The Quality Catholic Schooling (QCS) Project was established in late 2008 and rolled out in all Catholic schools here in WA in 2011. Essentially the QSC is a framework, created as a whole-school planning and improvement tool. The QCS framework has number of components that need to be reviewed over a five year cycle and is based upon the following 5 guiding propositions:
Five Guiding Propositions
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 a good improvement framework will always be focused on staff development and staff support.
Proposition 2: The quality of a school is determined by the willingness and capacity of its people to learn.
This proposition reminds us that schools 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: A school is made up of conversations and the quality of these conversations is an indicator of the strength of a school.
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 or ‘maps’ need to be flexible and sensitive to the 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.