Department of Education

Evaluation and Accountability

Evaluation and Accountability

School Accountability

School Improvement and Accountability Framework

The School Improvement and Accountability Framework (PDF Document - 2581 KB) supports the School Improvement and Accountability policy, available through the department's Our Policies website, by describing the conceptual model that underpins the policy and offering advice about implementation that is more holistic and integrated.

The School Improvement and Accountability Framework directly supports and is integral to the Classroom First Strategy and the Plan for Public schools 2008-2011. A powerpoint presentation to support the implementation of the policy and framework has been developed.


Principals are accountable to the Regional Executive Director for the performance of their school and teachers are accountable to the principal for the progress of their students.

Principals, in collaboration with school staff are required to:

  • undertake self-assessment that results in judgements about the standards of student achievement and the effectiveness of school processes in maximising student achievement.
  • undertake school planning processes that include the development of a School Plan, operational planning and classroom planning.
  • publish annually a School Report that describes the school’s performance and report on legislative and designated policy and program requirements.
  • participate in and actively respond to school review processes including Standards Reviews and, as required, reviews conducted by the Expert Review Group.

Components of the School Improvement and Accountability Framework

The conceptual model that underpins the School Improvement and Accountability Framework has five components.

Successful students are at the core of school improvement and accountability with all other components connected to and focused on the standards of student achievement.

The school improvement cycle, where schools assess their performance, plan for improvement and act on their plans, is a continuous process that is central to effective school improvement and accountability.

School operations include both pre-requisites for successful students – teaching and learning environment; and enablers of successful students – resources, leadership and relationships.

Arising from these components, schools report at particular points in time about their performance.

Schools also participate in school review processes that evaluate school effectiveness and provide feedback on how schools might improve their performance.

Successful Students

The standards of student achievement, both academic and non-academic, are the central focus of school improvement and accountability. Schools are expected to seek continuous improvement of student achievement and are accountable for their effectiveness in doing so.

Further information on the following topics will be made progressively available, through this website:

  • Academic student achievement
  • Non-academic student achievement
  • Value-adding

School Improvement Cycle

The school improvement cycle has three components. Schools:

  • assess data and other evidence related to student achievement and school operations;
  • plan to improve the standards of student achievement; and
  • act to implement planned strategies.

School Self-Assessment

Self-assessment is fundamental to establishing an effective school improvement cycle. Schools should reflect on and evaluate their performance in order to plan for and enact improvement. They are required to undertake self-assessment that results in verifiable judgements about student achievement.

Schools assess using a systematic, continuous and comprehensive process that focuses on student performance and progress. This involves gathering and analysing data and other evidence and making judgements about the standards of student achievement and the effectiveness of school processes and operations.

School Planning

The School Plan is a public document that provides a direction-setting, strategic overview for the school. This plan must be developed in consultation with the School Council and typically spans a number of years.

School Plans should be succinct, but must include objectives, priorities, improvement targets, major strategies (particularly whole-school strategies), reference to systemic policies and directions, evaluation measures and a timeframe, including a provision for annual review.

Schools are expected to operationalise their School Plan in ways that best suit the school's context. Schools typically do this by developing, for example, learning area, faculty, sub-school or project plans. Such plans are internal to the school and detail how the School Plan will be implemented in that school year.

Classroom planning is the responsibility of teachers and should be aligned to school planning. This is monitored through performance management.

Further information on the following topics will be made progressively available, through this website:

School Operations

School operations are those processes and procedures that enable the standards of student achievement to improve.

There are five areas of focus for effective school operations:

  • teaching;
  • learning environment;
  • leadership;
  • resources; and
  • relationships.

Schools are expected to monitor the effectiveness of these areas in relation to student achievement.

Further information on the following topics will be made progressively available, through this website:

  • Quality teaching
  • Effective learning environment
  • Effective leadership
  • Compliance with financial legislation and policy
  • Effective relationships

School Reporting
The School Report provides the community with information about school performance. It gives parents and other members of the community a clear sense of how students in the school are progressing and what is being done to maximise student achievement.

The School Report should be succinct and written with a clear sense of communicating with the local community. It must include contextualised information about student achievement, progress on identified priorities, the school budget, Australian Government reporting requirements; and highlights of the school year.

A National Reporting spreadsheet to assist schools with this task has been produced for each school is available through Schools Online. The spreadsheet brings together much of the information that schools will be required to report and supplements the information already available in Schools Online. An example of the spreadsheet may be downloaded through the following link.

The Reporting Requirements of Schools is a collation of legislative, policy and program reporting requirements in each school year. It includes mandated reporting requirements arising from Australian Government and State legislation, departmental policies and procedures and key departmental programs.

Further information on the following topics will be made progressively available, through this website:

  • School Reports
  • Reporting Requirements of Schools
  • Australian Government reporting requirements

School Review

The Standards Review is one part of a suite of activity around quality assurance for schools. The other elements are: the school’s self assessment; school planning; the annual School Report; principal line and performance management; and meeting legislative and policy compliance requirements including audit, Reporting Requirements of Schools and compliance surveys.

The Standards Review will focus on standards of student achievement - academic and non-academic.

The Expert Review Group is responsible to the Director General for conducting four types of school review.

  • Identified schools whose performance raises concern;
  • Validation reviews of the Standards Review process;
  • Schools with identified areas of exemplary practice; and
  • Reviews of schools at the direction of the Minister or Director General.

For identified schools whose performance raises concern, in addition to a focus on the standards of student achievement, the review team, under the leadership of the Expert Review Group, will closely interrogate the effectiveness of school self-assessment and improvement processes and school operations.

School Accountability

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