In 2021 Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) continued to focus on managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure minimal disruption to the education of students in our schools and to provide safe workplaces for our staff. In 2021 schools reintroduced activities such as sports, camps, larger gatherings of students outdoors, and other activities that had been cancelled or postponed in 2020.
During 2021 the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT) met on six occasions between March and December. The CECT continued to monitor the impact COVID-19 was having on the system, ensuring the continued resourcing of the various support mechanisms being adjusted to respond to the progress of the pandemic, as well as broadening its focus to wider governance issues for system including meeting with Tasmanian politicians on behalf of CET in the lead up to and following the State Election.
At the conclusion of 2021, the CECT thanked four retiring members for their contribution to the governance of CET – Mrs Mary Clear, Fr Bernard Graham SDB, Mrs Kim Huong Bookarof and Dr Perpetua Turner. Their contribution to the governance of CET and the work of the CECT, particularly since 2020 with CET’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was greatly appreciated.
CECT and COVID-19
The CECT monitored the resourcing and impact the ongoing pandemic was having on schools and the families attending Catholic schools. This included a range of areas such as financial impacts and resourcing, work health and safety, information and communication technology (ICT) security and usage, school buildings and facilities. The CECT Chair and Executive Director of CET continued to meet regularly with the Minister of Education during the course of the year. The Executive Director and the TCEO, as the CECT’s operative arm, collaborated closely with the Tasmanian Department of Education, Independent Schools Tasmania, and Public Health in Tasmania.
The CECT focused on several governance issues during the course of 2021. These included:
During 2021 the CECT considered a range of system documentation. In 2021 it approved the following documents:
The CECT Standing Committees and the TCEO worked on reviewing and developing policy and associated documents focussing on the following:
The work on the above documents will continue in 2022.
The CECT carried out a whole of system policy and associated documentation audit in Term Four and received the final report and recommendations at its December meeting.
CECT continued to oversee the system’s enrolments which in 2021 totalled to over 16,000 students in our schools. During the course of 2021, the Year 7 enrolments at MacKillop Catholic College, Mount Carmel College, St Aloysius Catholic College, and St Virgil’s College continued to grow and CECT approved additional enrolment streams for these schools for 2022. The system enrolment form and associated documentation was reviewed and updated. Enrolment Workshops were run with strong attendance from Catholic schools across the state.
The CECT, in response to several concerns raised by the CET community, commenced a Student Transportation Review, which commenced with the surveying of students and parents/guardians across the state from 15 June 2021 – 2 July 2021. This was followed up with the collection of information from schools regarding school bus transportation in Term Three and the first half of Term Four. The CECT received an initial Summary Report of the Data and recommendations at its December meeting. This work will continue in 2022.
Catholic Education Week
Catholic Education Week returned in 2021 after being cancelled in 2020. Catholic Education Week embraced the same theme as the 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia, which was ‘Faith in the Future’. The Masses held in each region with Archbishop Julian Porteous were well attended by students and the St Mary’s Cathedral Mass was streamed online opening the Mass up to a wider audience. At the end of the northern Mass, students from Star of the Sea Catholic College presented a cheque for $6869.70 for funds raised by Catholic schools for the Samaritan Projects to Archbishop Porteous. The Archbishop visited with students and staff at the following schools: Sacred Heart Catholic School Ulverstone, St Finn Barr’s Catholic School, and St Aloysius Catholic College. Archbishop Porteous presented the CECT Recognition Awards and 25 Years of Service Awards at evening functions in each region that were well attended by recipients and their guests from a range of schools across the state.
Hon. Michael Polley AM
Catholic Education Commission Tasmania
Archbishop Julian Porteous confirmed the following membership for 2021:
Hon. Michael Polley AM | Chair
Dr Gerard Gaskin | Executive Officer
Mr Chris Ryan | Archbishop’s Nominee
Fr Suresh Gnana Pragash | Archbishop’s Nominee
Mr Ric De Santi
Fr Bernard Graham SDB
Dr Helga Neidhart RSC
Mrs Mary Clear
Dr Perpetua Turner
Mrs Elaine Doran
Dr David Daintree
Mrs Kim Huong Bookarof
Mr Michael McKenna
Miss Mary Preston | Executive Secretary
Standing Committees, Committees and Working Parties
The following standing committees, committees and working parties were active in 2021:
Committee | Chair:
Catholic Identity & Evangelisation Standing Committee | Dr David Daintree
Education Standing Committee | Dr Helga Neidhart RSC
People & Culture Standing Committee | Mr Andrew Hill
Resources & Sustainability Standing Committee | Mr Ric De Santi
Project 23 Steering Committee | Dr Gerard Gaskin
In 2021 Catholic Education celebrated 200 years in Australia, marking the bicentenary of the first Catholic school established in Parramatta in October 1820.
Archbishop Julian Porteous joined me in launching Catholic Education Tasmania’s celebrations of the national bicentenary with a ritual prayer at St John’s Catholic School in Richmond on Friday 12 February 2021. Established in 1843, St John’s is Tasmania’s longest operating Catholic school.
A celebratory dinner was held on Monday 23 August to acknowledge the rich history that Catholic education has in Tasmania. The evening served as an opportunity for school and community leaders to be together and pay tribute to the contribution of Catholic education across the Diocese.
St Aloysius Catholic College student Hanna Synnott and her mother Michelle, proud Palawa women, provided an inspiring Acknowledgement of Country. Students from MacKillop Catholic College’s band entertained guests as they arrived and throughout the night.
In attendance were a number of esteemed guests including Tasmanian Governor Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker, His Grace Archbishop Julian Porteous, then Minister for Education Hon Sarah Courtney MP, David Dilger, school representatives, sitting MP’s and Senators.
Catholic Education Tasmania farewelled Sean Gill as Deputy Executive Director in 2021. Sean’s 35 years of service within Catholic education included principalships across many of our southern Catholic schools prior to him commencing at the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office in 2009. We remain indebted to Sean’s service and contribution to many facets of Catholic education in Tasmania.
A recruitment process for a new Deputy Executive Director resulted in the appointments of Matt Jones and Cameron Brown as Deputy Executive Directors who will jointly assume the role from 2022
2021 was the first year of implementation of our strategic priorities for 2021 to 2023. Under the banners of Make Disciples of All, Excel in Learning for All and Nurture Leadership for All, the strategic priorities are as follows:
Make Disciples of All
Be welcoming and give preference to those in need.
Be explicit in Catholic belief and practice.
Reach out in active discipleship.
Promote life-giving partnerships between Home, School and Parish.
Excel in Learning for All
Achieve excellence in learning and teaching animated by faith.
Raise aspirations for students, teachers and communities.
Infuse core Catholic teaching across the curriculum.
Provide formation that develops the whole person.
Nurture Leadership for All
Plan for ongoing recruitment of quality staff.
Nurture all for leadership to meet future challenges.
Form Catholic leaders at all levels of CET by building faith, leadership abilities and ethical behaviours.
Encourage leaders at all levels to be self-reflective and committed to ongoing development.
As a system we focused on these priority areas with a view to meeting the following outcomes:
Within the Directorate there were a number of key projects that were aligned to these overarching priorities. These included:
Following a period of extensive research and consultation, Catholic Education Tasmania adopted an innovative and highly effective form of initial teacher education tailored to our unique Catholic education setting. The St Thomas Aquinas Teaching Schools is an innovative collaboration between academic partners Alphacrucis College, Campion College and CET.
With the formation of the St Thomas Aquinas Teaching Schools, Tasmanian students seeking a vocation in Catholic education will now be able to commence their careers locally, working as cadet teachers in Catholic schools whilst they study for a teaching degree.
Marketing and communication support was provided for a range of strategic initiatives including the celebrations of Catholic Education Week and 200 Years of Catholic Education in Australia, strategies to support student learning such as the early learning and care initiative and literacy strategy, the expansion of CET’s educational services through the southern Year 11 and 12 extension project, and the introduction of St Thomas Aquinas Teaching Schools.
The growing demand to support communications lead to the appointment of a Content Creator from August to increase the written and audio-visual communications available across CET’s channels.
Catholic Education Tasmania’s social media presence was also expanded in 2021 to include LinkedIn and Instagram alongside Facebook to reach more stakeholders and allow for greater message targeting. Increased communication efforts across a range of platforms contributed to a 15% increase in website traffic across the year compared to 2021.
An investment was made into the purchase of software licences to support social media management and media monitoring services. This allowed for increased efficiency within the Communications Team and reduced the risks associated with online communications.
The Director School Services: North and Director School Services: 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 School Services 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).
Directors School Services led and were key facilitators in Principal and Deputy Principal appointments across Catholic Education Tasmania.
The Directors worked with Principals and leadership teams on a regular basis via a variety of modes based on need and urgency. These include scheduled visits, regular zoom meetings, regional Principal Network gatherings once a term and Regional Principal Meetings. Phone calls and emails along with attendance at the statewide Catholic College of Educational Leaders (CCEL) meetings which are also attended by TCEO senior leaders complemented communications.
The areas of focus included coaching around leadership goals, being a critical friend when dealing with school-based challenges, being a representative in key meetings for parents, students or wider community, and identifying individual and shared challenges to communicate to the TCEO Leadership Team. Reflective practice on challenges or situations where colleagues were seeking wisdom or further strategies, and continuing to support Principals leading and managing through the COVID 19 pandemic was also a constant focus during the year as leaders continued to adapt and navigate through the changing landscape to support their school communities.
As well as these experiences, the Directors addressed grievance issues with parents, were on the Systemic Budget Committee, and School Streams Committee, attended monthly leadership meetings, as well as weekly leadership briefings.
Principal and Deputy Principal Recruitment
The recruitment for Principals and Deputy Principals for 2022 saw an unprecedented number of vacancies across our CET schools. These vacancies were a combination of retirements, leaders not seeking a contract extension, or some consequential vacancies from leaders taking up new positions in schools. In responding to the increasing recruitment demand, CET adopted a new recruitment strategy to fulfill the higher volume of leadership vacancies for 2022. As part of a more streamlined approach, CET partnered with an external firm, Hutton Consulting, to increase the profile of Principal and Deputy Principal recruitment process and to expand advertising to a wider market. Hutton’s brief was to promote our system of Catholic schools whilst, at the same time, identifying specific school vacancies with qualifying interviews with candidates. The candidates then progressed to system-based interviews and, if shortlisted, to school based panels as the final component of the recruitment process.
Regional Principal Leader Roles
In addition to Principal and Deputy Principal recruitment, the Directorate were created two new seconded Regional Principal Leader (RPL) positions for the commencement of 2022 in the northern and southern regions. The secondment for these two positions will be for a period of 12 months, after which the TCEO will review the secondment and evaluate the future structure of the role going forward into 2022. The new roles provide opportunities for experienced Principals wishing to develop their specific skills of system leadership and assist with promoting and advancing the achievement of the mission of Catholic Education Tasmania.
We welcome Mr Stuart Kelly (RPL South) and Mr Shayne Kidd (RPL North) into the roles next year and look forward to the strong support and expertise they will provide our schools and leaders during 2022.
New Principal Induction Program
The CET leadership team introduced a new Principal induction program for all Principals who commenced their journey of Principalship in CET during 2021. The program consisted of four full days—one per Term—and aimed to ensure the fidelity of a structured and supportive program, whilst allowing for relationships to grow, and for learning and growth to flourish.
The Program was structured to support new leaders through their initial few years of Principalship in Catholic Education Tasmania and comprised a series of operational checklists and planners, as well as providing opportunities for reflection and strategic discernment.
TCEO Leadership and Development Program
Catholic Education Tasmania developed a new leadership and development program ready for implementation for 2022. Planning for the program took place during 2021, based on the premise that every employee should have the opportunity to grow and develop as a person, as an effective team member, and—for those seeking advancement—as a future leader.
The leadership program for 2022 will be offered to a wide range of employees including Aspiring School Leaders, TCEO staff, TCEO Managers and Assistant Managers.
Participants will have the opportunity to hear and interact with subject matter experts and mentors to help them help grow in their knowledge and abilities in a wide range of fields.
The Directors provided a first point of contact for any grievance matters that arose in schools and their communities. In 2021 the number of instances requiring support or an intervention increased in number across the year. Several areas of support related to serious mental well-being matters and code of conduct with staff.
The core 2021 Pastoral Care and Well-being initiatives—the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP), the counselling partnership with CatholicCare Tasmania, RULER and Rumbles Quest—have served to strengthen the presence of Pastoral Care and Well-being in our schools.
The partnership between CatholicCare Tasmania and Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) is of great benefit to students in our schools. In 2021 schools received 600 hours of counselling support per fortnight. Regular meetings between CatholicCare Tasmania and Catholic Education Tasmania ensured this partnership had the intended impact on schools. Work commenced on updating the School Counselling Operating Practices and Protocols document and this will be available to schools early in 2022.
The National School Chaplaincy Program is in its second year and chaplains continue to support the well-being of all our students. During 2021 there was a focus on supporting all chaplains to complete the mandatory Cyberbullying professional learning packages and to include as many chaplains as possible in the Pastoral Care and Well-being Network meetings.
The RULER approach was embedded in several schools and included in the everyday language of the school. Annual planning around this whole school strategy ensured that both staff and students benefited from this evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL). RULER supports the entire school community to understand the value of emotions, build the skills of emotional intelligence, and create and maintain a positive school climate.
Rumbles Quest—an interactive game to measure student well-being—continues to provide Catholic Education Tasmania with valuable data enabling schools to provide targeted, whole school, and individual well-being support for their students.
The Early Career Teacher program (ECT) continued to gain momentum and provide a proactive and positive network for graduates in their first three years of teaching. Catholic Education Tasmania provides opportunities for these graduates to attain Accreditation to teach in Tasmanian Catholic schools and support to move from Provisional to Full registration with the Tasmanian Teachers Registration Board (TRB). The four focus areas identified by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Professional Practices, Professional Identity, Well-being and Orientation are also addressed through this program.
During 2021 graduate teachers attended their ECT sessions in regional offices and all sessions were delivered via Zoom. This minimised the need for travel while still allowing for networking. As well as Catholic Identity and Evangelisation for Mission sessions, ECT sessions included an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus, a session focusing on portfolio collection for the TRB, and personal well-being sessions.
Validation is a point-in-time opportunity which ensures the system (in this case Catholic Education Tasmania as the relevant educational authority) satisfies all aspects of Church, system, and government requirements within the context of school improvement processes.
Validation is an opportunity to explore a school’s achievements and goals in its process of ongoing school improvement for learning. It is designed to provide system assurance about:
Since April 2018, the Tasmanian non-Government Schools Registration Board has registered the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania as the ‘Approved Authority’ for registration of a ‘System of non-Government Schools’.
Alongside the Validation process, a TCEO Officer visits schools annually to assist with reviewing, lodging all required school registration documents and ensuring they are accessible at the system level. This is referred to as 24/7 registration and confirms that Principals and schools are meeting their responsibilities with respect to compliance with the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania’s Work Health and Safety Policy and the requirements of the Catholic Education Tasmania’s Safety and Compliance Management System.
Validation is closely aligned to leadership formation and compliance requirements. As part of validation, schools prepare and upload a set of basic required documents. A validation panel visits the school and consults with the school leadership, staff, students, clergy, and parents. A Validation Report is completed during and immediately after the Validating Panel’s visit. Once the Validation process is completed satisfactorily, the school will receive a Certificate of School Validation, presented during the following Catholic Education Week celebrations.
During 2021 an external consultant was again employed to lead the validation process and, as a result, nine schools and colleges will receive their Validation Certificates during 2022.
Schools that underwent validation in 2021 were:
A comprehensive parent, staff, and student survey was included in the validation process in 2021 and will continue annually. These three externally managed surveys provide all stakeholders with an opportunity for consultation in the validation process and will supply quality objective evidence and data to inform the schools’ review and planning efforts.
Validation aligns closely with each school’s response to the Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools and to their strategic planning cycle. In 2021, the validation process was extended to include a specific focus on the Early Years; a point-in-time opportunity to explore the school’s current achievements and goals in its process of quality improvement within the Early Years.
The focus of work in the Early Years over the course of 2021 was guided by the Early Years action plan. A self-assessment tool for Kindergarten to align with the National Quality Standards addressed Quality Area One: Education Program and Practice. In consultation with teachers and leaders, CET Early Years Advisor and Early Years Education Officers North and South addressed Quality Area One. Using this same process, Quality Areas Two to Seven will be addressed in 2022.
Early Years Network meetings and Age Appropriate Pedagogy professional learning opportunities were facilitated over the course of 2021. System-wide, educators were provided with opportunities to strengthen their skills and knowledge in delivering innovative practices in the Early Years.
In 2021 an Early Years focus was added to the School Validation process. This included onsite discussions with Principals and selected representatives of the School Early Years team. This afforded all stakeholders with the opportunity to address key areas related to the TCEO strategic direction for the Early Years. Following visitations, commendations and recommendations were documented and sent to schools and the Validation Panel. This newly implemented process will continue to be refined.
Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)
Following initial delivery of five units of the Certificate III ECEC by Gowrie Training and Consultancy in the second half of 2020, Guilford Young College (GYC), in a funding agreement with the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO), took over delivery of the remaining units of the course. Thirty-five Teacher Assistants (TAs) commenced with GYC at the beginning of 2021. Over half of the TAs have completed the course with the majority of the remaining participants continuing their study in 2022.
In partnership with the TCEO, CatholicCare Tasmania opened three long day care centres for three-year-olds, co-located on Catholic school sites. The centres, known as Ludo, which means “I play” (in Latin) share spaces with Kindergartens in Early Learning Centres. Ludo commenced operation at John Paul II Catholic School, Holy Rosary Catholic School and St Finn Barr’s Catholic School. As part of the partnership, the schools (funded by the TCEO) employ the Educational Leader who oversees the educational program of Ludo. This partnership provides significant benefits for children and families. A further three centres will open in 2022. These will be located at St Paul’s Catholic School (Bridgewater), St Brigid’s Catholic School (New Norfolk) and St Cuthbert’s Catholic School (Lindisfarne).
The Practice Coach: Literacy/PLC supported literacy in schools statewide through targeted professional development and support. This support involved planning with Primary and Secondary leadership teams, developing capacity in teachers, and collaborating with professional learning teams. 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. Term Four saw the focus move to the upcoming literacy strategy with meetings, investigations, and consultations to effectively plan and budget for the implementation of InitiaLit across all Early Years grades and interventions from Year 1 - Adult. A foundational framework was created, with a view to develop this collaboratively with Literacy Practice Leaders. Program training, resource distribution and forward planning dominated the last four months of the year prior to the launch of the strategy and readiness to begin in 2022.
Numeracy was strengthened in 2021 by the appointment of a Numeracy Education Officer with a focus on supporting primary schools statewide. Schools who had identified Numeracy professional learning as a priority for 2021 were supported in the first instance.
Early in 2021, professional learning opportunities were available to staff in primary and secondary schools which were facilitated by Numeracy Consultant and Mathematics Association of Tasmania Vice President: Birsin Reynolds. Sessions were well attended by teachers systemwide, with positive feedback provided and requests for more targeted Numeracy Professional Learning in the future.
Following the success of this practical workshop style model, a suite of Professional Learning that builds on 2021 learning was planned ready to be implemented in 2022. This suite included the following workshops: Number talks (K-8), Thinking like a Mathematician (K-6), and Engaging Secondary Students (7-10) which intend to provide educators with opportunities to collaboratively strengthen best practices and deepen numeracy content knowledge.
Progress was also made in identifying a Key Numeracy contact in each school. It was the intention that by identifying a key contact person, schools will continue to be strengthened through a more direct point of liaison with the CET Numeracy Education Officer. This in turn supported schools with practical steps toward developing a whole-school approach to numeracy.
Years 9-12 Project
The Years 9 to 12 Project continued to be a cross-sectoral education priority. Initiated in response to the Review of Years 9 to 12 in Tasmania, the Years 9 to 12 Project progressed from the initial design and development phase to the implementation phase. Leaders and Teachers in Catholic Schools had opportunities to provide feedback during the development phase.
In 2021, 38 senior secondary courses (Tranche 1A and 1B) were under development, with five Tranche 1A courses accredited for delivery in 2022. Development and accreditation of one Tranche 1A course and 32 Tranche 1B Courses will continue in 2022 and be accredited for delivery in either 2023 or 2024.
A new VET Pathways Approval Process for the provision of VET to students in Year 10 and the delivery of a full Certificate III qualification to students in Year 12 was piloted in 2021 This process will be further refined in response to stakeholder feedback.
The Requirements and Guidelines for Career Education delivered to school students and the Guiding Principles were endorsed by the Years 9 to 12 Steering Committee in February 2021. Catholic schools are working to align practices with the requirements and guidelines.
Two major flagship events for STEM education took place in 2021.
The inaugural ‘It takes a SPARK EDU’ STEM Conference was held at Guilford Young College on 26 May 2021. The conference mode was unique in that it was both teacher and student focused (with teachers and students from different schools attending workshops together). Four hundred attendees (including 70 teachers) saw two nationally recognised keynote addresses, participated in over 30 of the available workshops throughout the day, and attended the STEM Expo in breaks.
In the second half of the year, the first ever CET STEM MAD (Making a Difference) competition was held. Catholic school representatives from K-12, around the state designed a STEM innovation, product or solution, presented in a three-minute video, to make a difference in today’s world. Northern and Southern Tasmanian winners were presented with trophies and progressed to the National competition. Tasmanian students did extremely well at the Nationals - winning the Australian Primary STEM MAD award and the Australian STEM MAD Conservation award.
STEM focused Network meetings at a Secondary (Separate Maths, Science and Technologies meeting) and Primary level (North and South STEM share meetings) were a feature of the year, all of which had guest speakers including from the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Department of Education. The STEM Lending library was very popular in 2021 and now boasts 80+ diverse STEM items (mostly class sets). The CET STEM website is in its third year and continues to be a great conduit for all things STEM in the education sector and beyond.
Secondary Moderation was conducted for five key learning areas (Maths, English, Science, HASS, and HPE) with 107 participants in total. The moderation sessions included a senior secondary session to inform teachers of the pathways from year ten to senior secondary and to build connections and capacity of teachers in preparation for the implementation of the Years 9 to 12 project and southern extension to Years 11 and 12. These moderation meetings strengthened quality assurance of assessment decisions across CET schools and provided feedback to teachers to improve the quality of the teaching and learning experiences of students.
Three whole day and four (one hour long) zoom sessions facilitated by the Curriculum, Assessment and Professional Practice (CAPP) Team, were held regionally with a variety of participants including Deputy Principals, Collaborative Team Leaders and teachers. While this was a beneficial PL for classroom teachers, the original strategy to equip leaders of moderation requires strengthening and more effective communication, ensuring more consistent practices within and across schools. The quality of portfolios steadily improved, notably in the areas of a range of modes of tasks and alignment of tasks to curriculum content. Plans to add an additional layer of support to schools allocated to compiling portfolios for Moderation 2022 was also considered, mostly with support in assessment design and coverage of the achievement standard.
Professional Learning Communities
Pathway 1: PLC Foundations Program
Twelve schools (six colleges and six primary schools) participated in the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) Foundations program with varying success in leading teacher teams through an inquiry cycle. Where school leaders were driving this process with team leaders and teachers, success was evident. The program was adjusted to include layers of additional support, particularly to collaborative teams completing a cycle of inquiry. The feedback was to offer the PLC Foundations Program again in 2022.
Pathway 2: PLC Schools Ongoing
Schools following this pathway received professional learning by school need and invitation. School visits included discussion about creating systems of leadership-team leadership-teacher communication and support, strengthening structures and processes, as well as pedagogical content knowledge support. In 2021, 28 schools registered support for the TCEO offered pathways.
In 2021 the CAPP team facilitated the first-ever PLC Exchange with feedback indicating schools’ growing appetite for this well-paced, intentional, and mutually beneficial PL. A strong representation of colleges indicated an increase in commitment to PLC implementation and establishment.
Tom Hierck Session
International educational researcher, Mr Tom Hierck, facilitated a 90-minute professional learning session to Principals and TCEO Leadership at the Catholic College of Educational Leaders (CCEL) meeting in August covering three topics: exploring the relationship between Principal leaders and improving student learning experiences and outcomes, establishing presence, and instructional leadership. The session was designed to support understanding of what it means to be a Principal leader of learning in every school context.
PLC Central on Canvas
The intention of PLC Central was to provide in-time professional learning and support for schools as they establish themselves as professional learning communities. In 2021 participation continued to increase with school and team leaders accessing modules for individual, team and whole staff professional learning. The ‘Team Leader’, ‘Unstoppable Learning’ with Tom Hierck and ‘Videos and Podcasts’ were the most frequently accessed modules. It is the intention to continue developing modules in 2022 as schools communicate their particular needs.
‘Unstoppable Learning’ Online Conference
A blended model was developed for this professional learning including live morning addresses, participants accessing the 13 Modules covering topics such as PLC Leadership, Assessment Literacy, Collaborative Expertise, Learning Environments via PLC Central and live afternoon Q&A sessions with Tom Hierck. Canvas Analytics indicated 390 computers and 500+ page views during the four-day event. Feedback from schools overwhelmingly favoured this approach. Recordings of all live sessions with Tom Hierck were also included in the ‘Unstoppable Learning’ section in PLC Central, allowing schools access after the event.
Collaborative Team Leader professional development
Whole day Collaborative Team Leader professional learning was provided to several primary schools across the state supporting the efficient management of collaborative practices including leading and pacing inquiry, accessing best research, backwards design planning, developing rich assessment tasks, collecting evidence for instructional direction, and choosing appropriate pedagogies for content learning. Requests for support provided the impetus to develop statewide professional development for 2022 and also the development of the ‘Team Leader’ section in PLC Central.
2021 saw an overall increase in demand for facilitating professional learning on effective feedback practices and developing strategic timelines as schools prepared for continuous online feedback and a shift to summary reports by 2023. There were multiple requests for Backwards Design Planning support, with a focus on learning intentions, success criteria, and task design. Differentiation, effective pedagogy, and aligning scope and sequences with the Australian Curriculum were the key themes for support requested from secondary Colleges in 2021.
It is recognised that learners with gifts and talents need significant curriculum extension, enrichment or acceleration to develop essential skills and to be fully engaged in learning. With this in mind the 2021 key initiatives in Programs: Extended Learning include:
One Day School
2021 was the second full year of the One Day School (ODS) program, after being established in 2019 with a pilot program of six months duration.
In-Service Training in Gifted Education
2021 saw the beginning of in-service professional learning in gifted education for teachers from core Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) schools. Up-skilling teachers in our schools and building our capacity for gifted education in the region was an original goal of the ODS program.
Six teachers—one from each of our core schools—worked in the ODS for five weeks at a time. During the five weeks, each teacher received specific training in teaching strategies and pedagogy for gifted education, and then worked alongside the ODS teachers to deliver their own unit of work. Feedback was provided to the teachers and units of work were often shared back to core schools, enabling other teachers to learn from the experience.
Gifted Online Courses
The Department of Education runs Gifted Online (GO) courses for their gifted and highly able students. In 2021 the Tasmania Department of Education granted access to GO Courses to CET primary schools. Eighty-five students from 15 primary schools statewide took part at a cost of $1,000 per student (partially funded by the schools participating). The Department of Education will extend Gifted Online Courses to Year 10 for CET schools and colleges in 2022.
Excel in Learning Grants
The Excel in Learning Grants were designed to support schools to introduce new practices and programs that extend and enrich learning in ways that meet the needs of high ability students in Catholic schools. Grants provided schools with access to funding, to be used to establish innovative practices and programs that improve learning outcomes and engagement for this cohort of students.
Due to the disruptions of COVID-19 many of the project’s funds were carried over to 2021, with schools taking up the option to redirect the funds to Gifted Online course places for students in their respective schools. There are no more Excel in Learning Grants. The focus will now be on system initiatives.
Access to the AGAT (Acer General Abilities Test) was originally given to schools in 2019 who had Excel in Learning Grants to assist with Identification of gifted and highly able students. The schools who utilised the AGAT found it a useful tool in the identification of gifted/highly able students and those students (including gifted students) who may have a learning difficulty. The AGAT is now available to all CET schools to assist in identifying students with learning support needs and extension/acceleration needs. The Education Officers Extended Learning and Student Support continued to recommend the use of AGAT alongside PAT testing to inform educational adjustments and provisions for students.
Mini Certificate of Gifted Education (Mini CoGE)
In 2019 a need to upskill teachers in catering for gifted and highly able students was identified. For the third year in a row the TCEO offered 75% scholarships for CET teachers to complete the University of New South Wales Mini Certificate of Gifted Education in 2021. The 16-hour course was delivered over two days via an online platform due to COVID-19. Seventeen CET teachers (including one Principal and one Deputy Principal) and two CET Education Officers completed the course and now have this micro qualification in Gifted Education.
Ten Educational Assessments for CET students were funded by Programs: Extended Learning. Two specifically for giftedness (and possible grade skipping) and eight to investigate comorbid giftedness and learning disabilities (e.g. Dyslexia, ASD, ADHD).
Extended Learning Canvas Course
The Extended Learning Education Officer developed an Extended Learning CANVAS course to assist in the upskilling of teachers and to provide resources and information in the area of gifted education. The course comprises five learning modules and one resources module. Currently the Gifted 101, Identification, Educational Provisions, GLD (Gifted Learners with a Disability) and Resources modules are completed. Part of the Underachievement module was presented at the Extended Learning Key Teacher Day in October 2021. It will be completed and part of the Canvas Course in 2022. The modules are designed to enable individual, small group or whole staff professional learning.
Gifted and Talented Education Guidelines
The Gifted and Talented Education Guidelines were completed by the Education Officer: Extended Learning. They were approved on 24 August 2021. They are an update of the Gifted Education Guidelines. Notable inclusions are the differentiation between giftedness and talent, supported by Gagne’s 2020 Differentiation Model of Giftedness and Talented, and the definition and explicit inclusion of twice-exceptional or Gifted Learners with Disability.
Creative Storytelling Showcase
The Education Officer: Extended Learning and the Education Officer: Literacy worked together to run the second Creative Storytelling Showcase. The theme was Adventure. In 2021 the showcase was extended from just primary schools to include Prep to Year 12 students. The aims of the Showcase were:
Entries were shortlisted and awards were presented in person at St Mary’s College in Hobart. The Executive Director, and Director School Services: South participated in the awards ceremony. Prizes were presented to north and north west winners by the Education Office: Extended Learning.
Multi Age Academic Class (MAAC)
Permission was gained in 2020 from the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT) to run a pilot model of gifted education at a low Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) school. John Paul II Catholic School at Rokeby will run an extra primary class to cater for the specific needs of students who are highly capable, gifted and talented. This model of gifted education is well established in Australian with Opportunity Classes in New South Wales, and Multi Age Academic Classes in Western Australia
The extra class at John Paul II will be made up of students drawn from the Grade 4, 5 and 6 student cohorts who meet the determined eligibility criteria. It is envisaged that these students would come not only from southern Catholic Education Tasmania schools but that enrolments may also be sought from families in state or independent schools who are seeking a ‘fit for purpose’ option for their gifted children. There is currently no such model of gifted education in Tasmania so it is an opportunity to gain enrolments to our system. Moreover, for a Catholic school to provide leadership in this area will meet a number of the aspirations of the Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools.
The aims of the pilot include:
Due to COVID-19 disruptions and building works at John Paul II the expected start of the MAAC class is February 2024.
English as an Additional Language/Dialect
Enrolment numbers of refugee and migrant background students entering CET were unprecedented in their increase during 2021. In response to key school staff experiencing an annually increasing workload, an English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EALD) Key Teacher role description was developed and published for schools. As an additional response to increased EALD enrolment numbers, the statewide EALD Education Officer requested an Individual Flexibility Arrangement for a temporary reduction to 0.8FTE, in order to gain a new EALD regional role 0.2FTE in the north for 2022. The new position trial is aimed at more closely supporting the northern area with their increased enrolments, namely assisting with documentation development for EALD funding purposes.
A Memorandum of Understanding was developed between The Archdiocese of Hobart Catholic Care Multicultural Services Programs and the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office EALD for the shared service provision of bicultural worker assistance in TCEO led enrolments business.
A system drive for the comprehensive identification of EALD was continued. The EALD Education Officer worked closely with CET schools around enrolment data requirements. Work was also undertaken alongside TCEO Governance, to support the development of CET system enrolment forms in capturing a full background and identification of the CET migrant and refugee cohort.
In supporting the enrolments of refugee and asylum-seeking background students entering CET, frequent formalised discussions with current service providers occurred. Discussions were held to maintain current service delivery and stakeholder connections, as well as to enhance the ongoing provision of CET school-based training opportunities.
A comprehensive EALD professional learning suite was maintained. Two accredited EALD training courses were again offered statewide. Independent Schools Tasmania was included in cross sector professional learning opportunities offered by TCEO EALD. School based professional learning opportunities were held statewide with external providers via Education Officer liaison, and co-facilitated EALD specific events were provided.
A TCEO audit was begun of existing professional learning provided in the area of Trauma Informed Practice. EALD worked with Student Support and Well-being to identify existing professional learning. This work was begun with a view to ensuring consistency in resourcing remains across support areas, and to ensure that transparency continues across service areas.
The CET system documentation for Countering Violent Extremism was reviewed, updated, and re-developed.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
In 2021 CET entered into a 10-year licence agreement with the creators of the Dreaming Series to offer equitable digital access to the Tasmanian Dreaming stories. This has been a valuable addition to library resources.
In 2020, the TCEO entered into a research partnership with researchers from Deakin University and the University of Tasmania. Researchers from both universities have previous experience in working towards justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The research team is co-led by Associate Professor Joanne O’Mara from Deakin University, and Prof Kitty te Riele from the University of Tasmania. Colleagues on the project are Alfred Deakin, Prof Julianne Moss, Prof Tarquam McKenna, Associate /Professor Tim Corcoran and Dr Glenn Auld from Deakin and Prof Natalie Brown and Associate /Professor Clair Anderson from the University of Tasmania.
The aim of this research project is to document how schools are working towards the purposes of the grants of planning for and ensuring sustained and measurable educational improvements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Catholic schools across Tasmania. A priority is to document the reflections, suggestions and advice from schools and communities about what is working to improve the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
The research also aims to document the work that is already happening in Catholic schools in Tasmania with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their communities. In the final term of 2020, all 38 CET schools were invited to complete a census survey of the work and engagement with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and communities. The survey aimed to take a census of what is already being done, but also to record reflections and suggestions from schools and communities about how things might be improved. It was anticipated that school leadership teams would complete this survey with Aboriginal community members.
The research team also worked behind the scenes to undertake an extensive literature review that focuses on published literature from Australia and beyond about successful experiences, programs and interventions for First Nations people who have been colonised. They have also undertaken an analysis and reporting on the data that the TCEO has already collected on improving the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students within Catholic Education Tasmania.
The UTAS/Deakin Research Project continued in 2021 with the completion of three major deliverables: the literature review, the survey, and the light touch case studies. The Literature Review has been registered with the National Library and has an ISBN for publication purposes. It is freely available to all from the CET website. The review provided teachers and leaders support for targeted interventions and evidence-based practices.
The findings from the Survey captured both qualitative and quantitative data from 22 of the 38 Catholic schools currently operating in Tasmania. Surveys were completed either by a school leader and community member together or individually by a school leader.
The light touch case studies identified enablers and barriers to student success. The Final Report will be completed at the beginning of 2022. This research builds on the deep commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Catholic schools in Tasmania - the work of community members, teachers and school leaders.
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) continued to work with Catholic Education Tasmania in 2021 to provide both northern and southern schools with The Black Box Loan Resource and to facilitate the ningin tunapri Live Digital Excursion. A new agreement was signed to continue the provision of this valuable service throughout 2022.
CET staff in the primary schools attended the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network Meetings which covered the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) standards 1:4 Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and 2:4 Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Many CET Catholic schools are involved in the Student Success Grants aimed to improve the outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students. In establishing this initiative, the TCEO aimed to inspire school staff to be creative and courageous in raising aspirations for students, staff and communities and achieve excellence in learning and teaching animated by faith.
In 2021 the Student Support team supported all 38 Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) schools. The team consisted of a Manager, four full time Education Officers, a part time Sensory Education Officer, and a 0.5 FTE Administrative Officer.
In 2021, the number of students with a disability totalled 3,073 Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) students and 69 Kindergarten students. In 2021, there were 995 support services assigned to providers for language, speech, and psychological assessments. These assessments and reports identified students with disability, the recommendations to support students in their learning, provided insight for parents/carers, and assisted teachers in facilitating suitable adjustments.
The student support team serviced CET schools through advising and consulting predominantly with Student Support Coordinators, especially supporting those new to the role. When appropriate, the Student Support team liaised with leadership and support personnel. The team were occupied with screening and testing students, sourcing and providing specific professional learning, assistance in sourcing allied health professionals, and identifying students with disability. The team supported teachers with planning, differentiation, creating adjustments, learning plan preparation, and transition planning.
The Student Support team continually modified workloads in reaction to the ongoing challenges generated by COVID-19 and individually responded to CET personnel needs and requests including providing phone calls, and providing meetings and professional learning via zoom sessions.
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data
The student support team collaborated with Student Support Coordinators, NCCD teams and school personnel to build the capacity and understanding of the NCCD, and the processes required including the distinct stages throughout the school year of planning, implementation, validation and reflection.
This work facilitated a further identification and increase in students with a disability, greater accuracy in the level of adjustments and enhanced practices in the collection of quality evidence.
In 2021 the Student Support team led state-wide moderation with attendance by the majority of CET schools. Moderation empowered attendees to engage in professional conversations, align their professional judgements with colleagues, and supported consistent, reliable, and defensible decisions to generate accurate data. Attendees were equipped to take the moderation processes back to their school and included many schools moderating regionally.
Upgrade to Student Information System
Several schools were involved in piloting the improvement process of a redeveloped student information system. The upgrades enabled greater communication between the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) and Student Support Coordinators, improvement of the application processes, and facilitated pathways for submissions. These pilot schools were able to contribute to the vital aspects to create a user-friendly system.
The student support team completed new CANVAS modules to support the professional knowledge of staff and consequently inform practice. Modules include a structured teaching program known as TEAACH and Supporting children who have experienced trauma. The team also explored and completed podcasts as a new method for delivery of professional learning.
Students with Disability Loading Settings Review
Many CET schools participated in the Students with Disability Loading Settings Review for the Tasmanian Department of Education, Skills and Employment conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers. The project involved the completion of the system supports through the sector survey and school supports with 16 schools nominated to complete a school survey. The project overview was to develop an evidence base of the cost of adjustments for students with disability. Student Support and schools were required to consider the wide and varied range of adjustments made for students and their associated costs.
The Student Support team, in collaboration with Speech Pathologists in all regions around Tasmania, continued to actively support students with difficulties in language acquisition. The emphasis was to further build capacity by developing working relationships between Speech Pathologists and schools to move from a medical model to an educational model.
Professional Learning occurred throughout the year with face-to-face delivery and utilising zoom sessions. Teacher Assistants and Student Support Coordinators had the opportunity to engage in professional learning regarding student behaviour with an emphasis on ADHD. Student Support Coordinators completed days three and four of the User Level B course training by Pearson fully subsidised by CET.
Work Health and Safety
Injury rates for 2021 in both schools and colleges were slightly above average but this increase was not statistically significant as the difference can be explained by the normal variation in injury rates that would be expected from year to year. Near miss reporting continued to increase which indicates a positive safety culture in Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) schools and colleges.
Staff injury rates remained steady and likewise so did the number of associated workers’ compensation claims. Improved claims management saw a reduction in the claim award average.
2021 saw the introduction of a new online college activity report. This form, which enabled the colleges to report both to the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) and to their boards, saw an increase in college reporting of Work Health and Safety (WHS) related activities and greater visibility of these activities. Where targets were set for activities e.g. inspections or compliance checks, colleges exceeded the targets set.
Another key initiative for 2021 was to increase senior management advocacy for best practice WHS in CET schools and, in so doing, demonstrating compliance with officer due diligence requirements. A schedule of school visits for Directors was implemented which saw directors engaging in a WHS discussion with Principals. This application of leadership focus on WHS is an important element of a positive safety culture and its advancement was reflected by increased reporting of WHS issues during 2021.
The main impact of COVID-19 on school operations over the course of 2021 was in the form of activity restrictions as opposed to the implications of infection. Term Four 2021 finished the same week as the opening of Tasmania’s borders to unrestrained interstate travel on 15 December 2021 and thus the impact of COVID-19 infection was not felt until the commencement of Term One 2022.
Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic reached Tasmania in February 2020 the TCEO deployed a school COVID-19 Safety Plan. The 12th version of this plan was published 16 February 2021. The number of versions of the plan reflects the high level of ongoing regulatory change with respect to the management of COVID-19.
The CET COVID-19 Safety Plan sought to balance pragmatic compliance with pandemic management requirements and the delivery of educational services to the maximum extent possible across the range of typical school activities. The plan set out CET’s risk management settings and associated infection potential reduction measures and was CET’s key instrument for supporting the safe delivery of face-to-face education in an environment where COVID-19 transmission was a real threat.
Risk and Compliance
Other than child safety, the demand on resources due to the COVID-19 management response impeded the capacity for the RWC team to progress system improvements in the enterprise risk management space and allocated areas of compliance management such as copyright and data breach management.
With respect to child safety, CET continued to make strong progress with respect to building a child safety culture. This goal was advanced through our ongoing effort to align our child safety program to the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The rollout of improved training materials for staff, improved reporting processes and the introduction of a review mechanism to drive program improvement were key achievements for 2021.
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:
Finance Management System (TechnologyOne and Compass)
The Finance System Pilot Schools, Holy Rosary Catholic School and St John’s Catholic School, completed their annual audits in TechOne, and the Project and School Finance Teams continued to review this process and work towards improvements and automations within TechOne for the End of Year Audit Processes.
The Finance Management System (FMS) Project Team rolled out the new system to another seven shared funded schools during 2021, bringing the total number of schools in TechOne Finance by the end of 2021 to nine. March 2021 was Go-Live for St Patrick’s Catholic School, St Thomas More’s Catholic School and St Aloysius Catholic College along with completing Annual Billing within Compass / TechOne at this time, which was an immense undertaking for school staff and the project team. October 2021 was Go-Live for St Therese’s Catholic School, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, St Paul’s Catholic School and St Brigid’s Catholic School New Norfolk. While these schools were getting use to the new systems for the last few months of the year they were also preparing their Compass data for Compass Billing for 2022.
During the course of the year, the Project Team continued to further develop, test and deploy additional functionality within TechOne including automated ‘Extract, Transfer and Load’ (ETL) Processes for schools and system administration, Compass Event Payments, Compass Payment Plans, Debt Management Solution, Billing Processes, specialised end of year processes, scripts to assist with Schools End of Financial Year and Audit Preparation, as well as additional Financial Reporting functionality for schools.
The Finance Teams also launched a ONCE FMS discovery process for direct funded colleges. An FMS Discovery Survey was completed by all colleges and two workshop sessions were conducted during the year, one on TechOne/Compass Finance and one on TechOne Payroll. The wider ONCE Discovery Process resulted in a decision to defer the project and to implement a system-wide Learning Management System as a first priority.
The 2020 audit was completed and signed off with some changes to the treatment of Funds Held in Trust for shared funded schools’ restricted reserves. Improvements were made to the Technology One Financial Management System during 2021 to allow for further automation of the system and enhanced reporting. A project ledger was implemented to strengthen controls around budgeting and reporting for capital works and other projects. The budget process for the 2022 budget was completed and the budget was approved by the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania in December.
Further financial management improvements are earmarked for 2022 with the continued development of financial reporting within the project ledger, the implementation of Optical Character Recognition of invoice information, and the transition of the Long Service Leave Centralised Fund into TechnologyOne.
The Centralised Payroll team achieved their primary function of processing 26 fortnightly salary payments in a timely and efficient manner as well as providing support and guidance to the 27 schools participating in the centralised system.
Centralised Payroll continued to work through the implementation of the new payroll system—TechOne—during 2021. This included further configuration work, testing and training in addition to that undertaken in 2020.
Centralised Payroll together with the Professional Learning team produced an online Canvas course for employees that was released in April 2021 to help prepare employees for the change to the new payroll system. Centralised Payroll also worked closely with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) team and CENet to move Identity Management over to TechOne.
Centralised Payroll went live with TechOne on 22 September 2021. This was a massive achievement by all of those involved and the team will continue to improve the processes and use of the system’s functionality over the coming years.
Visits to shared funded schools were undertaken at the end of the year to commence preparations for 2022 payroll processing, this was the first time this work had been undertaken in the new payroll system. A review of this process will be conducted in 2022 to see if any efficiencies can be gained.
School Finance Team
2020 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 2020 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 2022 Budgets.
Direct Funded Schools
Direct funded schools’ audited financial statements for 2020 were reviewed and reported to the Resources and Sustainability Standing Committee (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.
Response to Federal and State Funding Agendas
Senior members of the Finance Team kept abreast of issues relating to Federal funding by participating in 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 phased implementation over the three period 2020 to 2022 of the direct measure of family income as the basis of the Capacity to Contribute included in the Federal Government’s Quality Schools Funding Package 2019 to 2029 and the implications of this change on funding for schools.
Discussions were also conducted with the Tasmanian State Department of Education on the issue of the implementation of the direct measure of family income in the State’s calculation of funding entitlements for Tasmanian Catholic schools.
Financial Projections, Modelling and Benchmarking
A review of the Shared Funded Schools Budget Model was conducted and a two-year program of changes was approved by the RSSC for implementation over 2021 and 2022. These changes provide additional budget allocations to shared funded schools in the areas of staffing, general resources and maintenance.
The shared funded schools Capital Debt Servicing Fund Forecast Model was updated to inform the development of the Capital Forward Program for shared funded schools.
The financial performance of schools was analysed and financial indicators and benchmarking reports were produced for shared funded and direct funded schools.
Projections for government funding for the period to 2032 were produced based on information provided by both Federal and State Governments.
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 2021.
Major Capital Works
Capital Grants Program
The Capital Grants Program, administered through the Block Grant Authority (BGA), provides Capital Grants Program (Australian Government) and State Capital Assistance (Tasmanian Government) funding for capital works in Catholic Education Tasmania 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 acts as the Tasmanian Catholic Block Grant Authority (BGA), for project approvals and the allocation of State and Commonwealth Grant Funding and Capital Debt Servicing Funding.
Shared Funded Schools Capital Debt Servicing Fund Projects
The Capital Debt Servicing Fund (CDSF) is a fund that 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.
Projects are commonly funded from multiple sources, listed above.
The following projects were completed in 2021:
The following projects were commenced in 2021: (Construction)
The following projects were commenced in 2021: (Design)
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 2021:
The following projects were commenced and/or completed in 2021:
Working Together - Early Years Program (3-Year-Olds)
In 2019, 2020 and into 2021, Catholic Education Tasmania 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 2021, construction was completed on the first five schools under tranche 1a and 1b of this program.
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:
These three sites will join Guilford Young College and St Mary’s College in providing senior secondary education in southern Tasmania in 2023.
In 2021, construction works commenced at St Virgil’s Catholic College and MacKillop Catholic College. These works and additional stages of construction will continue into 2022.
Design and construction documentation was also nearing completion at the end of 2021 for the senior secondary school at St Aloysius Catholic College, Huntingfield. Construction works are anticipated to commence in 2022, with completion expected in 2023.
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 were completed 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 2021. The total expenditure for the year for the program was $1,661,727.
In 2021, the TCEO Facilities Team restructured the existing tree risk assessment program to encompass state-wide consultant engagement. Selected arborists were engaged in the north, north west, and south to carry out a new approach to executing tree risk assessments.
In 2021, all shared funded schools had a dedicated risk assessment completed identifying the condition and safety of large trees around the state. Remediation works will continue throughout 2021 and 2022, with 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.
Asbestos and Environmental
A program to remove and or manage identified asbestos in shared funded schools first commencing in 2019 continued to address higher risk areas within schools. This program was ongoing in 2021 and will continue into 2022. The total expenditure for the year for the program was $1,246,903.
Playground Compliance Audits
In 2019, action plans were developed by schools in conjunction with the TCEO, and corrective works were documented. In 2021, these works commenced and will continue into 2022.
Roof Condition and Safety
Roof inspections were completed in 2019 and the data collected was used for the development of a roof maintenance program (shared funded schools), which was tendered in late 2019. In 2021, these maintenance works were underway and will continue into 2022.
The existing roof maintenance program is scheduled to be retendered in 2022.
The installation of roof access safety equipment to buildings in shared funded schools was completed.
The Facilities team commenced planning a strategic and shared funded ‘School Master Plan Framework’. The framework will enable shared funded schools to strategically map five to ten years of strategic growth, incorporating educational and pedagogical modelling, major/minor capital works, preventative maintenance, and school growth strategies. Master planning works will formally commence in 2022 with each school being assigned a principal consultant to deliver the framework.
2021 continued to see growth and change within the Information and Communication Technology systems and services.
Cloud, Identity and Infrastructure Team
The Cloud, Identity and Infrastructure (CII) team assisted St Aloysius Catholic College after the acquisition of the building at 50 Huntingfield Avenue to set up new systems and services to enable administrative staff to be located on the new site.
The team trialled Wi-Fi mapping technology which enabled the visualisation Wi-Fi to assist schools in understanding the current gaps and overlaps and plan for the future. This allowed schools to make informed decisions regarding the placement and effectiveness of Wi-Fi network access points.
2021 saw the CII Team meeting regularly with the TCEO Facilities team to create protocols for streamlining the provision of new or upgraded spaces at schools. This process was created to ensure critical school systems and services are taken into consideration as part of building projects.
Throughout the year the team worked on enhancing the school and corporate file system security and reliability through migrating data from legacy appliances to enterprise grade highly available and redundant data stores.
Throughout 2021 the team continued to support the ongoing automation, maintenance, and management of data centres, networking, identity, event management, systems design, security, and architecture.
Enterprise Systems and Business Intelligence Team
Mid-year 2021 the Enterprise Systems and Business Intelligence (ES) Team was created to look after systems that run across the enterprise including Compass, Canvas, FileMaker, and SeeSaw.
The ES Team played an integral part in reporting data to the government on behalf of all schools. There were several collections held throughout 2021 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 support of Canvas the team improved previously ad hoc processes using data to provide reports for schools on a bi-annual basis in a consistent and standardised manner.
The team implemented Jira to help triage, collaborate and support schools in an organised way. The team are now able to report workload on requests, incidents, problems, and project work to help forecast future business needs.
In late December the team ensured that the Compass school rollover process was successfully completed for all 27 schools prior to the 2022 school year commencing.
Client Services Team
Throughout the year the Client Services (CS) Team liaised with shared funded schools to offer to assist migrate their old Library Servers to a new cloud-based Library system. The team negotiated a bulk discount which enabled an opt-in approach which is to recognise that each school is at a different phase of its Library journey. Most schools that have moved have praised the new system and the capabilities it offers over the older technology that was previously used.
Through 2020, 13 shared funded schools joined the ICT Jira ticketing system and 2021 saw the remaining 14 become a part of the centralised service. In 2022 feedback will be sought on the uptake, usage, performance, and practices in order to improve overall service delivery.
The CS team continued to provide state-wide ICT support to CET schools and the corporate office, and undertook trial school printing solution to assist better understand their printing behaviours and associated costs.
Infrastructure and Architecture Review
A recommendation from the Steering Committee overseeing the project to extend three southern colleges to years 11 and 12 was to complete a whole of system Infrastructure Review which saw the TCEO ICT Team visiting and collaborating with college based ICT staff across the state. The review highlighted the many similarities and differences between schools, but the overall trend was clear; that no matter the system or technology that is in place the teams are all striving for excellence of service with a student focused approach.
The TCEO engaged an external cybersecurity firm to proactively review the implementation of new core foundational services. This proactive engagement reviewed the final configuration settings and provided proactive weekly procedures or configuration changes to help work towards an overall best practice security design, policies, and procedures.
Service Management Uplift
2021 saw the continued growth of the ITIL Service Management System for ICT (JIRA). The support portal had reached 13 schools by the end of 2020 and the remaining schools were rolled out through 2021. The TCEO ICT peer review Change Advisory Board (CAB) was formalised and held every Monday. The CAB team approved or denied over 150 changes made to production systems which were required to include rollout plans, backout plans, communications plans, risk ratings, etc.
Through 2021 the ICT Team formalised the 2020 trial of the standardised communication of System Outages/Interruptions and Security Notices. Whether it is an unplanned system outage or a feature upgrade, staff should feel confident that they have received appropriate email communications, containing enough information based on the basics: who, what, when, where, how, and why.
Through 2021 the goal of the Knowledge Management System was to ensure the right information was available to the right people at the right time and it currently holds project management, policies, processes, procedures, reference lookups, how-to articles, system diagrams, templates, etc.
Centralised Learning System Review
A recommendation from the Working Party involved in the project to extend three colleges to year 11 and 12 was to complete a whole of system Learning Management System Review. This saw the TCEO Project team and ICT team visiting and collaborating with college-based staff across the state. The goal of the review was to create a requirements matrix per college to ensure any recommendation for these colleges considered the statewide needs. The review highlighted that every school is at a different phase in their journey, from 14 years on one Learning Management System to only recently implementing a new system. In the end there were more similarities than differences between schools.
In week four of Term One, 22 February 2021, the Education Standing Committee (ESC) met for the third time since October 2019. The Acting Executive Officer Jennifer White welcomed new members - Anita Cunningham, Christina Gretton, Tom Dorey, and Lisa Fenning. It was noted that new members serve a three-year term on the ESC.
The ESC reviewed the TCEO Standardised Testing Guidelines and provided extensive amendments and recommendations for consideration. This document was created to ensure a system-wide approach to undertaking standardised testing in schools and to facilitate the collection of robust educational data to monitor the growth of student learning at a system level. In addition, it was recommended the CET Executive Director seek clarification with Education Secretary Tim Bullard, and Independent Schools Tasmania (IST) Executive Director Tony Crehan, around the possibilities for further cross-sectoral sharing of test data.
The Draft CET School Disciplinary Policy and Draft CET School Disciplinary Procedure were disseminated, and the Acting ESC Executive Officer and the Executive Officer Governance and Policy outlined the consultation process undertaken with all CET Principals state-wide in regional meetings north and south.It was noted that the philosophical purpose of both the Policy and Procedure document was discussed at length in Principal meetings, particularly in the south of the State.
In consultation with Executive Officer Governance and Policy, the Acting Executive Officer reported that the CET Assessment Reporting and Moderation Guidelines, due for review, would eventually transform to a Tier Two policy as specific elements related to reporting, align directly to the Australian Education Regulation 2013. Collaboration between the Curriculum, Assessment and Professional Practice (CAPP) team and the Pedagogy, Assessment, Feedback and Reporting Review (PAFARR) team began in Term Two 2021.
An extraordinary meeting was requested to discuss the Documenting and Sharing Learning in Kindergarten document. This document was disseminated to schools for review in 2020 and the document was tabled for review in May. Overall ESC members were satisfied with the content, and minimal changes were recommended.Minor revisions were noted and amended in subsequent meetings. In July 2021, the Documenting and Sharing Learning in Kindergarten Policy was recommended by ESC to CECT for final approval and endorsement.
In week six of Term Two, 31 May 2021, the Education Standing Committee (ESC) met for the second time in 2021. The Acting Executive Officer tabled the CET Gifted Education Guidelines. Considerable discussion ensued regarding the definition of ‘gifted’ and/or ‘gifted and talented’. It was noted that further consensus was required on the emerging awareness and understanding of Gifted and Talented students. This discussion was referred to the CET Education Officer: Extended Learning for clarification. The Acting Executive Officer and Executive Secretary met with the Education Officer: Extended Learning and proposed modifications were made; including a short rationale defining the difference between ‘Gifted’ and ‘Talented.’
Concerns were raised regarding the format of TCEO and CET document templates. The inclusion of a rationale was queried and also that general principles would sit under a rationale at the beginning of the template. The Executive Secretary noted that the first point of call regarding this matter would be consultation with the Executive Officer: Governance and Policy. It was confirmed that when CECT last reviewed and updated the structure of TCEO and CET document templates, consensus was reached that the term ‘rationale’ was less contemporary than ‘purpose’ and made little sense to stakeholders.
ESC members recommended that a master comprehensive definitions document should be created accessible for all TCEO staff.
In week one of Term Three, an extraordinary Education Standing Committee (ESC) meeting took place both in person and via Zoom Communications at the Father John Wall Centre.
The Gifted Education Guidelines were again tabled, with all revisions and recommendations undertaken post the 31 May ESC meeting. The Acting Executive Officer and Education Officer: Extended Learning: tabled the CET Gifted Education Guidelines with ESC members. Minor changes to the document were suggested and with a final edit, the Gifted Education Guidelines were recommended for final approval and endorsement by CECT.
The ESC Acting Executive Officer noted the continued progression of the School Disciplinary Policy and Procedure. TCEO personnel planned to meet and finalise all suggestions provided from the State-wide Principal meetings held in February 2021. It was noted that as a complimentary document, the CET Enrolment Policy would also be finalised.
People and Culture Standing Committee
The Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT) has established the People and Culture Standing Committee (PCSC) to assist it in its oversight of a range of human resources, leadership and organisational culture and development responsibilities for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hobart.
In its work, the committee draws inspiration and direction from the Commission’s Vision and Mission Statements and the Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools and 2018-2020 Catholic Education Tasmania Strategic Priorities and in particular those priorities specific to ‘Nurture leadership for all’.The work of the PCSC also seeks to have a futures focus.
In the 2021 School Year the significant activities of the PCSC included:
More specifically the following have been noted:
The PCSC is cognisant that the Standing Committee Terms of Reference are due for review, and with the benefit of knowledge developed over three years of operation.
In addition, the PCSC has initiated a review of the process and efficiency of policy review, and intends to progress this early in 2022.
Resources and Sustainability Standing Committee
Throughout 2021 the Resources and Sustainability Standing Committee (RSSC) came together for five meetings. The RSSC considered the 2020 Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) Audit Reports, Schools Audit Reports and Audited Financial Statements, along with the 2020 Resource Indicators for all schools, February and August Census Enrolments, and the final budgets for schools.
The RSSC continued to have oversight of the Schools Resourcing Committee (SRC), the Capital Priorities Committee (CPC) and the Long Service Leave (LSL) Centralised Fund as well as reviewing policies relating to its field of governance.
Throughout the year, the quarterly financial reports of the TCEO, schools and the Long Service Leave Centralised Fund were considered, and work continued for CET’s involvement in the Catholic Church’s response to the Modern Slavery Act.
RSSC also considered recommendations made by the CPC for major capital works applications, self-funded project applications, applications for BGA Grants and State Capital Grants, and provided recommendations to the Catholic Education Commission Tasmania (CECT) for approval. Projects commenced for capital works to accommodate students and staff at the three colleges extending to year 11 and 12 from 2023.
The SRC’s recommendations regarding 2022 allocations of additional year streams were considered and the RSSC provided recommendations to CECT for approval.
At the December 2021 meeting, the RSSC recommended the final 2022 TCEO Budget to the CECT for approval. The RSSC farewelled some retiring members and looks forward to welcoming new members in 2022.