Ongoing self-assessment, evaluation and annual reflection

Embedding your evaluative processes as your high level activities occur provides an opportunity for formative evaluation.

Ongoing self-assessment and evaluation should be planned and form a regular part of your school’s strategic improvement journey.

Embedding evaluative processes as the high level activities occur provides an opportunity for formative evaluation.

Each activity should be analysed, evaluated and reflected upon based on collected evidence at regular intervals. Your team can monitor the progress of each activity within the tracking column.


Schools evaluate the impact of activities on a regular basis.

The evaluation outlines the strategies that will be used in self-assessment processes to determine the progress and impact of your strategic direction.

The purpose of evaluation is not to prove what you did but to inform what you do next. As such, it is critical to articulate the question you are trying to answer.

Question, Data, Analysis, Implications

A useful evaluative process for structuring this is question, data, analysis and implications, as follows:

  • Question – what do we want to know?
  • Data – what data will we collect to answer the question?
  • Analysis – what facts can we extract to provide insight and meaning?
  • Implication – what will we do next in light of the analysis?

Some sample Strategic Improvement Plans unpack how this can look in practice.

Reflect and reset

Another useful tool for ongoing evaluation is CESE’s reflect and reset resource.

This resource is designed for use at a ‘pause point’ in the life of a project or strategic initiative. It will help you:

  • reflect on your evidence
  • plan your communication with stakeholders
  • identify key lessons for future planning and continuous improvement.

Reflective questions on evaluation

  • What was our impact on student achievement and school improvement as a result of the activity?
  • Have our evaluative practices been applied effectively and do they support analysis and reflection?
  • Have we considered triangulating* the data, as a combination of different types of data is most effective in generating powerful evidence to assess school performance and improve practice?
  • Upon reflection, how will your leadership team adjust future activities based on the evaluation?
  • To what extent did we use the tracking feature (traffic lights in SPaRO) to reflect the current state of implementation?

*Note: for further information on the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative data, and the practice of triangulating data, see Data types – strengths and limitations within the Evaluation resource hub.

Track and collect evidence

Your collected evidence can be tagged to the School Excellence Framework (SEF) elements, annotated and saved in the SPaRO evidence bank by clicking on the paper clip icon. This process aligns your school planning with self-assessment and the SEF.

There are 3 types of evidence that can be collected to inform your future action. It is important not to focus exclusively on impact or to use evidence of process quality or activity as a proxy for impact.

You should consider a range of data types to demonstrate implementation and progress. Scout as a source of evidence is an invaluable resource when reflecting on how the school is progressing using the SEF. See the Evaluation resource hub.

Reflective questions on evidence

  • What qualitative and quantitative evidence do we need to collect to inform and monitor our progress?
  • To what extent does the collected evidence evaluate the impact of our improvement measure?

Annual reflection

Your school will evaluate and reflect on the impact of its initiatives on an annual basis against the annual progress measure/s, ensuring it is on track for achieving the four-year improvement measures.

The annual progress measure/s evaluation will be auto-populated into the annual report. It is advised that this is completed by the end of Week 5, Term 1 of the following year to ensure it is pre-populated in your annual report, which must be finalised and published by the end of Term 1 each year.

The annual reflection should also support evaluating the school’s practices using the School Excellence Framework and then completing the school’s SEF S-aS.

Annual reflection for strategic directions

Image: Annual reflection template in SPaRO

Sample for annual reflection of strategic directions

The following image of part of 'SIP Sample A - Large High School' shows that:

  • an explanatory free text paragraph has been entered for each strategic direction (and this text is shown on other SIP samples)
  • initiative and equity loadings were selected as funding sources to strategically resource activities during implementation and progress monitoring. The selected funding sources have been automatically totalled and automatically populated into the annual reflection template.
  • annual progress measures relating to specific student equity groups, and their related evaluation of impact, have been shaded to clearly demonstrate the impact on student learning and effective teaching practice.
Image of SPaRO screen showing annual reflection part of SIP Sample A - Large High School
Image: Annual reflection part of SIP Sample A - Large High School

Reflective questions on annual reflection for strategic directions

  • To what extent have the annual progress measures been achieved?
  • How has the ongoing collection of evidence guided the annual reflection?
  • Have we used a quality evaluative process for this reflection? See evaluation plan.
  • What further evidence do we need to collect to inform our next steps?
  • To what extent does the collected evidence reflect the data sources identified in the evaluation plan?
  • To what extent have school teams or individual staff been involved in the annual reflection?
  • Have there been authentic evidence and data collecting processes to support the annual reflection?
  • Is the evidence we have analysed relevant and reliable?
  • How have we ensured that needs-based funding has been allocated to improving student outcomes across all our strategic directions?
  • Have we explicitly measured and evaluated the impact of our initiatives?

Annual reflection for other funded activities

Some activities may not relate directly to initiatives aligned with your strategic directions. These are recorded in SPaRO in Implementation and progress monitoring ‘Other funded activities’. An annual evaluation is completed for each fund.

In the following example, the large high school has:

  • recorded the use of a portion of socio-economic background (flexible equity loading) to support inclusion and opportunity for students in the equity group
  • optionally decided to record a statement of impact for beginning teacher support (initiative funding)
  • optionally decided to record a statement of impact for professional learning (initiative funding) where funds have been used compliance training.
Image: When reflecting on other funded activities, you will evaluate the impact of the activities that were funded through the identified funding source

Reflective questions

  • Most of your needs-based funding will be used to resource activities that are linked to strategic directions. Are there any activities not linked to strategic directions required to support targeted students that require resourcing?
  • What other funded activities would you include in your annual report along with a statement of impact?

Learn more

Find out more about School Excellence in Action.

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