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 has been involved in include:

  • providing technology responses during COVID-19, including:
    • enabling resources for teachers and students to learn in a remote setting
    • embedding the use of Microsoft Teams as a system wide collaboration tool
    • provision of free wi-fi and internet access for students in need
    • procurement of tablets for students without access to a device
    • embedding SEQTA and reporting for monitoring student attendance and learning at schools and remotely
  • enabling the team to provide direct technical support in 84 schools
  • expansion of the Microsoft Office 365 product suite across 100 schools, the Catholic Education Offices and Alive Catholic Early Learning Centres
  • expansion of the unified communications systems, ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VoIP)
  • development of anywhere / anytime video conferencing solution
  • NAPLAN Online and SACE Online
  • ICT infrastructure disaster recovery
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • 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 relating to SACCS and the CEOs
  • take a strategic focus, ensuring that relevant demographic data and business requirements are sourced, analysed and interpreted in order 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.
See ICT Advisory Committee Members

CEO ICT Services

CEO ICT provides services across the following key areas:

  • Sector wide 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.

Sector wide ICT governance

The CESA 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 strategic plan and objectives of Catholic Education South Australia.

Further, the CESA 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

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

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

Working in conjunction with Catholic Network Australia, a national master services agreement has been developed for the provision of wide area network services for Catholic Education South Australia.

School Technology Services

The School Technology Services team provides an extensive range of professional services to over 84 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 CEO ICT team, and major suppliers throughout Australia and overseas, schools can leverage specialist skills not otherwise available.  The team also provides support and advice on school ICT strategies and annual plans.

During 2020, 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

CEO ICT is responsible for the delivery and support of the CESA Wide Area Network (CESANet) including internet connectivity, content filtering and security for 100 school sites and the Catholic Education offices.

All Catholic schools in South Australia enjoy high speed, fibre-based network connectivity.  During 2020, all school connections were upgraded to a minimum of 100Mb per school with no additional cost to schools.

COVID-19 introduced significant additional demand (over double) on the network as a result of teaching and learning activities.  The assumption that students would learn remotely in Term 2 required a rapid change in the approach network services needed to deliver.

The managed endpoint protection (anti-virus) solution supporting over 18,000 end user devices and 1,000 servers was transitioned to the Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection service.  This solution has improved overall protection and significantly reduced the overall cost for schools.

Centralised Applications Development

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

Key activities through 2020 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 mandatory data for reporting
  • development of system to system interfaces to remove manual transfers of information from ceSIS to school learning management systems
  • refreshing ‘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 CEO ICT Service Centre provides front line support for schools and the CEOs.  Key services provided by the Service Centre team include:

  • transition to a fully remote support model in response to COVID-19
  • 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 ICT services for CESA.  The team ensures technical standards and production criteria are met so that all ICT services reached usability and reliability standards.

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

Major Projects

Information Management and Retention

The Information Management and Retention project will replace the existing DocuShare system and develop the processes and tools for management and retention of digital intellectual property.

The project has acquired new document management software and equipment to remove the risks associated with DocuShare, whilst meeting mandated security and retention requirements.

Benefits include improved communications, collaboration, dissemination and retention of critical information in Catholic Education South Australia.

School and Learning Management

SEQTA, a Learning Management System (LMS), was provisioned in every primary school. For the first time, every Diocesan school can access a LMS.  Whilst the full implementation of SEQTA was hampered by COVID-19, it was instrumental in automating attendance reporting.

ICT Disaster Recovery

Each year the Disaster Recovery (DR) facilities are proactively tested to ensure reduced risks associated with a catastrophic event.  This work involves migrating, testing and operating all services from the DR facility.

In the event of any unplanned extended disruption, the DR facility is designed to return services to all schools and offices within 1 business day.

Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse

This project continues to organise and automate data gathering and reporting for schools providing significant efficiency, including:

  • Balanced Scorecard - an online presentation of key metrics used for school improvement
  • Student Dashboard – a graphical prototype to represent important information on student outcomes
  • SACE reporting – automating the presentation of SACE results
  • Demographic information – aggregating and presenting publicly available information
  • Student Attendance – near real time reporting on student attendance.


Preparation of a new community portal which will offer parents and schools:

  • digital access to financial statements
  • payment of fees
  • academic reports
  • visibility of their children to parents on one screen – no matter which school they attend.