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Partnering: A Step Further - Strategic Directions 2020-2024

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In educating a balance must be maintained,your steps must be well balanced,one step on the cornice of safety but the other into the zone of risk.And when the risk becomes safe, the next step must ventureinto another area of risk.Education cannot be confined to the safety zone.No. This would mean preventing personalities from developing.Yet, it is not possible to educate solely in the risk zone either, this is too dangerous.It is a balance of steps, remember it well.I also want to encourage you, educators, to seek new, unconventional forms of education, so as to comply with the needs of places, times and people.Always go a step furthergo a step furtherand never be satisfied with conventional things. Seek new forms in accordance with the places, times and people.I encourage you to do this. – Pope Francis, 2013AcknowledgementsWe would like to acknowledge and thank:• Dr Patricia Hindmarsh for her work in leading and managing the process of consultaon, planning and discernment. • Mrs Eileen Rice, Sr Helen Nolan rsm, Fr Ma Thomas and Mr Peter Morgan for their contribuon as members of the Working Party.

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Message from the BishopIn my student days, we had a philosophy teacher who used to quote Lan proverbs. One of his favourite sayings was “Parvus error in principio magnus est in ne”. This might be translated as “A small error in the beginning becomes a large error in the end”. We might think of someone shoong an arrow at a target. As they take aim, they need to point the arrow in exactly the right direcon if they are going to hit the mark. If they point the arrow just one cenmetre o line, the arrow could be a long way o target when it lands. We can apply this to many areas of life. If we are aiming to achieve some goal, it is important to line up the target carefully to start with. Otherwise we might miss the target altogether.In formulang strategic direcons for Catholic educaon in our diocese, we are seeking to express our goals as clearly as possible and point our services in the right direcon to achieve those goals. The central aim is summed up in the statement of our diocesan educaon vision: “As partners in Catholic educaon and open to God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all”. This echoes the words of Jesus, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) The strategies include enhancing the partnerships between students, teachers, parents, priests and parishioners in our local faith communies; arming eecve methods of teaching and learning and also promong fresh methods that respond to new needs and opportunies; and encouraging everyone involved with our schools to be connual learners. I thank all those who have contributed to the consultaons about this document. May this text provide a reference point for each of our schools as they formulate their own detailed goals and strategies for the years ahead. May these Strategic Direcons help us all stay on target in our eorts to share Christ’s fullness of life with everyone in our community.Paul Bird CSsR Bishop of BallaratMessage from the DirectorMany voices have been heard in the consultaon meengs leading up to the development of these Strategic Direcons, Partnering: A Step Forward. We are grateful to those who provided feedback, which included both armaon and advice. The Planning Group has listened carefully to all those who contributed. The ve key Strategic Priories have resulted from processes of both speaking out and aenve listening. This focus will form the basis of our systemic strategic direcon over the next four years. It is a tribute to all responsible for Catholic schooling that so many posive and encouraging words have been spoken. Alongside this, the construcve, well-considered advice that has been received is an indicaon of a healthy commitment to the future of our Catholic schools, which are recognised as more signicant now than ever in this changing, contemporary world. Parcipants in the process, including parents, sta and pastors, have expressed great faith and hope in Catholic educaon across the Diocese. Tom Sexton Chief Execuve Ocer Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Educaon LimitedFOREWORD3

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Our VisionAs partners in Catholic education and open to God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all. NORTHERN ZONECENTRAL ZONESOUTHERN ZONEEdenhopeColeraineHamiltonPenshurstMortlakeTerangCamperdownKoroitPort FairyPortlandDenningtonWarrnamboolColacCoragulacCastertonMaryboroughDaylesfordBallanGordonSpringbankClarke’s HillCreswickDunnstownBallaratMilduraMerbeinRed CliffsRobinvaleSwan HillSea LakeWarracknabealCharltonDonaldMurtoaHorshamAraratStawellNhillSt ArnaudHopetounThe Diocese of Ballarat has 64 diverse primary and secondary schools in total, providing disncve Catholic educaon in rural and regional sengs from the Murray to the Sea.The Diocese is divided into the Northern, Southern and Central zones and has over 18,000 students enrolled in 52 Primary Schools (F-6), one Foundaon to Year 8 School and 11 Secondary Schools (7-12).OUR DIOCESAN EDUCATION COMMUNITY4 Partnering: A Step Further – Strategic Directions 2020-2024

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The Diocese of Ballarat, stretching from the Murray to the Sea, covers a vast area and includes diverse communies. We rightly celebrate Catholic educaon with its system of sixty-four ourishing Catholic schools scaered across the Diocese. Equally, we ask how we can consolidate and creavely partner together to connue improving the quality of our schools. During 2019, opportunies for consultaon were oered to express future hopes and aspiraons for Catholic educaon. Meengs were held in several centres, including: • Ararat• Hamilton• Horsham• Warrnambool• Colac• Halls Gap• Swan Hill• Mildura• BallaratThose present expressed that in small, remote and regional schools, signs of hope remained for families in mes of drought and social challenge, and that larger, increasingly mul-cultural schools and colleges are oering quality educaon for a changing world in cies and regional towns. Parishes and schools are working in partnership. Families are condent to entrust their children to our schools, which they see as compassionate, caring communies oering excellent learning opportunies. There was an expressed appreciaon of Catholic faith and life, and the Gospel spirit that characterises our schools, which one parent described as, ‘The jewel in the crown’ of the Diocese. There is joy in the openness and welcoming nature of Catholic schools to all who present for enrolment, regardless of their background.STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS BACKGROUNDParents, priests and sta idened the following pressing signs of the mes which are impacng families and schools: • The drought, which is aecng family nances and wellbeing• The digital world, as both opportunity and great challenge• The crisis of clerical sexual abuse• The state of our planet• The diversity of ethnic and religious background of students• Economic growth and inequity • Mental health challenges• The ‘consumer’ society • The unrealisc expectaons that families somemes place on their children and on sta People expressed condence that Catholic schools in our diocese are facing these challenges and are providing safe, respecul, inclusive and high quality learning environments that young people need.The areas idened for change and improvement through the consultaons are reected in the ve Priority Areas of these Strategic Direcons and the global intents related to each of the Priories. These Strategic Direcons, tled Partnering: A Step Further, have drawn inspiraon from our Diocesan Educaon Vision and Mission Statements, which require us to act as ‘partners’ in Catholic educaon.Over the next four years, we have a moral imperave to raise the bar for all students and to close the gap for lower performing groups, relave to the higher order skills and competencies required to be successful world cizens. It is the intenon that schools and the Catholic Educaon Oce will use these Strategic Direcons as a ‘touchstone’ document in preparing their own goals and strategies. Partnering: A Step Further will inform local School Improvement Plans, Annual Acon Plans and Posion Descripons. Partnering: A Step Further is intended both as a means to unify the overall direcon and ensure equity in the allocaon of resources for Catholic schools in the Ballarat Diocese, while respecng their autonomy to respond to the needs of their unique context. 5

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PARTNERSHIPSOur Diocesan Educaon Vision states that, “as partners in Catholic Educaon and open to God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all”. The contemporary contexts of which Catholic Educaton is integrally a part, present opportunies and challenges that require new learning, new leaderships and new ways of being with each other. Research indicates that if educaon systems are ourishing in these changing and complex environments, then all within the system need to be dynamically connected and in partnership with each other, as they strive to bring the vision to life for all.As partners and in partnership we have the opportunity to create a highly eecve and ourishing system that:• Engages deeply with its moral purpose to ensure that all young people in our school communies become creave, adaptable, self-movated learners who achieve their full potenal in all aspects of learning.• Inspires and supports leaders connually to develop their knowledge and capacies, and in turn, strengthens the collecve experse of leaders across the system in improving learning for all young people in our school communies.• Values sustained opportunies for professional learning for all educators.• Engages in collaborave evidence-informed professional inquiry that creates new knowledge and innovave pracces in response to local and system contexts and needs.• Focuses on discerned system priories and iniaves that respond to local and system contexts and oer authenc opportunies to partner in achieving excellence in learning for all young people.Partnerships are focussed on the following:• Mutual benet, where all are learning with and from each other, sharing collecve experse and evidence informed pracces through inquiry approaches to professional learning.• Transparency, where all are commited to improvement processes that are clear in purpose, are posive in intent and support the collecve learning of the system as a whole. • Relaonships of trust that respect diversity of perspecve within the context of system, zone, network, cluster or individual school community projects or iniaves.It is the intent of these Strategic Direcons to oer inspiraon “as partners in Catholic Educaon and open to God’s presence” to “pursue fullness of life for all” more intenonally.6 Partnering: A Step Further – Strategic Directions 2020-2024

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STRATEGIC PRIORITIES …to create Christ-centered learning-focussed communies, responsive to the needs of our me and contexts? …to create safe and respecul communies of hope where all can ourish? …to ensure quality learning and teaching that promotes excellence and fosters authenc human development? ensure cooperaon and collaboraon underpin eecve family engagement, governance and stewardship? …to foster leaders to serve our Catholic Educaon communies? Fostering inspiring leadershipBuilding inclusive Catholic learning  Empowering Enhancing family engagement, governance and stewardship Achieving best How might we partner as a Diocesan Educaon Community...As partners inCatholic Education and open to God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all. 7

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The ve priories were discerned following the diocesan consultaon processes:• Empowering all to ourish• Building inclusive Catholic learning communies• Achieving best pracce• Fostering inspiring leadership • Enhancing family engagement, governance and stewardshipFOR CONSIDERATIONIntroductionThe following quesons are oered as a further opportunity for school communies to engage with the quesons that were raised in the broader educaon community of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat, as schools discern and respond to local needs and contexts. 8 Partnering: A Step Further – Strategic Directions 2020-2024

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• How might we create cultures of respect, trust and safety where the human dignity of each person is embraced and celebrated?• How might we create and nurture communies of inclusivity and belonging where all are known and understood, in parcular the most vulnerable in our communies?• How might we foster authenc partnerships that foster relaonships of mutual benet, equity and transparency that are anchored in the wellbeing of all?• How might we create cultures of learning where all are invited to have an authenc voice and to be agents of their learning?• How do we bring aenon to ways of being and parcipang in online spaces that are safe and respecul?How might we partner as a Diocesan Education Community to create safe and respectful communities of hope where all can flourish?Building inclusive Catholic learning communities• How might we design and oer opportunies for deeply understanding the Catholic Tradion and create the condions for developing condence in our emerging Catholic Identy? • How might we come to understand deeply and enact the ndings of the Enhancing Catholic School Identy (ECSI) data, in partnership and in dialogue, with our faith communies?• How might we priorise and oer opportunies for personal and professional dialogue that invites a deep engagement with the Mission for all?• How might we design and oer professional learning opportunies that empower and skill all within our system to enact the Awakenings curriculum in ways that are meaningful to all learners and enable them to achieve fullness of life?How might we partner to create Christ-centered learning-focussed communities, responsive to the needs of our time and contexts?Empowering all to flourish9

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Achieving best practice• How do we enact pedagogical approaches that ensure each young person achieves their opmal growth and development, across all dimensions of learning?• How can we create the condions where young people are posioned as acve agents in their own learning – where they are oered opmal voice, choice and power – as partners in their learning with peers and adults?• How might we create a culture of innovaon and creavity that is responsive to the complexity and diversity of the learning needs of young people?• How do we create authenc partnerships of learning across our system that provide opportunies for collaboraon, inquiry and innovaon? • How can we ensure that our pracce is evidence based and data informed? How might we partner as a Diocesan Education Community to ensure quality learning and teaching that promotes excellence and fosters authentic human development?FOR CONSIDERATION10 Partnering: A Step Further – Strategic Directions 2020-2024

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Enhancing family engagement, governance and stewardship• How might we develop authenc partnerships based on mutual trust and respect that connect families, schools and parishes?• How can we acvely engage, challenge and support families in the learning process? • How do we support families in the transion points of schooling i.e. Kindergarten to School, Primary to Secondary, Secondary to Terary?• How do we ensure that partnerships and communicaon exist between the various governing authories?• How do we ensure eecve governance policies, procedures and relaonships?• How might we ensure that eecve delegaons and accountability policies and processes are in place to ensure the safety of all?• How do we ensure pracces of eecve nancial management, capital development and stewardship of all resources?How might we partner as a Diocesan Education Community to ensure cooperation and collaboration underpin effective family engagement, governance and stewardship?Fostering inspiring leadership• How might we create a system wide culture of leading that fosters connected and sustainable leadership growth and development, now and into the future?• How might we provide diverse and ongoing opportunies for learning and development, where leaders are empowered to lead their own learning, in the context of their faith communies? • How might we acvely seek dynamic and emergent ways of partnering with a focus on creang new knowledge and enacng new paerns of working, learning and leading across the system?• How might we enact innovave and creave organisaonal structures (connecons and relaonships) that provide the space necessary for adapve responses to enacng our Diocesan Educaon Mission?• How do we meet the diverse leadership needs and ensure the sustainable use of resources across the Diocese?How might we partner as a Diocesan Education Community to foster leaders who serve our Catholic Education communities?11

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