SIP vs strategic plan: what the difference is and why it matters

Learn the distinction between a school improvement plan (SIP) and a strategic plan, and how the 2 can be used in tandem to plan your school improvement.

Last reviewed on 27 April 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 42301
  1. Use both to plan your school improvement 
  2. Strategic plan: focus on your school’s vision
  3. SIP: set out how to achieve your strategic plan

Use both to plan your school improvement 

Your school’s strategic plan and its school improvement plan (SIP) – sometimes referred to as a school development plan (SDP) – go hand-in-hand in helping you plan and support whole-school improvement. But there are key differences between the two:

  • Your strategic plan will be driven by your school's mission and span a longer period of time (usually 5 years)
  • Your SIP will help you narrow down your focus for shorter timeframes (1-3 years)

Your governors will be involved in both plans to an extent, but it's up to you to implement them

As a headteacher, you'll be responsible for putting the plans into action on a day-to-day basis. This is because you have that detailed view of the daily life of your school that your governors