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updated on 29 May 2019
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School types: All · School phases: All

Download our departmental and subject action plan template to help you plan and evaluate improvements in your department or subject. You’ll also find out what to consider when developing and embedding your plan.

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  1. Downloadable our template
  2. How to develop and embed your action plan
  3. Examples from schools

Downloadable our template

Example of completed plan

Use the following sample action plan to give you an idea of how the details for one priority in a secondary English department action plan might be filled in. It is intended as an example only. 

How to develop and embed your action plan

This section is based on advice from our associate education experts Jeremy Bird, David New and Sue Rogers.

Reflect whole-school priorities

Make sure your plan links with other documents, such as:

  • Curriculum maps
  • Departmental or subject self-evaluation
  • Records of training
  • The school improvement plan (SIP)

For example, your departmental or subject self-evaluation results and the priorities in the school improvement plan will feed into the long-term plans and short-term priorities of your subject or department. 

Read more about linking subject plans to the school improvement plan.

The plan should be costed into the budget

Have your action plan ready before your school's budget-setting process starts. This means it can be costed into the budget.

This makes it possible for senior leaders to allocate money to things they know are making a difference. For this reason, you should try and align the departmental review process with the school’s financial cycle. 

Include professional development actions 

Performance management of staff should feed into professional development for the next academic year, so include actions related to this in your departmental action plan.

For example, one action could be to raise standards by having a particular teacher attend a course.

Examples from schools

Primary schools

Thorney Island Community Primary School in West Sussex has published action plans for subjects such as maths, English and science. 

For each key objective, it sets out desired outcomes and associated tasks.

Cranmer Primary School in Merton has also published subject action plans which outline:

  • Key objectives
  • Success criteria
  • Actions
  • Persons responsible
  • Resources
  • How progress will be monitored

Each action is red, amber, green (RAG) rated to indicated whether it has been achieved, partially achieved or not achieved.

Special school example

As part of its school development plans, Amwell View School in Hertfordshire has budget action plans for different subjects, including:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Computing


Trevor Bailey has extensive experience in school leadership and management. He was a secondary school headteacher for 14 years.

Jeremy Bird has extensive experience of primary headship. He has also worked with local authorities and published guidance for new and aspiring headteachers and senior leaders.

David New, an education consultant, was the headteacher of a large secondary school for 9 years. He has particular expertise in lettings, staffing, academy conversion and the secondary curriculum.

Sue Rogers is an education consultant. She has been the headteacher of 3 schools, worked as an adviser to local authorities, and taught in the primary and secondary phases. She is also a former inspector.

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