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    Personal Story

     Marco-di-Cesare 

    Marco DiCesare
    Principal
    Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, Braybrook.
    Marco was one of the first 25 Catholic school leaders to take up the CEOM Executive MBA that began last year.
     

    I am passionate about education and about improving culture and systems in order to raise the bar and close the gap for each student.

    As a leader I am consultative and inclusive with an ongoing commitment to faith and professionalism so, when I was offered the opportunity to take up the Executive MBA, I knew that taking time out from an already busy schedule was going to be an ask, but it has certainly proven to be time well spent.

    The experience has already broadened my perspective and I have gained greater insight into strategy, organisational behaviour and leadership. Importantly, it has offered me an alternative view as a principal.

    The fact that it has been undertaken with a group of fellow principals enhances the learning experience by allowing a tight focus on what is relevant to education and allows it to be tailored to our needs. It gives me an opportunity I wouldn’t otherwise have – to meet with other principals on a regular and ongoing basis to share our unique experiences across all of the areas covered.

    I benefit not only from what I am learning on the journey but also from the journey of others in Catholic education. This is especially important given the functional and increasingly strategic understanding we must demonstrate in our management and leadership of Catholic schools.

    In a constantly evolving environment, it is important that we – Catholic educational leaders – continue to push the boundaries of our learning and support each other in striving for innovation and best practice for our sector.

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    Change2 

    General Overview

    Change2 ICON is a strategic initiative of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV), in partnership with Dame Professor Pat Collarbone of Creating Tomorrow Ltd, and is aimed to support the strategic leadership of principals and school leadership teams in establishing a customised, school-designed pathway to support ICON implementation.

    Change2is a robust and proven model for leading and managing change. Change2 ICON aims to build the capacity of leaders in schools to strategically and successfully plan for the implementation of ICON.

    Change2 introduces schools to new ways of working while also building the sustainable capacity and capability for dealing with future challenges. Significantly, Change2 has the potential to:

    • transform learning and teaching approaches in a contemporary context
    • build a school’s capacity for strategic planning for school improvement
    • strengthen the professional learning culture
    • build the leadership capacity of middle leaders.

    The Change2 rollout began with a pilot program in 2011 and by the end of 2014, 255 (or 79%) of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne had completed the process.

     change2-2 

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    Main Activities

    Change2 Rollout to Archdiocesan schools

    The Change2 process involves a series of workshops that take a school through the complete change cycle: from identifying areas for improvement and determining strategy to implementing the change and realising the benefits.

    The longer-term benefits include:

    • distributed school leadership
    • staff that are resilient and responsive to the need for change
    • a team of staff accomplished in facilitation skills & tools that are readily applicable and beneficial to almost any team assignment or group activity
    • an emerging pool of talent that aspires to be tomorrow’s leaders – an essential part of any succession strategy
    • an organisational culture that actively pursues opportunities for positive change.

    The desire to seek and collaborate in ongoing change becomes embedded into the school environment.

    By the end of 2014, there were 255 schools, or 79 per cent, which had completed Change2 ICON, with 122 schools having completed the process in 2014 alone.

    The table below summarises the Change2 ICON rollout to schools between 2011 and 2015. It includes the number of schools (predominantly secondary) that are scheduled to complete the rollout in 2015.

     

      Total Schools Cumulative % of Schools
    Pilot 9 9 2.79%
    2012 28 37 11.46%
    2013 96 133 41.18%
    2014 122 255 78.95%
    2015 68 323 100%

    change2-total-schools 

    Training of Change2 Facilitators

    In 2014, the Change2 Facilitator Training process was significantly accelerated with 26 region-based Change2 Facilitator Training programs taking place, leading to an additional 325 school-based personnel. Twelve CEOM personnel were trained as facilitators and 14 facilitators advancing to the level of Master Facilitator. The CEOM has trained a total of 528 staff as Change2 facilitators during 2011–14 as summarised in the table below. 

     

      2011 2012 2013 2014 Total
    School-Based Facilitators 4 5 117 325 451
    CEOM Facilitators 9 6 18 12 45
    Master Facilitators 7 11 0 14 32
    Total 20 22 135 351 528

    change2-facilitators 

    Sixty-six per cent of all Change2facilitators were trained in 2014 and 71% of schools (or 234 schools) now have at least one trained Change2 facilitator, compared with only 21% in 2013.

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    Schools Improving Schools

    In 2014, through the Schools Improving Schools initiative, the CEOM invited schools to work collaboratively in clusters and use the Change2 process to develop an Implementation Plan that would lead to improved teacher practice and student learning outcomes.

    The clusters were to respond to a stated system challenge: How does our Collective Leadership enable the personalisation of learning to ensure high impact on student outcomes? The clusters had the flexibility to determine their own project focus and plan, reflecting the four schools’ local circumstances, conditions and priorities.

    A Schools Improving Schools expo was held on 12 November 2014, where each cluster was able to showcase and present the outcomes for students and schools and the learnings from the experience to the other clusters and selected CEOM personnel from the central and regional offices.

    An independent evaluation of the Schools Improving Schools trial in 2014 determined that it had been a total success. Within the context of exploring collective approaches to improving student outcomes through personalised learning, each cluster developed a shared vision and Implementation Plan.

    The Change2 process for each cluster was crucial to the success of the initiative. The fact that there was a disciplined structured process producing valuable outputs proved to be a worthwhile up-front investment in the cluster’s future.

    Each cluster has implemented its plan in 2014 in a form that recognises local priorities, capabilities and circumstances. At the Schools Improving Schools Expo clusters demonstrated positive impacts (in varying degrees) on student learning, teaching and team practices, school capability, collaboration and system accountability.

    As the clusters continue their work into 2015 they anticipate more evidence will emerge of the success of their collective endeavours.

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