About the School Excellence Framework

The School Excellence Framework is a statement of what is valued as excellence for NSW public schools, both now and into the future. All schools have areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. The Framework identifies quality practice across the three key domains of education – learning, teaching and leading – to help schools plan and monitor strategies for ongoing improvement.

What is the School Excellence Framework?

NSW public schools are committed to ongoing improvement in the pursuit of excellence.

The School Excellence Framework (PDF 291.17KB) is a statement of what is valued as excellence for NSW public schools, both now and into the future. All schools have areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. The Framework identifies quality practice across the three key domains of education – learning, teaching and leading – to help schools plan and monitor strategies for ongoing improvement.

It draws on evidence from national and international research and improvement processes, including the National School Improvement Tool developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research.

The School Excellence Framework focuses on those school practices that evidence shows are most directly related to continuous, school-wide improvement and better student outcomes.

The Framework underpins the Department’s new approach to planning and reporting, and will assist schools to engage their communities in identifying strategic directions, decide on improvement measures and assess their progress. As part of this new approach, schools will conduct an annual self-assessment against the Framework and report on their progress in their Annual School Report. Every five years, schools will undergo external validation in which their self-assessment is validated by a panel of peers.

This new approach to planning and reporting is outlined in the School Excellence policy, which provides direction for schools to undertake school planning and reporting, self-assessment and external validation using the School Excellence Framework.


How is the School Excellence Framework used in school planning and reporting processes?

The School Excellence Framework supports NSW public schools in their pursuit of excellence.

The Framework’s clear description of high quality practice supports schools as they engage their communities in the development of a shared vision, the identification of key strategic directions for the planning cycle, and the ongoing tracking of progress towards them.

Schools conduct ongoing self-assessment of their progress towards achieving the improvement measures set out in the school plan, and at regular intervals critically assess their practices using the elements of the School Excellence Framework. The product for each school is an annual report which flows from the school plan and the self-assessment process.


How is self-assessment using the School Excellence Framework reported to the community?

Schools report to their communities in an annual report. Schools reflect on their ongoing self-assessment using the School Excellence Framework in their annual report, outlining the next steps to be pursued as part of their ongoing development.

Still have questions about the School Excellence Framework?

Try looking at the self-assessment frequently asked questions.

For more information, please contact us.

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