The Strategic Improvement Plan

This working document details the steps your school will take to improve learning outcomes and the achievement and growth of all students.

Three primary school students, two girls and one boy, with hats giving the thumbs up
Image: Planning for improvement in a strategic and collaborative way

Why does your school need a Strategic Improvement Plan?

It is a requirement that all NSW government schools develop and publish a Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP).

A Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) is a working document that details the steps your school will take to improve learning outcomes, and the achievement and growth of all students. To ensure continuous improvement, the Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) reflects where your school is at and how it will further improve learning, teaching and leading.

Strategic Improvement Plan animation

Watch the animation for Strategic Improvement Plan. It outlines the approach and the stages needed to create your Strategic Improvement Plan.


Policy and context

Schools engage in all aspects of the School Excellence cycle. This includes developing a Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) in consultation with their community. The SIP has up to 3 strategic directions and associated improvement measures which form the basis of each planning cycle. One of these strategic directions will be ‘Student growth and attainment’ for all schools. The remaining strategic directions are chosen by each school to reflect and respond to their unique context.

Improvement measures should include system-negotiated targets for student growth and attainment and references to effective classroom practices. The Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) is approved by the Director, Educational Leadership and published on the school’s website by the end of Term 1 at the commencement of a planning cycle. The Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) is also required as a state archive.

Your school will develop a comprehensive Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) in consultation with the school community, identifying student outcomes to be achieved and connected to the budget.

The Strategic Improvement Plan

The Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP):

  • is underpinned by the School Excellence Framework (SEF), SEF Self-assessments and the external validation process
  • clearly identifies the expected improvement in learning, teaching and leading aligned to specific strategies, initiatives, resources and professional learning
  • includes strategic directions and the improvement measures, including references to the school's agreed system-negotiated targets, against which your school's impact will be monitored and evaluated
  • clearly reflects the department’s strategic plan and Premier’s priorities
  • demonstrates your school’s commitment to excellence and equity as part of NSW public education
  • is clearly linked to the school budget, reflecting the resources that will be used to achieve the planned improvements
  • is underpinned by high impact teacher professional learning to build the capabilities of teachers and school leaders.

The School Excellence Policy provides direction for schools on school planning, ongoing self-assessment, annual reporting and external validation.

What it is and what is isn't


  • based on your school's situational analysis and the School Excellence Framework
  • recognises the importance of a sharp, deep focus on strategic areas to address improvement in order to meet system-negotiated and school-determined targets
  • improvement focused with a clear vision for student achievement
  • a consultative process including all stakeholders
  • based on authentic school practice and reflections on practice
  • focused on collection, analysis, reflection and evaluation of evidence
  • based on improvement measures aligned to your school's current state.

  • based on opinion and personal preferences
  • focused on validation or external views
  • for school leadership teams exclusively
  • part of an inspection process
  • leading to external rankings for schools.


Learn more

Find more information about School Excellence in Action or contact the team at sparo@det.nsw.edu.au.

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