At the highest level, the NI Executive has set out its priorities in the Programme for Government 2011-15.
The Department has a vision for the education sector which is to see
“Every young person achieving to his or her full potential at each stage of his or her development.”
The Corporate Plan for Education 2012-2015 outlines the strategic direction for the Department and the wider education service and sets out the key priorities and objectives during the period 2012-2015. It incorporates the DE Annual Business Plan for 2012-13 at Annex A.
Annual business plans are also developed at the start of each year by the Department's Arm’s Length Bodies.
Underpinning this whole process are School Development Plans which schools are required to prepare and review on a 3-yearly basis. A school's development plan sets out its key priorities for the period of the plan based on the Department’s priorities for education. It includes targets for improvement, including targets for literacy and numeracy.
The Strategic Planning and Policy Development Forum (known as the Strategic Forum) is where the recognised Trade Unions, employers and sectoral support bodies have an opportunity to work with the Department to shape and influence policy development and strategic planning at an embryonic stage.