2. School review panels

The school review is facilitated by the reviewer and includes the principal, senior education improvement leader (SEIL), school council president and challenge partners. Review panel member roles and responsibilities are described below, including information on how to select challenge partners.

Principals can choose to invite members of the leadership team, middle leaders, other staff members and student leaders to participate in the school review at their discretion.


The principal is responsible for:

  • communicating with the school community throughout the review process
  • leading and completing the pre-review self-evaluation (PRSE) with the support of nominated members of the school leadership team or other staff
  • confirming review panel members and any additional staff are available to participate and understand how they contribute to the review
  • sharing the PRSE with panel members
  • collaborating with the SEIL to select 2 challenge partners (more if preferred)
  • meeting with the SEIL and reviewer for the preparation meeting
  • coordinating logistics for the validation day, including circulating the agenda to panel members, organising a room for panel meetings with any necessary audio-visual requirements, scheduling classroom observations and inviting any school community members to present to the panel about the school if desired
  • chairing the validation and final panel days
  • checking the accuracy of the school review report
  • presenting the final review report to staff
  • presenting the final review report to school council (unless a ‘Transform’ performance grouped school).

Senior education improvement leader

The senior education improvement leader (SEIL) supports the school through the review process and is responsible for:

  • liaising with the principal and the School Review Unit to support the scheduling of the school review, identifying where specialist reviewer expertise is needed and recommending changes to the timing and length of reviews where appropriate
  • supporting the principal and their nominated staff to collaboratively complete the PRSE
  • reviewing and endorsing the final PRSE
  • collaborating with the principal to select challenge partner(s)
  • meeting with the principal and reviewer for the preparation meeting and supporting the principal to plan for the review
  • participating in the review
  • checking accuracy and approving the final draft of the review report
  • supporting the principal to present the final review report to school council
  • if any areas of non-compliance with the Curriculum and Student Learning Minimum Standard are identified, supporting the school to achieve compliance and reporting back to the Operational Policy, School Engagement and Compliance Division once achieved.


The reviewer facilitates the review process and is responsible for:

  • contacting the SEIL and principal to organise the preparation meeting
  • reviewing the PRSE prior to the validation day
  • requesting any further data or documentation required
  • meeting with the principal and SEIL for the preparation meeting
  • facilitating the validation, fieldwork and final panel days, including ensuring the panel is engaged and synthesising the data and evidence
  • preparing and delivering presentations to support and guide panel discussions including any further analysis, observations and synthesis of findings
  • designing and managing the fieldwork activities
  • preparing the review report, including editing the draft review report in response to feedback and quality assurance processes and submitting the final school review report for approval
  • presenting the school review report back to school council (‘Transform’ performance grouped schools only)
  • preparing the Curriculum and Student Learning Minimum Standard compliance assessment report.

School council president

The school council president represents the school council and is responsible for:

  • supporting communication to the school community about the review and how they can contribute. This could include gathering feedback from parents and carers
  • reviewing the PRSE prior to the validation day
  • participating in the validation and final panel meeting days and can participate in fieldwork
  • attending the presentation of the review report to school council.

The school review process is addressed in school council governance training. Refer to School Council – Training and Good Governance.

Challenge partners

Challenge partners are responsible for:

  • reviewing the PRSE prior to the validation day
  • participating in the validation and final panel days to contribute their expertise to panel discussions
  • participating in fieldwork if available.

Challenge partners are selected by the principal and SEIL to offer an external, independent perspective on the school’s practices and performance. They can be department subject-matter experts working in regional or central office roles, members of the regional school improvement workforce, principals of other schools, or external subject matter experts.

To find and contact department subject-matter experts who have completed challenge partner training, principals and SEILs can download the Trained challenge partners contact list from SPOT. Training is encouraged for challenge partners, but not required.

The School Review Unit offers challenge partner training twice a year. Requests to register for training can be emailed to

Includes information on school review panel members and roles

Reviewed 23 February 2024

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