neglected in our education system."

According to Françoys Gagné's differentiated model of giftedness, young gifted children have the potential to develop capacities for high-level performance in one or more areas.

However, the extent to which young gifted children are able to develop their potential depends on a number of factors, including the support and teaching they receive at school.

"in that model, 10 per cent of students of a particular age group are considered gifted," Jung says.

"So that's 10 per cent of a student population, that's a pretty sizeable group [whose] educational needs need to be attended to.

"If you look at the performance of Australia in international assessments like PISA and TIMSS, the results indicated that students at the top end in Australia were not performing well in comparison to students at the top end in other countries," Jung continues.

Mark Scott, Secretary of the Department of Education in NSW, shares this concern, and mentioned it in his speech to World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Biennial Conference in July.

"Of great concern nationally is the slide in performance among our high achievers on international and national assessments.

"If we track the percentage of students achieving in the 'high' achievement range (top two bands) on the three PISA test components from 2000 to 2015, we see a general decline, nationally, from 17 per cent for reading, 20 per cent for maths, and 15 per cent for science, down to 11 per cent for all three in 2015," he told delegates.

"Across many measures, not enough high potential Australian students are achieving their academic potential," he added.

"We recognise that student underachievement is  a significant problem not just limited to gifted students, but also to high potential students who are above the average range, but may not be in our selective schools or classes."

According to Jung, this may be attributed to the lack of educational intervention for gifted students, and a lack of teacher-training in gifted education.

Jung points out that in New South Wales, all pre-service teachers are required to undergo training in special education, Indigenous education, and English as a second language, but there's no requirement for gifted and talented education.

"This is despite the fact that the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers explicitly requires all teachers in Australia to be able to differentiate their teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

"We therefore have the unfortunate situation whereby intending teachers in Australia are not being trained to fulfil requirements outlined in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers."

New South Wales isn't alone in this situation.

Lesley Henderson, a lecturer with Flinders University's College of Education and president of the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented (AAEGT), says few teachers have any background in this area.

"To my knowledge, only three universities that offer initial teacher education (ITE) courses have a compulsory topic in gifted education all three in NSW," she says.

"Without professional learning about gifted students, teachers in schools are ill-prepared to understand how to cater for the most able students." Jung agrees.

"You can't really blame the teachers because they haven't had training in gifted education.

"And a lack of training in gifted education, perhaps also influences the attitudes of teachers toward gifted education.

"They may rely on common stereotypes, that gifted students will look after themselves, gifted students don't need anything special, this sort of thing. I think this is a very unfortunate situation.

"In addition," Henderson says, "there are widespread misconceptions about gifted students and negative attitudes towards special provisions for gifted students.

"These attitudes are widely researched and prevalent in our society where gifted students are often considered to be advantaged and any special provisions are regarded as being elitist."

One educator who is determined not to rely on such stereotypes, is Troy Eggleston, a science teacher at Castle Hill High School in Sydney.

Eggleston is in his last semester of a master degree in gifted education.

Excelling at school himself, Eggleston was keen to gain some specialist knowledge in how to extend top students.

"I just thought it was a fascinating area to get into, because I've learnt a bit more about myself and I've learnt a bit more about the gifted students I teach," he says.

Eggleston says he agrees with Dr Jung "wholeheartedly" .

"We're expected to differentiate and we're expected to cater for these gifted students' needs, and teachers don't have the training to do it.

"Now don't get me wrong, there are some pre-service teachers with gifted training, not all universities completely ignore it so, it's not as much they're not trained, it's just that the training is inconsistent.

"And when you get inconsistent training you're going to get inconsistent programs.

"Some of them are going to be pretty good, at some schools, some of them aren't going to be as good at other schools.

"And in [the public sector], the school you go to is dictated by where you live then it becomes a bit of a lottery."

Jung says when gifted students are allowed to fall through the cracks, there are very negative consequences.

"Research suggests that approximately 20 per cent of gifted students drop out," he says.

"You have dropping out behaviours, students who are not performing to their potential, they may become very bored in the classroom.

"Even students who are performing at a seemingly high level to teachers, they may in fact not be extended to their full potential, either. This is also a waste, and also needs to be addressed."

Eggleston says there are also dangers of giftedness being masked and students going unidentified.

"The difference between gifted and talented is 'gifted' means you can do it, and 'talented' means you do do it," he explains.

"I think sometimes giftedness is masked by other issues, such as low socio-economic status, ESL, even other learning disabilities, so these students get pigeonholed in that category and therefore gifted education doesn't even enter the question.

"[People say] 'oh they live out back, they're from a low socio-economic area, we don't have any gifted students here,' and they get labeled.

"And their giftedness gets closed off to them," Eggleston says.

Jung sees compulsory training in gifted education as the No.1 priority for addressing this shortcoming in our education system.

"Another thing that can be done obviously those teachers who are already in the system, they need to get regular professional development in gifted education," he adds.

"In New South Wales we have schools that cater specifically to gifted students. We have no requirement for these teachers of gifted students to get any training in gifted education."

Jung would also like to see gifted students offered a diverse range of options to suit their learning needs.

"We need to make sure that we have a wide range of educational interventions that are appropriate for gifted education students," he says.

"Not all gifted students are the same. Gifted students are a heterogeneous group, we need teachers to be able to identify these students we also need to make sure the full range of educational interventions for students, starting from academic acceleration at one end, to interventions within the regular classroom."

Selective schools are often touted as the answer for giftedness, schools which are set up with these students' needs in mind, where the curriculum and assessment is better targeted and they can learn among like-minded peers.

But as Eggleston points out, these schools aren't available to everyone.

"Basically there are no selective schools in New South Wales north of Newcastle, south of Wollongong or west of Penrith.

"So if you live out in Broken Hill, or you live in Dubbo, you live in Orange, and you need your learning needs catered by a selective school, you've either got to see what the gifted program at the local high school is, or go to an expensive private school, and so that's a bit inequitable," he says.

Another equity problem arises when motivated parents from high SES backgrounds invest thousands in tutoring to give their children the best chance of securing a spot in the nearest selective school.

"As a local issue, we recognise that an industry of private tutoring colleges has developed over time, where families can pay extra money to independent businesses to do extra test practice for the OC and selective school exams," Scott told the conference.

This issue will form part of a review of the state's 2004 Gifted and Talented policy.

"We cannot talk about reviewing gifted and talented policy without looking at the role of family motivation and the influence of the tutoring industry," Scott says.

"There is significant community perception that tutoring is necessary for successful entry and parents can spend more than $20,000 a year on preparation for OC or selective high school tests.

"Estimates place the size of the school tutoring business industry at well over $1 billion dollars annually.

"As coaching booms we are seeing a decline in the proportion of low SES students gaining entry into selective schools. It isn't difficult to join the dots."

Jung confirms there is evidence to suggest gifted and talented students come from all SES levels.

"Gifted students come from all walks of life," he says.

"I think we in Australia, and around the world, can do a better job of catering to the needs of gifted students from lower SES backgrounds and Mark Scott's proposal for changes to the way we select students for entry into selective schools, to allow more gifted students from lower SES backgrounds. I think that's a very positive step."

Eggleston says it's time we start talking more about gifted and talented students, and the fact that the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Biennial Conference was held Down Under this year, is a great start.

"It's not going to fix everything overnight, but it will get conversations started and that's the first step in the process. Along with conversation, Henderson would like to see more investment in the futures of these students.

"We need funding for research into the needs, aspirations, achievements and experiences of our highly able students.

"What is working for them and what needs to change for diverse groups of gifted students in a range of different contexts?

"When we understand these children and their needs, we will have greater insights into how to provide appropriately for them," she says.

In the meantime, Henderson and fellow members of AAEGT will continue to blaze the trail in gifted ed.

"As with every other human endeavour, change comes about with the commitment and passion of a few advocating for and working towards that change," Henderson says.

"Uniting professionals, parents and gifted individuals through state, territory and ultimately the national association, provides support for those working towards change, and a networked group to advocate on behalf of the gifted children in Australia."

By: Chelsea Attard

From: September 2017 edition of Australian Teacher Magazine.

Posted in: curriculum   0 Comments

Staying on top of property maintenance

Posted on 7 September 2017
Staying on top of property maintenance

Dealing with the aftermath of a storm is a headache enough, but imagine finding out that a lack of maintenance of your school or college property could mean your insurance claim is denied, and you have potentially breached your WHS obligations. In this RiskEd article, read about how a small property maintenance issue can become a big problem if not dealt with in an effective and timely manner. Also, we talk to  CCI's Property, Motor & Personal Accident Claims Manager Effie Valavanis on why you shouldn't let property maintenance weak-spots, like a full gutter or loose roof tiles, trip you up when you need help the most.


Posted in: Risk Management   0 Comments
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