SHAPING THE FUTURE OF OUR SCHOOLS in the Southern Peninsular, Northern Beaches

On Thursday 10th March, Bishop Anthony Randazzo, joined by Director of Schools Danny Casey visited St Paul’s Catholic College at Manly to announce the formation of a Strategic Working Party to strengthen Catholic Systemic schools in the Southern Peninsula, Northern Beaches.

Under the leadership of Bishop Anthony Randazzo and led by Danny Casey, the Strategic Working Party will be charged with investigating current and emerging community needs, assessing how well these are currently met by Systemic Catholic schools and developing future plans as well as growth and revitalisation opportunities.

The process includes broad consultation among school parents, staff, clergy, students, members of local Parish communities and the broader Northern Beaches community to develop recommendations to support the growth of CSBB Primary schools and St Paul’s Catholic College.

Read more about the Review here.

19 August 2022 Update

We have just completed the Community Engagement phase where the Project Team and Working Party planned significant opportunities for community engagement which commenced at the end of Term 2 at St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly and St John’s the Baptist, Freshwater with the remaining schools St Kieran’s, Manly Vale, St Cecilia’s Balgowlah and finally St Mary’s, Manly continuing in the early weeks of Term 3 which was complimented with the online “Have Your Say’ survey which was also open to the wider community.

Our Project Team was overwhelmed by the support shown and given by our schools and wider community, with over 300 online responses, 15 Parent Focus Groups, 40 staff interviews and student discussion groups.

Valuable insights, feedback and vison were given during these discussion groups and all captured (anonymously) which will be included to assist in forming a recommendation to Danny Casey, (Director of Schools) and Bishop Anthony Randazzo.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our schools, teachers, staff, parents, Parish and wider community for their participation and commitment in the review process and helping to identify opportunities to strengthen and enhance Catholic Education in the Southern Peninsula of the Northern Beaches.

The next stage of the review will commence and information and updates on this project will continue to be available here on our Our Strategy.

I appreciated having a voice in the future planning of our schools in the hope that our vision has a chance to be put into action. The discussions were focused around positive outcomes for students and families, concerns were listened to and not met with debate. 

It was enlightening to hear other parents share their opinions and encouraging to learn that we all align on similar values and needs such as co-ed education in a local high school.

Brendan Donnelly, St John the Baptist (Parent)

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It is encouraging to know that the management of BB schools is trying to paint a picture of what the users – (students, teachers, parents and community) of the school system need and want from the system and their knowledge of the system. It reflects an understanding that schools are a living entity and a reflection of the communities they serve, that they are constantly changing and evolving. It also reflects a desire for partnership, not ownership of the BB school system. Asking for participation from the people most closely involved is a good strategy for gaining relevant information.

Priscilla Chang, St Marys School, Manly (Year 3 Teacher)

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The South Peninsula Project has been a wonderful opportunity for all members of our community to have their voice heard. All members of our community, including students, staff, parents and Parish in both our primary and secondary schools had the chance to reflect on what we do well as a school community and areas we could potentially improve. It has been wonderful for see our whole community join together for the future direction of our South Peninsula Schools.

 Alexis Conn, St Marys School, Manly (Year 1 Teacher / REC)

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I felt the questions were incredibly well thought out and very constructive in terms of building solutions. The facilitators held the listening space for all involved with great compassion and balance. I found the process quite uplifting and sincerely felt like my voice had counted.

The two great changes going into this process was that people would feel it was a waste of time or that it would enter into a culture of complaint, but I did not feel either. Incredibly well done thank you.

Katrina Beanan, St Kieran’s, Manly Vale (Parent)

 The Project Team are committed to identifying all opportunities to strengthen and enhance Catholic Education in the Southern Peninsula of the Northern Beaches and delivering recommendations to Bishop Anthony by October 2022.

2 August 2022 Update

Last Term, discussion forums were held with parents, staff and students from St John’s the Baptist, Freshwater and  St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly. We have recommenced with the Parent and Community engagement in Term 3 in both St Kieran’s, Manly Vale and St Cecilia’s, Balgowlah. This week we will complete the Discussion Groups in St Mary’s, Manly and then move forward into the next phase.

To gain further detailed insights and unpack further possible opportunities to enhance our schools into the future, we invite the wider community to attend a group discussion via Zoom video conferencing. The discussion group will be moderated by a representative from Woolcott Research & Engagement (an independent research organisation).

It is envisaged that these groups will be held in late July; during the early evening (6pm), for a duration of approx. one hour. They will be very informal discussions, made up of about 8-10 people, and the discussion will cover topics such as: aspects that you are/were looking for in a primary or high schools, current perceptions of the local Catholic schools and what you think local Catholic schools should be offering in the future.

If you are a part of the Southern Northern Beaches Peninsular Community and would like to participate, please register your interest here and provide your contact details so that a representative from Woolcott Research can contact you to with further details of the discussion groups.

If you require any further information, on the discussion groups please contact Melissa Homann mhomann@woolcott.com.au or Lucy Economus leconomus@woolcott.com.au at Woolcott Research and Engagement, on (02) 9261 5221.

We encourage your participation in this process as your feedback is an integral part of this review.

Once complete all the community insights, survey data, and additional reports will be reviewed and collated which will form the recommendations which will be presented to Bishop Anthony Randazzo and Danny Casey, (Director of Schools) in October 2022.

Again, we thank our community for their participation in this process, and we all look forward to what the future possibilities and opportunities for enhancing Education on the Northern Beaches.

Have your Say  https://www.csodbb.catholic.edu.au/our-strategy/northernbeaches-review/

July 2022 Update

Our Catholic Schools Broken Bay Strategic Working Party along with our external Community Engagement Partner, Woolcott Research & Engagement have commenced and completed the community engagement with our teachers, students and parents in two of the five schools included in the Southern Peninsula of the Northern Beaches Schools Review.

On behalf of St John’s the Baptist, Freshwater and St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly, Catholic Schools Broken Bay would like to thank and show appreciation for those that took part in these face-to-face discussions.

School, Parent and community engagement will continue in the three remaining Primary schools, in early Term 3.

Feedback and insights collected from these discussion forums will help shape the recommendations made to Bishop Anthony Randazzo and Director of Schools, Danny Casey to enhance our schools in the Southern Northern Beaches Peninsula in October this year.

Once the recommendations have been reviewed, an announcement will be made by Bishop Anthony Randazzo and Danny Casey which will then be communicated back to our Schools, Parents and Community.

Again, we thank our community for their participation in this process, and we all look forward to what the future possibilities and opportunities for enhancing Education on the Northern Beaches.

Have your Say  https://www.csodbb.catholic.edu.au/our-strategy/northernbeaches-review/