FSG - Pilot Program

ACEL Fellows Support Group at McGuire College




L-R: Bill Porter, Susanne Gill, Ian Ling, Barbara Fary, Noel Stonehouse, Jan Gregory


Our school was quick to accept the offer to be a pilot group for the ACEL Fellows Support Group (FSG).  McGuire College is a government secondary college in Shepparton.  Over the last six years the school has had a change of principals with many acting principals. Each time there was a new leader there were changes which meant the college was in constant flux. It is a credit to the staff that they have survived through this constant change management era.


When I became principal in January 2013 I also made changes. I eliminated the morning briefings that were poorly attended and modified all staff meetings to become professional learning sessions. Communication was primarily through the daily bulletins.

When we had the opportunity to engage Noel Stonehouse (Leader), Barbara Fary and Ian Ling as the FSG Team, we asked them to look at the communication within the school.


We began the day with principal class team giving a context of the school followed by staff interviews. Volunteers had been called upon and were interviewed individually during the day by the team.  At the end of the day the FSG met with the principal team to relay their initial findings and give recommendations, which were then written up into a formal report and emailed to me. The day was very worthwhile because the staff had a voice in a safe, bias free environment and there was a cross section of staff to get a balanced view of the issue.  Since then many of the recommendations have been acted upon.


The Fellows Support Group visit was a valuable opportunity to have an independent group assess the communication within our school and make recommendations through a supportive process.

Jan Gregory


McGuire College