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He Kaponga Arotake: Evaluation of the Balanced Scorecard approaches by Springboard Trust

Davina Hunt, Kiri Fortune, and Rachel Bolstad

Since 2007, Springboard Trust has been supporting school leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand with the 10-month Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP) to develop their effective strategic planning capability.  

In 2022, Springboard Trust piloted the Balanced Scorecard for Schools Aotearoa (BSSA) professional development programme for those who had completed the SLPP. This introduced the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) tool, developed initially to support businesses (Kaplan & Norton, 1992) but modified to assist principals in the challenge of measuring their school’s progress, performance, and impact against their strategic plan. The BSC encourages principals to use four perspectives to set strategic objectives and monitor progress in: Academic Learning; Teaching and Leadership; School Culture and Community; People, Tools and Resources. 

This report provides an independent formative evaluation of the BSC approach. It seeks to gain insight from the experiences of eight principals  across four waves who completed a BSC during 2022–23.  

The evaluation questions guiding this study were:  

  1. What is working well for principals in BSSA and why?  
  2. What could be improved?  
  3. Where do principals see this going next? 

Overall, all principals were impressed with the quality of professional learning received and spoke of the value added to their strategic leadership practice impact by developing longer-term objectives and measures, systematic thinking, a clear vision for planning, and a broader definition of school success. A growth in collective purpose was emphasised through sharing and adapting their BSC with staff, boards of trustees, students, whānau, hapū, iwi, and their wider communities. 

Participants appreciated ongoing opportunities to share BSC practice and identified opportunities for strengthening the programme, such as a stock of BSC examples, exemplars and case studies, guidance selecting impact measures and aligning the BSC to culturally responsive frameworks to support equity and inclusion. 

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Publication type: 
Research report
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