This policy is current as at 24/09/2017 10:17pm, AEST. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

School Excellence policy

Direction for schools on school planning, ongoing self-assessment, annual reporting and external validation.

1. Policy statement

1.1

NSW public schools are committed to the pursuit of excellence and the provision of high-quality educational opportunities for each and every student. This policy provides direction for schools to lead school planning and annual reporting, to self-assess, and undertake external validation using the School Excellence Framework.

1.2

Schools develop a three-year school plan in consultation with their community. Up to three strategic directions and associated improvement measures form the basis of each three-year planning cycle. Implementation and monitoring of the plan using school-determined milestones each year assist schools to track progress.

1.3

The school plan will be completed in accordance with the implementation guidelines.

1.4

Each year, schools will undertake a self-assessment of practice and development utilising the School Excellence Framework, to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. This will include completion of the School Excellence Framework Self-assessment Survey. The findings from self-assessment will be reported in the school’s annual report together with an outline of the next steps to be pursued as part of the school’s ongoing development.

1.5

The School Excellence Framework Self-assessment Survey will be undertaken in accordance with the implementation guidelines.

1.6

Schools report annually to their communities and the system in the school’s annual report.

1.7

The annual report will be completed in accordance with the implementation guidelines.

1.8

Over a five-year cycle, schools will participate in an external validation process. Schools will have their self-assessments validated using the School Excellence Framework by an external panel. Schools will prepare a submission providing evidence to support their self-assessment for the consideration of an external panel. Schools will also engage in discussions with the panel. An external validation panel report will be provided to the school following an external validation.

1.9

All schools are required to use the School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) software to undertake and complete school planning, self-assessment, annual reporting, and external validation.

1.10

The Director, Public Schools NSW, following consultation with the principal, may seek to have the school’s progress externally validated outside the five-year cycle. Requests to conduct an external validation outside the five-year cycle are to be made to the Executive Director, Leadership and High Performance.

1.11

The School Excellence policy recognises that some schools may require targeted assistance at any point in the school planning and reporting cycle. In instances where the Director, Public Schools NSW, in consultation with the principal, identifies that a school requires significant assistance in its pursuit of excellence, a school development review may be undertaken.

1.12

School development reviews will be undertaken in accordance with the procedures document.

1.13

Recommendations from school development reviews will inform school planning and annual reporting and focus on supporting the principal in shifting the school onto a sustainable path of performance and improvement.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1

All staff and communities of NSW public schools.

3. Context

3.1

The School Excellence Framework is a statement of what is valued as excellence for NSW public schools, both now and into the future, and how to work towards achieving this. It identifies quality practice across the three key domains of learning, teaching and leading. School excellence is pursued through the components of school planning, self-assessment, reporting and external validation to support ongoing school improvement. The School Excellence Framework and the school planning and reporting cycle enable schools and the system to reflect on and validate school improvement efforts.

3.2

Schools will engage their communities in the development of a shared vision, the identification of strategic directions, and the ongoing tracking and reporting of progress as the basis for achieving school excellence.

3.3

Objectivity, transparency and consistency are important elements for ensuring a system-wide approach that supports schools in the achievement of excellence. An external validation process provides an assurance to the school and the system that the progress being made aligns with the expectations articulated in the School Excellence Framework.

3.4

The provision of an additional process involving school development reviews enables appropriate intervention and support for schools requiring targeted assistance.

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1 Principals are responsible for pursuing school excellence and the provision of high quality educational opportunities for each and every student through:

4.1.1

leading the school community in the development and successful implementation of the three-year school plan.

4.1.2

endorsing the school planning process as an accurate representation of consultation with the community and evidence-informed decision-making.

4.1.3

publishing the school plan on the school’s website by the end of Term 1 at the commencement of a planning cycle. During the cycle, updates to the plan, where required, will be published annually by the end of Term 1.

4.1.4

leading a collaborative, ongoing process of self-assessment that involves critical reflection of the school’s progress.

4.1.5

monitoring the implementation of the plan and making adjustments as required.

4.1.6

leading the ongoing assessment of the school’s practices using the School Excellence Framework to inform school plans and the annual report, including the annual completion of the School Excellence Framework Self-assessment Survey by the end of Term 1 of the following year.

4.1.7

leading the preparation of the annual report that reflects the school’s achievements and meets the department’s reporting requirements.

4.1.8

publishing the annual report by the end of Term 1 of the following year.

4.1.9

leading the preparation of a submission for external validation. The submission will include supporting evidence from the school’s self-assessment processes on the school’s achievements and ongoing progress using the School Excellence Framework.

4.1.10

taking appropriate action following an external validation.

4.1.11

actioning any recommendation from school development reviews, if undertaken.

4.2 Principals, School Leadership are responsible for pursuing school excellence and the provision of high quality educational opportunities for each and every student through:

4.2.1

supporting school planning and annual reporting processes.

4.2.2

working collaboratively with principals and school teams (when requested), to prepare the school’s external validation submission.

4.2.3

leading external validations with a principal colleague. Principals, School Leadership only lead external validation panels for schools they have not previously supported in preparing the school’s external validation submission.

4.3 Directors, Public Schools NSW are responsible for pursuing school excellence and the provision of high quality educational opportunities for each and every student through:

4.3.1

supporting principals to engage in all aspects of the School Excellence policy.

4.3.2

engaging in regular professional conversations with the principal regarding the school’s plan, self-assessment and annual report.

4.3.3

endorsing the published school plan.

4.3.4

monitoring school plan implementation and annual reporting processes for compliance with legislative and policy requirements, and the implementation guidelines.

4.3.5

working collaboratively with principals and school teams to prepare the school’s external validation submission.

4.3.6

affirming the school’s external validation submission as being an accurate representation of the school’s processes in planning, self-assessment and reporting.

4.3.7

nominating schools to the Executive Director, School Performance, for a school development review, where appropriate and following consultation with the principal.

4.3.8

leading a team to undertake a school development review and determining appropriate strategies for implementation at the school, in consultation with the principal.

4.3.9

producing a school development review report for the principal and the Executive Director, School Performance with the findings and recommendations of the review.

4.3.10

supporting the principal to take appropriate action following an external validation and to implement any recommendations from a school development review, if undertaken.

5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

5.1

The Executive Director, Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation will liaise with the Executive Director, Leadership and High Performance to provide a report to the Secretary on data from the School Excellence Framework Self-assessment Survey and outcomes of the external validation process.

5.2

The Director, High Performance will monitor and collect information regarding the implementation of this policy and will report to the Executive Director, Leadership and High Performance.

5.3

Directors, Public Schools NSW will monitor and support the implementation of the policy in schools.

6. Contact

Director, High Performance, 02 9244 5713

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