Ric Day

Current President of QASEL

Contributions as QASEL President:

As president from 2021-22, I have worked with the executive and management team, state councillors, sub-committees and members to lead QASEL to achieve the following:


Leading:

• Enhanced QASEL’s credibility and brand as a valued, professional and dynamic organisation.

• Collaboratively developed a four-year strategic plan linked to measurable outcomes and aligned to resources.

• Influenced decision-making and education related government policy across key priorities:

o DoE organisational structure – strengthening the focus on students with disability.

o The Disability Royal Commission – multiple submissions.

o The new Reasonable Adjustment Resourcing model ($80.6 million allocated in the state budget over three years to support schools to transition).

o Infrastructure - reference group developed a special school design standard and contributed to strategic infrastructure analysis ($108.9 million in state budget for renewal in six special schools).

o HOSES roles and responsibilities – review commenced in collaboration with QASEL, QTU and DoE.

• Collaboratively reviewed the QASEL constitution to align with contemporary practices and ethical standards.

• Introduced new governance structures and meeting protocols and processes to enhance impact.

• Published and presented position briefs in priority areas as a lever to influence change.


Linking:

• Welcomed 300+ new members. (163% increase - 183 in Jan 21 to 486 in August 2022)

• Improved governance and member engagement by providing opportunities for more members to actively contribute to decision-making through new subcommittees - ECDP, DP Special/Inclusion and HOSES.

• Enhanced members’ communication through the fortnightly QASEL Newsletters sent to over 500 members and stakeholders (on off pay week Tuesdays).

• Built a strong social media presence (1000+ followers on both Facebook and Twitter).

• Frequent school visits to connect with members and listen to issues (134 school visits in 2021).

• Published our first 2021 Annual Report sent to over 700 members, stakeholders and DoE officers – highlighting QASEL’s work and influence.

• Rejuvenated quarterly state council meetings in each of the seven regions.

• Published QASEL’s Guide to Getting Help – a reference point and support resource for members.

• Built high trust relationships with key external stakeholders and senior officers of the department.

• Built strong relationships with members, in primary, secondary and special schools by walking beside them in their work to provide genuine support.


Learning:

• Provided high quality professional learning opportunities, including the two largest QASELCONs held.

• Introduced QASEL funded regional professional learning opportunities across all regions.

• Initiated the first QASEL Co-ordinator of professional learning (0.2 FTE) Coach Caroline.

• Established the Roselynne Anderson Memorial Endowment Fund to support special education students at USQ.

• Launched the Special Education Leaders - Staff support and self-care program, co-designed with QASEL reference group, specifically to support wellbeing of those working in special education.

• Led the introduction of the Upskilling Program with USQ – micro-credentialed 4 x minicourses developed with QASEL funding and input – supported by state schools.

• Successfully advocated for the capability Upskilling Program – Students with Disability: DoE funding for work-shadowing or targeted professional development in special and inclusive education.


Career Summary:

President, Queensland Association of Special Education Leaders (Jan 2021 – current)

• Through the last two years it has been my pleasure to lead QASEL. We have dramatically increased membership, sharpened our strategic focus, maximised our impact and broadened our supports to members.


Lead Principal, North Coast Region, Special Schools and Principal Hotline Trial (Oct-Dec 2020)

• Balancing two roles during this period was a challenge. I established the Principal Hotline in Central Office while at the same time supporting special school principals in the North Coast Region.


Executive Policy and Liaison Advisor, Office of the Director General (Oct-Dec 2019, June-Oct 2020)

• This unique opportunity allowed me to build quality, high trust relationships with the Offices of the Minister and Director-General as well as all divisions of the department, external stakeholders and other associations.


Regional Project Officer, North Coast Region (April - Aug 2019, Jan - June 2020)

• Leading the development of a regional leadership capability strategy and walking beside foundation principals provided the opportunity to support the work of principals and school leadership teams.


Special School Principal – Mount Ommaney and Woody Point (2011-2019)

• I bring a currency of understanding of what it means to be successful in the role, maintaining a sharp focus on student success while building collective capability.


Lead Principal - Special Schools - State-wide (June-July, 2017)

• In my short period of time supporting special schools across the state, I had the opportunity to build relationships with principals and leadership teams.


Internal School Reviewer, School Improvement unit (Term 3, 2016)

• The opportunity to lead a number of school reviews across a range of special schools has provided me with great insights into the challenges of teachers and leaders in a range of settings.


Special School Deputy Principal (2004 - 2011)

• With many years of experience as a special school deputy I'm familiar with the challenges associated with leading from the middle and the need to support all aspiring leaders.


Head of Special Education Services (2003-2004)

• Having been a HOSES, and worked closely with HOSES, I understand the challenges of leading inclusion, managing increasing administrative demands and supporting large numbers of learners with complex needs.


Special Education Teacher (1993-2020)

• I have always, and will always, consider myself a teacher. My experience in the classroom as a special education teacher spans Primary, Secondary and Special School settings.


Summary:


I am an experienced leader in special education, with a breadth of experience in school based and corporate roles. I bring a strong track record of creating a clear strategic direction aligned to the organisation’s values and aligning resources, systems, processes and culture to achieve results. I’m a highly effective communicator who utilises a range of contemporary and traditional communication modes and consistently demonstrates ethical behaviours at all times. I believe I have brought these strengths to QASEL as a long-term member (since 2002), and as QASEL president since January 2021.

If re-elected I will continue to build on the good work we have done together, to realise our strategic vision: Successful Leaders – Successful Learners. I will continue to advocate for equity and influence for positive change, collaborate with purpose and support members’ wellbeing and provide opportunities for the sector to learn together to build our individual and collective capability. I hope to continue to lead, link and learn with you.

Ric Day