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School Improvement: Question of the Month – July

‘Who is involved in creating your school improvement priorities,
plans and strategies in your SDP?’

For those of you who have already tried our free Snapshot offer, this will be familiar, as the very first question and part of our School Improvement section in Evaluate-Ed. I have been privileged on several occasions to witness leadership discussions focussed on all the elements in the creation of a School Development Plan (SDP).

Almost all schools and academies have an SDP but it is produced in a variety of ways, with different levels of involvement.  As in so many cases in schools, a variety of systems can produce a very comprehensive document that details all the necessary information for staff and governors or one that is a tool for leaders. There is no doubt that the best SDPs are produced when stakeholders are involved in its production, monitoring, implementation and success. The greater the role of stakeholders, when they are appropriately involved in the process of school improvement, the more resilient the priorities and the wider the ownership of the outcomes. Here are some general questions around this key topic that I hope will promote discussion:

  • Does your SDP ensure that the long-term priorities and future development of the school are included?
  • Are there systems and processes that allow the involvement of staff in setting priorities contained within the SDP?
  • Are the SDP priorities a regular part of staff meetings, staff workshops and training days?
  • Are the responsibilities for implementing different aspects of the SDP shared among the leadership team?
  • Do your governance structures allow for informed discussion and debate as the priorities are set, monitored and evaluated?
  • Is a summary of the key issues and priorities in your SDP on your website?
  • Do your monitoring and evaluation processes allow the progress or otherwise of your priorities to be shared with staff and governors?
  • Do your pupils have opportunities to contribute to and review your school priorities in a meaningful and structured way?

Your SDP should be a valuable asset to your school improvement process, that allows the involvement of everyone in setting the priorities and enable shared enjoyment of progress and outcomes.

John Croghan M.Ed. BA. Cert.Ed.

If you would like to speak to John please email john.croghan@evaluate-ed.com.

Content Development and Monitoring

John Croghan M.Ed. BA. CertEd. has over 50 years of experience in education, as a teacher, leading learning in classrooms from EYFS to Y11, as well as a leader and primary headteacher.  He enjoyed his role supporting Every Child Matters in schools and has advised and supported schools across the West Midlands, as well as leading OFSTED inspections.   He is currently a school consultant, mentor, and governor. 

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