Action Plans – where do you start?
Thursday, August 05th, 2010 | Author:

I’m currently writing an ICT action plan for my new school. I’ve visited there for about 5/6 days in the past term and am starting to become more familiar with it so I know the sorts of ICT that are in place at the moment and I also know where I’d like it to go. Now I know you’ll be thinking that it isn’t my decision or my place to decide where it goes in the school. Surely it is the leadership team, the head or the governors and you’d be right, but one of my roles is to give them the ideas and show them the potential, then together we can mould that into a clear direction and vision.

So…the plan. I spent about an hour browsing for various ICT action plans online and in the end I stole ‘shared good practice’ with a number of them to combine it into a template I liked. In my old school, I made one from scratch and was never really happy with it but it did a job for a very short term, but now I needed something better. For this plan, I’m working on a two-year cycle, more than that seems crazy in the current climate and with technology moving so fast.

Next I scribbled down some ideas, these included a new website, blogs, twitter, google apps, new assessment and so on. I now had to think about how I get these into an action plan.

For example, I know I want all classes to blog, but why? What is the purpose? What is the outcome? If I’m going to do it anyway, does it even need to be on the action plan? By the time the plan has been reviewed and ‘signed off’, the blogs will be in place anyway! So is my target ‘for every class to have and use a blog’?I needed a different idea.

I used an idea from a plan I’d found and wrote 6 major goals. These were:

  • Communication – To improve communication with parents and the wider school community as well as showcasing the learning that is going on within our school
  • Resources – To ensure that we have the resources and network to cope with future development both in school and at home
  • Curriculum – To ensure that our curriculum is brought up-to-date and continues to stay relevant, engaging and challenging for the children within our school
  • Staff Development – To ensure that staff have the relevant level of skills to use ICT effectively in all areas of the school
  • Assessment – To monitor the ability of the children within our school
  • E-Safety – To ensure that all staff, parents and children are aware of the benefits and dangers of using computers and knowing ways in which they can reduce the risks

From this I have begun to look at the ICT Mark framework. Now I know that not everyone is a fan of the ICT Mark, but I think it is a great place to start. When looking at my resources goal, I looked through the ICT Mark statements and looked to see what would make us a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ and ensure that my action plan was targetting the tops of these levels. This included making procurement sustainable and including different audiences when purchasing. I’ll certainly be including children when it comes to reviewing new software.

For the blog example above, that will eventually become a curriculum area, but for now it falls squarely into the communication goal. I want teachers and children to share their learning online so that parents, peers and the wider world can see it.

Now as I said, I am new to the school so my action plan will not be complete for a while, but I am currently writing it in a blue-sky sort-of way, but also trying to make it manageable. What can we do with the resources, staff and budgets we have available? Once I have written this I will of course share it with the head teacher so he can remove things that are not needed or add in other bits. We will of course link it to the school improvement plan, but I haven’t had chance to see this yet so again, I am writing this with a bit of an open mind!

I know I should probably wait until I get in to school in September before doing most of this, but I also know that my head is very keen on some of the ideas I’ve shared with him so far and that this plan will be used and adapted. Plus, I probably have more time now than I will in September! Once we are happy with it, I’d love to share it (probably in cut-down form) with parents and children so that they know where we are headed as a school.

So how have you gone about your action plan? Do you ever stick to it? How many people are involved in writing it? Do you share it with parents (or children)?