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Schools wishing to take a 'whole school approach' to address complex issues need to systematically engage in collaborative strategic planning. They will need a process to integrate all their activities into a coherent plan and to monitor and evaluate their progress. The school development/improvement plan serves as a reference document which guides school activities and facilitates monitoring and self-evaluation. As a strategic plan, it should clearly and simply set out the school’s priorities, the main measures it will take to raise standards, resources needed, and the key outcomes and targets it intends to achieve within a specific timeframe.
School planning is not just a task for those in the school community, but should also involve the input and perspectives of all relevant stakeholders in a participatory process focused on the school’s future. Stakeholders include public authorities (as appropriate depending on the national context); parents, families and community groups; external partners, for example, social care and support services; and, of course, members of the school community, including the learners. Openness and transparency of these processes is of utmost importance. In some countries, public authorities may provide guidelines and principles for school planning.
External evaluation may also support school improvement, e.g. by offering advice on best practice and coaching schools in planning and evaluation. The main purpose is not to compare schools in a 'league table', but to highlight successful change and development processes within schools while reflecting the diversity of activities for which schools are responsible and the different contexts in which they operate.
Find out more:
OECD, Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment, OECD, Paris, 2013.
State Institute for School and Media Berlin-Brandenburg, Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture, Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, ‘Educational Monitoring, Comparative Studies, and Innovation From evidence-based governance to practice’, OECD/CERI regional seminar for the German-speaking countries in Potsdam (Germany), September 25 to 28, 2007
Macbeath, J., et al., Self-evaluation in European Schools: A story of change, Routledge, London and New York, 2000.