Sample I - Central 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

  • total school enrolment - 333 students
  • K-6: 187 and 7-12: 146 (47% Aboriginal, 11% EAL/D)
  • student enrolment declined by 5% since 2016
  • FOEI is currently 153 and has been increasing in recent years.

The ongoing drought has impacted on student enrolment and the level of disadvantage experienced.

Focus area and analysis - Student performance

Performance in NAPLAN 2019

Top 2 bands:

  • Year 3: Reading 37% Numeracy 18%
  • Year 5: Reading 8% Numeracy 4%
  • Year 7: Reading 8% Numeracy 4%
  • Year 9: Reading 8% Numeracy 7%

The number of students in the top 2 NAPLAN bands in all years is significantly below state level.

2022 System negotiated targets:

  • 28% of Year 3 and Year 5 (2022) students achieving in the top 2 bands in Reading (UB)
  • 18% of Year 7 and Year 9 (2022) students achieving in the top 2 bands in Reading (LB)
  • 21% of Year 3 and Year 5 (2022) students achieving in the top 2 bands in Numeracy (LB)
  • 16% of Year 7 and Year 9 (2022) students achieving in the top two bands in Numeracy (LB).

2023 System negotiated targets:

  • 52% of Year 5 students (2022) will achieve or exceed expected growth in NAPLAN Reading (2019 – 40% baseline)
  • 52% of Year 9 students (2022) will achieve or exceed expected growth in NAPLAN Reading (2019 – 47% baseline)
  • 47% of Year 5 students (2022) will achieve or exceed expected growth in NAPLAN Numeracy (2019 – 35% baseline)
  • 63% of Year 9 students (2022) will achieve or exceed expected growth in NAPLAN Numeracy (2019 – 63% baseline).


  • Year 5 Reading and Writing performance is consistent with SSSG but still well below state average.
  • Year 5 Numeracy performance is below SSSG and state performance.
  • Year 7 Reading, Writing and Numeracy performance demonstrated a slight improvement in 2019 against SSSG but was still well below state.
  • Year 9 Reading performance is generally outperforming SSSG, but below state average.
  • Year 9 Numeracy performance is similar to SSSG but below state average.
  • Year 9 Writing performance is trending below SSSG and state average.
  • Years 3, 5 and 7 Aboriginal student performance in Reading and Writing has shown a positive trend over several years, is outperforming similar schools and just below state average.

No students achieved in the top 2 bands in the HSC. Five students achieved one band for each in the 2019 HSC. Student performance in all HSC subjects has consistently been below state. Ongoing, inconsistent student performance indicates the need for a whole school targeted HSC strategy to move students beyond the lower bands in every subject. The school’s self-assessment against the SEF places Value Added as Delivering. A whole school approach to the development and implementation of effective strategies to improve students’ literacy and numeracy skills need to remain a school priority in 2021 and beyond.

Focus area and analysis - Wellbeing

TTFM (Tell Them From Me):

  • 80% of students surveyed indicated the school had expectations of success, however only 70% of students indicated positive advocacy, and only 60% of students felt a sense of belonging. These results sit below the state average.
  • Wellbeing measures indicate a decline from baseline 62% (2018) to 50% (2019).


  • Trend data (2017-2019) indicates that the largest percentage of days lost to suspension occur in Year 7 and 8. 69% of students suspended are male, however there has been a steady increase in the number of female students (and the days lost) since 2015. There has been an increase in the number of long suspensions.
  • Aboriginal students account for 70% of all suspensions.


  • K–12 rates have consistently been below state average for a number of years and are significantly below the attendance benchmark of 90% attendance for a large percentage of the students.
  • The attendance of Aboriginal students falls below that of non-Aboriginal students at the school. The decline in attendance for Aboriginal students is apparent from Year 3 and becomes a more significant issue from Year 7 and beyond, particularly when compared to non-Aboriginal students - for example, in Term 4 2019 the percentage of Aboriginal students attending more than 90% was at 24% which was less than half of the 50% of non-Aboriginal students attending 90% and above.
  • The majority of all student absences are accepted and recorded as ‘unexplained’.

The strengthening of the Learning Support Team and the application of consistent policies, processes and supporting documents, for example, Attendance policy, Bullying & Harassment Policy, Anti-Racism Policy & ARCO needs to continue to be a school priority to enhance student wellbeing, attendance and engagement in learning.

Focus area and analysis - Human resources

There are currently 39 teaching and 25 non-teaching staff.

In addition to the principal the school has 2 deputy principals (one primary, one secondary), 4 assistant principals, 4 head teachers. The school funds 2 additional executive positions (1 AP K-6 Literacy and Numeracy and 1 HT Teaching and Learning 7-12) through literacy and numeracy (initiative funding), per capita (operational) and flexible socio-economic background and English language proficiency (equity loadings) funding.

The school has one full time Aboriginal Language Nest Teacher.

The majority of the classroom teachers are in their first 5 years of teaching. Our Central School is the first school at their current promotion level for all executive staff members, including the principal.

A significant number of teaching and executive staff activate their incentives after 3 years. Staff mobility is high, with a 57% teaching staff changeover since 2016.

Drought relief supplementation currently provides 3.8 FTE classroom teachers which is utilised to decrease class sizes and operate an individualised learning program to address the increasing suspension rate. There is uncertainty around when this supplementation will conclude.

Additional Teaching Staff:

The school engages a Home School Liaison officer to target student attendance and engagement through socio-economic background and Aboriginal background funding (equity loadings).

Non -Teaching Staff:

10 FTE permanent school administration and support staff have been at the school for an extended period and there is only limited movement within this group.

Additional support staff, including School Learning Support Officers and a Youth Outreach Worker, are employed on a temporary basis each year through integration (targeted funding), low level adjustment for disability and socio-economic background (equity loadings) to support student learning within and beyond the classroom.

Focus area and analysis - Finance

6100 - consolidated funds

  • School budget allocation $7,651,092 + opening balance carried forward from 2019 $290,540 = $7,941,632 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.

6100 – funded programs

  • Professional Learning – spent 2020. SBAR allocation 2021 – $32,234
  • Beginning Teacher Support – $34,000 received. Funding fully expended.
  • Equity – 2020 funding fully expended. The 2019 unspent funds ($80,608) will be carried forward to 2021. These funds will be targeted to support students achieve expected growth in numeracy.
  • SBAR equity allocation 2021 – $373,320.

Governance mechanism – School Resourcing committee.

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 EV 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 S&G S&G

NA High expectations, attendance
Wellbeing S&G S&G NA Behaviour, planned approach to wellbeing
Curriculum S&G D NA Teaching and learning programs, differentiation
Assessment D D NA Formative assessment, student engagement
Reporting D S&G NA Parent engagement
Student performance measures D D NA Internal and external measures against syllabus standards, student growth

Effective classroom practice S&G

D NA Classroom management, explicit teaching
Data skills and use D D NA Data literacy, data use in planning
Professional standards S&G


NA Improvement of practice, literacy and numeracy focus
Learning and development D D NA Collaborative practice and feedback

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

Reflections on SEF S-aS and EV

Historically, the process of self-assessment against the SEF S-aS has been superficial. Strategies to support genuine and deep engagement in authentic self-assessment are being developed and implemented to align and inform continual school improvement planning and impact monitoring. The school expects to undertake external validation in 2021.

The regular turnover of teaching and executive staff has negatively impacted on the staff’s ability to adopt and embed a sustained approach to school improvement.

The SEF S-aS highlighted a number of areas for immediate focus. These included learning culture, student performance, assessment, effective classroom practice, data skills and use, learning and development, school planning, implementation and reporting.

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 3 - analyse internal school data, research and literature

The school utilises a range of internal data sources including:

  • PLAN 2
  • Quick Smart – Literacy & numeracy
  • Best Start (K and Yr 7)
  • LEXIA (reading)
  • Running records
  • Language Nest data
  • NCCD
  • Student Learning & Support/health plans
  • Risk assessments
  • PLPs
  • PL impact data
  • Lesson observations
  • In-school document analysis
  • TAFE pathways/progress reports
  • Student reports
  • Student wellbeing data
  • Focus groups/survey data
  • Enrolment data
  • Retention and transition data

External data sources include:

  • PAT (Years 1-12)
  • ROSA
  • RAP
  • People Matters
  • TTFM
  • HSC

Staff capacity to effectively interpret the data or utilise it to inform planning and future practice is limited. There is a lack of correlation between student performance in external testing and school-based assessments in a number of stages. The SEF S-aS also highlighted the need to improve teachers’ data skills and use, particularly teachers’ data literacy and their capacity to use data in planning.

A limited number of parents and community members participated in the TTFM surveys. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the school plays a central role in the local community, however there is the potential to build stronger partnerships and increase community engagement in and with the school to support improvement. School planning, implementation and reporting has been identified as an area of focus through the SEF S-aS and will provide the opportunity for genuine and sustained collaboration with all stakeholders in the diverse, local community.

Staff have engaged with a range of research and literature as they continually endeavour to improve individual and school practices. These include:

  • What Works Best (2020) + Practice and Toolkit documents
  • Research into building professional learning communities, for example, Dufour & Dufour, Timplerley, Clarke & Wildy
  • The Essential Guide to Professional Learning: Collaboration – Timperley (AITSL)
  • Top teachers; sharing expertise to improve teaching – Goss & Sonnemann (Grattan Inst. 2020)
  • Research into building a K-12 learning culture, and how students and adults learn best
  • Research into effective practices for complex organisations
  • NESA Proficient Teacher Support Document - Examples of Practice at Proficient Teacher
  • NESA Evidence Guide for the Proficient Teacher Standards.

A more structured and in-depth engagement with these resources will be embedded in the next school planning cycle.

Developing your situational analysis

Stage 4 - consider all evidence

The 2021-2024 Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) had 3 strategic directions - learning, wellbeing and productive partnerships. The in-depth analysis of how successfully the targets were achieved indicates that there is still significant work to be undertaken by the school in each of these areas and will be taken into consideration when the 2021-2024 Strategic Improvement Plan is being constructed.

The TTFM (Tell Them From Me survey) and school-based parent surveys indicated that the aspirations and expectations of parents and students is not readily available and does not play a significant role in informing planning for learning.

Student attendance data indicates that absenteeism is a school wide concern as the low rate of attendance impacts on students’ ability to learn and succeed.

Although the SEF S-aS assessed the school’s learning culture as sustaining and growing, a closer examination of school practices and attendance data indicated the need to further develop high expectations and a school wide and individualised approach to improving student attendance.

All current staff have undertaken professional learning with John Fleming on Explicit Instruction. Given the high rate of staff turnover, processes to ensure teachers newly appointed to the school are familiar with the expectations and practices around this specific initiative are to be considered if the whole school focus on this methodology is to be sustainable.

In response to the significant number of ‘days lost’ to student suspension, particularly in Years 7 and 8, the school has identified the strengthening of the Positive Behaviour for Learning structures and further professional learning to support teachers with their classroom and playground student management practices.

Staff require significant training and support in the area of data skills and use, particularly in data literacy and using data to inform planning. Professional learning in developing evidence based teaching strategies to support teachers to improve their practice will complement this learning.

Implication 1

A whole school approach, including with all members of the school community, is required to achieve improvement in student performance and meet the 2022 and 2023 system-negotiated targets. This approach will include:

  • evaluation, development and application of strong pedagogical practices K-12
  • development of a strong professional learning community, which includes evaluation of impact across teaching and non-teaching staff
  • development of staff evaluative practices, data skills and use.

Implication 2

Transparent, highly effective and sustainable school systems, practices and processes are needed to minimise the negative impact of the high mobility of teaching and executive staff. This approach will include:

  • development of comprehensive staff induction processes
  • development and implementation of systems that identify, record and manage the needs of every student
  • strategic collection of relevant data and the development of systems that support the tracking of individual student performance from K-12.

Implication 3

The strengthening of existing community partnerships to develop and support ownership, high expectations and student engagement and learning. This will include:

  • valuing culture and diversity as an acknowledged driver of students’ engagement and success
  • developing and embedding whole school and community practices to improve student attendance, meeting 2022 system-negotiated targets for attendance.

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 Strong and sustainable systems and practices Community connections
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