School operations

School Review

2. Preparing for a school review

Professional learning

Principals are encouraged to attend the professional learning sessions in advance of their school review. Professional learning is scheduled throughout the year and available during the term before the school’s review commences.

Casual relief teacher support for small schools

Due to their size and limited staffing profile, small schools face challenges in resourcing the preparation and conduct of their school reviews. Schools with an enrolment of under 100 students will be eligible to claim for reimbursement of up to 2 days of casual relief teacher funding to support their participation in the school review process.

Reviewer matching

New reviewers participate in an intensive accreditation process to prepare them for their role. They are required to meet a range of assessment tasks to assist them in progressing from provisional accreditation to full accreditation to lead school reviews.

Reviewers are matched to schools through a central matching process to reduce the administrative burden on principals around reviewer selection. The matching process considers individual school contexts and needs. All reviewers are accredited to undertake the role to a high standard. It is a responsibility of all panel members to declare any perceived, potential or actual conflicts of interest with the reviewer. Where such conflicts happen, an alternative reviewer may be allocated to the school. Refer to Managing probity and conflict of interest in school reviews (DOCX)External Link (staff login required) for more information.

If schools or SEILs have any concerns about the reviewer matched to a school, the SEIL can email for advice.

Review scheduling

With input from SEILs, the department schedules all school reviews across 4 terms. The department schedules a proposed week that each school will hold the review’s first day – the Validation Day. If the proposed date is not suitable for all Panel members, a more suitable date can be negotiated. Schools schedule the remaining review days in consultation with their reviewer and SEIL.

Length of the review

Each school receives a minimum of 2, and a maximum of 9, reviewer ‘days’. Validation Day is the first day of school review.

In practice, each school review will generally span 2 to 4 days.

On the first day of the review, the Validation Day, up to 3 additional days may be allocated to the review. This decision is based on the Panel’s on-balance judgement of the school’s need and its collective assessment of the school’s proficiency levels against the FISO Continua for School Improvement.

Multiple factors determine the number of reviewer days allocated to a school. The Panel considers these factors to ensure each school gets an appropriate number of review days according to its specific context and current improvement trajectory.

Factors influencing review duration include the:

  • school’s differentiated school performance group (influence, recharge, renew, transform, stretch, not grouped)
  • school’s setting (specialist, flexible learning option)
  • school’s size (fewer than, or more than, 600 students)
  • the Panel’s collective assessment of the school’s proficiency level (Emerging/Evolving or Embedding/Excelling) for the priority area of excellence in teaching and learning on the FISO Continua
  • difference between the Panel’s collective assessment of the school’s proficiency level against the 6 high-impact initiatives, and the school’s original self-assessment.

Note that if a school has a Flexible Learning Option (FLO) setting, then this will be included in the school review. This ensures school reviews consider the needs of all students, regardless of whether they are in mainstream or alternative settings. By incorporating FLO settings into the school review process, schools can identify areas of need in their FLOs that will form a key part of their improvement planning.

Scheduling Validation Day and initial review days

The allocated number of days based on factors 1 and 2 (school performance group, setting and size) is known before Validation Day. This enables the reviewer, SEIL and principal to make scheduling arrangements, and it is suggested that initial review days are booked before the Preparation Meeting. Assessment against factors 3 and 4 are not known until Validation Day. This means the length of the review cannot be finalised before Validation Day evidence-based decision-making is completed

Factors influencing total allocation of school reviewer days

Confirmed before the review

Factor 1: Days based on performance group Validation Day plus number of additional days
Influence 1
Recharge 2
Renew 2
Stretch 2
Transform 3
Not grouped 1
Factor 2: Enrolment and specialist/alternative setting Day
Specialist school/alternative setting 1
600 or more students 1

Determined on Validation Day

Factor 3: Excellence in teaching and learning Day
If the Panel agrees the school’s proficiency level is emerging or evolving for this dimension overall 1
Factor 4: Difference between the Panel’s collective assessment and the school’s original self-assessment for the 6 high-impact initiatives Days
If the Panel rates the school lower in 2 or 3 areas 1
If the Panel rates the school lower in 4 or more areas 2
Guidance chapter on preparing for a school review

Reviewed 20 February 2023

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