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Marco DiCesarePrincipal 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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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:
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.
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:
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.
Training of Change2 Facilitators
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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