It should bring together, in a clear and simple way, the school priorities, the main measures it will take to raise standards, the resources dedicated to these, and the key outcomes and targets it intends to achieve.
The ‘Every School a Good School' policy emphasises that school improvement is first and foremost the responsibility of the school. It is based on the premise that schools themselves are best placed to identify areas for improvement and to implement changes that bring about better outcomes for pupils.
School improvement is most likely to be sustained when a school establishes a culture of aspiration and a commitment to promoting regular and robust self-evaluation. Self-evaluation must be an integral part of the school development planning process with the resulting actions and targets captured in school development plans (SDPs).
The 1998 Education order places a duty on Boards of Governors, to prepare and periodically revise a school development plan. In doing so, Boards of Governors are required to consult the principal and consider any guidance provided by: the Department of Education; the Education Authority; in the case of catholic maintained schools the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS); and also any inspection findings.