Catholic Schools Broken Bay

Towards 2025








Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB) is responsible for the Diocesan school system that employs around 2,500 staff and serves more than 17,000 primary and secondary school students across 44 schools located in the northern parts of Sydney, New South Wales in Australia. The CSBB purpose is to inspire hearts and minds to know Christ, to love learning, to use their talents to be the very best they can be.

The CSBB head office provides leadership and works in partnership with principals, parish priests, staff and parents, supporting the faith journey, learning improvement, enablement and engagement of students.

Transformation Agenda

Financial pressures, enrolment decline, and the need to reinvigorate infrastructure and academic performance necessitated reform at CSBB. Bishop Randazzo recognised the need for change and appointed Danny Casey as Director of Schools to lead the transformation. Based on research and significant consultation with stakeholders, a high-level, integrated strategic plan was developed and was outlined when CSBB launched its Strategy on a Page.

Cultural issues, gaps in leadership capability, cohesiveness and communication were identified. Peak Performance International was appointed to help the leadership team progress the transformation agenda.

The Culture Change Process

The CSBB leadership team was tasked with producing a detailed roadmap to translate their 2025 ‘strategy on a page’ into actions, then implementing a significant change program to achieve the strategy and deliver improvements across the school system.

A risk articulated by the leaders was the need to ensure Culture was aligned with the Strategy “so that people would move with us”. To mitigate that risk, Peak Performance partnered with the CSBB leadership team to address gaps and opportunities across key activity areas. One of those areas was ‘Culture and Values Assessment and Development’.

Nurturing a culture that upheld CSBB’s core values and supported the new strategy was recognised as key to success. The first step was conducting a survey using Barrett Analytics to understand the current and desired culture through the eyes of the whole school community. Open questions and a Net Promoter Score rating were also included for added insights.

The cultural values assessment involved all key stakeholders – head office and school staff, parents, senior students and clergy. Results were aggregated for the whole system, individual values assessments were available for leaders and Principals, each school received their own results and various demographics including role type such as Teacher and workstream leaders, were explored.

The results were presented and discussed in detail with the head office leadership team and at various staff forums. One on one online debriefs were conducted with leaders to discuss their personal results and their team results. Almost all of the Principals took the opportunity for an individual debrief to discuss the results for their school and communication packs were prepared to assist them in sharing the results with staff and parents. Several recommendations for developing the culture were presented including a potential refresh of CSBB’s core values.

“The culture survey provided a basis for important discussions around values and culture and has reinforced that we are on the right track. I am very confident that with the strong foundations of faith and compassion, we will help our community grow in faith, improve student achievement, make CSBB an even better place to work, and achieve our Towards 2025 strategy.”
Danny Casey, Director of Schools


There was an excellent response to the culture survey with 4849 people responding, including 1302 from the school system (staff and clergy). The detailed strategy work and culture assessment were done in parallel. This carried a potential risk of misalignment, which turned out to be unfounded as the desired culture closely reflected the strategy.

These were some of the key findings:

  • There was high alignment between all key stakeholder groups who participated, a strong connection to the school community, and clear reinforcement of CSBB’s vision of an authentic professional Catholic education, delivered with care and compassion.
  • The top 3 Personal Values were centered on Family, Caring and Compassion reflecting the importance of people and relationships.
  • In the Current Culture, staff and clergy listed the top 5 values as Faith, Sense of community, Compassion, Continual improvement and Student-centered.
  • The school system had a cultural entropy score of 13% which is in the healthy range. The overall entropy score including parents and students was 11%. There were no potentially limiting values in the Top 10.
  • The themes to be addressed are around control and viability of the organisation and removing bureaucracy and ambiguity in systems and processes.
  • The top values selected for the Desired Culture of Academic excellence, Continual improvement, Professional growth, Balance (home/work) and Coaching/mentoring demonstrated that the school community is supportive of change and is strongly aligned with the Towards 2025 strategy.
  • CSBB’s foundations of faith and compassion are strong but to achieve the ambitious Towards 2025 strategy there is a clear appetite for continuous improvement, raising academic results and more collaboration.
  • There is a need to work smarter (not harder), to break down silos and to pay close attention to developing all people, whether they work in schools or in support roles, and a strong message to continue to focus on staff well-being – not just student welfare.
  • The balance index was significantly weighted towards making an impact, highlighting the need to pay more attention to the foundational levels, especially performance, which reflects the focus of the transformation.


Linley Watson, Peak Performance International