School improvement plan: template, checklist and monitoring guidance

Download one of our school improvement plan (SIP) templates and use our checklist to help you evaluate your SIP. Also learn how you can monitor its implementation.

Last reviewed on 7 November 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 498
  1. Download our templates
  2. Evaluate your SIP with our checklist
  3. Share your SIP with your school community
  4. Monitor implementation of your SIP
  5. See examples of SIPs from other schools

Schools use a variety of terms to describe their whole-school plan, including 'school improvement plan', ‘strategic plan' and 'school development plan'. Here, we use 'school improvement plan' (SIP).

Download our templates

You don't need to present your SIP in any specific format. Whatever format you use, it should be part of your overall improvement process and not created specifically for Ofsted.

You'll find 2 options of templates below, so you can choose the one that suits your school best, and adapt it further if you wish.

Option 1: template based on the 2019 Ofsted framework

Use our template to create your SIP based on the 2019 Ofsted framework.

To help you create your SIP, use our SEF template and checklist to identify key areas of improvement.

Option 2: template structured by objectives

Alternatively, choose this version if it suits your school's planning better. We’ve developed it with 1 of our teaching school partners and our associate education expert Neil Hemmings.

There’s space for you to record:

  • Contextual information
  • Your school’s objectives
  • Further details for each objective

Evaluate your SIP with our checklist

Use our checklist to evaluate your SIP and make sure it's comprehensive. 

There are 2 parts to the checklist:

  • A list of information you might expect to see in a SIP
  • Pointers to help you review the structure of your SIP

Remember to base your SIP on the context and strategy of your own school. Use this checklist as a guide rather than a template.

Share your SIP with your school community

Get buy-in for your new SIP from staff and parents. To do this:

  • Share your SIP with staff at an INSET day at the start of the school year, and make sure they're clear about the role they play in each objective
  • Provide termly updates to let your staff know how the school is progressing
  • Display your SIP in the staffroom and in your office
  • Post your SIP on your school website
  • Advise your chair of governors to create an annual report for parents on what happened this year and what's planned for next year

Monitor implementation of your SIP

Choose your approach

The method you use to monitor the implementation of your SIP will depend on:

  • How you want to operate
  • How much consistency your headteacher would like there to be in the way staff record progress against actions

The first thing you could determine is whether you want:

  • Everything to be recorded in a single document, or
  • A summary for key stakeholders, with further detail then being recorded by individual leaders in separate documents

Make sure the staff responsible for particular actions know they’re accountable. The questions you need to ask, whichever method you use, are:

  • Does the method work?
  • What impact does the method have?

Develop a template for tracking progress

You can devise and adopt a model for tracking progress against targets that suits the way you work, and design a template appropriate for the method you choose.  

Use our template to track progress against targets in your SIP as a starting point.

Record monitoring methods on your SIP

Create space in your SIP to record how your plan is being monitored and implemented across the school. 

Record who is responsible for monitoring each target, as well as how the monitoring will actually take place (for example, meetings, regular feedback, or data analysis).

Hold termly reviewing meetings

Many schools use termly reviewing meetings to record progress against their SIP. 

Make sure you: 

  • Minute these meetings to clearly show the progress being made
  • Arrange for meetings to take place according to specific actions and timescales (for example, a school judged ‘requires improvement’ or in special measures will need to show progress faster)

See examples of SIPs from other schools

Primary schools and EYFS


Woodlands Park Primary School in Devon has a SIP for 2022/23 covering progress for SEND pupils, reading and curriculum development.

Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets has a 4-year SIP (2020 to 2024), which includes specific actions for September 2020 to July 2022.

Primary and EYFS

Newbold Church of England Primary School in Derbyshire has a SIP for 2022/23 with priorities grouped under its school ethos of 'nurture, cherish, succeed'.

Biggin Hill Primary School in London has a school development plan for 2021 to 2024. Its plan is focused around Ofsted's 4 judgement areas and is divided into 9 key priorities. 


Blatchington Mill School in Hove has a SIP for 2021 to 2026 and a more detailed 3-year plan looking specifically at 2022 to 2025.

Hatch End High School in Harrow has 1-year and 3-year SIPs. Both break down key priorities based on Ofsted's judgement areas.

Willingdon Community School in East Sussex has a SIP for 2022/23 which is a living document, highlighted to show where the school has made progress and includes a column for recent updates to the document.

Special schools


Walworth School, County Durham, is a community special school for pupils aged 4 to 11 with social, emotional, mental health (SEMH) difficulties.

Its SIP for 2022/23:

  • Highlights 4 key priorities based on the Ofsted judgement areas
  • Includes a summary of targets for each priority

The school then purple, red, amber, green (PRAG) rates each improvement under a key priority to show the level of progress being made.


Kingsley High School, Harrow, has pupils aged 11 to 19 with severe learning difficulties.

Its SIP for 2021 to 2025 includes 6 objectives based on the Ofsted judgements, as well as 'preparing for adulthood and post-16'.

The plan shows the intent, implementation, timescales, impact, lead, cost and link governor for each objective.


Richard Cloudesley School, Islington, is a community special school for pupils aged 2 to 19. It helps pupils with speech, language and communication needs, multi-sensory impairment, physical disabilities, and profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Its 2022/23 SIP is organised by Ofsted judgement areas, including early years and sixth form.


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.

Education consultant Neil Hemmings is a former secondary headteacher. He specialises in pupil wellbeing, school improvement and the professional development of staff.

Gulshan Kayembe is an independent consultant who has experience of inspecting schools. As a consultant, she provides mentoring for senior leaders and has worked as an external adviser on headteachers’ performance management.

Mark Trusson is a headteacher and National College accredited school improvement partner. He has previously served as the principal and director of a multi-academy trust, and has expertise in the innovative use of ICT with pupils and leading church schools.

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