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VIA is THE WAY to understand Catholic School Improvement in Townsville Catholic Education Office (TCEO) Schools.

Since 1986 the Townsville Diocese has been on a journey of review and reflection around School Renewal and School Improvement.

We see school improvement as everyone’s business – school leadership and boards, staff and students, parents and parish.  It takes the whole school community to keep improving a school.

Our major focus is on student improvement.  Indeed, the whole school improvement process enables school communities to examine the way in which they work together so that they can continue to develop and adapt their practice to better meet the needs of the children they serve.  These needs encompass improved outcomes for students, including their levels of achievement and well-being.

In a Church context we know that “the Catholic school will continually re-evaluate its own performance, structures, and processes, its relationship with parents and its community, as well as Catholic education at large, so that there is a consonance between the Christian values it espouses and its actual practice.”

Leadership plays a major role in school improvement.  School principals in particular are charged with creating a “moving school”. Principals in moving schools “have a strong sense of shared purpose” (Fleming & Kleinhenz, 2007) in developing their school’s culture to create an effective school where students learn to their best.

Rosenholtz (1989) suggests schools with strong professional learning and performance cultures have the capacity to improve and move forward to become effective schools for their communities. Teacher effectiveness contributes significantly to a school improving.

School leaders in the Townsville Diocese are called to use the Characteristics of Effective Catholic Schools to

  1. Review and Reflect;
  2. Plan and
  3. Take Action to bring about sustained and meaningful school improvement-to ensure their schools move and improve

The Characteristics of Effective Catholic Schools as set out here in VIA provide more depth of understanding around each Characteristic and how a school community might strive to improve and become a flourishing school in these areas.  This striving for improvement can be measured against school performance

So start the school improvement conversation and enjoy the journey of moving your school towards being the most effective school it can be and may VIA open the door to successful school renewal and improvement.