Funding Opportunities - 21 Nov 2017

Nov 22 2017
1.     Local Sport Defibril...

Victorian CaSPA Principals recognised for their service

Nov 21 2017
At the recent meeting of AGM of the PAVCSS on N...

South Australia Farewells some of its long serving Principals

Nov 20 2017
At the recent meeting of APCSS in Adelaide, ...

CaSPA Submission to Gonski 2.0 Panel on Educating for Excellence

Nov 19 2017

CCI Supports Principal Health and Well Being

Nov 18 2017
Above: Hugh Easton form CCI discuss well bei...

Daniel Delmage wins 2017 CaSPA Equity Scholarship

Nov 17 2017
At the recent CaSPA Board meeting, the Director...

Phil Lewis farewelled as President of CaSPA

Nov 16 2017
Phil Lewis finished his term on the Board of...

Francis Sullivan meets with CaSPA Board

Nov 15 2017
Francis Sullivan CEO of the Truth, Justice a...

Government Policy leads to School Fee Increases

Nov 14 2017
Catholic schools along the nation's east...

Gonski 2.0 gives 'dumbed down' curriculums a D-minus

Nov 13 2017
Australian students have suffered as a result o...

Pure discrimination from SA government on school funding

Nov 12 2017
Bishop of Port Pirie and NCEC Commissioner, Gre...

Catholic Sector anticipates better outcomes from Review of SES

Nov 11 2017
The Catholic sector hopes the National School R...

Profiles: Sr Marg Ghosn [NSW]; Sue Lennox [NSW]: Matt Byrne [Vic]

Nov 10 2017
We thank the following colleagues for sharing t...

Funding Opportunities - 9 Nov 2017

Nov 09 2017
1.     Student Mentoring Pr...

Self Awareness - The key to success in the classroom AND as a school leader

Nov 08 2017
Those who have worked in the field of Profes...

CaSPA News


New Leadership at Catholic Primary Principals Association

Posted on 23 October 2017
New Leadership at Catholic Primary Principals Association

Above: Outoging ACPPA President: Mark Mowbray and new President: Brad Gaynor

Over recent years, CaSPA has developed closer ties with the Australian Catholic Primary Principals Association - thanks in part to the work of its outgoing President Mark Mowbray. CaSPA congratulates Mark on his period of leadership and the many great accomplishments achieved during that time.

ACT Catholic school principal Brad Gaynor was earlier this month elected the new president of the Australian Catholic Primary Principals' Association.

Mr Gaynor, principal at Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Nicholls, was elected along with two vice presidents: Ros Oates, from Our Lady of the River in Berri, South Australia; and Anthony Hockey, from St Paul's Nightcliff in the Northern Territory.

Mr Gaynor took over the role from New South Wales principal Mark Mowbray.

ACPPA represents Catholic primary school principals from more than 1,200 primary schools and 150 combined schools across the country that educate more than 400,000 students. Its focus is on advocacy and representative work to influence the development and implementation of national education policies, priorities, research and development.

The president and vice presidents are supported on the ACPPA executive by representatives from each state and territory.

Posted in: Catholic Secondary Principals Australia   0 Comments

Further Discussion on the relative merits of Single Sex and Co-education

Posted on 22 October 2017
Further Discussion on the relative merits of Single Sex and Co-education
An analysis of NAPLAN results revealed no significant advantage for parents who send their children to single-sex schools.

The OECD concluded that any perceived advantage was not because of the type of school but the socio-economic background of the parents.

Furthermore, the number of students enrolled in single-sex schools declined from 31 per cent to 12 per cent in 2015.

But then the debate gets murky!

The ACER report concedes that single-sex schools actually score better NAPLAN results, but students in co-ed schools demonstrate greater improvement and eventually catch up to their counterparts in single-sex schools.

Single-sex school advocates claim that students in their schools are often academically a year ahead of co-eds.

They argue that girls have a better chance of excelling in STEM subjects in a single-sex environment, participate more in sport and have significantly higher self-esteem.

In terms of declining enrolments, economic factors rather than irrelevance or poor performance are to blame. Most new schools are co-ed and more and more traditional single-sex schools are becoming co-ed.

Critics of independent schools will be chuffed that traditional single-sex schools, alleged bastions of privilege and perpetuators of elitism and the old school tie, will be soon assigned to the dust-bin of history.

Their hope is that independent co-ed schools will suffer a similar demise and, like Finland and elsewhere, Australia will then boast world-class state co-ed schools with few, if any private schools in the mix.

Champions of independent schools assert their right to choose and select a school that best suits the needs of their children.

Whether it be for the religious ethos or the academic excellence of a particular school, parents are often willing to make considerable sacrifices to enrol their children in independent schools.

It is simply not true that independent schools only cater for the rich and powerful.

Having taught in boys, girls and co-ed schools, I am not so sure that we should rejoice in the decline of single-sex schools.

Having attended a Catholic co-ed primary school, my primary school days were virtually single sex with our pre-occupation to avoid girls' germs and the horror of actually sitting next to a member of the opposite sex.

In those days single-sex secondary schools were the only option.

In hindsight, I regret there was not a choice because, apart from matriculation, when all the bullies had left, school-life was very much a testosterone jungle with the prospect of physical violence always in the air.

I am assuming that a co-ed setting would have been more civilised and less about farting, punching and alpha males.

Later, when teaching in a boys school, I detected less physical violence but a clear class structure.

Boys who were good at sport seemed to thrive, as did those who excelled academically.

For the rest of the cohort, life was bearable if they accepted their lot.

There was some hope of notoriety being the class clown or tagging along in the alpha male's shadow.

When I was first taught in a girls school it was quite a shock.

Deprived of female company in my secondary schooling, I was soon to discover that men are from Mars and women are indeed from Venus.

I was taken aback by the lack of shoving and pushing and a gentleness and cleanliness which is foreign in boys schools.

However, I wasn't prepared for the cattiness and emotion of a girls school but was nonetheless impressed that the single-sex environment seemed to empower the girls both in and out of class.

This was brought home when the same girls school went co-ed with the neighbouring Catholic boys school.

Girls who had been very forthright in class discussions suddenly became wall-flowers, willing to concede ground to boof-head boys who often had very little to add to any sensible debate.

For me, it seemed that boys benefitted from a more settled, mature and motivated female presence, whereas girls seemed to retire demurely into their shells.

One age-champion girl admitted she did not want to compete in front of the boys.

To me, this is the critical consideration.

Single-sex and co-ed schools, in theory, have much to offer.

Preferring co-education is not appealing If co-ed schools reflect and perpetuate mainstream sexist culture.

A girls school which promotes a feminist agenda and empowers its students to take on the world would seem a better option than a co-ed school with entrenched sexism.

In how many co-ed schools is girls sport given the same prominence as boys sport?

If your son was a sports fanatic, he may love a particular boys school obsession with sport and competition. It's horses for courses.

When choosing schools, parents should consider many factors with a gender make-up just one consideration.

What is the culture of the school, the quality of its teaching, its pastoral care program, its co-curriculum opportunities, its discipline and academic reputation?

Which school will best suit their child's needs?

Currently parents have a choice.

They may very well ignore or, in some instances, cannot afford the option of a single-sex school.

However, we should not allow blind prejudice or ideology to contribute to the decline of single-sex schools.

To that end, I think it is regrettable that there are fewer and fewer single-sex government schools.

There is no perfect fit.  It is crass to boast that one school system is better than the other.

Some students will blossom in a single-sex environment; others will prefer to learn in a co-ed classroom.

I believe we owe it to our children to at least offer them a choice.

Australia is so much richer because of the quality of graduates from state, independent, single-sex and co-ed schools.

Vive la difference!

By Greg Cudmore
Education HQ / October 16, 2017

Posted in: curriculum   0 Comments

Case Study - From Greenfields site to Established College - John Murphy

Posted on 21 October 2017
Case Study - From Greenfields site to Established College - John Murphy

Foundation Principal's Report on St Bede's Catholic College Chisholm, NSW

by John Murphy

Late last year I was appointed as the Foundation Principal at St Bede's Catholic College Chisholm, the first Catholic Secondary School to open in the Maitland Newcastle Diocese for over 40 years.  Located in a new and rapidly growing housing estate in Chisholm, not far from East Maitland, St Bede's Catholic College will open next year initially with Year 7 students and will grow one-year group at a time before becoming a full Year 7 12 of approximately 1,100 to 1,200 co-educational College in 2023.  Students from all ability levels from all religious denominations are being welcomed to apply for enrolment, with a non-negotiable support of the Catholic ethos.

After spending all but one of 34 years of my teaching career in Sydney, moving from a Deputy Headmaster/Acting Principal (2016) position at St Patrick's College Strathfield to a Foundation Principal's role of a school has been one of extreme contrast.  As all Principals have learnt from first-hand experience, there is no manual explaining how you lead a school.  No amount of compliance or strategic planning documentation or induction training or mentoring will prepare one for the challenges of leading a school community.  Each school has its own unique context and culture, its own dynamics, its own strengths and challenges and each leader has their own personality and style.  In stepping into my first full year as Acting Principal last year of a large Year 5 12 school after 6 years as Deputy Principal, I at least understood the culture and ethos of this school and knew that I had the support of the College community.  In stepping into a Foundation Principal's role, with a full year of preparation time, the challenge has changed to how to create a school community.

The basic premise of operation of the Maitland Newcastle Catholic Schools Office has been built on a collaborative team approach, through a Project Implementation Team.  Included in their methodologies have been: visits and networking of other newly opened schools, use of contemporary research, engagement of a critical friend who had previously overseen a diocese where many new schools have been recently opened, thorough tendering processes for suitable architects and builders who could design and then build a non-traditional school over a six-year period, a school design brief based on a comprehensive consultation process, and the employment of a Principal and a support staff member a full-year prior to the school opening in 2018.  Learnings from other recently opened schools have been part of an overall strategy of meticulous rather than haphazard decision making.  The building of St Bede's Catholic College will occur via a four-stage model, with four uniquely and modern designed buildings being interconnected via a multipurpose enclosed walkway that will also be used as break-out areas.  In addition, a school chapel will be built which will be the spiritual heart of both St Bede's and the adjoining Catholic primary school, with the possibility that this may also be used as a place of community worship.  The building site will also include a 'flexible learning village' located on the space allocated to the fourth and final building.  This village will include a covered play area and different sized modern air-conditioned demountables which will provide alternative and additional classrooms for the duration of the building project.

Located immediately opposite the building site, one of the newly built houses within the estate has been leased as the College Office.  With targets remaining fluent and non-judgemental, St Bede's are closing in on 100 confirmed enrolments for the start of next year, with the hope that this number will steadily increase in-line with the growing population of this area.  The key to the successful enrolment process has been the development of positive relationships with the Catholic feeder primary schools and Churches, an effective communication program in attracting applications from the surrounding non-feeder schools, and on-going community engagement via fortnightly newsletters, an active uniform committee, an open-door policy, parent information sessions and student orientation days. 

A Foundation Plan, developed via a comprehensive community consultation process, is providing a platform for decision-making and employment of staff.  Thorough tendering processes in areas such as uniforms, student portable learning devices, photocopying, and furniture are providing positive outcomes in terms of value for money commercial agreements.   Staff recruitment has been an important priority with widespread interest leading to quality applications and appointments.  With all leadership roles now having been filled, with some of these having commenced at the start of Term 4, the focus has now shifted to recruitment of additional support staff and teachers and the structuring of suitable professional development and induction programs.  With the added expertise of leaders with a real passion and expertise in teaching and learning, work will continue in the areas of curriculum and policy development, event organisation, and resourcing. 
The opening of St Bede's Catholic College at the start of 2018 will be a monumental occasion where years of planning and budgeting will finally see the foundation cohort commence the start of their six-year journey and the start of the history of the College.


School site : January 2017 School site : October 2017


Posted in: CaSPA Case Study   1 Comments

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
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