In 2020 the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT) met on six occasions between March and December. The CECT, with the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) as its operational arm, is the overarching Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) strategic planning and policy making body. The CECT has the delegated authority to manage the policy development for the Tasmanian Catholic schools; is recognised as the system authority for School Registration under the State Education Act; and is the recognised system authority to negotiate, receive, monitor, and distribute Commonwealth and State funding.
2020 had many disruptions to operations for education sectors across the country, including Catholic Education Tasmania (CET), because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CECT monitored the impact COVID-19 was having on families and school communities, ensured that resourcing for various support mechanisms were approved, ensured that the relevant governance decisions continued to be made for CET so the system could to continue to operate efficiently, and responded to ICT requirements as they emerged as the system moved a variety of functions online and implemented learning for home for families. In the latter part of 2020, the CECT returned its focus to broader governance matters for CET as COVID-19 restrictions eased in Tasmania.
At the conclusion of 2020, the CECT farewelled two retiring members – Mrs Jillian Smith and Mrs Maria Dwyer. The contribution of Mrs Smith and Mrs Dwyer to the work of the CECT and Catholic education during their terms, and their assistance with smoothly transitioning CET to a new governance model in 2019, has been greatly appreciated. At the beginning of 2020, the CECT welcomed a new member, Dr David Daintree.
COVID-19 emerged early in 2020 and by mid-March government restrictions in Australia were starting to come into effect. The CECT focused on ensuring it could continue to operate in a streamlined manner prioritising essential business to ensure CET continued to operate smoothly during the pandemic. By the time the April meeting was held, the CECT had moved its meetings and operations online with ICT assistance provided by the TCEO Client Support Team. The CECT Standing Committee meetings for Term 1 2020 were cancelled.
During the latter part of Term 1 and during the term break with the CECT operating smoothly online, attention was turned to re-activating the next essential layer of the CET governance structure. This layer, like the CECT, would operate on a stream-lined agenda focusing on system priorities to support schools, staff, students, and families during the pandemic. Early in Term 2, the CECT’s Resources and Sustainability Standing Committee and People and Culture Standing Committee re-commenced operating online.
As the year progressed with COVID-19 restrictions starting to ease, the focus turned to addressing broader governance issues for CET that had been put on hold for the first half of 2020. In Term 3, the Catholic Identity and Evangelisation Standing Committee and Education Standing Committee re-commenced operating online. For the remainder of 2020, the CECT and its Standing Committees continued to serve the system through a blending of online and face-to-face interactions. By Term 4, system priority streamlined agendas were phased out and the governance level returned to normal operations.
At its April meeting the CECT considered the final report and recommendations from the Greater Hobart Review Implementation Steering Committee. After due consideration, the CECT approved the full implementation of the extension of senior secondary education provision in the Greater Hobart Region. At its June meeting, the CECT approved the overall project structure and the Terms of Reference for the Greater Hobart Catholic College Extension Project Steering Committee.
Also at the June meeting, the CECT agreed to undertake a review of bus transportation used by CET.
At its August meeting the CECT appointed Mr Tim Petrusma and Mrs Jennifer White to fill vacancies on the Education Standing Committee.
During the first half of 2020 work on policy was put on hold but re-commenced in the second half of the year as COVID-19 eased in Tasmania. The CECT at its October meeting considered drafts of an updated Tier 2 CECT Code of Conduct Policy, CECT School Fees Assistance Policy, and the new Tier 1 Archdiocese of Hobart Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy, and Whistleblower Policy.
At the December meeting, the CECT approved the new CET Strategic Priorities 2021 – 2023, the CECT Early Entry to Kindergarten and Prep Procedures, Whole Year Acceleration Procedure, and endorsed the updated Catholic Education Week Guidelines. It considered the updated draft of the CECT Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Standards.
The CECT Executive approved out of session the updated CECT Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Standards prior to the end of 2020.
Enrolments remained steady across the system during 2020 with some schools seeing an increase in enrolment applications for 2021. During 2020, the CECT approved additional Year 7 enrolment streams at MacKillop Catholic College and St Aloysius Catholic College, and an additional Kindergarten enrolment stream at Dominic College for 2021.
Catholic Education Week
Due to the impact of COVID-19 and various restrictions on gatherings in place during the course of 2020, Catholic Education Week was cancelled. However, once some restrictions were eased the CECT held functions in October in the northwest, north and south to present the 2020 CECT Recognition Awards and 25 Years of Service Awards, which are usually presented to recipients as part of Catholic Education Week. These smaller functions—operating within the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time—were a success and well received after almost a year of uncertainty.
Whilst there was uncertainty during 2020, Catholic schools during the latter part of 2019 and early part of 2020 still raised a total amount of $11,919.57 for the Samaritan Projects which was gratefully received by the fund in 2020.
Hon. Michael Polley AM | Chair | Catholic Education Commission Tasmania
It was a great privilege to be appointed executive director of Catholic education in February 2020.
The year brought many unexpected challenges resulting from the advent of COVID-19 and our need to respond with agility and prudence to the various needs as they emerged. In the initial stages of the pandemic senior leadership of Catholic education Tasmania were required to respond rapidly as the situation unfolded.
To provide maximum communication and mutual support between our schools and the system during this difficult time, regular morning zoom meetings of all key stakeholders including senior TCEO leadership, school principals and Catholic Archdiocesan agency heads were held.
An important learning from this ongoing crisis was the need to provide high level informative communication to all stakeholders on a regular basis
As our new life in a world of COVID-19 began to stabilise, our schools showed great adaptability in coping with what was to become ‘the new normal’. I wish to acknowledge the support of the school Principals for their compassionate leadership, the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania and, in particular, the support of Mr Michael Polley MP OAM, the Commission’s chair, who gave unstinting support and encouragement to Catholic Education Tasmania as we tackled a hitherto unexpected health crisis in our state.
At the same time, we began work in earnest, on the Greater Hobart Review project which was renamed Project 23. This project will see three Hobart colleges: St Virgil’s College, St Aloysius Catholic College, and MacKillop Catholic College grow from year 7-10 college to incorporate years 11 and 12 from 2023. With is the support of the then Minister for Education, Mr Jeremy Rockliff, the project was officially launched at Tasmania’s Parliament House and attracted a significant amount of system and media attention. With a proposed budget of $50 million, this project promises to provide a wide range of quality Catholic education opportunities to future cohorts of year 11 and 12 students in the greater Hobart area. It is pleasing to note that all the Catholic colleges in the Greater Hobart area have collaborated in facilitating this time of growth in our enrolments.
2020 saw maturation and development of the strategic priorities of the TCEO and a particular focus on the implementation of the Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic schools.
Of particular note in 2020 was the emergence of our new recruitment and development programme for undergraduate teachers called the St Thomas Aquinas Teaching School. Recruiting commenced at the end of 2020 and I'm pleased to announce that we have a vibrant group of young cadet teachers who have begun their teaching career in Catholic education with high levels of personal support from the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office and the schools where they are placed.
The state of Tasmania and our system of Catholic schools continued to be represented at the National Catholic Education Commission the specific needs of Catholic education in Tasmania on promoted on the national arena.
As always, Catholic Education Tasmania works closely with all offices of the Archdiocese of Hobart and we enjoy the ongoing support and encouragement of His Grace, Archbishop Julian Porteous, in carrying forward his mission of evangelisation across Tasmania.
The year has seen much needed and gratifying growth in a number of teams within the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office, including Information and Communication Technology, and the Corporate and Finance areas, as well as the ongoing provision of high quality leadership of Religious Education, Learning and Teaching and the vital areas of Workplace Health and Safety. We have become increasingly reliant on the careful analysis of education and achievement data in the education of our students. As always, we focus particularly on the health and well-being needs of our students and staff. This year has seen a significant increase in our provision of counselling and other support for students and families in need.
It was my pleasure to work very closely with the then current Minister for Education, Mr Jeremy Rockliff, the Secretary of the Department of Education, Mr Tim Bullard, and the Executive Director of Independent Schools Tasmania, Mr Tony Crehan. Together we have collaborated on a range of statewide and cross sector projects, which have included the review of education regulation commissioned by the Tasmanian Government.
We also welcome a number of State Education initiatives such as the 9 to 12 curriculum project and the Youth Participation (retention) project which promises to provide a streamlined and student-friendly approach to the whole of secondary education to the benefit of all of our students.
I am pleased to report there was significant curriculum growth in all areas of Catholic education and increasing attention to the use of high-quality evidence-based pedagogical practises that support the ongoing academic physical, spiritual and emotional development of all of the students in our care.
We enjoy warm and mutual relationships with the Tasmanian Catholic Schools Parents Council and the many committees and subcommittees who work closely with the Directors of Catholic education in the day-to-day administration and strategic development of Catholic education in Tasmania.
Mindful of our call to become missionary disciples who live and witness Catholic belief and practise, we, in Catholic Education Tasmania, recommit ourselves to the service of Jesus Christ and of the people of God in Tasmania.
Marketing and communication support was provided for a range of strategic initiatives including Setup for Success, the southern Year 11 and 12 extension project, the St Thomas Aquinas Teaching School, and early learning and care, as well as supporting annual enrolment processes and initial work leading up to the 200 years celebrations to be held in 2021.
In the lead up to Catholic Education Week, the Marketing and Communications Officer supported the nomination process and produced the awards for the recipients of the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania Recognition and 25 Years of Service Awards in 2020. Due to COVID-19 Catholic Education Week and the regional Awards ceremonies were postponed until later in the year when communities were able to gather to celebrate those receiving awards. Several 25 Years of Service Award recipients were profiled and featured on CET social platforms.
The Catholic Education Tasmania website template was upgraded to allow for more functionality in-house. Four schools were also supported to transition their websites to a contemporary, responsive template through Schoolzine, and an additional school was in development during 2020. This completed the process of moving the school websites hosted on old platforms across to the Schoolzine communication platform.
Enrolments in Tasmanian Catholic schools were promoted statewide via social, print and radio advertising. The Marketing and Communications Officer also provided additional support to the regional offices to coordinate localised print advertising on behalf of schools.
Additional work included producing internal communications including the weekly Communique to school staff and key stakeholders; managing online and social media channels; ensuring the CET community was informed regarding COVID-19 related developments through online and social channels; and developing and updating relevant documentation and publications.
In 2020 the Director: North and Director: South continued to work primarily with Principals and school leadership teams to support their development, leadership, and emerging needs. Support, coaching, and mentoring was provided according to the need to enable leadership to grow and flourish.
The Directors North and South were the first point of contact for Principals to enhance communication and implementation of system initiatives, and provided a conduit between schools, and between schools and the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO).
The Directors North and South met regularly with a focus of developing consistent supportive approaches in coaching, conversations and support of Principals, while adjusting to suit the context of each region and the stage of development each Principal was in their role.
In addition to the above Directors North and South also:
Significant protocols and processes were undertaken by CET schools to ensure an adherence to COVID-19 health regulations and that expectations were maintained.
The Directors North and South adapted planned modes of support to meet the needs of schools for a significant period of time with a focus on a critical incident management approach despite not being able to be physically present on school sites. This increased the effective use of technology in coaching, clarifying and communication with leaders in schools.
Communication strategies included:
During Term 3 as restrictions were reduced and lifted, Directors North and South returned to pre-pandemic approaches in visiting schools, working directly with leaders and moving away from the critical management needs of the first half of the year. A high priority was placed on pastoral care and well-being of leaders in schools – who in turn supported the pastoral care and well-being of staff, students and families.
Deputy Principal Conference
For the first time in Catholic Education Tasmania a Deputy Principal Conference was held that included all Deputy Principals, Assistant Principals, and Heads of School from all CET schools.
The key aims of the Conference were:
The reclassification process was developed to Align with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Principal Standards.
In 2020 there were no Principals from either region that moved to Accomplished or Lead. This was due to the realities and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic along with where Principals were at individually in contract tenure related to the reclassification process.
Brendan Gill: John Paul II Catholic School
Deputy Principal Positions
Angie Burnell: St Joseph’s Catholic School Queenstown
Andrea Jaffray-Morf: St Peter Chanel Catholic School
Teresa McLeod: St Finn Barr’s Catholic School
Damien Taylor: Star of the Sea Catholic College
Ben Morgan: Corpus Christi Catholic School
Simon Lane: St John’s Catholic School
Annie Nolan: St Paul’s Catholic School
Andrew Pinelli: St Therese’s Catholic School
Jessica Kelly: St Brigid’s Catholic School
The Directors provided a first point of contact for any grievance matters that arose in schools and their communities. In 2020 the number of instances requiring support or an intervention increased in comparison to previous years. Serious grievance complaints that escalated beyond Catholic Education Tasmania were referred to external organisations for independent assessment and determination.
Professional Learning Communities
Supporting schools to establish and sustain a professional learning community (PLC) remained a priority in 2020. A PLC Implementation Coach was employed to work with schools commencing their PLC journey. The Implementation Coach worked collaboratively with the Education Officer: Practice Coach P-10 to develop implementation resources and to continue the support extended to schools in 2019. The role of PLC Implementation Coach concluded at the end of 2020.
COVID-19 meant a number of planned professional learning events could not proceed and these were rescheduled for 2021. Energy was focused into the development of a range of support resources including: the PLC School Identification Tool; the PLC Foundation Program; and the development of PLC Central (online learning modules) on Canvas. At the end of 2020, there were 23 Catholic schools working as a professional learning community. Eleven schools indicated they wished to commence the PLC Foundations program in 2021.
The Early Years
In 2020 the key focus areas for the Early Years Strategy were: consolidating Catholic Education Tasmania’s (CET’s) birth to five program - Setup for Success; formalising the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) and CatholicCare Tasmania Ludo partnership; implementing the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS); and continuing to align practice in CET kindergartens with the National Quality Standard (NQS).
By the end of 2020, Setup for Success was operating in all but two Catholic primary schools, with a number of schools offering multiple sessions each week. While COVID-19 prevented schools running Setup sessions on site in Terms Two and Three, many schools took the opportunity to maintain connections with Setup families online. Over the course of the year, 50 teachers were fully trained to deliver the PEDS. A number of face-to-face training sessions were delivered online via Zoom.
The TCEO and CatholicCare Tasmania Ludo partnership provides three- and four-year-old early learning and care in selected Catholic primary schools. Ludo, which means ‘to play’ in Latin, commences in 2021 at five Catholic primary schools. Ludos are a licenced service, providing long day care for three and four year olds from 7.00am-6.00pm, five days a week, 50 weeks a year. Ludo services operate under the Education and Care Services National Regulations and are eligible for the childcare subsidy.
2020 heralded the implementation of the CET STEM statement—created in 2019—across Catholic K-12 schools statewide. The newly appointed STEM Education Officer took carriage of this. Initiatives included: STEM focused network meetings at a secondary (combined Maths, Science and Digital Tech meeting) and primary level (north and south STEM share meetings). The STEM Lending library was established to provide the opportunity for teachers to borrow over 50 diverse STEM items—mostly class sets—that they could use for trialing or supplementing existing equipment at their schools. An internal CET STEM site was also created to assist teachers.
In addition, planning began in late 2020 for two large-scale CET STEM events in 2021:
Literacy and Numeracy
Literacy was supported in schools through targeted professional development and support from the Practice Coach: Literacy/PLC. This support involved developing capacity in teachers and collaborating with leadership teams to develop school-wide approaches to literacy. The Practice Coach facilitated whole school staff professional learning workshops, supported teaching teams with teaching and learning inquiries, and enhanced practice through individual teacher support.
In place of a Numeracy Education Officer, as in 2019, grants were provided to schools for the professional learning and upskilling of teachers in numeracy/mathematics. Schools that identified numeracy/mathematics as part of their 2020 annual school plan were eligible to apply for a numeracy grant of up to $5,000 for the following purposes: procurement of an education consultant; engaging in an approved online numeracy/mathematics course; or releasing staff to work collaboratively on improving numeracy outcomes.
Assessment, Reporting and Moderation
CET’s Moderation processes were disrupted due to COVID-19. Secondary moderation was cancelled and primary moderation leader meetings were adapted to Zoom. CET’s Assessment, Reporting and Moderation Guidelines are due for review in May 2021. The revised document will incorporate the outcomes for moderation determined by the Years 9-12 Project.
The planned implementation process for Online Feedback in 2020 was delayed due to COVID-19 with the focus on reporting learning, inclusive of Learning@Home during the pandemic. CET followed Federal Government communications and did not provide A-E ratings for the first half of the year. Work commenced on the revised Online Feedback Guidelines due for consultation and release in March 2021. It is anticipated that all schools will have transitioned to online feedback by the commencement of 2023.
Years 9-12 Project
The Years 9 to 12 Project is a collaborative, cross-sectoral project involving several Tasmanian education stakeholders. These include Catholic Education Tasmania, Independent Schools Tasmania, the Department of Education, TasTAFE, the University of Tasmania, Skills Tasmania and the Office of Tasmanian Assessment, Standards and Certification. The Years 9 to 12 Project was initiated in response to the Review of Years 9 to 12 Tasmania final report completed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in 2016. The design and development phase of the project progressed over 2019-2020.
Catholic Education Tasmania is represented at all levels of the project, including the Project Team, the Steering Committee and all working groups. The Curriculum, Assessment and Professional Practice (CAPP) Team have and will continue to support the implementation of project outcomes through curriculum leader meetings and secondary networks. Secondary principals have received ongoing information and upskilling in relation to the Years 9-12 Project through CCEL in Term One, Cross Sectoral Online Principal Updates, and statewide workshops.
The People Services team supports the aspirations of the Archbishop’s Charter and the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT) Strategic Intents in a range of services including child safety; leadership and organisational culture development; strategic staffing; employee relations; and professional development.
The People Services team has a focus on school and system performance and development and works with Tasmanian Catholic Education Office teams and schools within Catholic Education Tasmania in managing their people-related organisational needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact and required a level of adjustment to accommodate various staffing performance and industrial issues to continue to deliver services to schools through this challenging time.
In 2020, the CET Child Safety Committee was continued to review existing practices and address areas of improvement following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Professional Standards Limited.
Through the initial stages of the COVID pandemic and the transition to e-learning for students across the CET system, a range of potential risks were identified and addressed by several key stakeholders incorporating Learning and Teaching (Curriculum / Digital Technologies), Information and Communication Technologies, and the Risk, WHS and Compliance teams.
A range of strategies were implemented to address increased concerns around cyber security, e-safety and mandatory reporting risks to minimise the risk and promote safe practices and environments for students.
The CET Child Safe Officer continued to provide support to schools and colleges regarding a range of sensitive matters related to various child safety concerns.
In 2020, the Organisational Development team continued their focus on the strategic development of staff to enhance skills and build capability, resilience and response across the CET system.
The pandemic severely compromised the capacity to deliver in the traditional manner, however, the team utilised several platforms to deliver and build on previous initiatives in the organisational development space.
There were considerable restructures for various different parts of our system across both Shared Funded and Direct Funded schools and colleges:
The CET Leadership Continuum program focusing on workforce planning and sustainability, continued to deliver training and support in the development of the next generation of CET leaders in a forward focusing evolution into the future.
The learnings from the pandemic experience demonstrated the absolute need to be able to provide content and opportunities to develop through alternate platforms. Adoption of Zoom and other video conferencing mechanisms provided the opportunity to continue with business as usual without the need to travel.
The development of the Canvas platform across the system allowed the creation of interactive online professional learning modules incorporating a mix of learning content mediums to enhance the learning experience.
The professional learning team developed a range of Compliance modules for delivering via the Canvas platform including, Equity and Inclusion in Employment, Introduction to Work Health and Safety and the revision and compilation of the previous 10 individual modules into the new, more comprehensive Child Safety module.
The transition of the Child Safety module content and completion data from the previous CET Staff Learning system to the new Canvas platform was a significant task that provided considerable learnings about the platform and often required creative solutions to overcome identified challenges.
The CET Induction module was also developed for staff new to CET to help streamline the induction process and provide access to key information for staff at the time they commenced with CET instead of needing to wait until a face-to-face Induction program was conducted.
These modules demonstrate CET’s commitment to these key principles and provide the foundation of the compliance training suite, with all staff required to complete the modules when they commence employment with CET.
The Professional Learning team also sourced and supported a mass organisational development opportunity in collaboration with the Professional Learning Institute for CET staff to complete a Certificate IV in Project Management.
Subsidised by government funding, the program was valued at more than $100,000 in training support for CET staff at no material cost to the organisation.
Approximately 40 staff members engaged with the program over a 12-week period which resulted in a combined organisational knowledge of project management processes, providing clarity around terminology, structure and practice, and increased capability to engage and implement a foundational project management approach across the organisation.
At the end of 2020, the Professional Learning team was restructured and relocated to the Learning and Teaching team, however they continued to support the development of CET staff with the creation of innovative e-learning modules across all areas of CET and particularly People Services, WHS and compliance requirements.
In 2020, the Strategic Staffing team continued with the evolution of systems and platforms to focus on recruiting enhancements and for potential recruits to have increased access to information around CET with the continued provision of a holistic perspective to understand the true value proposition of what it means to work with CET.
The team were engaged in a highly focused program of recruiting new talent into our schools including Principals and Deputy Principals, which was severely hampered by COVID and the ability for people to travel, however, several high performing staff were engaged from interstate to join CET..
Following on from a revised leadership structure implemented in 2019, the appointment of Deputy Principals across the majority of shared funded schools continued and provided a level of supported leadership to schools that will enhance their capacity and resilience moving forward.
Implementation of the Page Up careers and recruitment platform continued to deliver and be a platform of choice for several schools and colleges. The integration with additional platforms including the CET website, Teachers On Net and Seek allowed for a streamlined and time monitored approach to the entire recruitment process incorporating advertising, receipt and processing of applications, shortlisting, interview scheduling, and communications to both successful and unsuccessful applicants.
The team continued to provide recruitment support to schools, colleges and the TCEO with a focus on future planning.
The clustered recruitment process continued to operate across the entire CET system to reduce the impact for schools and potential applicants, to promote efficient use of resources, and limit duplication and multiple applications where possible.
2020 was a new Enterprise Agreement negotiation year, therefore the focus was on embedding the improvements that had been made to the Tasmanian Catholic Education Single Enterprise Agreement 2018 into the normal work practices of all schools.
There were improvements around performance management, probation, development of Deputy Principals, and other leadership positions.
The Employee Relations team continued to advance several serious workplace initiatives through various tribunals and other judicial review mechanisms.
There was significant improvement in the management of workers compensation matters to reduce the time that employees were away from their workplace and to continue to improve outcomes for employees.
In collaboration with insurers and other key stakeholders, the team continued to work through and further embed the Workers Compensation Master Policy for shared funded schools.
The management of COVID-19 related issues required a significant amount of the Risk, Work Health and Safety (WHS), and Compliance (RWC) team’s attention over the course of 2020. Key compliance responses to Public Health mandated COVID-19 measures included:
With respect to general WHS performance the key trends for 2020 were:
The overall ‘steadiness’ of the incident data over the past four years—when the increase in reporting (reflective of a willingness to report) is discounted—indicates that the level of operational WHS risk due to factors under the control of CET being encountered by students and staff (supervision ratios, playground design, etc.) is not increasing.
2020 also saw confirmation, by way of an external audit, of the efficacy of CET WHS endeavours. The audit noted the progress the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) has made with developing a contemporary WHS management system. Further that the TCEO is fostering a positive safety culture and the desire to improve in the area of WHS is evident.
The Tasmanian Catholic Education Office made progress regarding the development of a contemporary, fit-for-purpose WHS management system. In particular the content describing WHS requirements and the platform used for to host the WHS management system have been redeveloped and reorganised to enhance user experience.
Further to the above and despite the demand on resources due to the COVID-19 management response, the RWC team was also able to successfully undertake several child safety initiatives. Most notably this work included:
2020 also saw the transfer of responsibility for the development and maintenance of organisational emergency management capability to the RWC team. In response, the team developed a whole of CET emergency response plan which was endorsed by an external emergency management specialist. Furthermore, the RWC team tested the efficacy of the plan through the conduct of a ‘desk-top’ exercise involving key TCEO staff.
CET ONCE Project
The One Network Catholic Education (ONCE) Project that began in 2018, will provide a set of comprehensive information management systems, infrastructure, and related initiatives to support learning and teaching and improve student information and reporting within the system including:
During 2020 the ONCE Compass team consolidated the rollout of Compass modules to Share Funded Schools and began the initial stages of rolling out Compass to Direct Funded Colleges. As Compass continually expanded and enhanced modules, the ONCE team also assisted schools with training of staff in the enhanced functionality of the platform. The Compass Semester Reports module also underwent changes for some schools as they moved to the new TCEO Summary Report template for mid- and end-of-year reporting.
The major focus for the Compass rollout to colleges was on planning and discovery. Meetings were conducted with colleges to map their current student information systems and programs to Compass, and to begin the process of preparing college student databases for migration to Compass. As the move to Compass is a significant change for colleges, a major focus for the Compass team was on the planning of staff and college lead teacher professional development.
Finance Management System (TechnologyOne and Compass)
The focus during 2020 began with the development of module configuration and functionality for the two ONCE Financial Management System (FMS) Pilot Schools - Holy Rosary Catholic School and St John’s Catholic School. March 2020 then saw the Pilot Schools Go-Live in TechnologyOne core finance modules and Compass Billing.
During the course of the year the FMS project team further developed, tested and deployed additional modules including Direct Debit and BPAY Receipt Upload ‘Extract, Transfer and Load’ (ETL) Processes, Purchase Cards Module, Compass Event Payments, Compass Payment Plans, Debt Management Dashboards, specialised end of year processes, and scripts to assist with Schools End of Financial Year and Audit Preparation, as well as additional Financial Reporting functionality for schools.
During September the team began discussions with Group 1 Schools: St Thomas More’s Catholic School, St Patrick’s Catholic School and St Aloysius Catholic College. By Term 4, preparation for Group 1 Go-Live in March 2021, was well underway with a significant amount of time being devoted to Compass Debtor creation and QuickBooks data cleansing.
Preliminary discussions and planning for the potential for the ONCE FMS rollout to be expanded to Direct Funded Colleges began in 2020, with the focus being on defining what the System Configuration for Colleges would look like and how it may differ from that already in place for Shared Funded Schools.
The 2019 audit was completed and signed off with some change to the treatment of restricted reserves. Improvements were made to the Technology One Financial Management System during 2020 to allow for further automation of the system and enhanced reporting. Further improvements are earmarked for 2021 with the implementation of Optical Character Recognition of invoice information.
The Payroll team achieved their primary function of processing 26 fortnightly salary payments in a timely and efficient manner, and providing support and guidance to the 27 schools participating in the centralised system.
Additional major achievements throughout 2020 included working with the ICT team to ensure that payroll processing could be done remotely in the event that the Payroll team was required to work offsite.
The commencement of the project to implement the new payroll system in Technology One was a main focus in 2020. This included scoping the system requirements for Centralised Payroll, undertaking configuration, setup and user acceptance testing of TechOne. In addition to this, Centralised Payroll staff held workshops in each region to demonstrate TechOne to the Principals and School Finance staff.
Visits to Shared Funded schools were undertaken at the end of the year to commence preparations for 2021 payroll processing, along with gathering and updating data to be transferred into TechOne in preparation for the 2021 go live date.
School Finance Team
2019 School Audits were coordinated with the system auditor for Shared Funded Schools. Various regional school visits were undertaken to provide support to complete audit preparation. Financial Indicators were prepared from audited 2019 Annual Financial Statements and shared with Principals and Finance Officers. Financial Questionnaires were also prepared and declared on behalf of Shared Funded Schools and lodged with the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment. The TCEO February Census and Commonwealth August Census student enrolments and school data were coordinated and declared. Regional budget workshops were conducted for Shared Funded Schools to assist with the preparation of 2021 Budgets.
Direct Funded Schools
Direct Funded Schools’ audited financial statements were reviewed and reported to the RSSC. The Resource Indicators and high-level reporting on the financial performance of the Direct Funded Schools were provided to the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT). The Financial Questionnaires for Direct Funded schools were checked, system expenditure added, and they were declared as part of compliance reporting to the Federal Government for Catholic Education Tasmania.
Commonwealth and State Funding
Response to Federal and State Funding Agendas
Senior members of the Finance Team kept abreast of issues relating to Federal funding by attending National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) Funding Group meetings, Senior Finance Officers meetings, and meetings with the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Of particular focus was the impact on funding of the move to a direct measure of family income as the basis of the Capacity to Contribute included in the Federal Governments’ funding package 2019 to 2029 and how this change would impact schools.
Financial Projections, Modelling and Benchmarking
A review and update of the Financial Analysis Model (FAM) was undertaken to reflect the funding calculation changes contained in government funding methodologies. The FAM is used as the tool for analysis of the impact of changes to the funding methodology and enrolment movements on the financial sustainability of schools. The Shared Funded Schools Capital Debt Servicing Fund (CDSF) Forecast Model was updated to inform the development of the Capital Forward Program for Shared Funded Schools.
The Facilities Team provided the following services to schools and colleges across the state:
Many of the initiatives commenced in recent years were ongoing throughout 2020.
Major Capital Works
Capital Grants Program
The Capital Grants Program, administered through the Block Grant Authority (BGA), provides provided Capital Grants Program (Australian Government) and State Capital Assistance (Tasmanian Government) funding for capital works in CET schools.
The applications are assessed by the Capital Priorities Committee (CPC) and recommendations made to the Resources and Sustainability Standing Committee (RSSC) based on system wide priorities. In turn, the RSSC makes recommendations to the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT), who act as the Tasmanian Catholic Block Grant Authority (BGA) for project approvals and the allocation of State and Commonwealth Grant Funding.
Shared Funded Schools Capital Debt Servicing Fund Projects
The Capital Debt Servicing Fund (CDSF) is a fund which was established to provide greater financial capacity for CET to undertake capital works projects in Shared Funded Schools. A percentage of private income is allocated to the Fund each year, along with Capital Levy receipts from the school communities. The Fund is used to establish loans for individual capital works projects. The private income services the loans over the loan period, which is usually 15 years.
In 2020, work continued to address the forward capital works priorities established for Shared Funded schools in 2016.
Projects are commonly funded from multiple sources, listed above.
The following projects were completed in 2020:
The following projects were commenced in 2020:
Archdiocesan projects are typically fully funded by schools, with no grants from the Government or funding through the CDSF.
The following projects were approved in 2020:
Working Together - Early Years Program (3-Year-Olds)
In 2019 (and throughout 2020), CET established a partnership with CatholicCare Tasmania to develop and operate programs for three year olds in Shared Funded schools, in alignment with the Tasmanian State Government’s Working Together Initiative, whereby vulnerable three years olds across Tasmania are able to access up to 400 hours of early years activities per year.
In 2020, construction commenced on the first five schools under tranche 1a and 1b of this program.
The school’s approved construction budgets were as follows:
The second tranche of two eligible schools were identified, and work on the planning and design of additional facilities commenced in 2020. The schools were:
Project 23 - Greater Hobart Review and Expansion of Years 11 and 12
In 2020, formal project design and planning commenced to further build on the advancement for the provision of Years 11 and 12 to commence at the following three schools:
St Aloysius Catholic College, Huntingfield
MacKillop Catholic College, Mornington
St Virgil’s College, Austins Ferry
These three sites will join Guilford Young College and St Mary’s College in providing senior secondary education in 2023*.
These 2020 milestones follow on from the 2019 establishment of:
*Subject to approvals
Minor Capital Works
Shared Funded schools apply for funding to undertake minor works projects through the allocation of approximately $400,000 per year from the CDSF. Typically, these projects are small in nature, and schools are encouraged to contribute funds to the project through their own resources, parent groups and communities.
The following projects commenced in 2019 and were completed in 2020:
The following projects were undertaken in 2020:
The following projects were approved in 2020, to be funded and undertaken in 2021:
The next stage of the new maintenance program for Shared Funded schools, which included targeted external maintenance and repair works at multiple Shared Funded schools across the state, was released in 2020. The total expenditure for the year for the program was $1,980,316.
In 2019, the Facilities Section commissioned an arborist to undertake a risk assessment of the condition and safety of large trees at Shared Funded schools around the state. Works continued throughout 2020, through a program of works undertaken by local contractors to address medium and high-risk trees. This program has helped to minimise the number of unforeseen incidents and tree failures.
A program to remove asbestos in Shared Funded schools (first commencing in 2019) is continuing to address higher risk areas within schools. This program was ongoing in 2020 and will continue into 2021.
Playground Compliance Audits
In 2019, action plans were developed by schools in conjunction with the TCEO, and corrective works were documented. In 2020, these works commenced and will continue into 2021.
Roof Condition and Safety
Roof inspections were completed in 2019 and the data collected was used for the development of a roof maintenance program, which was tendered in late 2019. In 2020, these maintenance works were underway and will continue into 2021.
The installation of roof access safety equipment to buildings in Shared Funded schools was completed.
A review of applicable electricity tariffs and previous electricity costs was ongoing for Shared Funded schools in 2020.
In 2019/20, the design and installation of solar systems were undertaken at three of our large Shared Funded schools in Hobart, Launceston, and Burnie. The systems have been designed to fully offset the electrical consumption costs for each site.
2020 continued to see growth and change within the Information and Communication Technology Services Teams.
In 2020 a new ICT Team was created, the Cloud, Identity and Infrastructure team which is responsible for the ongoing support, automation, maintenance, and management of data centres, networking, identity, event management, systems design, security, and architecture. The creation of the team and their roles and responsibilities are based on IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practice and an acknowledgment that secure system architecture and design are a fundamental requirement to meet the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.
Service Management Uplift
2020 saw the continued growth of the Client Services Team in the preparation for and response to the COVID-19 impact and disruption as well as project work to roll out an ITIL compliant Service Management system which continued throughout the year. This saw the formalisation of Incident Management, Knowledge Management, Change Management and Major Incident Management within the ICT Team.
The CET Support Portal was launched to 13 schools to aid in the seamless logging of common service requests and incidents. With approximately 13 schools moved to the new ICT service management system there were approximately 1,000 service requests logged per month.
The TCEO ICT Team played an integral part in reporting data to the government on behalf of all schools. There were several collections held throughout 2020 including Socio-economic Status (SES), Student Background Data (SBD), Census, Gender Equality, Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD), Student Attendance, and Youth Engagement in Education and Training (YEET). In 2020 CET were able to take advantage of the collaboration with Compass and CEnet where data collections were taken from 27 schools across the state with a click of a button. In previous years a single collection took 13.5 hours for Shared Funded schools and further data massaging techniques to collate the information into a single upload for the government.
Preparing for Learning@Home
Through the early months of 2020, it became evident that there was the potential that CET schools could be subjected to closures at short notice and CET needed to prepare for Learning@Home. The ICT team worked on secure methods of remote access for staff, finance and front of office, and ICT. Leveraging the 2019 spend on the replacement of the centralised firewall we were able to offer secure remote access to internal systems covered by Multi-factor Authentication and Geo-Location restrictions.
Knowledge Management System
The ICT Team continued the strong focus on documentation and knowledge management by creating both internal and external knowledge bases to streamline processes and procedures across CET. By the end of 2020 the knowledge management system received an average of 1,900 views per month. The goal of the system is to ensure the right information is available to the right people at the right time and it currently holds an array of valuable information for example: policies, processes, procedures, reference lookups, how-to articles, system diagrams, templates, etc. The CET Help Centre was also launched, through the knowledge management system, to all CET staff and contains reference documentation and published processes and procedures.
End-Point Management System
The ICT Team, supported by Technology Aides across the state, rolled out a centralised end user device management system to Shared Funded schools and the TCEO devices. The primary drivers for this change were cost reduction and enabling the seamless rollout of software from a central location. Phase 1 of this project, enrolling the devices, was completed in preparation for the potential of regional or state-wide lockdowns which would see school-owned devices no longer located onsite and unable to access on-site infrastructure.
The rollout of a centralised End-Point Management System enabled the automated rollout of a new anti-virus software package across the state with a click of a button, significantly reducing the manual effort required to install software on each and every machine across the state.
The ICT Team developed and trialled a communications plan to standardise the notifications and communications generated by ICT and sent to staff and schools. Whether it is an unplanned system outage or a feature upgrade to an Enterprise System, staff should feel confident that they have received appropriate email communications, containing enough information based on the basics: Who, What, When, Where, How, Why?
Modern Video Conferencing
In the reality of living and working with social distancing requirements, 2020 was the year that changed the way CET holds meetings and collaborates both internally and externally. In preparation for Learning@Home new video conferencing software was rolled out across the state to all staff. With the potential for daily changes regarding COVID-19 requirements and the ever-changing landscape schools were facing, video conferencing was heavily relied upon throughout the entire year. Whether it was a face-to-face meeting, welfare check or state-wide Principals meeting, critical communications were able to flow to the right people at the right time.
To reduce staff travel time and empower regional and remote staff, four dedicated video conferencing rooms were created in the D’Arcy Centre, Fr John Wall Centre, MacKillop Centre and Tenison Woods Centre. The facilities team and ICT team worked together to design the layout, remodel the rooms, mount TVs, and install microphones and cameras. Without warning video conferencing became a normal part of our work.
In July 2020, Jennifer White was appointed Acting Executive Officer for the Education Standing Committee (ESC) by Executive Director, Dr Gerard Gaskin. Due to the ongoing disruption of COVID-19 nationwide the Term 3 2020 meeting of the Education Standing Committee was the first meeting since October 2019.
The ESC continued with its work in reviewing the Draft Enrolment Policy and Draft Enrolment Procedure. Both the Policy and Procedure are awaiting finalisation in accordance with the refinement of the School Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.
The CET Whole Year Acceleration Procedure was disseminated, discussed, modified, and endorsed by both the ESC and Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT).
The CET Project Officer Data Analyst, presented an overarching system snapshot of COVID-19: Catholic Education Tasmania’s response to remote learning. It was noted during COVID-19 an investigation was undertaken with specific reference to the impact of changed work practices for teachers and school leaders because of the COVID-19 pandemic; to compare current perceptions of self-efficacy with those prior to the changes; and to identify areas for consideration around the development and implementation of future educational practices and policies in Catholic schools in Tasmania to further build organisational capacity.
In November the Education Standing Committee (ESC) met for the second time in 2020. The Chair welcomed Mr Tim Petrusma as the official parent representative for the ESC and Jennifer White as a Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) Education Officer representative. Both will serve a three-year term on the ESC. The CET Executive Officer Governance and Policy, provided clarity around current and future membership protocols.
The Secondary/Senior Secondary Education Officer presented a snapshot of the CET Pedagogy, Assessment, Feedback and Reporting Review and outlined its contribution and purpose in improving the learning outcomes of all Tasmanian students. The project will identify best practice in planning for learning, collaboration, pedagogy, assessment, feedback and reporting with a view to system-wide implementation. It was noted that the Review collaborators were drawn from distinct teams within Formation and Learning, A Catholic Education Tasmania - Policy, Procedure and Guidelines Census document based upon the CET literature review conducted as part of the overarching Review was created.
The Literacy Education Officer presented the aim of the Literacy Strategy, outlining its purpose in improving the learning outcomes of students in literacy through a focus on best practice system-wide with the ultimate goal of reading comprehension. A review of current practice in reading instruction indicated a lack of consistency across CET settings.
The CET Early Entry and Kindergarten and Prep Procedure was disseminated. This document also included information regarding Early School Entry for Gifted Students and Early Entry to Kindergarten for Students who are Gifted. The Procedure was discussed, modified, and endorsed by both the ESC and CECT.
Ongoing work that emerged and was progressed over the course of 2020 will remain a focus for the ESC in 2021.
The People and Culture Standing Committee met twice during 2020 due to COVID-19, with essential functions being moved online for the majority of the year. The focus of the Standing Committee during 2020 was on core business that was required to assist with the running of Catholic Education Tasmania during the pandemic and to assist the system with its response to COVID-19.
In addition to assisting with COVID-19, the Standing Committee continued to oversee the Workplace Health and Safety Audit and ensure that the outcomes of the audit were being implemented. The Standing Committee engaged an external legal agency to undertake the review of the Contractor Management Guidelines and commenced a review of the status of all People and Culture policies to develop an updated schedule for review and development.
The People and Culture Standing Committee Executive Officer worked with the Executive Secretary of the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania to finalise the Reportable Conduct Policy for publication and implementation by the system in May 2020.
During the course of 2020, Mr Andrew Hill was appointed by the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania as Chair of the People and Culture Standing Committee.
During 2020 the RSSC considered the 2019 TCEO and Schools Audit Reports and Audited Financial Statements, the 2019 Resource Indicators for all schools, February and August Census Enrolments, Schools final budgets, oversight of the Schools Resourcing Committee (SRC), the Capital Priorities Committee and the Long Service Leave Centralised Fund and reviewed policies relating to its field of governance.
The RSSC considered the SRC’s recommendations regarding 2021 allocations of additional Year streams and provided recommendations to the CECT for approval. It finalised its work on the draft Schools Fees Assistance Policy and the Conflict of Interest Policy which was approved by the CECT.
The RSSC considered the quarterly financial reports of the TCEO, schools, and the Long Service Leave Centralised Fund, and CET’s involvement in the Catholic Church’s response to the Modern Slavery Act. It also considered recommendations made by the Capital Priorities Committee on the major capital works applications, self-funded project applications and applications for BGA Grants and State Capital Grants, and provided recommendations to the Commission for approval.
At the last meeting of 2020 the RSSC recommended the final budget of the TCEO for 2021 to the CECT for approval, and reviewed the Human Resources/Payroll Technology One System Project for implementation during 2021 and approved the required expenditure for this project.