About This Module

MODULE 2: Strategic Planning


To provide school councillors with an understanding of:

  • working with the school leadership team to participate in strategic planning as part of the school’s improvement cycle

  • using data to identify what the school is doing well and what needs to be done to further improve student outcomes

  • fulfilling their governance role by ensuring that the school’s planning and practices reflect Departmental guidelines and community expectations.


One of the key functions of school councils is to contribute to the development of the broad vision and direction for the school as part of the school strategic planning process.

Strategic planning is the process of reflecting on past performance, establishing future directions and deciding what will constitute success. In other words, it involves the school community considering these questions:

  • where have we been?

  • where do we want to go?

  • how will we get there?

  • how will we know if we have been successful?

The Department has developed a Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO). FISO has the following components: an Improvement Model with four state-wide priorities, 16 dimensions including six evidence-based high-impact Improvement Initiatives; an Improvement Cycle and Improvement Measures.

There are four stages in the Improvement Cycle:

1. Evaluate and diagnose – evaluating the school's performance against its current School Strategic Plan (SSP) through:

  • annual self-evaluation – schools assess their performance against the FISO Continua of Practice and determine their progress against their current Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) and SSP targets

  • participating in a school review once every four years to diagnose areas requiring attention, including assessing the school’s compliance with legislative and registration requirements

  • publishing an Annual Report for the school community (including parents/guardians, students
    and other interested people) about the school’s successes and challenges in implementing the SSP and improving student outcomes.

2. Prioritise and set goals – developing a four-year school SSP that outlines goals, key improvement strategies and expected targets in a school-based plan. Schools select one or two FISO high-impact Improvement Initiatives that focus on their specific needs and guide their efforts. The plan is sensitive to local needs and based on data (including key risks to achievements).

3. Develop and plan – developing AIPs that describe how the key improvement strategies and other significant projects in the school SSP will be implemented, monitored and evaluated and developing performance and development plans for the principal and teachers.

4. Implement and monitor – collaboratively gathering data, monitoring and reviewing the impact of the school’s improvement strategies and initiatives on student learning (including key risks to achievements).  

Resources and links



Framework for Improving Student Outcomes

Continua of Practice for School Improvement - internal eduGate site




Units in this Module

Evaluate and diagnose
Prioritise and set goals
Develop and plan
Implement and monitor