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First ever school improvement plan

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by mms1, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Hi all,

    I have escaped the summer sunshine and retreated to my laptop to write my first ever SIP/SIDP. I have looked at a couple of examples and they are reams of pages and very detailed. I'm not looking for short-cuts but wanted to be sure this was the standard expectation as this document will take some considerable time if the examples are anything to go by. Any advice on efficiencies would be great.

    I will also be drafting the PPG and SPG so want to get these done so I can get on with the business of living!

    Thanks in advance to everyone that replies.
    Marshall likes this.
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I have written many over the years. They have become too long (to satisfy OFSTED, etc) and I am working on an alternative which is short, sharp, to the point.

    I will post on this and thanks for the reminder about efficiency!
  3. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Sounds good, I am currently writing a summary page on outcomes form previous plan and will then write a plan for each of the 4 core sections much like I would have done as subject coordinator. The plans I've looked at are about 10 pages long - is this OTT or about right??
    Marshall likes this.
  4. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I hate to say this but when I started teaching in 1981/2 schools did not have improvement plans, there were no league tables and very few if any teachers on SA and capability

    Pupils still managed to get taught and find what employment there was

    Funny how times have changed!!!!
    pepper5, hhhh and install like this.
  5. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    So true! Education has become a political handbag and sadly increasingly removed from the needs of society. Now we have a situation where the most important qualification is whether you will receive your benefits. You only have to look at the staggering numbers of graduates in debt and unemployed coupled with a general breakdown of society to know that all is not well in the state of Denmark.

    install likes this.
  6. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    10 pages is fine in my opinion and I will be basing mine along the same headings - I take it you mean the OFSTED headings?

    I have seen SDIPs that are 30+ pages long and full of so much waffle!
    Startedin82 likes this.
  7. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    I don't know if this is any use but when I did our school improvement plan I linked it not only to the ofsted headings but also to the criteria in a grid format using a ' 'line of enquiry' as a heading. We were graded as 'good' so I used the criteria for 'outstanding'. The SEF was similarly grid based against the ofsted criteria. It was also colour coded so it could be RAG rated as we went along.
    karene and Marshall like this.
  8. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Digoryvenn - I love your idea of RAG rating! Thanks and I will 'magpie' this!
    digoryvenn likes this.
  9. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Yes, I did RAG rating. Advisers and Ofsted love it as it makes their life easier and is, of course, evidence.
    Marshall and digoryvenn like this.
  10. d43587

    d43587 New commenter

    I've added a section to each of my SIP priorities that is titled:

    What will we see in children's learning?

    A bullet pointed list follows this so that it is clear for all, staff and governors, what the success criteria should look like where it matters most.
    Startedin82, digoryvenn and Marshall like this.
  11. clbills

    clbills New commenter

    This sounds really sensible and not something I had thought of so thank you for sharing
    digoryvenn likes this.
  12. Startedin82

    Startedin82 Established commenter

    With regard to improvement plans the best advice I was given as a young HT by a LA Link Inspector (remember them?) was - start with the success criteria not the actions. Then you will know what you want to achieve.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  13. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    The first time the SIP was mentioned at an early governors I was mystified why it had action plans for better academic results (outcomes) rather than plans to redecorate, upgrade facilities, improve access for the disabled, improve safety in the playground etc. Although I am generally not in favour of renaming things the School Improvement Plan does not seem an appropriate name.
  14. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Neddyfonk, all those things can be included on the school improvement plan if it is appropriate, needed and will contribute to improving pupils progress and achievement. You don't need a separate document. Improving outcomes is just one aspect of school improvement.
    Startedin82 likes this.
  15. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    My views:

    1) If you have accurate SE, the SIP almost writes itself. So spend your time ensuring that you know the school and have this sorted, before writing the SIP.
    2) I have a front page that lists the three key priorities (possibly 4, but no more). This goes on the school website too.
    3) The next 4 sections relate to the OFTSED headings. I don't do an separate EYFS one. I might also do a fifth section relating to capital work that impacts upon one of the other 4 areas - just because its easier to track there for the site team!
    4) The first page of each section has a position statement (taken from SE), targets and a "what will be different for children"
    5) The second page of each section has a broad outline of actions, lead, resources etc... and most importantly, a projected timeline along the bottom which allows me (and everyone else) to monitor progress. It is NOT set in stone as some actions will then relate to a more detailed set of events depending on what is found out... and fits on one page.

    For my HT reports to Governors, I then change the last 2 columns in the four sections to read action taken and next steps... and complete this so they know where we are. Then we also RAG the timeline as we go. Periodically I review the overarching targets and "What is different for children" with staff. If what we are doing collectively isn't making a difference for children, the inside 4 sections are pointless.

    Subject Leader Plans dovetail into this. They have completed SE statements that I review before completing the school SE... and so these potential actions feed into the SIP. Sometimes I will advise that whilst X might be important in a particular subject, when you look at the whole picture, other priorities mean that it won't make it to the SIP.
    Once the SIP is confirmed, Subject Leaders develop their own action plans that complement the SIP so we are all working towards the same things.

    Teachers (and you) can't do everything at once.
    The key questions for me are what are the priorities and what will the team do to address those and have the most impact on children.

    As a format and process it works for us - but it isn't perfect and must remain a dynamic document to be useful.
    My previous HT used to worse such detailed SIPS that it was almost a week by week to do list... of 40 pages!! It worked for her, but no one else.
    Sundaytrekker and digoryvenn like this.
  16. clbills

    clbills New commenter

    I am really interested in the format you describe as it seems to make a lot of logical sense as a way to set it out. Can I ask more about the subject leader SE statements and how this works? Is it a set proforma?
  17. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    At present, the SL statements are really very simple: strengths and areas for development! Sold as a "one page profile" for each subject so that if you picked up a new subject, you'd have a starting point at a glance. I didn't want it to be a cumbersome bit of paperwork - in general I think people know this stuff, they just don't share it as well as they could with others.
    I've actually found them really useful this year as they reveal who might need support with their role too (so can plan that into the SIP, CPD and Appraisal)..

    Once the cycle has started, the planning becomes easier (yet maybe harder!).. as I tend to start thinking about the next SIP when I begin to think about the budget!
  18. clbills

    clbills New commenter

    That sounds really sensible. Think I might ask SL to bring to their appraisal meeting what they believe are strengths and weaknesses. Great way to have a record as a new head of where people feel they need support and how their action plans can be structured alongside the school development plan.

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