Teacher effectiveness and professional learning

The High Impact Professional Learning (HIPL) approach puts students' needs at the heart of teachers' professional learning.

Using student-level data to drive teacher learning

Through a HIPL approach, teachers place students’ needs at the heart of their own professional learning. This requires current, classroom-based data to understand how well students are progressing.

Your leadership team can use this rich data to collaborate with staff in regards to how teachers could be further supported to improve their teaching practice, and evaluate the impact of professional learning on student outcomes.

Strategic Improvement Plans should enhance strategies that enable teachers and school leaders to identify, collect and analyse student data aligned to each of the target areas for improvement. This data can be used to support collaborative decision making around the collective and individual staff professional learning needs.

Reflective questions

The following reflective questions will help your school consider how professional learning could be considered at each stage of the School Excellence cycle.


  • What capabilities do your teaching and non-teaching staff require if your school is to improve student learning outcomes and achieve the improvement measures in your SIP?
  • How will you collaborate with and support staff to identify and address gaps between their teaching expertise and identified student need?
  • What strategies will you include in your evaluation plan to determine the impact of professional learning initiatives on the achievement of improvement measures?

  • How will you collaborate with staff to develop Professional Development Plans (PDPs) that align individual learning goals with the strategic directions and school improvement measures?

  • What impact has professional learning had on improvements in teaching practice and on your students' progress and achievement?
  • What does your real-time assessment data tell you should be your next focus for professional learning?
  • How will you support staff to reflect on the impact that their professional learning has made towards the achievement of your school's strategic directions?
  • What gaps exist between your school's desired and actual outcomes?
  • What adjustments are required to whole school, team or individual professional learning plans?



Data for planning professional learning

Options that can be considered, as part of the evaluation and assessment of objectives at both a school and individual staff level, include:

  • student work samples
  • pre and post testing of your student understanding/ skills
  • formative student assessment results
  • student and parent surveys
  • summative student assessment results and reports, including personal learning goals
  • peer observations of teaching practice against a common framework
  • staff evaluations of the quality and effectiveness of professional learning
  • teacher accreditation status
  • learning progression in literacy and numeracy, for example, NAPLAN results and minimum standards
  • truancy, detention and suspension rates
  • resource allocation analysis.


A structured and informed assessment

As a school leader, you can utilise information gained through the annual review of staff learning against individual goals, and the subsequent review of aggregate learning against strategic goals, to make a structured and informed assessment of the overall impact of professional learning in enhancing teacher expertise.


Learn more

Find out more about School Excellence in Action.

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