Tips for Teachers: 17. Subject Action Planning

Oct 17, 2023 | Blogs

Tips for Teachers: 17. Subject Action Planning

Oct 17, 2023 | Blogs

Action plans are an essential part of being an effective subject leader. An action plan provides direction for the subject, ensures it is well-managed and organised, and that the needs of staff and learners are met.


Subject leaders are responsible for securing high standards of teaching and learning in their subject. They play a key role in being an advocate for their subject through supporting and motivating staff members.

An action plan should:

  • Be integral to the School Improvement Plan
  • Be clearly focused on raising attainment and achievement
  • Incorporate evaluation and monitoring to inform future planning
  • Identify areas of development with clear and specific success criteria,
  • Include time and resources needed to implement the plan successfully
  • Be a collaborative working document
  • Lead to improvement in the quality of teaching and learning
  • Lead to changes and adaptations in curriculum design
  • Demonstrate how the subject contributes to school priorities
  • Be regularly updated and reviewed
  • Consider staff training needs and subject specific pedagogical approaches
  • Have SMART targets – see below


  • What do you need to achieve? Are you clear on the outcomes?
  • Have you provided enough detail that ensures clarity and common understanding of what is to be achieved?
  • What is the expected result?


  • Could this be measured and decided without argument that the result has been achieved?
  • How will you know the objective has been achieved?
  • What indicators will you look for to measure progress and success?
  • What data is available? Do new measures need to be identified?
  • Think about quantity and quality measures.


  • How does this objective fit with the school’s strategic priorities?
  • Does the achievement of this objective contribute to the school’s overall objectives?
  • In what way is this objective significant?
  • What would be the impact to the subject and school if the objective were not achieved?


  • Are the objectives appropriate for your role and responsibilities?
  • Are the objective appropriate for the school priorities?
  • Can you achieve the objective with the resources available? If not, how can this be addressed?
  • What help will you require as a subject leader?
  • Do you have the relevant skills and knowledge to complete the objective?


  • Are there clear time frames attached to the objective?
  • Have you set milestone dates?
  • Are there any other objectives which will depend upon this one?
  • What could impact / compromise the deadline?
  • Is the deadline realistic?

Did you know that Schoolaspect is a centralised online solution which allows subject action planning to be clearly linked to the school improvement plan?

    This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

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