School development plans – are they really needed?

I am on our School Development Team and this is exactly how I felt about the SIP. Until I realised that we all need to work together towards a common goal for our sanity to survive in the current climate of education.  


In my experience school development plans (SDPs) are usually written by the Headteacher in September, possibly with the input of the senior leadership group. It is based on what they believe the school needs to do to improve. Some documents cover one year and others can cover several years. Some are lengthy and go on for pages, others have tried to ensure the SDP sticks to one side of A4.


Middle leaders are then told that they should write their own subject development plans around this whole school document.

Teachers then have to write their appraisal/performance management targets around the subject development plan or the SDP.

CPD is only ‘allowed’ or at least will only be funded if it links to the whole school plans.

Teachers that are already successful in the areas that the development plan identify as school issues, are ridiculously forced to focus on things they don’t need…

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