education.vic.gov.au

School operations

School Review

Policy

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

Summary

  • All schools must participate in a school review every 4 years.
  • Currently, the school review:
    • provides assurance of ongoing compliance with the minimum requirements for school registration
    • informs the development of the school's 4 year School Strategic Plan (SSP).
  • From Term 2, 2022, school reviewers will no longer assess schools’ compliance with the Minimum Standards for school registration. Instead, a dedicated central team within the Department’s Operational Policy, School Engagement and Compliance Division (OPSEC) will undertake a Minimum Standards Compliance Assessment with schools around 6 to 12 months before their scheduled school review term. Refer to Minimum Standards and School Registration for more information
  • The School Review Guidelines, which include links to tools and resources to guide schools through the process, are available in the Guidance tab.

Details

Minimum Standards compliance

All schools (government and non-government) must comply with the Minimum Standards for school registration set out in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic) (the Act), the Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 (Vic) and Ministerial Orders, including the Child Safe Standards (Minimum Standards).

Under the Act, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) may at any time undertake a review of the operation of a school to ensure continuing compliance with the Minimum Standards.

A Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) between the VRQA and the Department establishes the Department as the review body for Victorian government schools (including government school boarding premises), with responsibility for ensuring government schools maintain compliance with the Minimum Standards.

The Department has a number of responsibilities as a review body, including undertaking a regular review of each government school’s compliance with the Minimum Standards and reporting to the VRQA annually on government schools’ compliance with each of the Minimum Standards – refer to the VRQA’s School Review Bodies Guide (Word) for more information.

Compliance with the Minimum Standards is currently assessed by reviewers during school reviews. This will change from Term 2, 2022 (refer to Minimum Standards and School Registration for more information).

School review

At the time of review, the Department also undertakes a review of school performance to inform the directions of the school’s 4 year SSP (a legislative requirement for all schools). The aim is to create a self-sustaining cycle of continuous improvement, where schools are supported to improve student outcomes.

The Department’s review model is currently aligned with the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO).

The review model takes a differentiated approach tailored to meet the needs of individual schools. This is informed by the Differentiated School Performance Method which measures a school’s performance and trajectory over time.

Using data and evidence, schools undertake a pre-review self-evaluation (PRSE) to form a collective view of current practice and areas for improvement.

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 that a reviewer has been allocated to their school in the term before the review. A full-day training session is also available for principals and SEILs participating in a review.

All elements of school review are undertaken in the Strategic Planning Online Tool (SPOT). The outcomes of the review, including the four 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 16 November 2021

Policy last updated

24 August 2021

Scope

  • Schools
  • School councils

Contact

School Review Unit Performance Division

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