Staff in Catholic schools are called to share in a special way in the mission of the Church. Church documents emphasise the need for well educated and dedicated staff in Catholic schools, whose contribution to the life of a Catholic school gives witness to the values of the Gospel and the mission of the Church. The work of school leaders, teachers and school officers (support staff) requires a sophisticated array of knowledge, skills and attributes, which, in the face of constant and rapid social, economic, technological and educational change, requires continual enhancement.
Continuing professional learning is an essential component of school improvement and staff development. Professional learning is valued and recognised, in particular, as a major contributing factor towards improvement in student learning outcomes. A school’s commitment to professional learning assists teachers to realise their vocation as educators in Catholic schools and assists support staff in their role of service to the school community.
Effective schools are learning communities in which all staff are lifelong learners who contribute to the community’s learning and knowledge base in order to achieve the goals of the Catholic school and realise its vision.
This policy applies to all staff in Catholic schools, whether teaching or not.
1. Improving professional practice. Professional learning in Catholic schools should be an ongoing process of personal and professional growth as well as religious formation, planned to improve professional practice, in order to bring about improvement in student learning outcomes.2. Staff responsibility. All staff members are responsible for meeting relevant professional standards and enhancing their professional knowledge and practice by:
3. Leaders’ responsibility. School leaders play a crucial role through their commitment to and leadership of professional learning and faith formation for all staff. They should create organisational conditions that support the development of a vibrant professional learning community and enhance the Catholic identity of the school, ensuring a balance between the professional learning goals of individual staff and the vision and goals of the school. School leaders have a particular responsibility for the induction of staff, whether they are new to teaching, new to the school or new to positions of responsibility.
1. Policy development Schools should develop a professional learning policy using a process of consultation between the school leadership team, teachers and support staff. The policy should take into account:
2. StructuresSchool leaders should establish appropriate organisational structures to facilitate professional learning for all staff. This might involve the appointment of a Professional Learning Coordinator or the inclusion of these responsibilities within another leadership role. It might also involve the establishment of a Professional Learning Committee representing both teaching and non-teaching staff.3. Implementation
a. In planning professional learning, schools should:
b. Professional learning provision should:
c. At an individual staff level, schools should:
d. Schools should develop procedures for:
4. AccountabilitySchools will need to meet regulatory reporting requirements of staff participation in professional learning occurring both within and outside the workplace.
Catholic Education Melbourne February 2009 (Revised)
1 See School Improvement Framework on the Catholic Education Victoria Network (CEVN)2 Refer CECV policies 1.6 and 1.73 Refer CECV policies 1.6 and 1.7
ReferencesCatholic Education Commission of Victoria 2005, Leadership in Catholic Schools: Development Framework and Standards of Practice.Catholic Education Office Melbourne 2008, Learning Centred Schools Framework, http://www.ceomelb.catholic.edu.auCatholic Education Office Melbourne 2006, School Improvement Framework, Catholic Education Victoria Network (CEVN) NSW Department of Education and Training, Professional Learning Directorate 2004, Professional Learning Policy For Schools
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