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Subject Evaluation, Improvement and Action Planning

Consider your subject improvement and action plans, as well as the process of subject self-evaluation, with these helpful resources.

Our most popular resource

Subject Leadership: Evaluating Impact and Planning Ahead

Learn how to measure the impact you’re having through subject leadership with this pack. It explores subject self-evaluation and the crucial next steps, including cyclical improvement, action planning and how to develop staff in your setting - perfect if you’re new to subject leadership, have just started leading a new subject or have are taking on subject leadership in a new school.

Your key subject evaluation and improvement questions answered

What is cyclical improvement in schools?

Cyclical improvement refers to a continuous process that cycles through planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. This reflective process can improve the quality of teaching and learning, pupil outcomes and overall school performance.

It can involve four stages:

Evaluation: The current situation and outcomes of any previous improvement efforts are evaluated to determine next steps.

Planning: School leaders set goals for improvement and plan for change based on the evidence they’ve gathered and evaluated.

Implementation: Plans are put into action; strategies and activities, which are designed to achieve the identified goals, are implemented.

Monitoring: Progress is tracked through regular analysis to ensure that the strategies and activities are having the desired impact.

What is a subject self-evaluation?

A subject self-evaluation is a process that allows you to assess the effectiveness of your subject area across a period of time (usually an academic year). It typically includes:

  • analysing any pupil performance data available

  • gathering feedback from students and staff

  • evaluating the effectiveness of teaching and the resources available

  • reviewing the curriculum

A key part of the self-evaluation is understanding it’s not just recalling what happened but highlighting the impact that your subject leadership has had. By identifying areas of strength and weakness, as well as opportunities for improvement, you can then create an action plan for the coming year.

What is a subject improvement plan and how is it different from an action plan?

A subject improvement plan and an action plan are both tools used by leaders, including subject leaders, to guide and support improvement, but they serve different purposes.

A subject improvement plan (also called a subject development plan) is used to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a particular subject and helps to establish priorities, set long-term goals and monitor overall progress towards them. The plan typically includes information such as the current provision, main areas for development and desired outcomes.

In contrast, an action plan is a document that outlines the specific actions that will be taken to achieve the goals and objectives. It often includes details such as timelines, resources, and responsibilities. It is more focused on the immediate steps that need to be taken to achieve a specific outcome.

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