School Planning Policy

attentionThis policy provides direction for the preparation and implementation of school plans including the identification of priority areas, intended outcomes and targets that are consistent with the NSW State Plan and the Department’s planning documents.

1.Objectives - Policy statement

The school plan will be consistent with and aligned to the education elements of the NSW State Plan and the department’s planning documents.


The school plan will be endorsed by the school education director and is to be made available in accordance with timelines outlined in the implementation guidelines.


Where necessary, in the second and third years of the plan, schools will revise targets, strategies and indicators. The school’s self-evaluation processes will form the basis of these modifications. Any modifications to the school plan will be endorsed by the school education director.


The development and implementation of the school plan is led by the principal and is a shared responsibility of the school community. The school plan will identify areas of responsibility and allocated resources to support strategies/priority areas.


The school plan is a major component of principal accountability.


Schools will report on the school plan in the annual school report.  Future directions identified in the annual school report should be reflected in any revised targets or strategies of the school plan for the following year.

2.Audience and applicability

Staff and communities of all NSW government schools.


Staff, students and school communities are committed to the process of continuous school improvement. School plans document this commitment.


Planning and self-evaluation processes are evidence based and rely on the careful analysis of a broad range of data, including quantitative and qualitative data and internal and external data.


The planning process reflects and accommodates local and systemic needs and aspirations.


School planning provides opportunities for principals to lead their school communities through self-evaluation processes to determine priorities, intended outcomes, targets, strategies, time frames and the strategic allocation of resources. The objective of the planning process is consistency, not uniformity.


The intent of the school planning process is to strategically and systematically focus on the areas that are identified as priorities for school improvement.


Evaluation of the school plan is recorded and communicated to the school community through the annual report. The annual school report is the means by which the school reports against the school plan to parents and the community.


Communities of schools choosing to prepare a joint plan should reflect their cohesive interdependent ethos.


Document history and details

4.Responsibilities and delegations
The principal is responsible for:

leading the school community in the development of the school plan and submitting the plan to the school education director for endorsement;


promoting and supporting the active participation of the school community in the school self-evaluation process. This will include analysing and responding to a range of data sources and identifying priorities, intended outcomes, targets, strategies, time frames and the strategic allocation of resources for the school plan;


leading the school community in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the school plan;


reporting on the school plan, leading to the development and publication of the annual school report; and


ensuring the endorsed school plan is published and readily accessible to the school community, including on the internet.

The school education director is responsible for:

supporting the school self-evaluation process where required;


guiding the development and revision of school plans through professional conversations throughout the year as part of principal assessment and review schedule meetings;


monitoring school plans for compliance with accountability requirements including equity or other targeted funding and engage in professional conversations about its implementation and evaluation;


monitoring school plans for legislative and policy requirements and ensure identified priority areas, intended outcomes and targets are consistent with the State Plan and the department’s planning documents; and


providing feedback, support and guidance prior to the endorsement of the school plan.

5.Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

The senior manager, strategic coordination will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report, as required to the executive.


Regional directors will collect information to inform the senior manager, strategic coordination regarding the implementation of this policy.


school education directors will monitor and support the implementation of the policy in schools in which they are responsible, and inform any concerns, issues or suggested improvements  to regional directors.


Assistant Director School Performance & Improvement (02) 9244 5184.


Document history and details

Approval date


Approving officer

Deputy director-general schools

Implementation date


Web publication date


Superseded documents


It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of this document, located at:
https:/ / policies/ administrative/ general/ sch_plan/ PD20080378.shtml