School Environment and Leadership

Part of the Great Teaching Toolkit


The School Environment and Leadership survey is a tool to provide feedback to school leaders on the school-level factors that evidence suggests are our current best bets for school leaders to attend to in order to promote students’ learning.

The survey is based on the Model for School Environment and Leadership set out in the School Environment and Leadership: Evidence Review.

Information you can act on!

Feedback from the survey offers school leaders insight into factors from the Model for School Environment and Leadership, and the extent to which they may be a barrier to student learning.

Even the best teacher cannot facilitate effective learning unless certain supports are in place – these require the collective actions of all staff, including the school leadership.”

Rob Coe

The survey is designed to capture staff perceptions about important school-level characteristics. The responses are anonymous and feedback will not be generated until five or more responses have been collected.

The survey comprises just under 50 multiple choice questions, plus one free-text question so staff can share any other thoughts or reflections, should they choose to. It should take no more than 10 minutes and we suggest that all staff who are involved in teaching and learning should be included – this may be broader than just teachers.

Understanding the feedback

We aim to equip leaders with representative information from staff to help ask better questions about school priorities.

Feedback is grouped by:

 1. Learning Supports

Student focused:

  • Family and community support
  • Student fundamental needs, beliefs and dispositions


  • Collaboration
  • Collective teacher expertise
  • Professional learning


  • Goals and demands

2. Management factors

  • Supportive working relationships
  • Improvement mindset
  • Delivery
  • Staffing

3. Staff comments:

  • Anonymised staff comments summarised in one report

The image below shows an example of feedback generated from the survey. Responses are divided into two categories, which may be thought of as positive / acceptable and negative / unacceptable. Positive responses are always shown with darker colours, at the bottom end of the bar, negative responses have lighter colours, presented at the top end of the bar.

For each question, the number in the white circle is the total percentage of positive / acceptable responses. The higher this number, the better.

A vertical line, to the left of each bar, indicates a 95% confidence interval for the percentage of positive responses. Given that the surveys come from a sample of staff, we might expect the percentage to vary a bit depending on exactly who responded. The confidence interval shows a likely range of variation in that percentage for a sample of this size that could arise purely as a result of sampling. In particular, with a small number of responses, the confidence interval may be quite big; we should be careful not to treat the percentage as too precise.

What else is included alongside the School Environment and Leadership survey?

School Environment and Leadership

Assessment Lead Programme

School Environment and Leadership

Science of Learning Programme

School Environment and Leadership

Behaviour and Culture Programme

School Environment and Leadership

Creating a supportive environment

School Environment and Leadership

Maximising opportunity to learn

School Environment and Leadership


School Environment and Leadership


School Environment and Leadership


School Environment and Leadership


School Environment and Leadership


School Environment and Leadership

An evidence-based approach to Great Teaching

School Environment and Leadership

Teacher feedback tool

School Environment and Leadership

Video observation & feedback