BCE showcases school improvement on a global scale


​​(From right to left) Head of School Progress & Performance Derek McLean, Head of System Performance and Improvement Ken Sawers BCE's Strategy and Performance Executive Karen Harrison, Manager School Improvement Michael O’Sullivan​, and BCE Deputy Executive Director Diarmuid O'Riordan. ©Brisbane Catholic Education.

FIVE Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) leaders presented at the prestigious International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) in Dublin in January, proudly showcasing BCE’s System-Wide School Improvement journey. 

Speaking in front of 600 delegates from across 45 different countries, the BCE executives shared their findings alongside delegates including Marist Schools Australia. 
ICSEI is an opportunity for educational leaders to explore international perspectives on the role and impact of quality professional education in the context of school effectiveness and improvement.  
BCE's Strategy and Performance Executive Karen Harrison described the conference as affirming, highlighting the alignment between BCE's current practices and international research on school improvement strategies.  
“It was affirming hearing other speakers talk about their experiences and insights, which echoed the importance of prioritising student learning and wellbeing, and underscored the value of effective shared leadership models,” she says. 
“These discussions validated our approach and reinforced the significance of these principles in fostering thriving educational ecosystems. 
“So much can be learned from sharing our experiences, talking about what did and didn’t work. 
“Many delegates applauded our honesty and openness to share our improvement journey.”  
Karen emphasises the importance of perseverance when undertaking system-wide school improvement, which for BCE was a three-year process.  
"We've had many learnings over this time,” she says.
"Our research underscores the importance of providing personalised support to schools based on their unique needs, fostering collaboration among schools and their leaders, and placing equal emphasis on student wellbeing and academic excellence. 
“These recommendations not only resonate with our schools and students but are also in line with international best practices.” 
BCE’s Deputy Executive Director Diarmuid O'Riordan described the ICSEI Congress as an avenue for BCE to showcase its transformational journey and forge connections with other schooling systems. 
“At BCE we are committed to educational innovation,” he says. 
“This delegation underscores our dedication to elevating educational standards and fostering excellence across our 146 schools.  
“As the journey continues, BCE remains steadfast in its pursuit of positive change, both locally and globally.” 
Diarmuid O'Riordan and Karen Harrison, along with Head of System Performance and Improvement Ken Sawers, Head of School Progress & Performance Derek McLean, and Manager School Improvement Michael O’Sullivan, now look forward to presenting the next part of their journey, BCE’s System-Wide School Improvement Journey, at the next ICSEI Conference in Melbourne in February 2025. 

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