Schools take seriously their responsibility for achieving real gains in a range of outcomes for their students. Schools look always to improve the quality of their teaching and learning and the supports that surround them. Indeed, the Catholic school is called to offer the best learning experience that it is able to do in the best circumstances that it is able to provide. This commitment is evidenced in a public way through the efforts schools make to keep parents in particular, and the wider community in general, informed about school successes, activities and priorities for improvement.
Schools have well established means of examining themselves in a positive, self-critical way, seeking to improve the quality of its life across all its dimensions. Our schools are also acutely aware of their responsibility to their community. Each school is accountable to its parents, the first educators of their children, to the parish and to the Bishop from whom its mandate derives. That accountability requires honest and comprehensive processes of self-appraisal and clear reporting to those with a right to know. Schools have well established means of reporting information about the performance of the school to their community.
The Catholic school is fully aware, too, of its accountability to Governments, both State and Federal. There are obligations and expectations that must be met, which include administering the NAPLAN tests and for reporting on school performance information to all parents. The school keeps these obligations always in mind and ensures that they are always met.
Catholic School Renewal
The process of Catholic School Renewal in the Diocese of Sale is a system-wide initiative designed to address all these responsibilities and obligations in a comprehensive and structured fashion. Beyond that, though, Catholic School Renewal provides the community with the opportunity to review its performance, to recognise the many wonderful and positive achievements it has made and to rejoice in them.
The school, in partnership with the community and the diocesan system, conducts Catholic School Renewal. Essentially it is a school improvement strategy that enhances the accountability of schools to the community, Church and governments.
Catholic School Renewal in the Diocese of Sale comprises school improvement processes: the ongoing formative processes of annual school improvement planning and annual reporting, and the summative review and validation of the quality and effectiveness of the school’s operation once every five years. It offers school communities both short-term and long-term school improvement processes by which schools can examine their performance. In doing so the school can celebrate demonstrable strengths and successes, and can use evidence to identify areas of school life that are deserving of particular attention and of on-going effort to improve.
Catholic School Renewal provides an opportunity for schools to present to the Catholic Education community summative reports on performance, an annual report, and every five years a more comprehensive report accompanied with a vision and plan for the next five year period.
Catholic School Renewal is also the process by which Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale provide evidence of their eligibility for continuing registration with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
The acceptance of a leadership position in a Catholic School involves the assumption of responsibility for promoting the development of the religious, educational and administrative dimensions of a school community.
To successfully undertake such a position of responsibility, school leaders need to incorporate critical self-reflection as a regular feature of their work, and to access adequate and suitable opportunities for professional growth. Performance appraisal, which occurs periodically, is a process that assists and supports Principals in preparing an account of his or her stewardship of the school
The primary emphasis of the Principal Appraisal Process is to provide regular opportunities in a structured way for school leaders to reflect upon the strengths of their leadership and to grow in areas requiring further development. The procedures involve a degree of accountability by the Principal for the stewardship with which they are entrusted.