Strategic Improvement Plan components

The Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) contains key components - the school vision statement, the school context statement, strategic directions and a purpose statement.

School vision statement

An essential element of school planning is for your school to create a shared vision statement. This statement should be evident throughout the Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP).

A school vision statement is short and precise - 1 or 2 paragraphs - describing your school’s shared values and high level aspirations for ongoing school improvement.

It is a statement about student learning and achievement based on school-identified priorities which consider the department's and the Premier’s priorities.

  • Does our school vision statement represent the high-level goals for the future of all our students and the school, the shared values and commitment?
  • How clearly does the school vision statement describe the desired future state for our students and our school?
  • Has our shared vision statement been informed by our situational analysis and developed in consultation with our community?
  • How does our vision statement align with the department’s priorities?
  • What do we want to change for our students, staff and leaders?
  • Is our vision statement reflective of community aspirations?

School context statement

The school context statement describes your school's unique features and includes information that reflects on the educational, geographic and social characteristics of the school.

It will clearly state your school’s high level areas for improvement or further development established from the findings of the situational analysis, including:

  • the student body
  • significant student groups
  • the school community and its aspirations
  • extracurricular activities
  • distinctive attributes of the school
  • significant school improvement focus based on the findings of the situational analysis
  • level of resourcing
  • significant alliances and partnerships
  • students with additional needs, and Aboriginal students, students learning English as an additional language (EAL/D students).

Together, your school’s vision statement and school context statement provide an orientation to the school for those reading the school’s Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP), particularly those less familiar with the school.

The context statement also clearly states the school’s high level areas for improvement or further development established from the findings of your situational analysis.

Once formulated, the school context statement may be used across a number of forums including:

  • the annual report
  • the school's website
  • the department's website
  • the My School website.
  • How has our school context statement been informed by our situational analysis and in consultation with the community?
  • Does our context statement reflect characteristics of the student body, significant student groups, the community and the outcome of the situational analysis?
  • How clearly have we articulated the distinctive attributes of our school, including extra-curricular activities, level of resourcing, alliances and partnerships?

Strategic directions

The strategic direction articulates the focus of the transformation to be achieved so that the whole school community can understand the school’s purpose. It is:

  • a title to identify the strategic direction
  • a short and meaningful statement.

Strategic directions provide a strong indication of the priorities that engage your school community members in a common goal and are underpinned by the 3 domains of learning, teaching and leading of the School Excellence Framework (SEF).

Due to the interrelated nature of the elements of the SEF it is likely that each strategic direction developed by your school will contain aspects of improvement related to all 3 domains and therefore a Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) will not require a strategic direction for each domain.

Strategic directions for unique school contexts

Small schools may develop 2 strategic directions. Strategic Direction 1 will be ‘Student growth and attainment’.

Find out more about strategic planning for Strategic planning for unique school contexts which includes:

  • small schools
  • newly opened schools
  • schools for specific purposes (SSPs).
  • Are our strategic directions high-level drivers for transformational change?
  • Does strategic direction 1 (SD 1) explicitly reference and focus on ‘student growth and attainment’?
  • Has our situational analysis informed the strategic directions?
  • Has our school’s most recent self-assessment and external validation, and the evidence underpinning our ‘point in time judgements’ informed the strategic directions?
  • Has research and evidence informed the development of our strategic directions?
  • In what ways do the strategic directions align to our school vision?
  • Do our strategic directions align with the SEF elements and previous SEF-S-aS?

Purpose statement

The purpose is a clear and succinct statement to explain why a strategic direction was chosen as a focus. It is:

  • a statement that is aspirational but also measurable and contextual
  • relates to the school vision
  • explains the reason or logic for the strategic direction
  • drives the whole strategic direction.
  • Does the purpose statement clearly explain why this strategic direction was chosen as a focus?
  • To what extent are our purpose statements related to student growth and attainment?
  • To what extent are our purpose statements aspirational, measurable and attainable within the timeframe?
  • How clearly does our purpose statement articulate the intent of the strategic direction?
  • Is the purpose statement informed by the relationship between our self-evaluation and the reason for the strategic direction?
  • How has our evidence informed the development and purpose of the strategic direction?
  • How is the intent of the purpose statement related to the elements of the SEF-S-aS under each domain?

Learn more

Find out more about School Excellence in Action.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Educational accountability
  • High performance
  • Leadership and management
  • Planning
  • Planning, budgeting and forecasting
  • School Excellence Framework
  • Teaching
  • performance

Business Unit:

  • Public Schools
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