Catholic Leadership Framework: System Practices and Procedures

Understanding the Framework

The leadership framework consists of two parts:

  1. Part 1: Leader Practices and Competencies, which have been developed for principals and viceprincipals, and for supervisory officers, are displayed on separate pages.
  2. Part 2: System Practices and Procedures is displayed on this page, and is common to principals and viceprincipals and supervisory officers.
The Leadership Self-Review Tool

The Leadership Self-Review Tool (LSRT) was developed by the Institute for Education Leadership to help school boards assess the support they offer their school leaders.

It is designed to enable boards to plan implementation of the LSRT in their own districts. It includes recommendations for effective use of the tool, a survey, and a gap analysis scoring sheet, as well as reviews of the research on leadership and student achievement and reports on the piloting of the LSRT in five school boards. Boards have the flexibility to determine how they will use the tool and can tailor aspects of the survey to their own context. You can learn more about the LSRT at:

School and School Board Improvement

The commitment the board demonstrates to raising student achievement and closing student achievement gaps, to treating people ethically, and to empowering the whole board.


  • The board provides support for building a common vision and mission for the school which includes the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations.
  • The board deliberately and purposefully supports the role of principal as faith leaders of the school.
  • The board provides support for building a common vision and mission for the school.
  • All members of the school system (e.g., trustees, leaders, staff, school council members) work together to take responsibility for the learning of all students.
  • The board recognizes the importance of Catholic learning communities and communities of practice as ways of supporting school improvement.
  • The board supports capacity building as the route to improved student achievement.
  • The board exhibits a culture that supports school-based innovation within the board’s shared vision.
  • The board provides financial resources to support school improvement planning.

Fostering a Culture of Professionalism

The procedures that the board uses to ensure that it has positive working relationships with its school leaders, so that principals and vice-principals feel that they are respected and trusted leaders within the system and that their input is sought and considered.


  • The Ontario Catholic School
  • Graduate Expectations are central to the board’s vision and mission.
  • The board has policies and processes in place that enhance positive working relationships.
  • The board supports the development of a positive and supportive Catholic school climate in its schools.
  • The board recognizes excellence at all levels of the organization.
  • Flexible structures at all levels of the system communicate a culture of respect.
  • All discipline is conducted with dignity and respect.

Leadership Development

The approaches and activities that the board has in place to provide the necessary training and opportunities for principals and vice-principals to build their capacity to be visionary instructional leaders and managers of a changing culture in their schools.


  • The board’s leadership development model is faith based and encourages adult faith formation.
  • The board’s leadership development model is based on a definition and a shared understanding of effective leadership that is consistent with evidence of best practice.
  • The Catholic leadership development framework is consistent with evidence-based best practices, institutionalized, and communicated to all personnel.
  • Catholic leadership development processes reflect contemporary understandings of leadership and learning.
  • The board’s Catholic leadership plan is evaluated on an on-going basis.

Administrative Structures

The procedures that the board follows and the administrative structures that it has in place to streamline and buffer internal and external requests (e.g., mail, e-mail, and requests for data) and to provide central office support, including technological resources, to reduce the administrative burden on principals and vice-principals.


  • The board has a system for coordinating demands made on schools and for gatekeeping external requests.
  • The board provides support for principals and vice-principals to implement board policies and procedures.
  • The board provides technical support for technology applications in schools and data-driven decision making.
  • The board has clear lines of communication to support a variety of principal and vice-principal functions.
  • The board provides human resources to support the principal and vice-principal as instructional leaders.
  • Resources are provided to help meet the faith needs of students and staff.

Parent and Community Supports

The procedures that the board has in place to assist and to support schools in involving parents and community in the school.


    The board provides support for enhancing communications and building relationships with local parishes.
  • The board provides training for Catholic school council chairs.
  • The board has developed protocols for schools’ liaisons with community agencies and services (e.g., public health agencies, municipal services, community police).
  • The board provides communication expertise for public communications (e.g., letters home, press releases for events, communications related to emergencies) that clearly reflect the Catholic mission of the Board.
  • There are protocols for communication between board and principals and vice-principals about parental concerns and complaints.
  • The board provides support for the use of school volunteers.
  • Volunteers are briefed on the expectations of volunteering in a Catholic School.

Succession Planning, Including Recruitment, to Build Capacity and Retain and Sustain Effective Leaders

The procedures the board has in place to ensure that high quality candidates are ready and willing to take on school leadership roles and that all aspects of the transition from one leader to the next have been carefully considered.


  • The board has programs in place to support faith based leadership development.
  • The board has well-developed, well-communicated, and inclusive identification and recruitment practices.
  • The board provides training and development for aspiring leaders.
  • The board uses selection processes that are systematic, transparent and inclusive.
  • Supports are in place for newly appointed administrators.
  • The board’s placement and transfer processes for principals and vice-principals include supports for success.