Step 3: Plan priorities using data

Friendly Schools Plus helps schools to plan what specific actions they need to take, by whom and by when to make the most of strategies they are implementing to enhance social and emotional learning and reduce bullying.

A review of past and current school policies and practices using findings from the student and staff survey tools and the Screening Tool, will facilitate discussion for future planning. School staff can knowledgeably and comprehensively determine if the whole-school activities currently provided by the school meet the identified needs of students (and staff) using the whole-school practice Planning Tool (see Capacity Building Toolkit 1.2).

These survey and screening findings are particularly helpful for:

  1. describing the extent and nature of students’ social behaviours and actions taken by the school to address these;
  2. raising staff and other members of the school community’s awareness of these behaviours and the schools’ efforts to encourage positive social change;
  3. determining the school policies and practices that are working well, what can be improved and what is missing;
  4. making decisions, setting priorities and planning for sustainable school action (policies and practices); and
  5. benchmarking, monitoring and evaluating changes in school processes and student outcomes.

From these findings a course of action can be planned using the Friendly Schools Plus whole-school practice Planning Tool to

  • - record intended short- and longer-term priorities and strategies,
  • - identify staff to be involved, and
  • - set dates for action and monitoring.

This plan will address the needs and gaps identified by the school community and identify ways to build staff capacity to implement the chosen activities. Each school’s plan will look different as it is tailored to their local context such as the behaviour of students, what practices are currently in place, and what has previously been implemented.

More information can be found in chapter 1, page 57 of the Evidence for Practice text.