School development days

Schools provide opportunities for staff and school leaders to continually improve their knowledge, skills and professional capability 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 build on the knowledge and skills of our teachers, school leaders and school administrative support staff through a targeted professional learning program.

Professional learning is important in building the capabilities of all staff to ensure a highly skilled and professional workforce that can support the department’s vision for NSW public education to be Australia’s best education system and one of the finest in the world. School development days 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 and the school’s leadership team.

Professional learning on this day is planned in alignment with the department’s Professional Learning Policy for Teachers and School Staff (2020) which requires:

  • all staff to participate in a cycle of continuous professional learning which contributes to whole-school improvement, including ongoing student progress and achievement
  • all teachers and school leaders to participate in professional learning to fulfil their requirements when gaining or maintaining accreditation at the relevant career stage
  • all staff complete relevant mandatory training to comply with legislative, department and school requirements, ensuring the safety and optimal functioning of the school.

Examples of school development day programs may 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
  • analysing school welfare support initiatives to meet student welfare needs
  • using evidence-informed approaches to enhance teaching and learning programs, assessments and classroom practice
  • developing programs to help students with special learning needs.


The dates are determined by the department and are scheduled to 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.

2024 school development days

  • Eastern Division – Tuesday 30 January and Wednesday 31 January
  • Western Division – Tuesday 6 February and Wednesday 7 February
  • All schools – Monday 29 April, Monday 22 July, Thursday 19 December, Friday 20 December

2023 school development days

  • Eastern Division – 27 January, 30 January
  • Western Division – 3 February, 6 February
  • All schools – 24 April, 17 July, 18 and 19 December

2022 school development days

  • Eastern Division – 28 January and 31 January
  • Western Division – 4 February and 7 February
  • All schools – 26 April, 18 July, 19 and 20 December

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

Speed zones

School zones operate on all notified school days, including school development days. They are effective from 8:00 to 9:30 am and from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. For more information visit the School zones page on the Service NSW website.

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.


  • School operations
Return to top of page Back to top