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 councils is to contribute to the establishment of the broad vision and direction for the school. 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. The Framework has the following components: an Improvement Model with four state-wide priorities and six high-impact, evidence-based Improvement Initiatives to focus efforts; an Improvement Cycle for continuous improvement, which includes strategic planning; and Improvement Measures to enable us to determine our success.

There are four stages in the Improvement Cycle:

1. Evaluate and diagnose – evaluating the school's performance against its current school strategic plan through:

  • annual self-evaluation
  • conducting a school review once every four years to diagnose areas requiring attention, including assessing the school’s compliance with legislation 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 strategic plan and improving student outcomes.

2. Prioritise and set goals – developing a four-year school strategic plan that outlines goals, key improvement strategies and expected targets in a school-based plan that is sensitive to local needs and based on data.

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

4. Implement and monitor – collaboratively monitoring and reviewing the impact of the school’s improvement strategies and initiatives on student learning.

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