I hope the year is continuing to run smoothly for you and your community. Let’s hope and pray that we can all progress to a more pre-COVID normal for our communities now the vaccine program has commenced around the world.
Last year the Coalition of Australian Principals (CAP) engaged with PIVOT research to survey Principals and their experiences during COVID in 2020. The results have been published and are included in this newsletter for your consideration. I think you will find the results most informative and good to share with your staff. Their recommendations include expanding digital inclusion, mitigating learning loss amongst vulnerable students…. and wellbeing, wellbeing, wellbeing – students and staff – this is not surprising as we know that the biggest protective factor for people are social networks and the pandemic precluded that in many circumstances. School leaders and teachers faced great change and challenge, did well, but it also placed pressure on their wellbeing, especially those in greater isolation. We are keen to hear from you and your associations around these recommendations and the report. It will assist in terms of putting forward some concrete propositions to government and agencies for consideration.
Other wonderful news is that CaSPA now, after some lobbying, has a position on AITSL’s School Leadership and Teacher Expert Standing Committee (SLTESC). This will further enhance the Catholic Secondary voice to the important work of AITSL.
Recently, CaSPA has also commenced its 2021 meeting schedules with ACARA Stakeholders Forum, DESE, NCEC, Catholic Schools Stakeholder Forum (CSSF) and CAP. It has been very encouraging to witness the growing consultation requests from the Federal Government and its Agencies in the last year. I hope this collaboration will continue to flourish. I have been busy reaching out to meet the various stakeholders and have participated in forums such as the Rural and Remote Principals Workshop to promote our voice and the importance of discussions with leaders at the “coalface”!
Our Board has Directors from each State and Territory who come with a wealth of experience and wisdom so together we make a powerful force! This is accentuated at our initial meetings for the year and through having knowledgeable Phil Lewis as our Executive Officer, who was a past Board Chair.
As we celebrate International Women’s day on Monday 8 March we hope that the “glass ceilings” around the world will continue to shatter, and provide educational opportunities for all women across the globe. There are a number of resources on the official website: (https://www.internationalwomensday.com)
On behalf of the CaSPA Board I wish you well for the remainder of the term, and please feel free to be in touch at any time.
New CaSPA Directors in 2021
(All Directors' Profiles can be found on the CaSPA Website)
Michael Lee (ACT)
Name: Michael James Lee
Current School: St Mary MacKillop College, Canberra
Previous Position: Principal, Hennessy Catholic College, Young
My Big Picture for the School is:
A Christ-centred Catholic school successfully meeting the challenge of being authentically welcoming of diversity and inclusion. MacKillop prioritises equity of access and aspires to fully engage with the community of Canberra, Australia, and the world.
The Joy of Principalship is:
The respect and trust given to me by my school community.
Fiction: The Langton Quartet by Martin Boyd
Non-fiction: No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin
A hot Four N Twenty pie at the MCG (with sauce).
Interests and Hobbies:
Reading American Presidential history, travel, cooking, following Essendon in the AFL.
Favourite Wellbeing Strategy:
Autumn lunch in the back garden with a Coonawarra red and a good friend/getting a load of washing done before school – good to achieve something in a day!
Advice for a Beginning Principal:
Be available and present to students and their parents and carers – remember that schools exist for students, not adults, but the most important people in schools are teachers. Don’t shrink from the difficult conversations. Have high expectations of self and others. Don’t worry about the money.
Favourite Leadership Quote:
“The presidency is like a soft leather glove. It fits the hand in it at the time. Every now and then, a president’s hand stretches the glove and it is forever enlarged; Washington did this, Lincoln did this too, and FDR stretched it in a way that those who followed him have struggled to wear the glove with any comfort.”
George F Will
Title of my TED Talk:
Victory is arbitrary; faith and courage are believed, felt, and witnessed.
OR Social conservatism – the enemy of Catholic Education.
Andrew Baker (S.A.)
Name: Andrew Baker
Current School: Nazareth R-12 Catholic College
Previous Position: Principal Gleeson College, Golden Grove
First Year as a Principal: 2014
The hope for my current school is: that it continues to be a place of genuine welcome for all students and families, and a place where the young people in our care feel safe and valued.
The Joy of Principalship is: journeying with young people and their families, and witnessing them strive to improve and ultimately flourish.
A Book I would recommend: Legacy, James Kerr
Fun Fact about me: I run every day and have completed several marathons.
My valued Well-Being Strategy: as above
Advice for a Beginning Principal: Don’t think that you need to have all the answers. Build a great team and allow them the freedom and flexibility to lead in the best way that they know how.
Inspiring Leadership Quote: “Be who you are, and be that perfectly” St Francis de Sales
What Title would you give to your TED Talk or Book: “What are all the ‘T’s’ on the wall?” (Quote from a beautiful young person on a school tour referring to the crosses on classroom walls!)
Principals Experiences During COVID
This survey was commissioned by the Coalition of Australian Principals (CAP) in collaboration with SchoolTV and PIVOT. Some very insightful findings and recommendations.