I am very
pleased to present to you the 2015 Annual Report of Catholic Education
With the launch of the Strategic Plan, the Catholic Education
Office Melbourne was renamed Catholic
Education Melbourne. The new name captures the
responsibility we share with schools and reflects our united approach to
teaching and learning in the education of over 150,000 students in Melbourne’s
Catholic schools. The new name
is accompanied with a new branding: it includes a fresh take on our logo design
and colours and incorporates the new name.
In our Strategic Plan 2015–2019 our objectives
and strategies are organised under three themes:
In 2015, I
had the privilege of addressing the International Catholic Education Congress
in Rome: Educating Today and Tomorrow: A
renewing passion. I shared our Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project
as a long-term solution to re-contextualising our Catholic tradition and
renewing our identity. I detailed our progress in developing a common language of
Catholic identity across Catholic schools, and research instruments to help
each school assess its Catholic identity. We are reviewing and renewing our
pedagogical frameworks to reflect what we have learned from the project and we
are moving from assessment to enhancement of Catholic identity. In reality our
work has just begun.
developing the Strategic Plan we reviewed our operations to identify how we
could more effectively meet the needs of schools and the young people in our
care. In addition, the review examined the capacity of our existing structures
to achieve the objectives of the new Strategic Plan. A process of restructure
began, with a major focus on the Catholic Identity and Education Services Staff
Group, which was renamed Catholic Education Services. A process of reflection,
discussion and discernment has continued as we develop new ways of working with
and supporting schools founded on the best research and practice and a common
vision for Catholic education.
Melbourne’s Catholic school sector is thriving. With growing
enrolments and growing demand, we are planning 19 new schools – 14 primary and
5 secondary – in Melbourne and Geelong in the next decade. NAPLAN results in
2015 showed continued Catholic school improvement in all age groups in numeracy
and reading. Year 12 results were better than the state average and in line
with research that has shown that, on average, Catholic schools provide a
six-point ATAR advantage in all levels of achievement, when compared with
students at government schools.
The annual HILDA report showed the prevalence of bullying in Catholic secondary schools is relatively low at 15%, and supports internal Catholic Education Melbourne data indicating an overall decline as we aim for zero-bullying environments.
the Victorian Government’s non-government schools funding legislation, which
locks the 25% linkage funding arrangements into law. This guarantees equitable,
reliable and transparent funding arrangements for our schools into the future.
We will again be making funding a priority in 2016 with the federal government,
and we strive to ensure reasonable levels of funding growth in the year 2017
I want to
express my gratitude to all those who contributed to the education and
wellbeing of the children and young people in our care – school leaders, teachers,
other school staff, parents, our bishops, priests and religious, our own staff
and our community partners. We celebrate all our achievements in 2015 and, with
the grace and mercy of God, move into 2016 with confidence and hope.
Stephen ElderExecutive Director
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