Sample A - Large High School

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 1 - analyse Scout

Firstly, open SPaRO and choose the self-assessment section to view the situational analysis headings and fields.

Secondly, open Scout at the School dashboard to view the 5 focus areas for your review and analysis.

Note: there is no set length for a situational analysis, as it is a school-based decision and should include as much information as needed to inform future strategic directions.

Focus area and analysis - Enrolment

  • 654 students - 78% NESB (non English speaking background), 20% EAL/D (English as another language or dialect), 5.8% Aboriginal background - consistent for last 5 years.
  • Support unit - 4 classes - not expected to change
  • ICSEA - 914 - steady
  • FOEI - 140

Focus area and analysis - Student performance

Top 2 NAPLAN bands:

  • Year 7: Reading 6% Numeracy 15%. Significant proportion of students (above both state and like schools) in low bands.
  • Year 9: Reading 4% Numeracy 4%. Significantly lower than state. Large number of students in bands 5 and 6.

Strategies to improve student literacy and numeracy results need to be a priority.

Growth: In 2019 NAPLAN, the school recorded a minimum growth in Reading from Band 5 into Band 6. This growth was below both state and like school average.

Gap analysis indentifies focus areas in Reading, including comprehension, vocabulary and language features.

In Numeracy focus areas include fractions and decimals, mental and written strategies and measurement.


  • Number of students achieving top two bands in HSC is below state and like school average. 76% of students receive Band 3 as their highest band in 2019.
  • Value added has been negative and consistently below state and like school average over recent years.
  • The need for a whole school targeted HSC strategy to move more students beyond Band 3 has been identified.
  • EAL/D student's not proportionally represented – additional support and professional learning for teachers needed in this area.

The NESA RAP package, including Z-Score analysis and item analysis, identified inconsistencies in student performance.

The use of RAP data to inform practice varies between head teachers at the faculty level.

The identification of teacher and faculty strengths, expertise and areas for improvement along with additional support is critical for school improvement.

Key target areas identified were:

  • the ability of students to answer “explain” questions in science
  • the use of stimulus material in answering questions
  • understanding the language used in numeracy such as ‘interpret’ and ‘analyse’ (particularly for EAL/D students).


  • % of students achieving expected growth numeracy - baseline 58.1%, lower bound 65.5% and upper bound 70.5%
  • % of students achieving expected growth reading - baseline 56.1%, lower bound 61.5% and upper bound 66.5%
  • % of results in top 2 HSC bands - baseline 11.4%, lower bound 17.0% and upper bound 22.0%
  • % of results in top 3 HSC bands - baseline 43.5%, lower bound 48.7% and upper bound 53.7%
  • % students in top 2 Numeracy bands - baseline 11.6%, lower bound 17.2% and upper bound 21.7%
  • % students in top 2 Reading bands - baseline 6.1%, lower bound 11.7% and upper bound 16.7%

Focus area and analysis - Wellbeing

TTFM (Tell Them From Me) – areas of lowest performance in student surveys are:

  • Expectations for success, aspirations and academic self-concept. This validates staff view that students require relevant and significant classroom lessons to build self-concept and engagement, making their future more meaningful. Project Based Learning (PBL) and Curiosity and Powerful Learning (CPL) are 'hands on' educational pedagogies to facilitate this engagement.
  • Students also rated 'teaching relevance and rigour' as very low, reinforcing the lack of relevance andf engagement in the lessons being taught. PBL will better engage students.

Areas of lowest performance in teacher surveys are:

  • teacher collaboration - use of data to inform practice and setting visible learning goals. To improve teacher collaboration, the coaching and mentoring program will be enhanced and we will focus on implementing research-based high-quality collaborative practice across the school. Extensive professional learning is planned to improve teacher capabilities in data skills and use.


  • Attendance - baseline 72.3%, lower bound 75.7% and upper bound 80.3%
  • Wellbeing - baseline 72.3%, upper bound 74.1% and lower bound 79.6%.

Focus area and analysis - Human resources

Staff: 2020 (see SBAR 2020 for full detail)

We are anticipating similar allocations in 2021 as enrolments are stable, including for support classes. All permanent staff are accredited as proficient, and none are HALT. 12% hold post-graduate degrees.

With a 15% turnover of staff in 2020, retention and development of quality teaching staff is a priority. For budgeting above entitlement, we used standard rates and costs.

Total staffing allocation (>75) includes:
  • Teaching/exec staff above entitlement
    • Head Teacher Secondary Studies $143,320 was funded through socio-economic background equity loading (flexible). This will be evaluated through Strategic direction 2 in 2021-2024
  • Teaching staff FTE 7.8 – Equity loadings (included in total, and anticipated in 2021)
    • 1.6 Socio-economic background with focus on in-class learning and wellbeing support and small group intervention. Continue in 2021 with a greater focus on data driven practices in literacy and numeracy across all faculties.
    • 3 .0 ELP (1 ESL trained) with focus on withdrawal intervention. Moving in 2021, focus on integration and other strategies as indicated in EAL/D Evaluation Framework.
    • 1.6 LLAD with focus on small group intervention in previous School Plan. Continue in 2021 with a greater focus on data driven practices in literacy and numeracy across all faculties.
  • Targeted staff for support classes
    • 10.8 FTE for 4 support classes (SD3 for 2021-2024 SIP)
  • Non-teaching staff FTE 12, head count 14 - steady
  • Business manager employed ($100,997 – Clerk 7/8 2020) funded through Principal Support ($26,601), Operational and 6300. Essential to fund this initiative 2021+
  • Effectiveness of over-entitlement SLSOs who were funded through flexible equity loadings was evaluated. Results showed little impact on student growth compared to specialist teacher intervention. SLSOs in future plan will form part of more effective collaborative support teams.

Focus area and analysis - Finance

6100 – Summary - SBAR + opening balances + budget adjustments

  • School budget allocation $8,651,092 + opening balance carried forward from 2019 $290,540 = $8,941,632 total funds available for 2020.
  • $8,570,322 (96%) of funds were budgeted, leaving $371,310 unplanned. Of the budgeted funds, $126,940 was unspent.
  • Total unspent funds to be carried over to 2021 opening balance = $498,290.

SBAR 2020 - we are anticipating similar in 2021

Targeted funding:

  • Refugee student support $11,131 overspent by $1,500 (taken from flexible ELP) as per 2020 Key initiative impact statement (in 2021, we will link to SD3)
  • Integration funding support $61,092 – 1.5 FTE SLSO with overspend supporting LLAD students by $33,221 (taken from LLAD flexible) – evaluation as per 2020 Key initiative impact statement (in 2021, we should link to SD3)
  • No newly arrived students in 2020, however, several arrived in 2018-19 (now Emerging)
  • 2020 funding fully expended and evaluated as per 2020 Key initiative impact statement. The 2019 unspent funds ($80,608) will be carried forward to 2021.
  • Equity loadings – flexible (FTE staffing in HR above). In our SIP from 2021, we will link these loadings to initiatives in our strategic directions.
  • SBAR equity allocation 2021 – estimating similar to 2020 of approx. $1,500,000 – includes staffing & flexible – see SBAR when published.
  • Flexible:
    • Socio-economic background $666,667 (Above entitlement Head Teacher Secondary Studies $143,320 – to continue and evaluate through SD2, $65,000 funding for extra-curricular fees, homework centre and uniform costs - to continue and evaluate through ‘Other funded activities’)
    • Aboriginal background $32,018 – AEO 0.4 employed to work with Aboriginal students developing PLPs. To continue 2021, linked to SD1
    • English Language Proficiency $41,806 – expended on casual teachers during COVID to support all teachers develop online learning resources for EAL/D students
    • Low Level Adjustment for Disability $88,567 – expended on SLSOs to support students in class; see above for future directions for SLSOs
Operational funding:
  • Per capita $179,696 – $40,000 expended on upgrades to fitness and sporting equiptment - see 2020 Key initiative impact statement
Initiative funding:
  • Professional learning – $85,034 spent as per 2020 milestone evaluation and including professional learning (TELL) for non ESL-trained EAL/D teachers.
  • Beginning teacher support – $34,000 received as a budget adjustment. Funding fully expended as per 2020 Key initiative impact statement. 2 teacher vacancies anticipated through graduate recruitment program in 2021.
  • Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services $35,610 funding fully expended on 0.2 community liaison officer. Evaluated in AR, Wellbeing strategic direction.

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 2 - analyse SEF S-aS and EV

Note - in SPaRO, the 'Focus themes' column will already be prepopulated with data schools added to their SEF S-aS. Also, for this school sample, the external validation (EV) column is empty, as EV occurred before 2018 or will occur in coming months.


  • WTD = working towards delivering
  • D = delivering
  • S&G = sustaining and growing
  • E = excelling
  • NA = not applicable.

Element 2018 2019 EV panel report Focus themes

Learning culture D D NA Strengthen the commitment that all students make learning progress. The transition point from Stage 5 to Stage 6 requires strengthening. Student learning data needs to be passed on here and understood. Stronger parental partnerships and stronger collaboration with parents of students at risk.
Wellbeing S&G S&G NA Increase the opportunities for students to meet with staff.
Curriculum S&G S&G NA Require evidence-based change to whole school practices.
Assessment S&G S&G NA Improve student feedback, parental involvement, processes to support teachers' consistent evidence-based judgement and moderation of assessments.
Reporting D S&G NA Report on academic growth and cross-curriculum data. Growth and next steps. Parent engagement.
Student performance measures D D NA Students are not aware of expected growth. Low percentage in top two bands. School needs to focus on identifying growth targets using internal progress data as well as external measures. HSC progress and achievement of equity groups is below that of the remaining school cohort and will be a key focus moving forward.

Effective classroom practice D D NA Need to improve collaboration across faculties to share and use data about student progress and achievement. Move towards a whole school approach of evidence-based teaching methods. Effective feedback also needs to be a focus.
Data skills and use D D NA PL required in data concepts with a need to promote consistent and comparable judgement of learning. Not sufficiently promoting PL in data concepts, analysis. Require improved community engagement reflecting on student progress. Teachers not using data effectively to evaluate student understanding of lesson content and differentiate based on student need.
Professional standards D D NA Coordinated whole school approach to developing professional practice in literacy and numeracy informed by research.
Learning and development S&G S&G NA Embed explicit systems to facilitate professional dialogue. Continue to refine coaching practices. Teachers to share expertise within the school.

Educational leadership S&G S&G NA PL does emphasise effective instructional leadership. Teachers actively seek to improve their performance.
School planning, implementation and monitoring D S&G NA Leadership team actively supports change for improvement. Research and evidence based strategies to improve learning required.
School resources S&G S&G NA Technology is effectively used. Genuine integration of technology into lessons.
Management practices S&G S&G NA Management practices could be more responsive to community feedback. Stronger measures of community satisfaction required.

Reflections on SEF S-aS and EV

SEF reflections - 4 areas become apparent:

Student performance

From the SEF S-aS it is clear that professional learning (PL) is required in data concepts associated with the need to promote consistent and comparable judgement of learning as formative assessment. Teachers are not using data effectively to evaluate student understanding of lesson content. Through effective formative assessment teachers need to adjust their practices to meet the needs of individual students. PL on effective feedback will also strengthen this area of learning.

Students appear to be unaware of their expected growth and the school is not using internal progress data. Work on the progressions and PLAN2, and the development of individual learning goals will improve students' understanding. Strengthening the agreement on expected growth and next steps in order to achieve it is required for all stages.

There is a low percentage of students receiving the top two bands in both NAPLAN and HSC. There is a need to focus on the achievement of equity groups, particularly in the HSC to enable them to achieve in an equivalent way to all students.

Whole school practices

The school requires evidence-based change to its practices, including data analysis and the collection and use of internal learning data along with the implementation and development of evidence-based teaching methods.

There is a need to embed explicit systems to facilitate professional dialogue which could be achieved by refining coaching and mentoring practices and allowing teachers to share expertise within the school. The refinement of research-based high-quality collaborative practice within the school would assist.

A stronger and more seamless integraton of technology into lessons will support more differentiation through strategies such as PBL and CPL.

Cross-curricula collaboration

There is a requirement to embed explicit systems to facilitate professional dialogue. Teachers need to be encouraged and supported to share expertise within the school. This will be best achieved by school-wide mechanisms such as refinement to the coaching model, research-based high-quality collaborative practice, and the delivery of CPL and PBL.

Parental partnerships

Increase the opportunities for students to meet with staff, enabling parent involvement in improving student performance. This should strengthen agreement on expected growth and next steps for students in order to achieve that growth. Currently students are not aware of expected growth or the steps treachers want to take with them.

The school should seek increased parent and community engagement to collaboratively support student progress and performance.

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 3 - analyse internal school data, research and literature

Previous School Plan

Target - all staff demonstrate accomplished level of Gold Standard Project Based Learning (PBL) across Stage 5. Reflection: this target was not met and more PL is required on implementing PBL. PBL as a research-based program needs to be further developed within the school and used across both Stages 4 and 5.

There is a lack of centralised data to support student learning. All faculties have assessment data but there is a lack of registered formative data. To improve student learning a more consistent skills and learning challenge needs to be provided. This will also improve the students’ academic self-concept and their expectations for success. Learning support team, EAL/D, literacy team and numeracy team could not supply reliable data assessing students against the learning progressions using PLAN2.

A self-assessment against the EAL/D School Evaluation Framework determined a baseline level of delivering for both learning and teaching domains. The framework indicated that systematic collection and analysis of EAL/D student assessment data (including sliced NAPLAN data for EAL/D students), professional learning and collaborative practice were key areas for development to improve student outcomes.

There is a requirement to increase Year 7 NAPLAN Reading and Numeracy % in top two bands. Year 9 NAPLAN % in top two bands results are both low and lower than both state and like schools.

HSC results indicate under performance with an increase in the number of students in top 2 bands required. There has been a shift from Band 3 into Band 4. There is a need to continue this shift into Band 4 and 5. The targets for 2018-2020 were not met.

Improvement in attendance is also required as per system-negotiated target (below) and there will be a focus on improving student engagement in 2021.

Attendance: Baseline 72.3%, Lower 75.7%, Upper 80.3%


Target for Year 9 of 62% of students achieving expected growth in Numeracy was not achieved. 11% of students were placed in the top two bands in Literacy and Numeracy and in Year 7 only 7% of students achieved within the top two bands. This is not only below state average figures but considerably lower than expected results. This again indicates a whole school approach to engage students is required. There is a lack of centralised internal data for Year 9.

Research conducted

  1. Literacy and Numeracy progressions for EAL/D students
  2. Australian Curricula - 'Students for whom EAL/D'
  3. Academia - 'Learning English as a second language'
  4. Reading 2 Learn – 'supporting students for whom English is a second language'
  5. Project-based learning
  6. Curiosity and powerful learning
  7. CESE – 'What works best:2020 update'
  8. CESE - 'What works best in practice'.
  9. School Excellence in Action - Effective use of funding and Effective improvement measures and strategies.

Based on the above research evidence-based teaching strategies, including PBL and CPL, could be introduced school-wide focusing on improved engagement and enhanced student learning outcomes. These would support teachers to implement effective strategies to improve teaching and learning. Teachers would be collaborating across faculties, supporting teachers to become more skilled at explicit teaching techniques, data collection and authentication strategies. This would also introduce and further develop effective and positive classroom management with all classrooms managed within a school-wide approach with well-planned teaching in evidence.

To enhance research-based high-quality collaborative practice will enable teachers to demonstrate and share their expertise within the school. The school would embed explicit systems to facilitate professional dialogue, collaboration, modelling effective practice with the provision of specific and timely feedback between teachers. Student learning data would be collaboratively collected, understood and analysed. It can then be used to plot the growth path for each student.

To enhance student growth and attainment there is considerable evidence to focus on effective classroom practice with an emphasis on explicit teaching, the use of feedback and questioning techniques. Through improved assessment practices with a focus on formative assessment, monitoring of data and differentiation of the needs of learners can be met more effectively. A focus on effective EAL/D teaching strategies and adjustments is also essential. Data collection and use across the school for planning and teaching is an area that the research shows will enhance student outcomes. As staff collaborate to program, deliver and support each other to use the progressions student growth can be monitored and individually supported.

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 4 - consider all evidence

The considerations drawn from the SEF are also supported by other data sources – particularly current research on educational practice. The school's performance as indicated by its performance data and the need to revisit PBL allow the areas to be drawn together in 3 strategic directions, with an emphasis particularly for strategic direction 3, which should focus on inclusive practice, student wellbeing and engagement.

The school will focus on student performance which is driven by research-based whole school approaches to effective teaching in literacy and numeracy. PBL and CPL are important strategies to improve student engagement and outcomes across all faculties. Explicit literacy teaching would be useful in moving students into the top two bands of NAPLAN and from Band 4 into Band 5 (HSC). Students require explicit support and the teachers should undergo additional PL in analysing data, understanding, analysing and using the EAL/D Literacy Progressions to improve learning. These should be linked as effective teaching and differentiation to improve student learning and growth.

Student performance in Stage 6 needs additional focus especially for EAL/D students. Again, explicit literacy strategies are required to move students from Band 4 into Band 5. Additionally, the self-assessment against the EAL/D School Evaluation Framework determined that sustained whole school best practice for EAL/D students requires significant focus to achieve improved outcomes across the school, with measurable impacts on Stage 6 learning outcomes anticipated in the life of the next planning cycle. Significant resources provided through the equity loading for English language proficiency (staffing and flexible) will be directed towards strategic direction 1, student growth and attainment.

A major focus on student engagement, inclusion, high expectations and wellbeing through proposed strategic direction 3 is required to improve student attendance and establish positive attendance patterns from day 1. Research indicates that this focus, with consideration of our students and our targets, we should increase the proportion of students attaining their HSC and lift student learning outcomes. Strategic direction 3 will enable our support unit to monitor progress of personalised learning plans and professional development plans, and for specialist staff to share their expertise in wellbeing and inclusion with all staff for the benefit of all students.

Retaining teachers and developing teacher capabilities is a high priority for the next planning cycle. Given the high need for staff professional learning and collaborative practices, and a whole school focus on using data to inform practice, assessment and collaboration, regular additional teaching staff will be required with a focus on equity groups. Our significant equity loadings for socio-economic background, Aboriginal students, English language proficiency and low level adjustment for disability will be deployed across all three strategic directions to support equity groups. By reviewing support strategies, there is a need to focus on attracting and retaining more quality teaching staff funded through flexible equity loadings.

Cross faculty collaboration which will be driven by a whole school approach through data monitoring, research-based high-quality collaborative practices, enhanced coaching protocols and mentoring programs. There is a need to embed explicit systems to facilitate professional dialogue and to refine coaching practices enabling teachers to share expertise within the school.

These latter processes will also have a positive impact on the other two strategic directions and provide a basis for ensuring that the other protocols are embedded throughout the school.

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 5 - prepare for community consultation

Draft strategic directions for community consultation

Draft Strategic Direction 1 Draft Strategic direction 2 Draft Strategic Direction 3
Student growth and attainment Refined teacher practice and collaboration

Inclusion, wellbeing and engagement

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