Sample D - Large Primary School 2

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

  • Current enrolment is 786. There is no significant change in student enrolment numbers from previous years.
  • Current FOEI is 42. There has been no change to FOEI from last year.
  • There are 10 EAL/D students.

Focus area and analysis - Student performance


In 2019 60% of students achieved Top 2 Bands (or equivalent) in NAPLAN. This extends the upward trend in 2017 and 2018 results and is 2% above our target baseline (58%). To achieve the 2022 school target of 64% of students in the Top 2 Bands (or equivalent) we need an uplift of 4% from our 2019 results.

In 2019 50% of students achieved expected growth in NAPLAN reading. This is below the 2019 state average (58%) and 2019 SSSG average (62%). It is 15% below our target baseline (64). The 2019 result is a 21% decrease from the 2018 result of 71%. The 2022 target of 68% of students achieving Expected Growth has not been locked in but we need an uplift of 18% from the 2019 results to achieve the forecast lower bound (68%) of the target range.

The gap analysis indicates the need to focus on: effectively using a range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts, and integrating a range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.


In 2019, 42% of students achieved Top 2 Bands (or equivalent) in NAPLAN. This continues a downward trend extending from 2017 (54%) and below SSSG (49%) but is above state average (34%). It is 8% below our target baseline (50%). To achieve the 2022 school target of 55% students in the Top 2 Bands we need a 13% uplift from 2019 results.

In 2019 37% of students achieved expected growth in NAPLAN Numeracy. This continues a downward trend extending from 2017 (74%) and is below state average (53%) and SSSG (58%) and is 34% below our target baseline (71%). The 2022 school target of 73%% of students achieving expected growth has not been locked in but we need an uplift of 36% from the 2019 results to achieve the forecast lower bound (73%) of the target range.

The gap analysis indicates the need to focus on: ordering, reading and representing integers of any size, describing properties of whole numbers, selecting and applying appropriate strategies for addition and subtraction, and measuring, recording, comparing and estimating volumes and capacities using litres, millilitres and cubic centimetres.

Focus area and analysis - Wellbeing

Overall attendance rate has fluctuated between 93.7% and 94.7% over the last five years.

Currently 88% of students attend >90% of the time. In 2019, attendance in Kindergarten to Year 4 ranges from 90% - 93.7% with lower rates in Year 5 (88.6%) and Year 6 (87%). The 2022 school target of 91% of students attending >90% of the time has not been locked in but we need an uplift of 3% from the 2019 attendance data to achieve the forecast lower bound (91%) of the target range.

Wellbeing - in 2019 88% of students reported positive wellbeing using the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) survey. This was an increase from the 87% baseline established in 2018. The 2022 Wellbeing target of 91% of students reporting positive wellbeing has not been locked in but we need an uplift of 3% from our 2019 results to achieve the forecast lower bound (91%) of the target range.

Key facts extracted from the TTFM survey:

  • 35 more students completed the survey in 2019 than 2018
  • 326 out of 786 enrolled students completed the survey (with 326 out of 358 eligible)
  • In 2019, 98% of students reported a positive sense of success. This is 3% above state average.
  • Sense of belonging had the lowest % of positive responses. 78% of students reported a positive sense of belonging in 2019. This is 2% down on 2018 results

Focus area and analysis - Human resources

The allocated FTE is 39.19 with 2.26 FTE (5.77%) unfilled. Average length of service in current position for the 31 classroom teachers is 14.5 years. Turnover of staff is low compared to state average.

Focus area and analysis - Finance

6100 – consolidated funds

  • School budget allocation $6,953,071 + opening balance carried forward from 2018. $490,630 = $7,443,701 total funds available. $7,008,468 (94%) of funds was budgeted, however $435,230 was unplanned.
  • Of the budgeted funds, $168,910 was unspent.
  • Total unspent funds to be carried over to 2020 opening balance = $604,140.

6100 – funded programs

  • PL – overspent by $36,646 (171% of 2020 allocation).
  • Beginning teachers – all funds expended.
  • Equity (SEB, ELP, LLAD) - all 2020 funds expended however, 2019 unspent funds ($60,609) remain unspent to be carried forward as an opening balance in 2021. To contribute to student outcomes – expected growth numeracy indicators.
  • Aboriginal background - $8,131 (entire 2020 allocation was expended) and $5, 961 (unspent 2019 allocation) was also exhausted.
  • Integration - $125, 744 was expended

6300 – School and community funds

  • Spend $810,088. $594,008 will be carried forward.

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 D S&G S&G Attendance
High expectations
Wellbeing D D D A planned approach to wellbeing
Curriculum D D D Curriculum provision, teaching and learning programs
Assessment S&G D D Whole school monitoring of student learning
Reporting D S&G S&G
Student performance measures D S&G S&G
Effective classroom practice D D D Explicit teaching
Classroom management

Data skills and use D D D Data literacy, data analysis, data use in teaching
Professional standards S&G S&G S&G
Learning and development S&G S&G S&G Expertise and innovation

Educational leadership D D D Instructional leadership, high expectations culture
School planning, implementation and monitoring D D D Continuous improvement
School resources S&G S&G S&G
Management practices D D D Community satisfaction

Reflections on SEF S-aS and EV

We completed EV in 2019. We found that in some areas of our self-assessment we had been overly critical and determined our on balance judgments to be lower than the panel, and in others we had overestimated where we sat against the School Excellence Framework. As a result of the learning we took from the EV process and a change in school leadership we have evolved the way we complete our self-assessment against the SEF and can be confident that the focus themes identified are reflective of our school needs and therefore should be addressed in our Strategic Improvement Plan.

Developing your situational analysis.

Stage 3 - analyse internal school data, research and literature

Analysis of 2021-2024 Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP)

Our existing school plan has three strategic directions; Teaching, Leading and Learning. Moving into the next school plan we won’t separate the three domains of the SEF like this as it made it difficult to evaluate and reflect on literacy and numeracy progress. Each of these strategic directions had three processes each, totalling nine processes across the plan. It was difficult to implement nine processes simultaneously across the school. In the next school plan we will narrow the quantity of our initiatives ensuring a sustained focus on quality.

The existing school plan saw the implementation of Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) as a whole school behaviour system. This system has shown promising signs of success and will continue to be a core focus of our wellbeing approach.

The focus on teacher deep engagement with the syllabus documents, particularly English and mathematics saw the quality implementation of explicit teaching using assessment data to differentiate the curriculum. However, further work needs to be done in this space around using data in teaching to improve growth in reading and numeracy for all students.

The existing school plan focus of Future-focused Learning was intended to embed an integrated curriculum with an emphasis on critical creative thinking and technology. While there were many successes and highlights within this work, it was difficult to maintain explicit focus and momentum on this in isolation to literacy and numeracy. In the next school plan the successful practices learnt in this plan will be subsumed into other areas.

Reflection on WWB

Over the last few years we have had intermittent focus on themes from the CESE publication ‘What works best’ (WWB). Specifically, we have had a whole school focus on Explicit Teaching and Feedback. While we have had this focus, our results have not reflected the evidence base. As a result we would like to build on this initial work and have a renewed focus on the consistency and process quality with which the themes are implemented. To help establish staff perceptions in relation to current WWB practices, staff were surveyed. Notable results are recorded here:

  • Most teachers (>90%) strongly agreed that they:
    • had positive relationships with their students
    • are good at keeping students motivated, engaged and focused
    • provide feedback to students.
  • Most teachers (>90%) disagreed or strongly disagreed that they:
    • feel equipped to analyse data
    • receive helpful feedback about their teaching
    • regularly collaborate to reflect on student data to inform practice.

Leading improvement, innovation and change

Moving forward we want a shared approach to school improvement across the school with a focus on embedding evaluative practices to draw upon relevant and reliable data to make evidence-informed decisions about teaching and learning. The school executive will play a key role in scaling these practices across the school. To inform the school improvement agenda staff were surveyed and focus groups were conducted. A summary of the findings is recorded here:

  • Staff believe that they can improve and that drawing on literature and research can be beneficial to teaching practice. However, finding relevant and reliable research and translating it into tangible teaching strategies is time consuming and difficult to evaluate.
  • Teachers feel that they have the capabilities and willingness to collaborate but competing priorities often impact on the opportunities to do this with the depth and specificity to make this meaningful.
  • They indicated that the school has a positive collaborative climate but a reoccurring theme was that the climate would be improved through establishing transparent systematic processes for collecting and reflecting on student learning data.


There is anecdotal evidence from our community, neighbouring high schools and feeder pre-schools that our students would benefit from strengthened transition programs.

Process for the consideration of literature and research

To help us plan for how we would address the teaching, leading and learning needs of our school we considered our current needs. Because we had authentically self-assessed against the SEF we were able to articulate both where we were and where we wanted to be in four years’ time which is defined by DoE as the Excelling statements in the SEF.

To inform the best way to get there we had to consider the research and literature. In past school plans we had cherry-picked aspects of research and utilised external providers. This had led to inconsistent implementation of our school improvement agenda and contributed to change fatigue in our teachers. In this situational analysis we drew on the evidence base that underpins the SEF, which CESE has synthesised into practical and actionable publications.

We identified four major publications to support us to address our needs:

  • Wellbeing literature review
  • The role of student engagement in the transition from primary to secondary school
  • What Works Best: Evidence-based practices to help improve student performance
  • What works best in practice
  • How schools can improve in literacy and numeracy and why it (still) matters.

CESE is not the only research we drew upon, we did however utilise the CESE evidence hierarchy and advice on how to read research articles to help find research and literature that was external to DoE but still relevant to us.

Developing your situational analysis.

Stage 4 - consider all evidence

Implication 1

Targets addressed: Reading and Numeracy

SEF focus themes addressed: Curriculum provision, teaching and learning programs, Whole school monitoring of student learning, Explicit teaching, Feedback, Classroom management, Data literacy, data analysis, data use in teaching, Expertise and innovation, Instructional leadership, high expectations culture, Continuous improvement

Literature and research underpinning: What works best in practice and How schools can improve literacy and numeracy and why it (still) matters.

When analysis was conducted against the student outcome measures it was evident that expected growth in both Reading and Numeracy would be an area for explicit focus in the new school plan. Target areas in Reading and Numeracy have been identified using the NAPLAN gap analysis and will be a focus for professional learning and in class support in the Strategic Improvement Plan. The student performance results are consistent with the 2018 and 2019 SEF-SaS which identified six out of eight components (sections of the theme descriptors) within the elements of Effective Classroom Practice and Data Skills and Use. Interestingly Feedback was identified as a focus theme in the SEF-SaS but when teachers were surveyed >90% strongly agreed that they provide feedback to students.

To consider our options for addressing these needs in the school we considered the newly published ‘What Works Best: Evidence-based practices to help improve student performance’. This guide provides practical strategies for translating educational theory into classroom practice. In our SEF-SaS we identified 16 focus themes to address in the school plan, when we cross referenced the What Works Best literature we found a strong alignment for 15 out of 16 of our focus themes because WWB draws upon the same evidence bank that informed the creation of the SEF.

Reflecting on the WWB strategies it became apparent that there were many strategies and focuses that we could pursue and that there are many interdependencies between the themes. Having reflected on our inconsistent implementation of practices in the past we have prioritised establishing sustainable structures and processes for leading improvement, innovation and change as recommended by the literature. These activities will focus on developing and sustaining whole school processes for collecting and analysing data to ensure the implementation of contextually appropriate curriculum provision underpinned by evidence-informed strategies and embedded evaluative practice to improve student learning outcomes in Reading and Numeracy.

Strategic Direction 1: Student growth and attainment

  • Initiative 1: Reading
  • Initiative 2: Numeracy

Implication 2

Targets addressed: Wellbeing and attendance

SEF focus themes addressed: Attendance, A planned approach to wellbeing

Literature and research underpinning: CESE Student Wellbeing literature review and The role of student engagement in the transition from primary to secondary school

When conducting the analysis of the school Wellbeing metrics it was evident that student sense of belonging is an area of ongoing focus. This was consistent with 2018 and 2019 SEF-SaS data that referenced ‘a planned approach to wellbeing’ as a focus theme.

To address these needs in our school we consulted the CESE publications ‘Wellbeing literature review’ and ‘the role of student engagement in the transition from primary to secondary school. The literature consistently identified core elements of focus that aligned to our needs. And while PBL commenced in the last school plan, our reflection of progress is consistent with the literature that suggests that behaviour is only part of wellbeing and there is more work to be done that warrants inclusion of Wellbeing in the new school plan. Therefore our next school plan will be inclusive of activities that have been proven to work in other settings and are likely to work in ours. These activities drawn from the evidence base can be grouped broadly into ‘promoting social and emotional learning’, ‘strengthening transitions’ and 'creating a safe environment’.

Strategic Direction 2: Wellbeing, attendance and strengthened transitions

  • Initiative 1: Wellbeing
  • Initiative 2: Attendance and strengthened tranisitions

Implication 3

Targets addressed: Nil

SEF focus theme addressed: Community satisfaction, High Expectations

Literature and research underpinning: Creating a culture of excellence case studies

Community satisfaction is an area of focus we identified in our 2019 SEFSaS. This is an area we would like to address. To this end we have considered the case studies of what excellent parent, student teacher culture looks like and are going to have a 4 year focus engaging parents in student learning and school life.

Strategic Direction 3: Parents and careers; partners in learning

  • Initiative 1: Parent and carer partnerships

Developing your situational analysis.

Stage 5 - prepare for community engagement

Draft strategic directions for community consultation

Draft Strategic Direction 1 Draft Strategic Direction 2 Draft Strategic Direction 3
Student growth and attainment Wellbeing, attendance and strengthened transitions Parents and carers; partners in learning
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