In 2013, the Catholic Schools Office will undertake a study into the provision of secondary education in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to ensure that the diocese is able to meet the future needs of students in Catholic secondary schools.
Director of Schools, Ray Collins, said the study will provide an opportunity for the diocese’s evolving school system to embrace change and face the future, whilst endeavouring to enhance educational outcomes for students.
“We want to hear from our community and education experts on the best ways for us to provide the highest possible quality education across the diocese. By examining the current provision of schooling in our secondary schools and exploring the possible options for growth and development, this study will ensure that the great strengths of our current arrangements are retained, while providing the opportunity to respond to change and demographic pressure with innovation and creativity,” Ray Collins said.
This is a positive step for the diocese and has the full support and active engagement of Bishop Bill Wright.
“Secondary enrolments in the diocese are at a maximum in some regions and each year the CSO is forced to turn away students. This study will assist the diocese in planning for future secondary schooling,” Ray Collins said.
The study will provide the diocese with the opportunity to consider all its secondary schools and the impacts of recent changes in secondary education.
Changes include the recent abolition of the School Certificate, the change in the minimum school leaving age to 17, the introduction of the Record of School Achievement (ROSA), changes to pedagogical practice influenced by the greater use of technology in schools and the huge growth in vocational education.
Each school community will have unique aspirations and issues to be addressed and these will be considered in the light of current best practices in the provision of secondary education. The study will involve consultation with parents, staff and students of all diocesan secondary schools including the opportunity for submissions, interviews, surveys and meetings as well as seeking the advice of other Catholic school systems that have addressed change in secondary schooling in recent years.
This process will commence in June and aims to be concluded by the end of the year. A specific page will be available on the CSO website shortly that will provide further information as the study progresses.