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.
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 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:
Linley Watson, Peak Performance International