This guide is the first in a series of 4 on developing and applying effective strategic plans and provides practical steps for setting goals and targets for student learning.

The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) has produced a series of practice guides to help school leaders develop and apply effective strategic plans. These guides relate to the Australian Professional Standard for Principals Professional Practices:

  • Leading improvement, innovation and change
  • Leading the management of the school.

Strategic planning is an iterative process that requires a purposeful investment of time. These guides are designed for flexible use alongside system supports, providing a starting point rather than a complete outline of everything schools must do.

They are designed to help school leaders with strategic planning directly related to learning. School leaders may also choose to include aspects of school improvement that enable learning (for example, student wellbeing) using a similar approach.

Some guidance may not apply in all contexts and may look different in schools of different sizes. Reasonable adjustments should be made to fit school context where necessary.

This guide is the first in a series of 4 and focuses on setting goals and targets for student learning.

In the context of this guide, a 'goal’ represents an aim for improvement in a learning area. A ‘target’ enables you to monitor progress towards this goal by measuring changes in the learning area over a specified time period (for example, by the end of the school term or year).

This guide recommends practical steps for setting goals and targets for student learning.

After reading this guide, we recommend you read Prioritising Approaches to Achieve Each Goal.

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Keywords: educational strategies