The Leadership and Professional Learning Unit at the Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) is committed to working in partnership with schools to build the capacity and capability for high quality leadership for school improvement across Catholic school communities.
The team’s strategic focus, development work and services are structured around three broad overlapping strands:
Strategic partnerships with schools, state, national and international bodies, and experts support innovation and evidence-based practice across the three strands.
A number of key CEOM Frameworks and strategies underpin the team’s services which include resource development, design and delivery of differentiated professional learning programs, and coordination and promotion of system-wide professional learning provision.
The School Improvement Framework (SIF) recognises the distinctive nature of Catholic schools and promotes a four-year improvement cycle involving self-reflection, review and planning with a component of external objective assessment and accountability.
The Leadership Standards Framework (LSF) provides Catholic schools with a common understanding of and language around school leadership and supports the development of any teacher aspiring to, or engaged in, educational leadership. In 2013 the Leadership Standards Framework website was substantially upgraded to include new features and functions to provide support and opportunities for interaction, communication and collaboration for Victorian Catholic school teachers and leaders.
On-site filming of an exemplar for the Leadership Standards Framework website
Tony McMahonPrincipalSt Joan of Arc School, Brighton
In my 25-plus years involved in education, I’ve seen some terrific role models in leadership. I’ve been a principal now for 13 years, the last four at St Joan of Arc School and for nine years before that at St Joseph’s School, Malvern. At both schools, I’ve put a lot of effort into working with the school community to build a strong and vibrant culture – because as far as I’m concerned, that relationship is fundamental to creating a high performing school.
I was fortunate in my first year at St Joan of Arc that we were involved in a School Review under the direction of the CEOM. The process really helped our school community develop a shared vision and strategic directions through the School Improvement Plan.
Principals are vital in developing a climate that supports high-quality learning and teaching. For me, that means inspiring and enabling leadership at all levels of my organisation, and encouraging staff to support their colleagues too by helping each other reflect on and improve their practice – which translates into better student learning. Above all, I endeavour to create a culture of learners – where we all learn together and are proactive in our efforts to keep learning.
We have a big leadership team at my school, so I prefer a collaborative model of leadership that invites everyone to share and invest in the school’s vision and work cooperatively to turn that vision into reality.
The CEOM Leadership Continuum promotes access to more than 20 leadership development programs and additional resources to support six phases of leadership: Emerging Leaders, Established Leaders, Aspirant Principals, Initial Principals, Experienced Principals and Mentor Principals.
In 2013 an increased number of Catholic primary and secondary school leadership teams participated in the professional learning program Enhancing Leadership Team Capability (ELTC). The 14 teams, comprising 88 senior school leaders, received individual and combined 360° feedback uniquely informed by the Catholic Leadership Capability Framework and the Atkinson-Consulting Dialogue Framework, as the basis for engaging in a focused, action-based leadership development process.
The ability to use the coach to focus on particular elements of the team's capabilities is very useful. There has already been a change in dialogues styles with a more restorative approach and a less judgmental attitude.(ELTC program participant)
Steve Atkinson facilitating at the Enhancing Leadership Team Capability program
The Performance and Development Culture (PDC) initiative represents a significant post-review strategy in improving student learning by paying attention to the quality of the teaching in every classroom. It is based on the premise that an effective school provides all teachers with objective, constructive and actionable feedback on their performance, and opportunities for ongoing and responsive professional learning.
The CEOM International Speakers Series is a forum for prominent leaders and thinkers from around the globe to share their wisdom and perspectives on contemporary issues in educational leadership with members of the Catholic education community. The main objective of the series is to inspire leaders to engage with contemporary research and debate on a range of international issues in education that are of particular relevance to Catholic schools.
In 2013 the International Speaker Series hosted three presenters at the Catholic Leadership Centre, Professor Didier Pollefeyt, Katholieke University Leuven, Belgium; Professor Andy Hargreaves, Lynch School of Education, Boston College; and Ms Valerie Hannon, Innovation Unit, United Kingdom. These presentations were attended by 453 leaders and leadership team from Victorian Catholic schools.
Valerie Hannon addresses Catholic education leaders as part of the International Speaker Series
The Emerging Leaders Program at the Catholic Leadership Centre
The following table shows the number of participants in the re:th!nk Aspiring to Principalship program (in the Archdiocese of Melbourne) who were appointed to principalship between 2008–2013.
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