How can I develop a detailed school development plan that reflects personalisation?

As the School Development Plan (SDP) is a strategic plan, it must detail the needs for development and improvement within the context of the school’s aims and values.

In schools where becoming a person-centred organisation is a key aim, and where person-centred thinking is a key value, this is the context within which the SDP is developed.

Person- centred thinking tools both contribute to and form an ongoing part of best practice in relation to the development of an SDP that reflects personalisation.

As a starting point, a school one-page profile is a great way to place personalisation at the forefront of the school development planning process. A statement of vision is essential – it is the opportunity to articulate what the school aims to be and its ethos, the essential aspects of the school that anyone involved with it needs to know. A school one-page profile allows you to simply and effectively communicate the aspects that people like and admire about the school, what is important to the school and what best support looks like. In one page, the reader gains insight into the school from the eyes of others (‘Like and admire’), understands succinctly what the school stands for (‘Important to’) and can identify what they need to do in order to support the school to achieve its aims (‘Important for’). Class one-page profiles can also support this approach, as Tabitha from Norris Bank Primary describes in this blog.

Similarly, a shared philosophy and vision within the school community is essential and provides the basis for development planning. A statement of what the school intends to achieve with its pupils is vital, and gives all stakeholders a clear reference point for practice as well as informing all aspects of school policy. A one-page strategy is a document that captures all the important information from a range of perspectives, as well as communicating clearly how the school will achieve its aims and what success will look like. Carol Taylor of Bebington High explains the value of using a one-page strategy in this blog.

In developing an SDP that reflects personalisation, the process of planning is key, and the SDP should contain a brief description of the process by which the plan was drawn up. It is important that the written plan demonstrates that a robust process of self-evaluation has led to the creation of the action plan. It is the section that says ‘we know what our school looks like at present; we know where we want to go, what we need to do first and we know what success will look like’. ‘Working Together for Change’ is a simple process that uses person-centred information to inform strategic change. The outcome is for those who have the power to make and influence strategic decisions in relation to school development planning to:

  • listen to what pupils, teachers, parents and other stakeholders are saying about their needs in relation to the school and their experiences of the school.
  • think about the changes necessary to enable the school to do more of what is working well to take the school forward, and to change what is not working.
  • plan to ensure that the things that people have identified as important to them in the future are incorporated into strategic planning.

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