Quality Catholic Schooling

The Quality Catholic Schooling (QCS) Project was established in late 2008 to create and implement a whole-school planning and improvement framework for all Catholic schools in Western Australia.

Reporting to the Executive through the Deputy Director, the project brief is administered by a Project Leader, a Consultant with international standing in similar work and a working party drawn from schools and CEWA personnel. QCS has two significant work strands.

Work Strand 1

To devise a whole-school review and improvement framework for all schools to use inself-review.

In addition to focusing on school improvement initiatives, the data obtained from the review will assist the system to better respond to the needs of schools and to meet its external accountabilities.

Work Strand 2

To support and deepen leadership capacity at all levels with a view to the further development of reflective professional cultures in our schools.

Five Guiding Propositions

The project group has developed five propositions to guide the framework design. These propositions are central to an understanding of the project and have been drawn from research and experience to capture what we know about how organisations such as schools grow and learn.

Proposition 1: The quality of a school cannot exceed the quality of its teachers and staff

This proposition reminds us that the work of school improvement is the work of developing people. Schools don’t change until people do and of a good improvement framework will always be focused on staff development and support.

Proposition 2: The quality of an organisation is determined by the willingness and capacity of its people to learn

This proposition reminds us that organisations improve by reflecting on experience and by a shared commitment to professional learning at all levels. It also reminds us that we need to protect the capacity of people to learn by ensuring that they have the energy and motivation to engage in honest improvement.

Proposition 3: An organistion is made up of conversations and the quality of these conversations is an indicator of the strength of the organisation

This proposition reminds us that all action is guided by a set of assumptions and beliefs (mental models) about what has happened or needs to happen in any given circumstance. Good professional conversation and structures that promote it ensure that action is guided by intelligent, reflective and shared mental models.

Proposition 4: The map is not the territory

This proposition reminds us that all frameworks, policies, processes etc (‘maps’) need to be flexible and sensitive to the initial conditions of schools. Schools are complex organisations and will always need the flexibility to adapt frameworks like QCS to their local context.

Proposition 5: In the soil of this, trust and enlightened leadership are the key nutrients

The philosophy of QCS is unashamedly optimistic about our schools and believes that no one cares more about our schools than the people who work in them. With trust and a supportive culture of leadership at all levels within our system, real and sustainable improvements in our schools will be achieved.

Key Developments To-Date

A framework of review components has been developed and the process piloted in 16 schools in late 2009. 

The framework in full began operating in Western Australian Catholic schools in 2011 and involves all 24 components being reviewed in a six-year cycle. 

During 2013 the framework has been reviewed.

Contact Us

For further information about the QCS Project, please contact Marnie Platt, QCS Administrative Assistant, on 08 6380 5116 or email platt.marnie@ceo.wa.edu.au

Enquiries from within the Catholic Education system can also access up to date project information via the Intranet.