Last reviewed on 25 June 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
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Learn about school improvement plans 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 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 all the actions that'll drive your school's improvement against your school's objectives over time - usually for the next academic year. It should focus on those significant strategic challenges facing your school. 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.

Use it as a way of holding your school leaders to account. It's meant to be a practical tool for driving improvement and advancing your school's long-term strategy.

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