Last reviewed on 5 July 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
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Learn about school improvement plans (SIPs) and your role in creating, approving and monitoring them. Use our flowchart to keep track of where you are in the process as you move through the academic year.

Thanks to Fred Birkett, Harry James, Mark Trusson, Keith Clover and Ian Preston, our associate governance experts, for their help writing this article. 

Flowchart: governors' role in school improvement through the year

SIP cycle


What's a SIP?

Your school improvement plan (SIP) is a document that sets out:

  • What specific actions your school will take to meet its objectives
  • When those actions will be carried out
  • Who is responsible for carrying out each action
  • How progress will be monitored
  • How you'll measure success

It should focus on those significant strategic challenges facing your school - usually for the next academic year. It's also referred to as a strategic plan or a school development plan.

Your headteacher and the senior leadership team (SLT) will draft the actual document.

Read more about the purpose