Review of the
Catholic Education Commission of Victoria


In 2021, the Bishop-members of Catholic Education Commission Victoria Ltd. (CECV) commissioned an independent review into the role, governance and operations of CECV. Through extensive consultation and feedback, the review panel identified a number of opportunities to strengthen CECV and enhance the support provided to the 500 Catholic schools in our growing network.

On 19 October 2022, the Bishops released their Response and Directives document, which comprises their response to the material aspects of the Review.

Announcements

9 January 2023 - Communique 6

Today, Archbishop Comensoli, together with the Bishops of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst, as the Bishop-members of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV), announced the appointment of the Chair and members of the CECV Implementation Committee. This includes Mr James Merlino as Chair, supported by Ms Lynn Glover and Mr Michael Avery, who will join together with Executive Director Jim Miles to establish an enhanced CECV.

In May 2021, the Bishops of Victoria commissioned an independent review into the role, governance and operations of the CECV. Through extensive consultation and feedback, the review panel identified several opportunities to strengthen the operations of the CECV and enhance the leadership and support it provides to 500 schools across the four dioceses in Victoria.

This announcement progresses one of the key material aspects for implementation, which was the establishment of a CECV Implementation Committee (CIC) to oversee the implementation of the Response and Directives and consider the remainder of the review’s recommendations.

We have great confidence that these appointments will ensure we move ahead at-pace in setting up an enhanced CECV as we continue to support 500 Catholic schools in our growing network.

Together, all members possess a deep and diverse knowledge and understanding of the Education Sector in Victoria, including the importance of Catholic Education to our students, teachers and their families.

Their appointments will enable CECV to plan for the future while delivering on its various commitments as the peak body for Catholic Education in Victoria.

19 October 2022 - Communique 5

Final Report of the Review of the CECV

Today, Archbishop Comensoli, together with the bishops of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst, as the bishop-members of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV), released their Response and Directives document which comprises their response to the material findings from the review into the CECV.

The Bishop-members have accepted two items they feel are a priority to action immediately. These include:

  • The Executive Directors roles of CECV and MACS will be separated

  • A CECV secretariat will be established with its own staff and resources

You can view the Response and Directions here which contains other key material aspects for implementation including:

  • The expansion of CECV membership to include a nominated CRMV representative,

  • The appointment of an independent skills-based Board and the establishment of a Consultation Committee to advise the Board

  • The establishment of a CECV Implementation Committee (CIC) to oversee the implementation of the Response and Directions and consider the remainder of the review’s recommendations

These changes are likely to be completed by mid-to-late 2023.

The overriding objective of this process will be to establish a robust and sustainable CECV, while at the same time minimising the disruption to MACS.

You can read more about this announcement here and additional information via the FAQs.

The bishop-members thank all those who have shown interest in the review process and provided feedback to date as part of the extensive consultation period. Further updates will be provided in due course as CECV works to enhance its governance structure and operating model over the coming months.

27 June 2022 - Communique 4

Panel completes its review of the CECV

The panel has completed its final report for the CECV Review, and submitted this to the bishop-members of the CECV for their consideration.

Consistent with the Terms of Reference, the final report includes a series of recommendations on the future purpose and intent of the CECV, and on its governance and operations.

The panel also provided recommendations on implementation steps and timing.

A preliminary report was provided to the bishop-members for feedback, prior to submission of the final report.

The bishop-members will now consider the recommendations of the panel and determine the way forward and the timing.

The panel would like to express sincere gratitude to the wide range of stakeholders who participated in the review, and invested significant time and effort meeting with the panel and making written submissions to the review.

23 December 2021 - Communique 3

Panel completes initial consultations and prepares Position Paper

The panel has completed its initial round of stakeholder consultations for the CECV Review.

This has comprised 29 different meetings with a comprehensive set of stakeholders and their representatives. The stakeholders consulted include:

  • The bishop-members of the CECV

  • Past and present members of the CECV Board

  • Diocesan education company Executive Directors/Chief Executive Officers

  • Diocesan education company Board members

  • RI/MPJP education authority representatives

  • School principal and parent representative groups

  • Key government agencies (Victorian and Australian government departments of education, Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority)

  • National Catholic Education Commission.

The panel has also considered 10 submissions that were made to the Review by stakeholders.

It is recognised that stakeholders have invested significant time and effort in the Review through these meetings and in developing submissions. The panel greatly appreciates these efforts, and the views of stakeholders have been invaluable in informing the thinking of the panel on future arrangements.

Following this consultation, the panel met with the bishop-members in early December to reflect on the views of stakeholders, and test some initial views on future CECV governance, functions and operating model.

It is now agreed that the panel will submit a Position Paper to the bishop-members in early 2022, that will document and justify its recommendations on a future CECV.

With the approval of the bishop-members, this will be then shared with stakeholders for further consideration and feedback. Accordingly, the panel looks forward to consulting with stakeholders on its recommendations in early 2022.

2 September 2021 - Communique 2

Panel welcomes submissions to the CECV Review

The panel welcomes written submissions to the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) review. Submissions should be aligned with the Terms of Reference for the review and focused on matters such as:

  • The past performance of the CECV across its range of functions, and the extent this performance can be linked to current structural and staffing arrangements.

  • Potential conflicts of interest in the current and any alternative arrangements for the CECV under the new governance frameworks for Catholic schools in Victoria and, if these are cause for concern, measures to ensure any conflicts can be avoided or appropriately managed.

  • An effective and appropriate governance and regulatory interrelationship between the CECV, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) and Victorian Catholic schools.

  • The operating cost of the CECV (paid by schools and school families) relative to comparable interstate bodies with different structural arrangements (e.g. the Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) and Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW)).

  • The past effectiveness of the CECV in advocating to state and federal authorities on behalf of Catholic schools in Victoria relative to comparable interstate bodies with different structural arrangements (e.g. the QCEC and CSNSW).

  • The impact that the underlying structure of Catholic education in Victoria (where one diocese accounts for more than 70% of all students) is likely to have on the feasibility of different options for future CECV arrangements and structures.

  • The nature and timing of work, relating to the functions carried out by the CECV, and overall scale of CECV functions compared to those of diocesan and religious institute/ministerial public juridic person (RI/MPJP) educational authorities.

  • Key lessons and reflections relating to the period from 2007 to 2008 when the position of Executive Director of the CECV was separated from the position of Executive Director of Catholic Education Melbourne.

  • Options for a rearticulation of the purpose and intent of the CECV, and the means by which the purpose and intent can be achieved, in governance and operationally.

  • Future arrangements to ensure that the CECV best serves the mission of Catholic education in Victoria.

Submissions should be sent to review@cecv.catholic.edu.au by 8 October 2021.

Submissions will need to include a name and contact details in order to be considered by the Review Panel.

The panel has also begun scheduling consultations with key stakeholders for the CECV review. These stakeholders include the bishop-members, directors and board members of Victorian diocesan education authorities, directors of the CECV board, directors of RI/MPJP education authorities, and representatives for school principals, parents and government agencies.

24 June 2021 - Communique 1

Panel appointed to review the governance and operations of the CECV

The Archbishop of Melbourne and the bishops of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst, as the bishop-members of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV), have agreed to undertake a wide-ranging review of the governance and operations of the CECV.

With the establishment of the four diocesan entities responsible for the governance of schools in Victoria and coupled with the existing religious institute and ministerial public juridic person entities, the bishop-members have decided that the time has come to look at the present arrangements of the CECV.

The CECV acts as the overarching, strategic planning and policy-making body for Catholic schools in Victoria, with oversight in those areas for 498 schools and the education of over 211,000 students across the state.

The CECV’s responsibilities include distributing government funding for schools, providing employee relations services, delivering the Integrated Catholic Online Network (ICON), serving as the school review body for the Catholic sector, representing Catholic schools in Victoria with the Australian and Victorian governments and other relevant agencies, and managing the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) project and contract deliverables with the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven).

The purpose of the review is to identify and assess options for a rearticulation of the purpose and intent of the CECV, and the governance and operational means by which the purpose and intent can be achieved.

An independent Review Panel has been appointed and Rev. Dr Brendan Reed has been asked to chair the review process.

Rev. Dr Reed will be supported by three eminent individuals, Ms Pam Betts, Dr John Ballard and Ms Moira Najdecki. You can find the biographies for the panel members here.

The Review Panel will make recommendations to the bishop-members within 12 months. This will enable a thorough process – including analysis, consultation with stakeholders and feedback – to inform the development of recommendations.

As part of this process, the Review Panel will consult with a wide range of stakeholders. These include:

  • the bishop-members of Victoria

  • directors and board members of the Victorian diocesan education authorities

  • directors of religious institute and ministerial public juridic person education authorities

  • directors of the CECV Board not aligned to diocesan education authorities

  • past directors of diocesan education authorities and the CECV Board

  • parish priests

  • school principal networks

  • staff currently working for the CECV under the Service Level Agreement

  • Catholic Schools NSW, as well as diocesan authorities in the ACT and NSW

  • Queensland Catholic Education Commission, as well as diocesan authorities in Queensland

  • Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia

  • key stakeholders within the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority

  • government departments of education with responsibility for funding distribution and accountabilities.

Details on these consultations will be shared in due course.

The full Terms of Reference for the review can be viewed here.