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Catholic Education Council Policy Development, Review and Monitoring

​Basic Principles

The Council operates within the context of the Gospel and the spirit and structures of the local Church.

The following principles underlie the Council's policy-making process:

The Archbishop is responsible for the governance of the Archdiocese and for teaching within it.

Those affected by the policies have a right to be involved in their development.

Policies are developed collaboratively with all stakeholders.

Policies are developed through shared decision-making and consensus. Policy, as used in this document, is an authoritative determination of principles and/or directions for action to be applied throughout the Archdiocese in accordance with the Council's mandate. Policy states what is to be done, but not how, when or by whom.

Most often policy provides general direction to those charged with the ministry of education. Its purpose is to apply the Gospel authentically and prudently to the concrete situations of contemporary community life.

As an exercise of authority policy is promulgated by the Archbishop.

Following promulgation of policy, regulations and recommended procedures for implementation are developed, as appropriate, by the Executive Officer of the Council.

Regulations are detailed requirements, often directed to particular groups (eg. school principals and teachers) by those responsible for implementing the policy. Regulations spell out how policy is to be executed in specific situations.

Recommended procedures (sometimes described as guidelines) are non-obligatory practices which experience suggests will most effectively ensure that policy and regulations are implemented.

Development of Policy

A. Identification of the issue

The Council is ultimately responsible for deciding what issues require policy development. These may be brought to the Council's consideration:

  • by the Archbishop
  • by Brisbane Catholic Education or by Religious Congregations
  • by standing committees of the Council
  • by submissions received from other agencies, organisations or the Catholic community; or through the Council's own discussions

B. Clarification of the issue

Where the Council decides that a policy should be developed, preparatory work or data gathering is required before drafting of the policy can proceed. This involves a clear statement of the issue, identification of key principles involved and suggested procedural options.

This step may involve obtaining the services of an expert or task force, preparing a preliminary paper and establishing a timeline and a budget for the clarification of the issue.

C. Drafting of policy

The Council approves a procedure for the drafting of the policy. This includes:

  • formulating terms of reference
  • identifying persons responsible for the drafting of the policy
  • establishing a timeline and a budget

The terms of reference reflect any particular focus or limitations emerging as a result of steps A and B above.

Consultation is of special importance in policy drafting, Stakeholders are provided with realistic access to necessary information and the opportunity to participate in the shaping of the policy. Widespread consultation leads to good and acceptable policy.

The Council monitors the policy drafting stage through regular reports from those responsible for the process.

When the council is satisfied with the policy draft, it arranges for a final consultation with stakeholders, unless such a step is considered unnecessary given the extent and nature of earlier consultative processes.

D. Recommendation, Approval and Promulgation

This step involves a review of the final consultation and a decision concerning any changes to the draft policy. Once this is completed, the formal vote of the Council recommending the policy to the Archbishop is taken.

Once the Archbishop approves the policy, it is appropriately promulgated throughout the Archdiocese.

Implementation of Policy

The Executive Officer of the Council (the Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education) is responsible for the oversight of policy implementation.

Monitoring of Policy

At intervals determined by the Council, the Executive Officer provides to the Council reports on the progress of policy implementation.

Review of Policy

Following a policy's promulgation, the Council determines a date for the review of the policy. At the time of the review the Council determines:

  • the period within which the review will be conducted
  • the process to be used
  • evaluative criteria
  • the persons to carry out the review

The results of the review allow the Council to determine whether the policy has been effectively implemented and whether the policy should be continued, with or without alteration, or discontinued. ​