Changes to NAPLAN assessments and to the calculation of results in the Attitudes to School Survey (AToSS), School Staff Survey (SSS) and Parent, Caregiver and Guardian Opinion Survey (PCGOS) have implications for target setting and school review. For further information refer to the Pre-review self-evaluation (PRSE) guidance chapter.


This policy sets out the requirement for schools to participate in a school review.


  • All schools must participate in a school review every 4 years.
  • The school review informs the development of the school’s 4-year School Strategic Plan.
  • The school reviewer also assesses compliance with the Curriculum and Student Learning Minimum Standard.
  • Specific information to guide schools through the process is available in the Guidance tab.


School review is a key element of the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes 2.0 (FISO 2.0) improvement cycle.

Schools undertake a school review every 4 years to inform the directions of the school’s 4-year School Strategic Plan (SSP).

There are 2 components of school review:

  1. the pre-review self-evaluation (PRSE) where schools review their data and other evidence to form a collective view of current practice and areas for improvement. Schools complete the PRSE on the Strategic Planning Online Tool (SPOT) with the support of their senior education improvement leader (SEIL)
  2. a review facilitated by an independent school reviewer with a panel comprising the principal, school council president, SEIL, and challenge partners. The panel considers the PRSE and undertakes additional fieldwork activities such as classroom observations, focus groups and interviews. The review concludes with a report proposing draft goals, targets and key improvement strategies for the school’s next SSP.

The school reviewer also completes an assessment of the school’s compliance with the Curriculum and Student Learning Minimum Standard. Compliance with the other Minimum Standards for registered schools is assessed separately through the Minimum Standards Compliance Assessment conducted by the department’s Operational Policy, School Engagement and Compliance Division (OPSEC). Refer to Minimum Standards and School Registration for more information.

Schools due to participate in a review are advised by the end of Term 2 of the year before.

Principals are allocated a school reviewer and offered professional learning 2 terms before the review. Schools are matched to reviewers with relevant knowledge and expertise for the school’s context.

Most schools are allocated 3 review days (including a validation day, a fieldwork day, and a final panel day). Fieldwork includes observation and interviews/focus groups.

In allocating the number of days, the minimum is 2 days (for ‘Influence’ performance grouped schools, ‘Not grouped’ schools and new schools) and additional fieldwork days are allocated based on:

  • the school’s Differentiated School Performance Method (DSPM) grouping. For more information, refer to School Performance Reporting and Data
  • context-specific factors, with specialist school settings, schools with flexible learning options and schools with over 600 enrolments each attracting an additional fieldwork day
  • requests for additional fieldwork days from SEILs or reviewers if required. Requests should be sent to

The school review and review report must be comprehensive and cover all campuses of a school, including any flexible learning campuses.

Relevant legislation

Department policy setting out the requirement for schools to participate in a school review

Reviewed 23 February 2024

Policy last updated

22 February 2024


  • Schools
  • School councils


School Review Unit Performance Division

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