Curriculum and policy monitoring meetings

Following a successful pilot (initially called School Improvement Curriculum Monitoring or SICM) in 2018, the department introduced curriculum and policy monitoring (CPM) meetings to replace the individual cyclical monitoring visits by NESA inspectors.

CPM meetings allow the department to meet its requirement to monitor policy and curriculum implementation compliance.

CPM meetings:

  • help ensure the implementation of policy and curriculum in schools
  • locate externally mandated compliance within a school improvement context
  • provide opportunities for professional dialogue and sharing amongst schools
  • reinforce a culture which demonstrates quality internal assurance processes at all levels
  • ensure that student learning and well-being remains at the centre of schools.

Network meetings are designed to reduce the workload on schools and Director, Educational Leadership (DEL) with minimal disruption to the schools involved.

Outline of CPM meetings

All participants sign confidentiality agreements and attendance at meetings is recorded.

Pairs of ‘like’ schools participate in guided discussions run by trained facilitators and are assisted by a subject matter expert (SME). DELs host the meetings providing advice and feedback when needed. Schools will usually be paired with schools from the same principal network although schools of a similar type such as Distance Education or Schools for Specific Purposes may be paired with ‘like’ schools outside of their principal network to allow for more targeted dialogue. There may be two to three pairs of schools participating in each CPM meeting.

As part of the discussions, schools present evidence that demonstrates they have met minimum standards articulated in the Manual. Evidence may address more than one requirement. It is expected that the documentation provided by a school is drawn from the everyday operation of the school and not produced specifically for the meeting. Discussions allow for schools to present evidence in light of their school context. All members of the school team will contribute to the discussion regarding the planning and implementation of policy implementation including teaching and learning at a whole school, stage and classroom level.

Each CPM meeting will focus on a specific KLA and stage. The host school will also discuss a small number of policy implementation areas. Generally, the department follows the pattern of focus areas identified in NESA’s 5 year plan. The department may vary this schedule if additional areas are identified as risks or strategic priorities.

Facilitators focus discussions on the following two areas:

  • compliance based on evidence
  • best practice and School Excellence.

DELs host CPM meetings using a standard agenda and timeframe, ensuring there is time for acknowledgement of country, collection of confidentiality agreements and an overview of relevant curriculum or policy requirements.

Time is allocated to review evidence of curriculum and policy compliance and there are guided discussions on school excellence in respect to school context and best practice.

DELs, facilitators, SMEs and school leadership teams receive annual training.

Roles and responsibilities


  • host CPM meetings as part of their principal networks
  • organise the venue and catering
  • inform participating schools of the date and venue and relevant curriculum and policy areas
  • lead the procedures for the meeting using the agenda
  • outline the requirements to be discussed for each agenda item
  • observe and monitor the discussions between schools and provide feedback and advice when required
  • complete the post meeting review of the CPM summary report
  • work with schools to address any recommendations identified in the CPM summary report.

Facilitator/subject matter experts (SMEs):

  • Facilitators and SMEs work together to ensure schools have demonstrated that they meet all minimum standards and review evidence.
  • Facilitators guide the discussions at each table and validate compliance against minimum standards.
  • SMEs assist by providing expert advice and records the findings and evidence provided.
  • Facilitators and SMEs complete the CPM summary report including identifying areas requiring DEL follow up.

Facilitators are drawn from existing principals and deputy principals and are selected via an expression of interest process. SMEs are curriculum leaders who are selected via a nomination process. Facilitators and SMEs are trained by the High Performance (HP) team from the Leadership and High Performance directorate prior to meetings to enable them to support the process.

School principals and teachers:

  • Principals are invited to bring up to two staff members to CPM meetings. Staff members may include members of the senior executive, head teachers, assistant principals, stage coordinators or classroom teachers.
  • The principal leads the school team, supports discussions and offers insight at an operational level.
  • Schools share ideas with each other and provide feedback that enable the identification of areas of improvement.
  • Schools are responsible for meeting any costs associated with attending the CPM meeting.

High Performance (HP) team:

  • schedules meeting dates
  • provides targeted training
  • supports schools and DELs throughout the process including the finalisation of the CPM summary report
  • liaises with NESA inspectors regarding the selected schools, dates, venues and HP staff attending
  • cross-references CPM identified schools with schools identified for external validation to ensure no one school is selected to complete both during the same year
  • completes the verification of the meeting, with sign off by the DEL and Director, High Performance.

NESA inspectors may be present at meetings to observe the process the department has in place for monitoring policy and curriculum implementation. Their observations may be provided to the department. Individual schools, teachers, principals or DELs will not be identified in NESA’s feedback.

Selection of schools

A sample of schools is selected to participate in CPM each year. The sample is representative of the diversity of schools. The criteria used in selecting schools is similar to NESA’s criteria in selecting schools for random inspection.

Schools engaged in external validation will not be selected for CPM during the same year.

Reporting and follow-up

A CPM summary report will be produced as a record of the meeting. It will include a record of the evidence presented and the professional discussion which took place. DELs will follow up any next steps with schools and finalise the report.

Where possible the draft report will be completed on the day of the CPM meeting by the facilitator. The report is provided to the principal, DEL, and Director, High Performance.

The purpose of the CPM summary report is for school improvement and not performance management.

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