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The school plan | Print |

Pupil learning needs are at the centre of all planning, and the focus of the school plan should be the teaching and learning that takes place in the school. The following is a suggested model of the layout and contents of a school plan. It is not prescriptive - schools may have their own format which is successful and should be retained.

Section 1 - General school details:

This section will include general details/information on the school:

  • history
  • personnel (principal, teaching staff, Board of Management, Parents' Association, caretaker, secretary, others)
  • subjects taught
  • opening and closing times
  • books
  • uniform
  • extra curricular activities
  • other relevant details...

Section 2 - Vision/Mission statement:

Vision and Mission Statements influence all policies and plans. The school vision/mission statement reflects the characteristic spirit of the school, and will address:

1. Inclusivity and Equality. The inclusive school meets the 9 grounds as listed in the Equal Status Act 2000. Discrimination, as stated in the Act, is prohibited on the following grounds:

  • gender
  • marital status
  • family status
  • sexual orientation
  • religion
  • age
  • disability
  • race
  • Traveller community

2. The holistic development of the child

3. School climate, atmosphere...

Section 3 - Curriculum Plans/Programmes:

When planning for the implementation of the Primary Curriculum, schools need to record their decisions as part of their School Plan. A curriculum plan is based on the policy for that subject as stated in the Primary Curriculum. A school's own plan might set out the whole school approach to the teaching and learning of a particular subject, and the management and organisation of that subject, under the following headings...

  • introductory statement and rationale
  • relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
  • vision and aims
  • curriculum planning

- strands and strand unit

- approaches and methodologies

- children with different needs

- linkage and integration

- assessment and record keeping

- equality of participation and access

  • organisational planning

- timetable

- resources

- health and safety

- individual teachers' planning and reporting

- staff development

- parental involvement

- community links

- success criteria

  • implementation - roles and responsibilities
  • arrangements for review and evaluation
  • ratification and communication

Section 4 - Organisational Policies:

Much of what happens in today's schools is governed by legislation and guidelines. Having reached decisions about the implementation of these guidelines, schools need to set out their practice as part of their School Plan. The organisational section of the plan might be sequenced as follows...

  • policies mentioned in legislation - enrolment to include the enrolment of children with special needs, health and safety, code of behaviour and anti-bullying policy, equality, sexual harassment, access to records, attendance, parental involvement...
  • policies supported by national guidelines - learning support, RSE, substance use, child protection, intercultural education, assessment
  • other organisational areas for which the school requires an outline of practice - administration of medicines, accidents and injuries, communications, homework, ICT and internet use, induction of new teachers, staff development, record keeping, other...

Support is available in many of these areas from PPDS and INTO websites. PPDS and INTO have worked together to draw up guidelines in a number of policy areas. It is important to remember that certain policies overlap and that by completing a policy on assessment a school will also be addressing other areas - learning support, special needs, SNAs, enrolment etc.

Section 5 - Procedures and Practices:

In some areas a short statement of practice may be sufficient. Areas addressed in this section might include:

  • school calendar
  • visitors, sales reps., others
  • arrival and dismissal of pupils
  • exceptional closures
  • supervision duties
  • photocopying and copyright issues
  • text book selection
  • book rental scheme
  • use of mobile phones
  • healthy lunches
  • class and classroom allocation
  • keeping of class records and roll books
  • transfer of essential information
  • teacher absences
  • staff meetings
  • reception of substitute or student teachers
  • school tours
  • extra curricular activities
  • promotion/marketing of commercial products
  • participation in competitions/festivals
  • contact with other schools
  • transition to second level
  • other ...

Section 6 - Development Section:

It is important to maintain records of on going work - development plan, planning diary, action plans, pilot projects. The development section is a valuable record of work underway and should be maintained as such and used as evidence of work in progress.