School improvement plan: template, checklist and monitoring guidance
Download 1 of our school improvement plan (SIP) templates and use our checklist to help you evaluate your SIP. Also learn how you can monitor its implementation.
Schools use a variety of terms to describe their whole-school plan, including 'school improvement plan', ‘strategic plan' and 'school development plan'. Here, we use 'school improvement plan' (SIP).
Download our templates
You don't need to present your school improvement plan (SIP) in any specific format. Whatever format you use, it should be part of your overall improvement process and not created specifically for Ofsted.
You'll find 2 options of templates below, so you can choose the 1 that suits your school best, and adapt it further if you wish.
Option 1: template based on the 2019 Ofsted framework
Use our template to create your SIP based on the 2019 Ofsted framework.
To help you create your SIP, use our SEF template and checklist to identify key areas of improvement.
Option 2: template structured by objectives
Alternatively, choose this version if it suits your school's planning better. We’ve developed it with 1 of our teaching school partners and our associate education expert, Neil Hemmings.
There’s space for you to record:
- Contextual information
- Your school’s objectives
- Further details for each objective
Evaluate your SIP with our checklist
Use our checklist to evaluate your SIP and make sure it's comprehensive.
There are 2 parts to the checklist:
- A list of information you might expect to see in a SIP
- Pointers to help you review the structure of your SIP
Remember to base your SIP on the context and strategy of your own school. Use this checklist as a guide rather than a template.
Share your SIP with your school community
Get buy-in for your new SIP from staff and parents. To do this:
- Share your SIP with staff at an INSET day at the start of the school year, and make sure they're clear about the role they play in each objective
- Provide termly updates to let your staff know how the school is progressing
- Display your SIP in the staffroom and in your office
- Post your SIP on your school website
- Advise your chair of governors to create an annual report for parents on what happened this year and what's planned for next year
Monitor implementation of your SIP
Choose your approach
The method you use to monitor the implementation of your SIP will depend on:
- How you want to operate
- How much consistency your headteacher would like there to be in the way staff record progress against actions
The first thing you could determine is whether you want:
- Everything to be recorded in a single document, or
- A summary for key stakeholders, with further detail then being recorded by individual leaders in separate documents
Make sure the staff responsible for particular actions know they’re accountable. The questions you need to ask, whichever method you use, are:
- Does the method work?
- What impact does the method have?
Develop a template for tracking progress
You can devise and adopt a model for tracking progress against targets that suits the way you work, and design a template appropriate for the method you choose.
Use our template to track progress against targets in your SIP as a starting point.
Record monitoring methods on your SIP
Create space in your SIP to record how your plan is being monitored and implemented across the school.
Record who is responsible for monitoring each target, as well as how the monitoring will actually take place (for example, meetings, regular feedback, or data analysis).
Hold termly reviewing meetings
Many schools use termly reviewing meetings to record progress against their SIP.
Make sure you:
- Minute these meetings to clearly show the progress being made
- Arrange for meetings to take place according to specific actions and timescales (for example, a school judged ‘requires improvement’ or in special measures will need to show progress faster)
See examples of SIPs from other schools
Have a look at our other articles to see examples of SIPs from:
Jeremy Bird has extensive experience of primary headship. He has also worked with local authorities and published guidance for new and aspiring headteachers and senior leaders.
Education consultant Neil Hemmings is a former secondary headteacher. He specialises in pupil wellbeing, school improvement and the professional development of staff.
Gulshan Kayembe is an independent consultant who has experience of inspecting schools. As a consultant, she provides mentoring for senior leaders and has worked as an external adviser on headteachers’ performance management.
Mark Trusson is a headteacher and National College accredited school improvement partner. He has previously served as the principal and director of a multi-academy trust, and has expertise in the innovative use of ICT with pupils and leading church schools.