Christian Education National schools are managed by senior executives who:
- Fully grasp their critical responsibility to develop and carry out the vision and direction set by the board.
- Keep the board fully informed.
- Are called to provide inspiring, healthy school leadership and administration.
- Seek to model a biblically grounded, culturally engaging rigorous commitment to best practice.
- Work with the board and staff to establish safe and professionally rewarding environments for school staff to flourish and realise the vision entrusted to them.
- Value and take full advantage of the opportunities for personal growth, professional development and networking provided through the vision, community and partnerships of Christian Education National.
Senior executives in Christian Education National schools belong to local, state and national networks which actively seek to encourage, motivate and equip them to be all they can be under God in developing and fulfilling their professional leadership roles along with their personal faith and God-given potential.
Christian Education National fosters connections and opportunities to inform healthy leadership practice, provide empowering resources and nurture a strong sense of collegiality amongst senior executives.
Being part of the local and wider Christian Education National community provides senior executives with a range of opportunities. These include:
- Infrastructure support
- Accredited and non-accredited Christian worldview and education courses for teachers with the National Institute for Christian Education
- Accredited and non-accredited leadership courses through the National Institute for Christian Education
- Phone, email and personal contact with Christian education thinkers / academics
- Recruiting staff
- Government advocacy
- Influence and involvement
- Consultancies and reviews:
- Preventative and proactive
- Limited Scope
- Strategic planning
- Feedback and benchmarking
- Financial resources
- Loan fund
- Community support
- Business and finance support
- Small school management services
- Prudential health watch and benchmarking survey and feedback
- Capacity to leverage resources and ideas
- Web-based resources
- Web-based forums
- Ideas Exchange
- Conferences, workshops and seminars:
- CEO conference
- Principals conference
- Vision building
- Annual General Meeting/governance
- Transforming education
- Other specific purposes
- Exceptional resources:
- Christian education library
- Christian education and governance web-based resources and book shop
- Christian education: research papers, videos, DVDs, MP3s, books etc
- Parenting support, resources and seminars (through our national partnership with Focus on the Family.)
- Other publications:
- Board Members Handbook
- Management and Finance Manual
- Online newsletter: Access
- Two quarterly journals:
- Nurture (for families);
- Christian Teachers Journal (for teachers)
- Superannuation fund committed to ethical investment: Christian Super
- Member news
- Phone, email and personal contact with governance, business and structural advisors
- Sample policies
- Sample constitutions
- Templates and governance standards
- Crisis management and trouble shooting
- Industrial relations service (NSW)
- Legal Advice (NSW)
Telling the stories
Dan: a principal’s reflections
Our College celebrated its 25 year during my first year of principalship here. As part of the celebrations I had a chance to meet many of the founding parents and speak with them regarding the hopes and dreams they had in the early years. It ‘forced’ me to become acquainted with our history and to observe how the vision had informed the current shape of our education practice.
It was a bold audacious dream in 1979 that a group of parents could come together and begin a school in which Jesus is Lord. This vision was of a school where Jesus would inform all areas of our schooling. Many years later, it is this vision that still guides our practice.
Each month, when I sit at the board table with the parents, grandparents and other elected members of the board, we powerfully re-enact the original vision. Around this board table our college community discusses the guiding principles on which we run. It is a joining together of parents (who know their children and are charged with the responsibility to educate them) and myself (charged with being an educational expert and running the College).
I love being a principal in a college where parents and educators can work together; where together we can be faithful to God in determining the shape of Godly education in our community.
Hugh: a principal’s reflections
Being a Principal in a Christian Education National school affords me the privilege of working with a wide mix of committed educators (some of whom are parents, some of whom are teachers) who are seeking to be authentic in the delivery of Christian education. At our school we have been blessed with several seminars with the National Institute for Christian Education and each time we have grown in our understandings of Christian education. Our school, like many others finds our isolation and small faculty areas to be an ongoing challenge. We have grown as we have sought to establish networks with other like-minded schools. We seem to always be in the zone where passion and reality meet, too close to the edge where burnout lives. We have been challenged about the vital nature of trust in establishing leadership that is faithful, open, dynamic and professional.
The passage “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 is a particular challenge to Christian schools. We, like other schools have been saddened, as we have seen our own failures in loving - as Christ loves and leading as Christ leads – but we have hope in a God of redemption and restoration. There have been profound highs and deep lows as we have sought to establish and nurture genuine Christian community, faithfully reflecting the school vision. At a board level it means partnering the board with information that I want them to know and information that they need to know. It means giving them my best advice, trusting them to make wise decisions and supporting their decision – when I agree with them and when I do not. It means working together at board level to keep the management/vision roles clear. It means regularly meeting together and bearing one another’s burdens. It means speaking the truth in love.
Finding ways to partner with the wider body of parents and students is an ongoing challenge. The bigger we get, the easier it is to drift into a consumer mentality that threatens the core of our school philosophy. Many of our Christian families struggle to support the school and to support their local church as well as being salt and light in the wider world and their families. Finding ways to connect with those parents and children who enjoy our school and yet don’t have an obvious personal relationship with Christ is wonderfully challenging. We must take time to listen to those in our communities who are seekers so that they feel valued and not used.
I take enormous encouragement that God delights to use weak vessels to show his glory (2 Tim 2: 20, 21) and am challenged as I work with the board and school community in such a way that others will “know we are Christian by our love”. I’m almost always intimidated by the work that needs doing in any given day or year and amazed at the ways that God turns out small seeds of faithfulness into trees of blessing for our community and other parts of God’s world. Isn’t it fascinating that God rewards our faithfulness by giving us more work to enjoy (Matthew 25:13-40)?
Christian school communities- what an adventure!
Yvonne: a CEO comment
One of the things I most value in our organisation is its extraordinary diversity. While we are all broadly in the Christian mainstream, conservative tradition, our various communities have remarkably different ways of viewing the world. This has allowed us to build and develop schools that represent the hopes and dreams of quite different communities of Christian people. And we still love each other!!
I also value the fact that we are fundamentally collegial and charmingly uncompetitive. In our better moments, we are not distracted with issues such as size or growth or academic success – even though we rejoice in all those things when they happen. But no matter who we are, big or small or in-between, well-managed or in a bit of a muddle, financially struggling or surging ahead… we all know we belong to a supportive, non-judgmental community on whom we can rely.
Transforming Education: participant responses
I really benefited from the whole conference experience. I find the networking helps give me perspective and inspiration. I thought David Smith was a brilliant communicator. I was challenged by, but agreed with his interpretation of Christian Worldview and how we should use the Bible in curriculum. I always enjoy Rod Thompson’s messages. I believe both these men exemplify keen minds with the ability to communicate in a way that is grounded in reality. The venue was great. I was moved by the story of the indigenous school. What an amazing opportunity! I enjoyed the workshop on Women in Leadership.
I want you to know that our school community was wonderfully blessed by the Transforming Ed Conference. David Smith and Bruce Burgess inspired our staff in so many ways and we have been talking about it on and off since then. Our Training and Development this term will be based around the conference themes. It will, I’m confident, have a profound positive impact on our school community for many years to come. The l book released at the conference is being studied by our middle school staff and at least one home bible study group. Please thank the committee for their fine work.
Principals’ Conference: a reflection
In March 2007 over 60 principals from CPCS schools around Australia held their biennial conference at Bondi Beach in Sydney. The theme of the conference was ‘Leading with Integrity’ and each day featured a different keynote speaker. Dr Gordon Preece spoke on integrity in the curriculum, team leadership and life/work balance, Tony Deenick explored the issues on marketing schools with integrity and Anne Robinson from Prolegis spoke on integrity in legal requirements. All these sessions stimulated some great discussion and gave principals some valuable insights into their roles. Colin Youl from Mt Evelyn Christian School led the daily devotions on the gospel of John.
The special speaker at the conference dinner was Peter van der Schoor. Peter began teaching in Christian Parent Controlled Schools as a young man in his early 20s in 1967 and has been principal at Tyndale in NSW, Torrens Valley in South Australia, Launceston Christian School in Tasmania and for the past 20 years has been principal at Channel Christian School south of Hobart. Peter told some wonderful stories about people whose lives have been impacted by God through our schools. Peter received a standing ovation, a wonderful tribute to someone who has contributed so much to Christian education.
A sand modelling competition was held on Bondi Beach which was judged by the local surf lifesavers and some British tourists who thoroughly enjoyed watching school principals have a lot of fun with their creativity.
It was a wonderful time to meet with other principals and gain the wisdom from those who have been in their roles for many years.