In formulating our Strategic Plan, the College Leadership Team (CLT) and the College Advisory Board, undertook a thorough and inclusive process; consulting students, parents, Staff and Board members over several months and many meetings.
Throughout this process, all parties were challenged to acknowledge and celebrate our strengths as a College; to identify areas for growth and challenge, and to consider opportunities for improvement in the future. The new Strategic Plan (2020–2024) will outline the College’s ambition and strategic priorities for the next five years and the outcomes against which future performance will be measured. In essence, this plan will seek to outline our hopes and aspirations for the foreseeable few years and guide the manner in which we direct and implement such change.
We look forward to next year with much optimism as we plan for sustained school improvement and growth. While details about the respective annual priorities, timelines and resourcing are still being finalised, some changes to the leadership structure have already been implemented with a view to both enabling and driving an agenda for school improvement over the next few years. I wanted to take this opportunity to outline some of these changes to the College Leadership Team.
For several years, the College has had a leadership structure that consisted of the Principal, Vice Principal, Bursar, Head of Junior School, and two Deputy Principals, each with specific year cohort responsibilities (Years 7, 9 and 11 or Years 8, 10 and 12) that alternated every year. With respect to the two Deputy Principal positions, this structure provided the stability and consistency that comes with senior leaders working closely with Heads of Year in supporting respective families as their boys moved through the College. However, over time, the demands on schools have increased, more complex wellbeing issues for our students have emerged and the need for us to be mindful of our identity as a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition is increasingly important.
Further to this, in seeking feedback from our College community and discussing future strategic planning, there emerged clear themes around which we needed to focus our improvement agenda. This included such things as; an increased focus on student wellbeing matters (mental health, resiliency, positive psychology) and student formation programs, using data as the basis for learning decisions and curriculum innovation, targeted professional development that examines our teaching practices and the need to share ‘our story’ and enhance our presence in the wider community.
With all of this in mind, while essentially maintaining a similar outline, changes to our leadership structure commencing next year will see the addition of another Deputy Principal. Each of the respective Deputy Principal roles will have a particular area of focus in which they will seek to drive strategic and sustained improvement. A broad overview of these Deputy Principal roles is listed below:
The Deputy Principal – Mission and Engagement will have a responsibility for all aspects of mission, Catholic identity and faith development within the College. Furthermore, they will seek to forge genuine and meaningful links with the surrounding Parishes and the wider community with a view to enhancing the College’s engagement in this regard. Raising the profile and identity of Trinity College will be an important aspect of this role. The Deputy Principal – Mission and Engagement will be responsible for ensuring that the College maintains its authenticity and identity as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition and that this is transparent to all those associated with the College community.
The Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing will have a responsibility for all aspects of student welfare, child safety practices, pastoral initiatives and behaviour management and intervention strategies. Furthermore, they will seek to develop, align and celebrate student formation programs, positive psychology initiatives and opportunities for student leadership. Establishing a culture in which boys feel safe, cared for, and strive for personal excellence, will be an important aspect of this role. The Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing will provide a vision for, and leadership of, the College as a learning community that seeks to maintain the safety, welfare and dignity of each student central in all aspects of College life so as to encourage every young man on a journey of formation.
The Deputy Principal – Learning and Innovation will have a responsibility for the development and implementation of the curriculum and associated policies, to oversee the teaching and learning process, to effectively use data to inform curriculum innovation and to help advise students on appropriate academic pathways. They will oversee specific areas such as testing and examinations, academic tracking of student performance, student reporting and the structure of the timetable. The Deputy Principal – Learning and Innovation will seek to develop a curriculum that promotes the holistic development of students, is inclusive of the learning needs of all and develops enthusiastic, independent learners, committed to lifelong learning.
The College Leadership Team for 2020:
- Darren O'Neill: Principal
- Sabrina Hughes: Vice Principal
- Anthony Bryne: Deputy Principal – Mission and Engagement
- Julian Fritz: Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing
- Tim Hince: Deputy Principal – Learning and Innovation
- Martin Tucker: Head of Junior School
- Michael Burgess: Bursar
While changing the structure of the College Leadership Team alone will not bring about such ambition, long term positive growth will certainly require school leaders to lead, innovate, manage and monitor the school improvement process. A commitment to seeking school improvement needs to be shared by all in our College community. It will be the combined efforts of staff, students and parents that will bring about effective change. This should be done in the spirit of cooperation and always centred on the formation of our young men.
Live Jesus in our hearts
Mr. Darren O’Neill