Explanatory Notes: This presentation is intended to provide school councillors with : An overview of the strategic planning process Advice on how school council can become involved in planning for their school What to expect from your school strategic plan Where to go for more information
The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring that all children are able to get an excellent education, and that all children have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of where they live, what school they attend or their home background. Strategic planning enables schools to plan for, and achieve, these improvements in student outcomes.
What does strategic planning mean? Strategic planning means that the school thinks about what it wants to achieve in the future, and plans how to get there to ensure that students can achieve. What does this plan do? The school's plan tells people what is important for the school and how the school will improve. The plan addresses: Why your school exists (its purpose) What is valued by your school and how it wants to operate (the values) The factors that will impact on your school over the next four years What your school wants to achieve over the next four years to help students achieve What about the School Charter? The School Strategic Plan replaces the School Charter. Charters included (amongst other things) details on all of the activities that the school undertook including legal requirements. As of 2007, these requirements will be collected in a separate document called the School Compliance Checklist. School strategic plans do not need to include such matters. Note: See the School Accountability & Improvement Framework training program for more information on how the strategic plan and the compliance checklist relate to each other .
How do we develop a Plan and what does it tell us? Schools develop a strategic plan every four years, although the plan can be updated at any time to ensure it reflects the school’s current circumstances. The Plan clearly shows how the school will get to where it wants to be over the next four years. This is usually explained by writing goals and targets, and the main actions that the school will need to take if it is to achieve its goals. Schools need to show how they will improve how students do at school. The Plan works out clearly and exactly what improvements (goals) the school wants to achieve. This will mean that the school can have a clear plan for what will be achieved (goals and targets), how it will be achieved (what the school will do i.e. strategies) and when it will be achieved (timelines). The Plan ensures a common understanding between the school, its community and the Department of Education so that everyone knows how the school is working to improve. The Plan is developed over the course of a year. The School Self-evaluation and Review, which are completed in the first part of the year, provide important input into the Plan. School review is designed to provide an expert, independent analysis of current school performance and practice, and to advise on the goals for student outcomes and appropriate improvement strategies that will help shape the school's new strategic plan.
What does our Plan have to say? All Plans must be directed towards improving student outcomes. These goals will be different for each school, but every school must have at least one goal under each of the headings below: Student learning - How the children will do better at reading, writing and maths or other areas chosen by the school to focus on Student engagement and well-being – How the students feel about being at school and whether they engage with their learning Student pathways and transitions – How students experience the move from kindergarten into school, through the school, and onto secondary school or to employment, or other training after they leave school.
What must be in the Strategic Plan? In summary, the Plan will must contain A purpose and a values statement An explanation of the school’s environment (context) The school's goals, targets and strategies for the next four years. These are explained in more detail in the next slides.
How do we develop our purpose and values statements? The Plan must include a statement on what the school is on about, (its purpose ) and what the school thinks is important its values The purpose statement has to be brief and must tell everyone why the school is here and what it is planning to achieve. Purpose statements need to be easy to understand and be relevant to those who use the school. An example purpose statement is: “ To ensure every student can achieve their best in a safe, supportive and happy environment.” The values statement says what the school thinks is important in how it works – for example, how it makes decisions, how it expects people to work with each other. An example value statement is: “ At Sunnyside Primary School we respect each other and the environment, have a go at new things, are honest, truthful and caring, and keep trying even when things are difficult.”
What is the external environment and why does it matter? The external environment means things outside of the school that can be important and have an impact on the school. It may include things that the school has little control or influence on. The external education environment is different for every school and you will need to consider things such as who is in your local community. You may want to ask the following questions: Are there people with particular needs ? Are there people from culturally and linguistically diverse groups? Is there low or high employment? Are there particular health needs? Are there new housing developments? What are the school enrolment trends (increasing or decreasing)? Are there any Government polices – state and federal – e.g. introduction of new reports that we need to think about. The internal environment means those things inside the school that the school can control or influence. The i nternal environment includes: Staff at the school – their age, experience, are they close to retirement? Facilities – state of buildings, grounds Technology – age of computers, multimedia access, number of computers to children in classrooms Parent involvement and parents’ expectations What types of learning are provided by your school?
Techniques to assist the strategic planning process could include Mind mapping Mind mapping is when you draw a picture to help get everyone’s ideas about a topic. It is a way of getting people to think about ideas and then gathering all ideas together in a useful way. It can be a great way to involve large or different groups of people in gathering input for the strategic plan because everyone's ideas are heard and it is easy to do. SWOT This may help look at the school’s strengths and weaknesses, what are the opportunities and threats. This is also called a SWOT analysis
What is a Goal and how do we work out ours? A goal explains what you want to achieve in the 3 student outcome areas over four years. What is a Target? A target explains how you will measure your success, how you will know when you have ‘got there’. What are Key Improvement Strategies? These explain the 3 or 4 broad strategies that the school will implement to achieve the goals. An example for a primary school might be: Goals (student learning) To improve student results in Reading and Writing for years 3 - 6 Targets 85% of Year 3 – 6 students achieving at or above the expected level of achievement Key Improvement Strategies To develop a thorough school wide literacy strategy To develop whole school planning through the teaching of the new curriculum An example for a secondary school might be: Goals To provide students in the post-compulsory years with a range of pathways to further education, training or work Targets To increase the proportion of students exiting to further education, training or full time employment by 5 percentage points by 2009 To have at least 30 students enrolled in a Victorian Certificate in Applied Learning program by the start of 2007 Key Improvement Strategies Introduce the Victorian Certificate in Applied Learning Program by 2007 To review the careers curriculum provided in Years 9 & 10
What will the Plan look like? This is what the school will use to write its strategic plans. There should be a statement on purpose, values and the school context There should be at least one goal in each of the 3 student areas. The key strategies may fit more that one goal.
What should School Council know? The following questions are really important in the strategic planning process: What is the school wanting our students to achieve? Where is the school now? What does the school need to do so that our students can do better? How will the school make this happen? What money or people will it need and how will it get this? How will we know if/when the school has been successful?
What do you need to do when putting together your Plan? When doing your Plan, you need to: Talk with your school community. Your community may be more than just the parents at the school – it may also include local employers, local government, other schools, community organisations – especially for secondary schools Critically review existing activities and information. Spend time considering the real strengths and weaknesses of your school Understand that change can be difficult and sometimes people can only handle a little bit of change at a time, including adults and children. You need to think about what are the most important changes to make first and do those before undertaking more changes. Remember, the goal is progress not perfection.
What should we not do? We should not ignore the resources that we will need. These include money, time, people and equipment We should not give our plan to the Department of Education and then forget about it. Our plan should only be about 3 pages in length - if it is any longer the this then it’s probably either a “wish list” or a “to do” list.
How do the Strategic Plan and the Annual Implementation Plan relate to each other? The strategic plan is a four year plan, therefore the goals, targets and key improvement strategies span 4 years The Annual Implementation Plan is for each year. The key improvement actions from the Strategic Plan need to be broken down into yearly plans – each with their own targets and actions, and these become the Annual Implementation Plan. The school charts its achievements against the annual implementation plan and strategic plan in the annual report, which is prepared every March Note: See the School Accountability & Improvement Framework training program for more information on how the Strategic Plan and the Annual Implementation Plan relate to each other .
School Strategic Planning - School Councils (PPT - 1.1Mb)
School Strategic Planning School Councils
Why are we doing strategic plans? <ul><li>“ The biggest challenge confronting education in Australia is how to overcome the gaps between high performing and low performing students which exist across all school sectors” </li></ul><ul><li>(The Victorian Minister for Education and Training, Lynne Kosky Educating all Young Australians , 2004) </li></ul>
What is strategic planning? <ul><li>Strategy, properly formulated, should provide the central point around which a school community can focus and unite to ensure that every child at the school can get the best possible education. </li></ul><ul><li>A strategic plan is your school’s voice . </li></ul>
School Strategic Plan Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan School Self-Evaluation School Review School Strategic Plan
What outcomes are we trying to achieve? <ul><li>Student learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. reading, writing, maths </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student engagement & well being </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. attendance, positive relationships, safety </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Student pathways & transition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Into, through and between schools </li></ul></ul>
Purpose and Values <ul><li>Purpose = fundamental reason for existing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A purpose statement often has two core elements: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who are we serving? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What do we wish to provide them with? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Values = timeless and unchanging, as opposed to operating practices and strategies which should change </li></ul>
Context <ul><li>Understanding the external environment, AND </li></ul><ul><li>What’s happening inside the school </li></ul>
Context <ul><li>Understanding the external environment </li></ul><ul><li>What’s happening inside the school </li></ul><ul><li>Tools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mind mapping </li></ul></ul>
Goals, Targets, Strategies… <ul><li>Goals = what student outcomes we are seeking to improve ; aspirational; describe level of improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Targets = intended performance results; specific, measurable, time-bound </li></ul><ul><li>Key Improvement Strategies = 3 – 5 key broad activities that the school will undertake to achieve the level of desired improvement in the Goals & Targets over the four year period </li></ul>
School strategic planning template Purpose: Values: Context: # 1 # 2 # 3 Key Improvement Strategies Targets Goals Student Pathways and Transitions Student Engagement and Wellbeing Student Learning
Key questions for school council <ul><li>What outcomes is the school trying to achieve for our students? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are we now? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the school need to do? </li></ul><ul><li>How will the school manage its resources to achieve these outcomes? </li></ul><ul><li>How will we know if these outcomes have been achieved? </li></ul>
Strategic Planning <ul><li>Do : </li></ul><ul><li>Get input from your community </li></ul><ul><li>Leave off the rose coloured glasses </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the people issues </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritise your strategic choices </li></ul><ul><li>Start simple </li></ul>
Strategic Planning <ul><li>Don’t : </li></ul><ul><li>Forget to consider how you will resource your plan </li></ul><ul><li>File your plan away and only look at it once a year when reflecting on progress </li></ul><ul><li>Create a set of “wish lists” – your plan must be practical and do-able </li></ul><ul><li>Crowd the plan with operational issues </li></ul>
Relationship between Strategic Plans and Annual Implementation Plans
For more information <ul><li>http://www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/standards/account/index.htm (for all strategic planning guidelines, templates and reports) </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.sofweb.vic.edu.au/blueprint/default.asp ( Blueprint for Government Schools ) </li></ul><ul><li>School System Development Division </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>