About this plan

How this plan was developed

The development process for Lighting The Way was underpinned by four key principles. 

For this strategic plan to inspire our people and drive real and lasting improvement for students, staff and school communities, it needed to be co-created, improvement focused, evidence based, and outward looking.

Listening with the ear of our heart

To ensure our strategy was co-created and outward looking, the development process began with a four-month listening phase in the first half of 2021.

First, we issued a survey to students, parents and carers, and school staff, inviting them to have their say on what they valued most about Catholic education, what could be improved, and what concerned them most about the future.​

The major themes from the more than 2700 survey responses we received were further explored in 16 listening sessions, which were facilitated by principals, teachers and Catholic Education Office (CEO) staff and attended by 212 participants from schools across the diocese.

Through a range of other forums, we also engaged with and listened to the ideas of school and system leaders, partner agencies, and the clergy of our diocese.

Our strategic focus areas

The incredible stories, feedback and ideas shared by students, parents and carers, clergy and school staff were considered in light of our enduring mission, mandate and values, and resulted in five strategic focus areas for school and system improvement:

Towards the end of 2021, a cross-disciplinary team was established for each focus area, made up of experts from schools and the CEO, as well as representatives from the clergy, the Office of the Bishop and CatholicCare.

To deliver on our commitment to be improvement focused and evidence based, these teams undertook research, consultation and data analysis to validate the assumptions of each focus area. Then, drawing on the experience and expertise of the 51 team members and the many others they engaged, each group defined the improvement ambition for their focus area and the key results we expect to see.

Critical evaluation

In the first half of 2022, the work of the cross-disciplinary teams was reviewed and evaluated by a range of school and system leaders, as well as independent experts from outside our system.

An early version of the strategic plan was provided to principals and CEO leaders in mid-2022, six months before it was due to take effect, to ensure that every school could design their local plans with the system's strategic focus areas in mind.

The product of our 18-month development process is set out in this plan, which describes the improvement and growth we aim to deliver for our students, staff and school communities, and which will focus our collective energy, effort and investments in the coming years.

How we are delivering this plan

The delivery of Lighting The Way is supported by enabling infrastructure, including structures, tools and processes, to ensure our system of schools is positioned to achieve strategic outcomes and deliver lasting improvement for students, staff and school communities.

Each year the CEO publishes a system-level annual plan, outlining the strategic goals that will be prioritised in the coming year. The system-level annual plan reflects the decisions made during the CEO’s annual planning process about what system-wide initiatives will be delivered that year.

Service areas within the CEO also produce their own annual plans that describe how they will contribute to achieving strategic goals. CEO initiatives are measured both by the effectiveness of their delivery and by their impact on relevant improvement indicators, reflecting our commitment to ensuring every strategic initiative makes it “through the classroom door” and drives tangible improvement at the school level.

Guided by Lighting The Way and their local school context, principals and school leadership teams engage in cyclic inquiry processes to produce their own multi-year strategic school improvement plans and annual improvement plans. Each school’s improvement plans will specify the contribution they will make to Lighting The Way focus areas through the delivery of local improvement initiatives identified through the processes within the Continuous Catholic School Improvement Framework.

A coordinated approach to delivering strategic initiatives

School and CEO plans are recorded in our system-wide digital platform, ClickUp. This provides shared visibility of the major initiatives being undertaken across the system and ensures the work of schools and the CEO is aligned to the focus areas of Lighting The Way.

In addition, the platform serves as a tool for managing the day-to-day implementation of projects and activities at the school and system level. The progress and impact of individual initiatives and programs of work are monitored and reviewed regularly, allowing informed decisions to be made about where adjustments or additional support may be required.

Adapting to new information and progress

Over time, as goals are achieved and improvement realised, new focus areas and outcomes will be set, supporting an approach to strategic improvement that is both proactive and responsive to changes in our environment, and continuously focused on delivering the best outcomes for students and our community of Catholic schools.