School Excellence

School Excellence is at the core of all work across NSW public schools, focusing on continuous school improvement. School Excellence encompasses all areas of school planning, ongoing self-assessment, reporting and external validation.

Find out how NSW public schools are able to achieve and sustain levels of excellence in learning, teaching and leading through a simplified, coherent, explicitly focused and well-resourced School Excellence cycle and Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP). See these Resources to understand the new School Excellence cycle and the School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) platform.

School Excellence Policy

The School Excellence Policy provides direction for schools in planning, self-assessment and annual reporting, and is supported by implementation guidelines. The amended policy, released in Term 3, 2017, strengthens the roles and responsibilities of principals and Directors, Educational Leadership in the pursuit of School Excellence and incorporates the use of School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO) into the requirements.

School Excellence approach

The approach to School Excellence is built on a single, integrated school plan and annual report that incorporates a strong self-assessment process.

In addition, schools may engage in a school development review (SDR) which is conducted in line with the School Excellence Procedure.

School Planning and Reporting Online (SPaRO)

Open the SPaRO software platform using the Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome browsers. Note: Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer in 2021.

Schools should ensure that they are using DoE's Standard Operating Environment (SOE). Schools that do not have the latest operating system and associated software are advised to use the department's software catalogue to bring their machine/s in line with DoE standards. Schools should contact their field services IT team or EDConnect for assistance.

See more information about the SPaRO platform.

School Excellence Framework

The school planning and reporting approach is underpinned by the School Excellence Framework (SEF). This can be found on the School Excellence Policy webpage on the right, under 'related documents'.

The SEF supports all NSW public schools in their pursuit of excellence by providing a clear description of quality practice across the key domains of education – learning, teaching and leading – to inform and guide decision-making by principals.

The SEF is evidence-based and identifies explicit school practices that directly relate to continuous, school-wide improvement and better student outcomes.

Learn more

  • Find out about School Excellence in Action or contact the Strategic School Improvement (SSI) team at sparo@det.nsw.edu.au
  • The My School Website is a useful resource for parents, educators and the community to receive information about individual schools.
  • Schools can also refer to the ACARA website for information on school curriculum, assessment and reporting.
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