Dimension: strategic resource management

This dimension is part of the Professional Leadership priority.


  • Strategic resource management is a critical factor in school improvement. Effective leaders are able to embrace uncertain, complex and challenging contexts and work with others to seek creative and innovative solutions while ensuring integrity. They respond strategically to opportunities in the external environment for the benefit of the school community.
  • Effective leaders ensure that operational issues, such as resource allocation and accountability requirements, serve the overarching strategic vision of the school community. Learning is supported by the effective use of school, system and community expertise and resources through contextual decision-making and planning.
  • By effectively managing risk, using data and making well informed and intentional resourcing decisions, leaders can enhance the delivery and impact of their School Strategic Plans. Resourcing strategically means securing and effectively allocating resources to support instructional priorities, including support for students facing disadvantage and use of Equity Funding. Effective leaders determine what teaching expertise and resources are needed to achieve student learning goals and source and allocate them accordingly.

Essential Elements

A number of elements are essential to enable effective work within the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes. Eight Essential Elements form the foundation upon which improvement is built. The Essential Element for Strategic resource management is:

Essential Element 7: Data collection, analysis and evaluation of student learning growth over time.

The Essential Elements are evident at the Evolving stage of each Continuum (below) and are further articulated in the Embedding and Excelling stages in some dimensions.


The Continuum for Strategic resource management describes a range of proficiency levels (Emerging, Evolving, Embedding and Excelling) that assists principals and teachers to identify areas of practice that require attention in order to deliver improved student outcomes.

Component: The school has a culture of strategic thinking, planning and resource allocation


The principal articulates a clear direction for the school relevant to its context. The principal determines the allocation of school resources based on immediate school needs. The principal uses whole-school data to identify school improvement goals linked to the AIP.


The principal develops decision-making processes that recognise the school’s context and uses a consultative approach to strategic planning. Change management principles are used to inform the implementation of new initiatives. These initiatives are assessed for cost benefit. The principal, in consultation with the business manager and School Improvement Team, ensures that the goals of the SSP and AIP are prioritised in the allocation of resources. The principal collects and analyses school and local data to inform direction and evaluate learning growth over time.


The principal demonstrates an understanding of the school’s context and readiness for change to implement improvement initiatives. They use improvement strategies appropriate to the nature of change. Their work within the Community of Practice informs their thinking and planning. The principal, in collaboration with the business manager and school council uses school and local data for strategic planning and accountability. There is a clear line of sight between annual school improvement goals, school-wide improvement strategies and resourcing. To ensure resourcing for implementation and sustainability, the principal establishes performance measures to assess the impact of resource allocation on priorities and goals.


The principal uses an understanding of the broader educational influences, both globally and nationally, to inform strategic thinking and planning. They are able to embrace uncertain, complex and challenging contexts and work within Communities of Practice to seek creative and innovative solutions, including the leverage of community resources and opportunities. Strategic planning is informed by a range of data. The FISO Improvement Cycle provides a clear path to identifying priorities, researching and trialling new strategies, resourcing and ensuring ongoing monitoring of effectiveness. The principal engages the business manager, leadership team and school council to ensure that long term financial planning is aligned with strategic direction.

Component: The school strategically uses human resources


The principal aims to recruit personnel who demonstrate the best fit for immediate staffing needs at the school. They make recruitment decisions by assessing personnel shortages and short-term goals of the school. The principal works with staff to identify and prioritise their professional learning needs based on gaps between the requirements of their roles and their current knowledge and skills. They ensure that beginning teachers and teachers new to the school have a thorough induction to the school.


The principal recruits personnel and changes roles and responsibilities of current personnel to best meet the school’s objectives. They assess current and anticipated staffing needs, planned developments and short term goals of the school, to make recruitment decisions. The principal identifies and implements professional learning that is aligned with staff learning plans and school priorities. They allocate time and resources to support teacher collaboration. The principal ensures that beginning teachers and teachers new to the school have a thorough induction and are supported by experienced mentors.


The principal regularly reviews evidence of the school’s progress towards the goals and targets of the SSP. They anticipate and prepare for changes in senior staff, and actively develop the capabilities of teachers to enhance or replace the skills and expertise required. The leadership structure ensures clear alignment of responsibilities for school improvement with leadership roles. The principal strategically invests in professional learning that supports school improvement priorities and goals. Instructional leaders connect teacher needs to school strategic planning. They monitor and evaluate the impact of professional learning on progress towards achieving school goals and priorities. Beginning and new teachers are supported to understand and contribute to the school culture of high expectations and their feedback informs the review of the induction processes.


The principal integrates student achievement data into goal-setting, workforce planning, professional development and strategic resource planning processes. They recruit specific expertise that is required to meet the goals and targets of the SSP. The leadership structure and leadership roles ensure whole-school capacity for ongoing improvement. The principal creates challenging roles that encourage the development of experienced teachers and leaders. They match teacher strengths to the different needs of students in the school. They embed a culture of review, responsibility and shared accountability to achieve school goals. New and beginning teachers build their capacity to support student learning and their feedback shapes the school’s induction processes.

Printable resource

Continuum as an A3 print out (pdf - 221.64kb)

Case studies

To see examples of how schools in Victoria are implementing the FISO dimension: Strategic resource management see: Strategic resource management case studies.

Evidence base

To view the Evidence Base for the FISO dimension: Strategic resource management see: Evidence - Strategic resource management (docx - 647.33kb).


Why should my school engage with this dimension?

Evaluation of data and evidence indicates that schools need to:

  • enhance or build the teaching skills and expertise required to deliver learning goals
  • re-prioritise resourcing decisions based on evidence of how effective they are in improving students' learning.
To what extent is this dimension being implemented in my school?

Consider the following:

  • Are resources targeted where they will have the greatest impact on students?
  • Do we leverage community resources to meet specific needs?
  • Do all resourcing decisions directly align with strategic learning priorities?
  • Do we evaluate our resourcing decisions in terms of the impact on student outcomes?
  • Do we recruit staff with specific expertise that is needed to meet our schools' learning goals?
  • Is our professional development planning and coaching informed by evaluation of data and evidence so as to create clear expectations for changes in practice?
What can my school focus on?
  • The use of data to identify and prioritise areas for improvement.
  • Current resource allocation to realign resources to meet identified priority areas related to staffing, budgets and facilities.
What does successful implementation look like?
  • Strategic decisions made in the school help achieve the school vision.
  • Legal risks are understood, as are key legal concepts and obligations.
  • School asset management, including planned and reactive maintenance, compliance and safety requirements, and school capital works procedures are undertaken regularly or as required and contribute positively to the school working environment.
  • School finances are effectively managed, based on DET policy and best practice.
  • Evidence-based decision-making and the development of specific data literacy skills are used to analyse and effectively interpret currently available data.
  • Workforce is managed successfully by developing a culture of high expectations, moving from vision to successful accountability using effective feedback processes and decision making strategies and opportunities are provided for sharing achievements and celebrating successes.
  • Safety and wellbeing are effectively managed.
What strategies and actions can my school implement?
  • Review evidence of the school's progress towards medium and long-term learning goals in light of future staffing roles and allocation, budgets and facilities, involving as many members of the school and broader community as possible.

More information

For more information, see: Professional Leadership priority