TARGETS AND MILESTONES IN BUSINESS PLANS
The use of targets and milestones are not ends in themselves. Rather, they are an integral part of
planning that helps the school focus on what needs to be improved.
A key determinant of the quality of both targets and milestones is the quality of school
self-assessment, which is to be managed by the principal and the Board. School
self-assessment must include examination of:
student achievement data including longitudinal comparison, comparison with national, State and
statistically similar schools, comparison with expected achievement, student and cohort growth and
tracking data and sub-group data; and
the quality and effectiveness of the school operations (teaching, learning environment, leadership,
relationship and resources). These are prerequisites and enablers of successful students.
1. Targets relate to student achievement.
2. Student achievement includes both the academic and non-academic achievement.
3. Milestones relate to the operational strategies necessary to achieve the targets.
4. School operational strategies pertain to the teaching, learning environment, leadership, relationship
and resources as outlined in the School Improvement Accountability Framework.
The purpose of student achievement improvement targets in the context of a school Business Plan is to
crystallise the focus on required or desired improvement of student achievement.
These targets are identified from student achievement data and other information which identifies areas:
of concern that require improvement;
where there is a desire and an opportunity for improvement; and
where sustained improvement is consolidated.
Student achievement improvement targets must specify:
what is to be improved – which outcomes and which students;
the amount of improvement;
how this will be measured; and
Success in achieving targets can be measured in a range of ways, including but not limited to:
quantifiable change in student achievement expressed as a percentage or numbers of students;
comparison with the previous achievement of the same group of students;
comparison between and within subgroups of students;
comparison to a standard; and/or
qualitative change in student outcomes (academic and non academic).
The contention around achievement improvement targets are whether they have to be expressed
quantitatively in terms of a percentage or number. Expressing improvement targets quantitatively raises
the following issues:
On what basis is this quantum determined?
How will the quantum impact on the level of improvement i.e. will a greater quantum of improvement
impact on the effort, strategies and final outcome?
The quantum of improvement could be quite appropriately described qualitatively by using terminology
such as marginal, substantial etc.
As outlined in the Delivery and Performance Agreement, the appropriateness of the student achievement
improvement targets will be reviewed annually against the school’s annual data collection and selfassessment.
Specific strategies, including focused use of resources, will be required to achieve the student
achievement improvement targets. The strategies to achieve an improvement target constitute a priority
or focus area of the school.
While success in achieving targets will relate to improved student achievement, success in achieving
milestones will relate to improvement in the school operations (teaching, learning environment,
leadership, relationships and resources). The success in achieving these milestones will be measured
by the extent to which strategies have been implemented and the extent to which strategies have
changed behaviours, such as classroom practice or pedagogy.
There may be focus areas that are not directly related to specific student achievement improvement
targets. These focus areas should be identified after a self-assessment of the school operations. An
example would be to improve a particular aspect of financial management which had been identified in a
school audit or to improve the quality of internal school communications, which had been identified from
a staff survey. The extent to which the identified milestones have been met would indicate progress in
these focus areas.
Updated 24 Jan 2013