School development days

Schools provide opportunities for staff and school leaders to improve their skills and professional capacity to deliver key curriculum priorities and school strategic directions. Parents and carers should not send their children to school on school development days.

Purpose of school development days

School development days are used by schools to improve the skills of our teachers, school leaders and school administrative support staff.

They improve the learning outcomes of students by:

  • providing targeted professional learning activities aligned to school strategic directions and Department of Education priorities
  • enabling whole school planning and enhancing teacher quality, school leadership and management practices
  • implementing legislative and policy requirements.

The content of school development days is determined by the principal in consultation with the school community.

Activities are based on the principles within the Australian Professional Learning Charter for Teachers and School Leaders (2012), which recommends that professional learning experiences:

  • equip teachers and leaders to deal with both current and future contexts and challenges
  • promote action research
  • provide opportunity to explore and challenge own thinking and understandings
  • promote innovative practice.

Examples of school development day programs include:

  • analysing student and school data to identify student needs and provide a focus for teaching
  • induction and mentoring programs to support teachers new to their school
  • identifying interagency support that is available to implement case management programs
  • analysing school welfare support initiatives to meet student welfare needs
  • using quality school learning models to enhance teaching and learning programs, assessments and classroom practice
  • quality teaching in the digital age and incorporating digital components into teaching and learning programs
  • developing programs to help students with special learning needs.


The dates are determined by the department’s Secretary and are scheduled to occur at the commencement of Terms 1, 2 and 3 and the final two days of the school year.

From 2021, school development days will occur on the first 2 days of Term 1, the first day of Terms 2 and 3 and the last day of the school year.

Always check with your local school as dates may change.

2021 school development days

  • Eastern division – 27 January, 28 January 2021
  • Western division – 3 February, 4 February 2021
  • All schools – 19 April, 12 July, 17 December 2021

2020 school development days

  • Eastern division – 28 January 2020
  • Western division – 4 February 2020
  • All schools – 27 April, 28 April, 20 July, 17 December, 18 December 2020.

2019 school development days

  • Eastern division – 29 January 2019
  • Western division – 5 February 2019
  • All schools – 29 April, 22 July, 19 December, 20 December 2019.

Check with your local school as some dates may be changed.

Speed zones

School speed zones operate on all notified school days, including school development days.

Variations of school development days

Schools that wish to vary the date of a school development day can consult with their school community and advise their Directors, Educational Leadership. Please contact your school principal for further information.

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