Information & Communications Technology

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

The ICT section provides a wide range of services to Catholic schools and the Catholic Education Offices of Adelaide and Port Pirie.  In addition, ICT manages large technology based strategic initiatives to support transformational change.

Significant initiatives ICT are involved in include:

  • direct technical support in over 86 schools; two Catholic Education offices and Alive Catholic Early Learning Centres
  • expansion of the unified communications systems, ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VoIP)
  • NAPLAN Online and SACE Online
  • ICT infrastructure disaster recovery
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • constructing a digital Student Dashboard surfacing key wellbeing and academic information on students for schools
  • commencing the replacement for the aged Student Management System ceSIS
  • identifying a suitable Human Capital Management System
  • replacing the school library management system in all primary schools
  • replacing the wide area network with a Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)
  • replacing the wireless network infrastructure in schools
  • developing a system wide Intranet
  • Information Management and Retention.

ICT Advisory Committee

ICT collaborates with schools on all ICT initiatives through the ICT Advisory Committee; a sub-committee of the Finance and Infrastructure Standing Committee (FISC).

The purpose of the ICT Advisory Committee is to:

  • offer specific advice to SACCS, FISC or other standing and permanent committees on ICT strategic planning, strategic direction, and services
  • take a strategic focus, ensuring that relevant demographic data and business requirements are sourced, analysed and interpreted to maintain the appropriate level of ICT services to schools
  • ensure the provision of ICT services to schools into the future
  • ensure that a set of appropriate ICT benchmarks and service levels are established and measured
  • discuss and provide advice on ICT strategic planning, capital development and funding and sustainability models
  • report to FISC and SACCS on:
    • ICT operations and ICT capital project implementations
    • investigations and advice on possible technology applications for use by schools, both learning and administrative
    • ICT Policy and Procedures/Guidelines
  • prepare communications to schools, associations and key stakeholders on ICT matters as required.

CEO ICT Services

CEO ICT provides services across the following key areas:

  • ICT governance
  • centralised contract management and procurement
  • school technology services (direct technical support for schools)
  • wide area and local area network infrastructure services
  • centralised applications development and support
  • help desk and support
  • production systems management
  • major strategic projects.

ICT governance

The ICT Policy Framework is used to articulate the ICT vision, strategy and principles for the management and use of information and information technology resources to support the SACCS commitments.

Further, the ICT Policy Framework helps ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promotes operational efficiency and management of risks by specifying requirements and standards for the consistent management of information technology resources across CESA.

Centralised contract management and procurement

ICT continues to negotiate and manage sector wide contracts to ensure schools and the CEO receive scale benefits and efficiencies.

Where possible, ICT works to provide subscription-based offerings so schools may participate based on their need.

Working in conjunction with Catholic Network Australia (CNA), the national master service agreement for the provision of internet services has completed the first year of operation.  The CNA also evaluated vendor options used to procurement of Microsoft licenses resulting in further savings for CESA.

ICT established the inaugural CNA Cyber forum, to share experiences, knowledge, and lessons with all Catholic Education schools across Australia.

School Technology Services

The School Technology Services team provides an extensive range of professional services to over 86 schools.  The team operates as a not-for-profit service to reduce the total cost of ownership and support for schools.  With reach back into the broader ICT team, and major suppliers throughout Australia and internationally, schools can leverage specialist skills not otherwise available.  The team also provides support and advice on school ICT strategies and annual plans.

During 2022, the team continued to provide

  • onsite ICT support for devices, applications and classroom technologies
  • remote ICT systems management and administration
  • specialised ICT project planning and implementations
  • advice on ICT strategy, disaster recovery and procurement
  • large scale device (notebook and tablet) roll outs
  • school network upgrades and server upgrades
  • high level ad hoc technical support as required
  • delivery of the Aruba cloud wireless platform replacing the legacy system used by 70 schools
  • support for schools moving away from local services to cloud offerings.

Network Infrastructure Services

ICT is responsible for the delivery and support of internet services, content filtering and security for 102 school sites and the Catholic Education offices. 

During 2022, all internet services, content filtering and school edge security services were replaced with a new Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD WAN).  The transition to the SD WAN has enabled schools to have direct filtered access to the internet while maintaining secure access to centralised services.

All Catholic Schools using the SD WAN now have a minimum capacity 200Mb and up to 1500 Mb.  The service has capacity to increase speeds for schools as required at no extra cost.

Centralised Applications Development

The applications development team are responsible for maintaining the bespoke solutions required by CESA.

Key activities through 2022 included:

  • support for regulatory data collections and reporting
  • management of the centralised operational data store providing critical information for CESA
  • support for CESA Student Information System (ceSIS)
  • provision of dedicated applications supporting schools not using ceSIS to collect information for regulatory reporting
  • development of system-to-system interfaces to remove manual transfers of data
  • refreshing all old “legacy’ applications to ensure their ongoing viability
  • expansion of single sign-on feature to reduce the need to remember multiple passwords.

CEO ICT Service Centre

The ICT Service Centre provides front line support for schools and the CEO.  Key services provided by the Service Centre team include:

  • led the transition of meetings and briefings to Microsoft Live Stream events
  • supporting staff in the use of video conferences, Microsoft Teams meetings and presentation facilities
  • CEO ICT asset management
  • delivery of website training
  • management of conference rooms facilities.

ICT Production Management

ICT Production Management is responsible for the administration of all centralised ICT services.  The team ensures technical standards and production criteria are met so that all ICT services meet usability and reliability requirements.

Day-to-day operations include the management and monitoring of our two data centres, planning and coordinating support and maintenance activities to ensure legislative and vendor compliance, improve supportability and improve security.

The ICT Production Management team are responsible for completing the annual Disaster Recovery (DR) testing.  The DR testing is scheduled to be undertaken in the first full week of January to minimise disruption and involves a simulated disaster in one Data Centre, transitioning all production services to the second data centre, undertaking verification testing, re-establishing the connectivity of the two data centres and then returning services to normal operation. 

Major Projects

School library system replacement

78 schools have been migrated from Bookmark to AccessIT.

Religious Education Digitalisation

The Made in the Image of God (MITIOG) Human Sexuality Curriculum for South Australian Catholic schools was made available through a dedicated website. This website was designed for teachers and leaders in schools and provides access to the full MITIOG curriculum content.

CESA Intranet

The new CESA Intranet was made available to all employees who work in Catholic Schools and Catholic Education SA.  It is a central place for users to access information, documents, resources, and news needed for their work. It is accessible on any web enabled device.

The CESA Intranet features include:

  • a powerful search function to help users find the information they need
  • news and notices
  • links to the most frequently requested information and policies
  • a calendar of key CESA system dates.

Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse

This project continues to organise and automate data gathering and reporting for schools providing significant efficiency improvements

  • Data Collection Hub - simplification and automating data collection for reporting purposes
  • Leaders ePortfolio – a key reference point for the principal’s annual and tenure appraisals
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) – automated the presentation of EALD key data across CESA
  • Civica to Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) – automated the data flow from Civica to EDW for real time reporting, removing the reliance on manual data manipulation.

School Finance Modernisation

Successfully migration of Thomas More College off of Synergetic to Civica suite of products. 

Student Management System replacement

Commenced the migration of ceSIS schools to Civica Student Administration.  The automated approach will allow migrating up to 10 schools per term.

Human Capital Management

This project continues to evaluate a suitable Human Capital Management system for all staff employed within CESA. 

Identity Management (IDM)

The project is in the process of building the replacement IDM using OKTA as the technical platform.

Managed Wireless Refresh

The project completed the refresh to schools' wireless (Wi-Fi) infrastructure by implementing Aruba Wireless solution for all diocesan schools. Over 3,300 access points were installed through the process.

Wide Area Network replacement

The project completed the modernisation of the CESA network which has reduced the cost of access, increased per student bandwidth and improved school resilience.