School Development Plan

Balcarras School Development Plan 

Balcarras sets a three-year development plan with the latest one beginning in 2021. The plan sets out the broad strategic goals for the school over the next three years and is overseen by the senior management team and the Board of Governors. The plan is reviewed formally once a year but also influences the ongoing work of the senior staff, the heads of department and the programme of scrutiny put in place by the governors. 

The 2017-20 SDP was a huge success and the final review document can be found below. At the heart of the plan was the desire to continue to achieve the very finest academic outcomes possible. Our Progress 8 of +0.82 in 2019 was the highest in the school’s history and in that same year we also achieved incredibly high value added at A level, +0.33. Taken together there isn’t a school in Gloucestershire that can rival this level of performance. In fact across the 13 local authority districts that make up the Southwest, there is only one school who has a higher combined figure. We should take enormous pride in this and the fact that our performance in 2020 was similarly strong. For five years running Balcarras has been named as the highest performing comprehensive school in the Southwest (2017,18,19, 20, 21) by The Sunday Times and recently we were named as the Sunday Times Southwest State School of the Decade.  

The 2021-24 School Development Plan 

In the autumn of 2021 we engaged with staff and governors to develop a new but equally ambitious SDP. The plan that we eventually agreed can be found below. The targets we have set ourselves are hugely ambitious and if we achieve them we will be performing as highly as any school in the country. 

This latest SDP will be carried out during the pandemic and there is no doubt that even if life returns more closer to normal, the job of recovering from COVID will still be ongoing when we produce the final review in September 2024. The school has set out a separate COVID recovery strategy which sets out in further detail our approach in this crucial area. 

The Governors are ultimately responsible for overseeing the plan and they have set up a review committee that includes members of the senior staff and staff across the organisation. The Full Governing Board will consider progress on the plan and it will also be a key part of the work of the Governing Board’s Committees. The Curriculum Committee will scrutinise the schools progress towards meeting the targets that relate to academic progress and the development of our curriculum. The Community Committee will focus on targets related to the development of pastoral care and issues related to the personal development of our students. A separate COVID Recovery Focus Group has also been established. 

Dominic Burke