3 Writing and monitoring the SDP
The general guidelines for a SDP are given below (American India Foundation, 2011, p. 43):
- There should be an SDP in each school.
- The SDP will be prepared by a sub-committee of the SMC.
- A three-year plan, along with a detailed annual work plan, should be prepared.
- The plan should be send to a designated authority as prescribed by the state authority, through proper channel well in advance to get included in cluster, block and finally the district plans, before it is submitted to MHRD, Government of India.
- The plan must have components that may not require funds, and activities that can be completed with community help should be included.
The SDP is a public document, so make sure that you do not set unrealistic targets and that you identify actions that can easily be carried out. The template provided in Resource 1 should help in this respect, as it encourages you to break each aspiration down into manageable chunks. The main sections of the plan are in columns one to six of the template, as listed below:
- The main priority areas: These should reflect the collective vision for the school and need to be agreed by the staff and the SMC. The self-review documentation will provide evidence to inform these discussions. You are unlikely to be able to achieve everything you want to – hence the importance of having a clear vision so that you can identify the priorities together.
- Actions:This column will need to be completed by you and your teachers. How you do this will depend on the issue and on your style of leadership. For some issues, it might be helpful if your teachers identify appropriate actions so that they own them. For others, it will be appropriate for you to identify the actions and present them for approval.
- Who will take responsibility for completing that action: This will need to be negotiated with the people concerned.
- Timescale for the action: This will help to emphasise that the individual named in column 3 is accountable. Any delays will need to be explained to the SMC.
- Resources that will be required: If these are not available, the success of the plan will be at risk. Resources need to be identified at the earliest possible stage so that work can start in order to get outside help if necessary.
- A basis for monitoring the plan:This encourages you to think about how you will be able to ensure that the actions have taken place and that the plan is working. The activities identified in this column will also inform the next round of self-review.
Once the plan has been completed and agreed by the SMC, you will need to report on progress on a regular basis.
Of course, it is not the plan that is the most important thing, but the process. The plan provides the basis for many structured conversations about what you and your teachers are doing and why. It ensures that all members of the community are working together. If someone wants to challenge the plan, then they can do so through the SMC.
Activity 4: Working with the template
You should complete this activity with your deputy, a senior teacher or another school leader.
Choose an issue that you would like to tackle in your school. Using the blank template in Resource 1, work together to complete the template for that particular issue.
Reflect together on the task:
- Was it difficult to do?
- Did the template help to structure your thinking?
- How do you think the chair of your SMC will react to your plan?
Write down your responses in your Learning Diary.