School Development Planning Policy

Created on: 23 Jan 2018 | Last modified: 04 Jul 2018


Development planning forms an integral part of the work of nearly every school in Scotland. Over a number of years the EIS has issued advice, in part to address development planning as a new development in the work of schools, and also to identify ways whereby the development planning process could be used as a means of limiting teacher workload in schools.

A number of recent events mean that the EIS must now update its own thinking as regards the process of school development planning.

1.1 The Standards in Scotland’s Schools Act 2000 put in place a three level planning structure

(a) at the level of the Scottish Parliament/Executive charged with developing National Priorities

(b) at a local council level, obliged now to make an annual statement of improvement objectives

(c) and at school level where school development plans are now written into legislation.

This three level structure was broadly welcomed at the time by the EIS as a better planned process overall. The new structure implies a less "top down" approach than in the recent past – when changes were imposed on schools, often without any real co-ordination.

The inevitable result of this approach was the increase in teacher workload burdens.

1.2 There is an expectation that schools make use of the Performance Indicators in the document "How Good is Our School?" and also in "A Route to Equality and Fairness".

1.3 Discussions, national and local, subsequent to the McCrone agreement of January 2001 have acknowledged that school development plans are central to the process of managing teachers' working time.

1.4 The legal requirement that schools involve students/pupils in the planning process has had an implication for the process itself.

1.5 The process underway of developing performance indicators in relation to the five National Priorities identified by the Scottish Executive will also have significant implications for the way in which the planning process in schools is undertaken.

1.6 All these developments, taken together with an evolution in practice as regards school development planning in nearly every school, mean that, in addition to updating policy, the EIS must now issue advice to schools which is relevant to present realities.

This policy paper and advice, therefore, replace all existing policy and advice issued by the EIS.

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