Above: Stephen Elder was one of a significant number of Senior Staff in Catholic Education to finish in their role during 2018.
When CaSPA looked to update its address list for the traditional Christmas greetings late in 2018, there were significant changes from those who received greetings in 2017. This list includes the Directors of Education from the Dioceses around Australia as well as key peak bodies such as NCEC and the NSW Catholic Education Commission.
Of the 28 names on the list - 10 had changed in just 12 months. This is a replacement rate of 36%. When compared with our own principals' "replacement rate" of 14% on average per year, it is significantly higher.
We do understand that there is a fair expectation of annual change due to retirement and people seeking other positions, and in fact this is healthy in any organisation as we know from our own staffing patterns in school from year to year.
The changes "at the top" of Catholic Education in 2018 however exceeded this reasonable expectation. On top of that we are aware of some Directors leaving on anything but the best of terms. Some of these cases received media coverage - others not as much publicity, but of concern nevertheless.
Currently CaSPA is preparing a submission on Governance of Catholic Education. This includes all those involved in Goverance - from Bishops down to Principals and senior leaders in schools. Key to this is the capacity to be able to engage in robust professional discussion with those in the higher echelons of Governance of Catholic Education without fear that there will be reprisals - or even the loss of your job....