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Case Study - Experience as a Principal Interstate - Neville Powles

Posted on 22 July 2017
Case Study - Experience as a Principal Interstate - Neville Powles
I am able to reflect on ten years (2002 2011) of Catholic secondary principalship in NSW and six years (2012 current) in Victoria. Additionally I had sixteen years experience as a Deputy Principal in Victoria.
Whilst there are numerous differences, some quite significant, I'd have to say there are more similarities than differences between the states. The focus on continual improvement and aiming to be better and the importance of high quality learning and teaching are common elements in both states.

In general a Catholic Secondary College in Victoria is far more independent than in NSW. There is a different interpretation of the notion of subsidiarity.
In a NSW Diocesan school Federal and State recurrent funding is paid to the Diocese not the school staff salaries are paid by the Diocese. Schools are given a staffing formula and required to staff the school according to this formula. Additionally schools still pay an annual levy to the CEO. In Victoria this grant funding is paid directly to the school and the school pays its own salaries.

In Victoria there is a local process for determining the positions of leadership within the school. This is through a Consultative Committee. The Positions of Leadership (POL) are discussed and can be restructured in Victoria whereas in NSW there are required POL positions and once appointed the position holder retains this position indefinitely (unless it is demonstrated the holder is not performing suitably in the position). In Victoria the POL tenure is determined through the Consultative Committee and is generally two or three years. Having the flexibility to change the POL structure provides the school with greater opportunities to be adaptable to the changing face of education and local priorities. Staff also have the opportunity to move to other leadership positions and out of and later move back into the leadership roles.

In NSW Principals Award is a part of the same award as the teaching and support staff the IEU represents principals in the same or similar manner to primary principals in Victoria. Secondary Principals in Victoria have a separate Award / Determination providing a clearer separation between secondary principal and other school employees.

Through the more centralised model in NSW functions such as HR, compliance and VET courses are overseen and monitored by the diocese. This places more responsibility on the Diocese for these school matters.

My personal view is that given the population base of Australia and the significant number of students who move states in their years of education there is a strong case for having national education in preference to state based education.

Tags: CaSPA Case Study

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