Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Regional Director's meeting

Regional Directors Briefing
Ballarat Lodge
Regional Overview

Matt Dunkley the Regional Director introduced new members of the regional office.
Matt showed us some data which gave us a sense of the character of South West Region: 1.3 billion Dollar budget for our region,
25% of the States population and a very young population.
Children with disabilities more than our share - half of the state.
399 schools with 233,365 students with 90,000 in private schools
Student absenteeism of 15.8 days per students with our region the worst.
NAPLAN: we are below in reading in year 3 and 5.
698 children in 'out of home care'
students with disabilities are at high levels
900 children who left before year 12, 78% of our students stayed to year 12 which is low statewide at 86%
96% of students who started VCE finished but results were low.
83% of high performing students went to university and 25% of low performers went to university.
Regional growth for 2013-14 is 2% above the state average. The growth gap will get wider.
new approach for capital infrastructure to be announced in April- May? Matt conceded that we are struggling to deal with the challenges above and regional growth especially in the designated growth areas.

Workforce Planning

Brian Wheeler and Geoff Fleet (They talked at our network conference last year) discussed issues we need to keep on top of -
Monitoring staff who are absent without leave
Census Day on 28th February ( enrolment numbers will reflect our SRP - student resource package at the and of term 1)
Annual Reports by 31st March
Before 1st March is the cut of date for informing staff in writing that they are not performing effectively. Progression is effective on the 1st May. New Performance and Development process will be out early March .The new process will be in place from May 1st.
Recruitment Online to be updated in term 2.
Teachers need to be registered with the VIT.(Same with ES staff with their.Working with Children check)
Performance and development process requires principals to plan a calendar of professional learning opportunities.
October 1st is the cut off date for staff on family leave staff contact schools about their intentions.
Remember that graduates are on probation and it is a big decision to give ongoing employment to probationary teachers.
New proposals regarding additional powers for principals to be announced throughout the year.
All employment now has to be attached to a vacancy.

Lisa Black ( Bastow Institute)

Lisa talked about Bastow's leadership and management programs.The department has a strategy for building the capacity, quality and supply of Victorian government school leaders. Lisa talked about getting Bastow out into rural areas using regional facilities and she wants feedback from us about our needs.
They have 41 courses and programs running currently and over 12 000 people have accessed their facilities. Lisa promoted a number of courses, in particular the 'Principal Preparation' program for aspiring principals and the 'Strategic Management for Principals' program for new principals
Bastow uses the Perkin's Harvard Learning model.
Evaluations from principals have been very positive - 92%
She also promoted workshops and polycom twilight sessions. ( One session in May for creative and productive use of technology looks promising. No talk about the cost involved in accessing Bastow courses or the added burden in small schools of having to pay for CRTs and travel to Melbourne.)

Preparing for the 2014 school year ( Jeff Cooper, Lesley Hubble and Steve Boyle)

New eduGate site promises to be a new one stop principal centric site.( Book marked that back at school. it is about time they did this)
New suspension and expulsion guidelines introduced. More information to come.
Enrolment capacity meetings scheduled for this region, this year, regarding enrolment ceilings.
Change in direction regarding capital which will be tied to school growth.
Lesley discussed emergency management plans ( Timely, given recent bushfires in our region)
Regional based school reviewer training to start this year.

This meeting more so than any other regional meeting was very brief( 2 hours, although still open to being hijacked by vested interests such as Bastow ) and very 'corporate'. the data was interesting but it could have been emailed to us. I heard the HR stuff last year and the 'proof of the pudding' for Bastow is always price, availability and relevance.

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