Sample B - Connected Communities 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

  • Connected Communities High School is a remote school with an enrolment of 196 students from 7–12 across two campuses. The school has 82% Aboriginal student enrolment. There are three support classes.
  • School numbers have decreased 18% over the past three years. The FOEI is steady at 178 with 91% of families in the bottom quartile (SEA).

Focus area and analysis - Student performance


  • 8% of students are in the top two bands in Year 7 Reading and 12% in Year 9. Girls significantly outperform boys across all areas of literacy in all year groups.
  • Student growth is well below our SSG when we compare students achieving expected growth. 90% of students in Year 9 are below minimum standard for writing and 68% of students did not meet minimum standard in reading.


  • 16% of students are in the top 2 bands in Year 7 numeracy and 12% in Year 9. Girls outperform boys with 0% of boys in the top three bands in Year 9 numeracy.
  • 44% of students in Year 9 meet minimum standard in numeracy.


  • Student retention from Year 10 to 12 is 26% with a number of higher performing Year 10 students attending private boarding school for Year 11 and 12.
  • Aboriginal student HSC attainment is 35%.
  • The school has strong community partnerships with several local businesses offering school-based traineeships and apprenticeships. In 2020, five students left before completion of HSC to go into fulltime work. All these students were from Aboriginal backgrounds.

Targets for 2022:

  • % achieving expected growth Numeracy: baseline 56%, lower bound 60.5% and upper bound 65.5%
  • % achieving expected growth Reading: baseline B 58.8%, lower bound 63.5%, and upper bound 68.5%
  • % in top 2 bands HSC: baseline 11.4%, lower bound 26% and upper bound 21%
  • % in top 3 Bands HSC: baseline 43.5%, lower bound 48.7% and upper bound 53.7%
  • % in top 2 bands Numeracy: baseline 10.6%, lower bound 16.4%, and upper bound 21%
  • % in top 2 bands Reading: baseline 12.1%, lower bound 17.7% and upper bound 22.7%

Focus area and analysis - Wellbeing

  • Overall attendance rate has declined over the past three years. The average attendance rate for 2018 was 72% and 2019 was 64%.
  • The percentage of students who attend school >90% of the time currently sits at 62%. Our lower bound target of the number of students attending >90% of the time is 75.3%. The upper bound target for 2022 is 85% attending >90% of the time.
  • The student TTFM (Tell Them From Me) data shows an average of 42% of students have a positive sense of advocacy and have expectations for success. This declines steadily from Year 7 students to Year 10 students. This data is well below state average. Only 40% of students report feeling a positive sense of belonging which sits below state average of 69%. This has also declined over the last two years.
  • The number of major negative behaviour incidences has remained relatively steady though unacceptably high over the past three years (624 in 2020). There has been an average of 130 suspensions each year in the same time. During this time, the number of long suspensions decreased by 20% but the number of short suspensions increased by 35%.

Focus area and analysis - Human resources

  • FTE is 19.4 including remote supplement. 55% of staff are in their first five years of teaching and 80% of executive staff are in their first or second year in the role. No executive member, other than the principal, has been teaching for more than six years.
  • Only 20% of staff have more than 10 years’ experience. We utilise equity loadings including Socio-economic background and Aboriginal background funding to engage additional staff including: Aboriginal Instructional leader, SLSOs, AEO and a CLO.

Focus area and analysis - Finance

  • Planned School Budget allocation for 2021 – $7,282,304
  • Expected balance carried forward from 2020 – $157, 710

Consolidated fund - 6100

  • Equity Socio-economic background – $545,354 ($102,782 unspent)
  • Equity Aboriginal background – $198,546 ($12,172 unspent)
  • Integration funding support – $354,335 (exhausted)
  • Equity Low level adjustment for disability including $230,565 for 2.1 LaST (exhausted)
  • Per Capita - $44,683 ($1,006 unspent)
  • Professional learning – $41,987 (overspend $12,842)
  • Literacy and numeracy – $21,342 (overspend $3,263)
  • Beginning teacher support– $65,432 ($23,000)
  • School support allocation - $15,975 (exhausted)

School and community sources - 6300

  • $64,000 available

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.


  • 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 WTD D D High expectations
Wellbeing D D D Individual Learning needs
Caring for students
A planned approach to wellbeing
Curriculum D D D Teaching and Learning Programs
Assessment WTD D D Formative assessment
Summative assessment
Student engagement
Reporting D D D Whole school reporting
Parent engagement
Student performance measures WTD WTD WTD Value add
Student growth
Effective classroom practice D D D Feedback
Explicit Teaching
Classroom Management

Data skills and use WTD WTD WTD Data Literacy
Data use in teaching

Professional standards WTD D D Improvement of Practice
Literacy and Numeracy focus
Learning and development D D
D Collaborative Practice
Professional Learning

Educational leadership D D D Instructional Leadership
Performance management and development
Community engagement
School planning, implementation and monitoring D D D Continuous improvement
School resources D D D Staff deployment
Community use of facilities
Management practices D D D Service delivery
Community satisfaction

Reflections on SEF S-aS and EV

Staff need significant development in the data skills and use element. This will then inform our practices and support student learning. With such inexperienced staff, significant support is required to improve effective classroom practice and how to best engage our students and community. We are not engaging our CLO effectively enough and need to use school resources more effectively to get the uplift we need in attendance and NAPLAN performance. HSC monitoring and engagement with our community remain a focus to improve retention and HSC attainment.

The EV process further highlighted the need to create a stronger link to the data, staff engagement with authentic self-assessment at both an individual and whole school level, and the resulting actions for improvement. It is clear that evidence-informed practice that relates specifically to our identified areas of needs has to be accessed to achieve our targets.

Developing your situational analysis.

Stage 3 - analyse internal school data, research and literature

Analysis of 2021-2024 Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP)

The key priorities under the current school plan included building a culture of high expectations, growth mindset and aspirations. There has not been an increase in students attaining top two bands in NAPLAN as planned. Improved staff understanding of how NAPLAN is marked and how to really analyse Scout data may be a consideration. Engagement data, including behaviour referrals, remain steady though below where they need to be. Improved staff, student and community relationships may improve this (retention of staff is major factor).

Differentiation within the classroom remains an area for significant development. Feedback and data is telling us that our work with low ability students and students that require extra support is not meeting the students' needs. We are not extending or challenging our higher ability students. A focus on formative assessment will be a priority. A more formal and rigorous induction program will be introduced to support newly appointed executive and staff.


Program review and audit has shown teachers have limited, if any, differentiation in their formal programs and are not registering any differentiation. Some staff are incorporating learning adjustments and accommodations well. Senior programs and monitoring folders need further work. Staff need support and guidance around requirements and expectations. Senior executive and formal support from school services is required. NESA assessment requirements were not incorporated in 2019 assessments in one faculty, again highlighting the need for support for newly appointed executive and first year out teachers.


Feedback from teachers acknowledge their lack of confidence in HSC programming and assessment, and their ability to authentically differentiate. They acknowledge that very little differentiation is taking place as they are focused on ensuring content is covered. It is about the teaching rather than the learning.

Staff feel supported by the executive when dealing with student behaviour but feedback from parents and students indicate there is a need for better communication and a clearer system. All stakeholders are supportive of the breakfast program. Students do not appear to value education which is evidenced by their attendance and also their responses in the TTFM (Tell Them From Me) survey.

Although all staff have completed the Connecting to Country course run by the local AECG, staff, parents and the AECG believe we are not doing enough as a school to sustain a culturally competent curriculum delivery.

Other assessment data

Internal assessment data does not reflect external data. Our internal data across all year groups and levels are seeing student work being judged at a higher level than they are showing in external assessments such as PAT, NAPLAN and HSC. Further to this, consistency in analysing assessment data using our school developed marking criteria was not evident. This is a significant issue with HSC achievement as students are being assessed at a higher level than they should be. Consistency across the stages and faculties is needed.

Student voice

Evidence through TTFM sees students reporting having a negative experience at school and not feeling engaged (65%). For Aboriginal students the percentage sits a lot higher with 78% not feeling a connection between their culture and learning. Most report not knowing what and why they are learning certain things and don’t see the relevance. One student said he believed ‘no-one here knows me or cares about me’ another said ‘no matter what I learn or do I am not going to get a job anyway’. Students and the community want to see more opportunities for extra-curricular activities, such as sport, included more formally.

Research conducted

  • 8 Ways of Learning –
  • Knowledge Frameworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students –
  • ‘Turning Policy Into Action’ document
  • Formative vs Summative Assessment – Eberly Centre
  • Formative Assessment –
  • 8 ways of learning could and should be implemented within the school. PL each year to inform new staff and enhance student sense of belonging.

Developing your situational analysis.

Stage 4 - consider all evidence

Consideration 1

Formative assessment practices need to be a focus though some teachers are using this intermittently to inform their teaching. We need to work with school services to build understanding of how to do this successfully. There is a need to ensure every teacher has a deep understanding of how to use data to inform planning and thereby differentiate at the point of instructional need. Head teachers including the HT Teaching and Learning will lead much of this work and it will be essential to ensure this is done in a collaborative and highly supportive manner.

Clear and accurate monitoring and analysis of student achievement data will help teachers to differentiate learning in each class. At a leadership level, it will inform resource allocation for maximum impact and improvement. Structures need to be put in place to identify students who need intervention within and beyond the classroom. Identifying students not showing growth at all ability levels will be key to achieving our targets. LaST support will be redirected to drive intensive learning programs (PLSPs) and our work with individual students will be closely monitored, through pre and post assessments, to determine student growth and assess our impact at a whole school level.

Our summative assessment practices need to be more consistent from 7 to 12 and a review of our current practices will be required. Using the Aboriginal Learning Centre more effectively and improving teacher understanding of NESA and assessment task completion requirements will be needed. We will set up partnerships with ‘experts’ (senior HSC markers and experienced staff from other schools) to assist our work in this area.

Consideration 2

Priority and time need to be given for teachers to better engage with the syllabus and deepen their understanding, skills and expertise in how to authentically embed Aboriginal perspectives and contextually relevant learning into all areas of curriculum. Professional learning will need to focus on building cultural awareness and strengthening understanding of how to teach through Aboriginal culture. ‘8 Ways of Learning’ will be used to assist. Much time will be needed to adjust programs and this will need to be done collaboratively in stages and faculty groups. The learning community will be utilised if possible and involvement of the whole school community in this process will be essential.

Setting up partnerships with University of New England and Charles Sturt University will also benefit our school and community. Organising visits for students from Year 5 and above from partner primary schools to the University and attracting practicum teachers to our school will be highly beneficial. These strategies are based on the Aboriginal Education Policy and the Turning Policy into Action document looking at the three guiding elements of relationships, engagement and on-going learning.

Consideration 3

Of particular concern is the level of disengagement and the TTFM results showing so many of our students not feeling a connection between school and culture. Significant work needs to be done to strengthen the relationship with our community and build an authentic partnership with the School Advisory Council. We need to engage the community with the school and improve parent and student trust. Our relationships with local businesses is a strength but this needs to be better communicated with students and their families so they see a pathway beyond school. Consideration could be given to introducing Clontarf to try to better engage boys and we should research programs to see what would best support girls, including Girls Academy.

Our work in wellbeing has not had the impact we were hoping. With suspensions and behaviour incidences not improving to any significant degree, we will review our processes and work with our community to put in place fair and consistent practices to ensure that not only every student feels known, valued and cared for, but our whole community feels a true sense of belonging.

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 Culturally rich curriculum Community partnerships and wellbeing
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