Since January 2017, all Australian schools have been required to develop a school improvement plan. ACER has the experts and tools necessary to create effective and practical plans.

A plan for school improvement is a process of collaboration, investigation and learning. To identify and prioritise areas for improvement, schools must first understand their current strengths and weaknesses.

By undertaking a review, conducted by an independent third party, schools arrive at a comprehensive starting point for the development of a school improvement plan, and are able to determine the best possible course of action for ongoing improvement of student learning and wellbeing.

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The school review process

An ACER school review is conducted over 2–3 days (depending on school size), with the resulting report providing detailed, evidence-based feedback in relation to each individual domain of the School Improvement Tool, along with a set of overall commendations, affirmations and recommendations.

  • Each domain is assessed using qualitative profiles and designated as 'outstanding', 'high', 'medium' or 'low', with evidence to support the designation provided.
  • Upon the completion of a school review, ACER is able to work with the school leadership team to develop a comprehensive School Improvement plan, based on the findings of the report.
  • Schools are also able to complete a self-review, using the School Improvement Tool as a guide/framework, rather than undergo a review performed by an external partner. ACER staff are also able to help in this scenario, providing guidance and oversight to school-based teams as they undertake a school review.

Our reviewers

We have a highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable team of school review consultants who are carefully selected and trained to ACER’s exacting standards and have ACER accreditation to conduct reviews.

Our consultants are former principals and senior leaders who understand schools and have a wide-ranging view of evidence-based effective school practices. They come from government, Catholic and independent school sectors. They consistently apply ACER’s robust review methodology when reviewing schools and provide an independent perspective.

The benefits of conducting a school review with ACER

ACER school review staff undergo rigorous training 
to ensure that their judgements and recommendations are made consistently across schools. An ACER school review is objective, independent and supported by evidence and insight from our work in educational research.

Each review takes into account unique environment and contextual factors, providing a report specifically tailored to the requirements of the individual school.

School reviews can also support schools to:

  • prepare for a system or governing authority external audit
  • respond to a drop in academic achievement
  • support a new strategic plan
  • provide leverage among the school community for leaders to implement a strategic agenda
  • realign school objectives with recent leadership changes or restructure