New guidance (released in February 2023) is available to support School Review panels to develop key directions for the next School Strategic Plan, refer to: Developing key directions for the next School Strategic Plan.

A printable handout version of the key directions guidance is available on the Resources tab.

Please note that the existing school review policy and guidelines are under review and will be updated during Term 4, 2023.


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 (SSP).
  • The school review also provides assurance of ongoing compliance with the Minimum Standard related to curriculum and student learning.
  • The School Review Guidelines, which include links to tools and resources to guide schools through the process, are available in the Guidance tab.


Schools undertake a school review every 4 years to inform the directions of the school’s 4 year School Strategic Plan (SSP) (a legislative requirement for all schools).

The first component of the review is 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.

This is followed by a review conducted by a panel, utilising the expertise of challenge partners and convened by an independent school reviewer.

Concurrent with this panel process, the school reviewer undertakes an assessment of the school’s compliance with the Minimum Standards for Curriculum and Student Learning. Note that school reviewers no longer assess compliance with the other minimum standards, as these are now assessed through the Minimum Standards Compliance Assessment undertaken by the department’s Operational Policy, School Engagement and Compliance Division (OPSEC). Refer to Minimum Standards and School Registration for more information.

Senior education improvement leaders (SEILs) play a critical role in supporting the school through the review process. This includes:

  • assisting the school to complete their PRSE
  • collaborating with the principal in selecting challenge partners
  • being a member of the School Review Panel
  • supporting the school to develop its new SSP.

Schools due to participate in a review are advised around September the previous year. Principals are advised of their school reviewer in the term before the review.

Full-day training sessions are available for principals and SEILs participating in reviews.

The number of days allocated for the review is informed by the Differentiated School Performance Method which measures a school’s performance and trajectory over time.

The PRSE is undertaken in the Strategic Planning Online Tool (SPOT)External Link . The outcomes of the review, including the 4 year goals, targets and key improvement strategies, are pre-populated into a draft SSP in SPOT for completion by the school.

Detailed guidance and links to tools and resources to support schools through this process, including undertaking the PRSE and links to information about the VRQA minimum standards requirements, are provided in the School Review Guidelines in the Guidance tab.

Relevant legislation

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

Reviewed 31 August 2023

Policy last updated

24 July 2023


  • Schools
  • School councils


School Review Unit Performance Division

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