AS PARTNERS IN CATHOLIC EDUCATION AND OPEN TO AS PARTNERS IN CATHOLIC EDUCATION AND OPEN TO
GOD’S PRESENCE, WE PURSUE FULLNESS OF LIFE FOR ALLGOD’S PRESENCE, WE PURSUE FULLNESS OF LIFE FOR ALL
STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2020-2024STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2020-2024
PARTNERING: PARTNERING:
A STEP FURTHERA STEP FURTHER
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 venture
into 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 further
and 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, 2013
Acknowledgements
We 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.
Message from the Bishop
In 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 Christs fullness of life with everyone in our
community.
Paul Bird CSsR
Bishop of Ballarat
Message from the Director
Many 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 Limited
FOREWORD
3
Our Vision
As partners in Catholic education and open to
God’s presence, we pursue fullness of life for all.
NORTHERN ZONE
CENTRAL ZONE
SOUTHERN ZONE
Edenhope
Coleraine
Hamilton
Penshurst
Mortlake
Terang
Camperdown
Koroit
Port
Fairy
Portland
Dennington
Warrnambool
Colac
Coragulac
Casterton
Maryborough
Daylesford
Ballan
Gordon
Springbank
Clarke’s Hill
Creswick
Dunnstown
Ballarat
Mildura
Merbein
Red Cliffs
Robinvale
Swan Hill
Sea Lake
Warracknabeal
Charlton
Donald
Murtoa
Horsham
Ararat
Stawell
Nhill
St Arnaud
Hopetoun
The 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 COMMUNITY
4 Partnering: A Step Further – Strategic Directions 2020-2024
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
Ballarat
Those 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 BACKGROUND
Parents, 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
PARTNERSHIPS
Our 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
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
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Fostering inspiring
leadership
Building
inclusive Catholic
learning

Empowering

Enhancing
family
engagement,
governance
and
stewardship
Achieving
best

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As partners in
Catholic Education
and open to God’s
presence, we pursue
fullness of life
for all.
7
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
stewardship
FOR CONSIDERATION
Introduction
The 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
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 flourish
9
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 CONSIDERATION
10 Partnering: A Step Further – Strategic Directions 2020-2024
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 eec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
5 Lyons Street South, Ballarat
P 03 5337 7135 | E execdirector@dobcel.catholic.edu.au | W dobcel.catholic.edu.au
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