A SWOT for schools

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis (or SWOT for short) is a technique used in business to identify the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. 

A SWOT is a simple exercise done by individuals or teams. It helps people to understand what is working well and what needs to be improved. We can use the SWOT to identify what is working well for your class and for individual pupils, what needs to be improved and what might be causing problems in the classroom. You can then use the SWOT to create an accessibility profile.

A blue character is standing with his hand on his hip, and his other hand pointing his finger as though explaining something. He is wearing glasses and a blue jumper with a red shirt underneath - very teacher like.

Working with your pupils

You can complete a SWOT by yourself. You can complete a SWOT with your colleagues. But here we are going to talk about completing a SWOT with your pupils. By completing a SWOT with your pupils you are gaining a unique but vital insight into what makes your lessons accessible or inaccessible. You are teaching your students how to assess and review their environment. You are also showing them that you are listening to them. By making them part of the process, you are also engaging your pupils in any changes you want to make, making transitions easier. You can create a truly accessible and inclusive classroom that maximises each pupil’s potential.

The SWOT considers: 

Strengths: What are the pupils good at? 

Weaknesses: What do pupils most need help with? 

Opportunities: What do you think would assist learning in class?

Threats: What prevents pupils from engaging in lessons? 

The SWOT allows you to explore the access needs of your pupils and work with them to make real and effective changes to the learning environment. 

Using the SWOT, you can create accessibility profiles for: 

  • A single pupil
  • A whole class
  • The learning environment

Two blue characters. One standing up doing sign language, an N in british sign language. She looks happy.  The other character is sitting on the floor with their head in their hands crying. They look distressed.
The SWOT helps you consider what is working and what is not working in class.

Note: Pupils can also use this with their parents to create better learning environments at home. 

Warning! It is worth noting that your teaching practice might face some scrutiny here! After all, children have a habit of being very honest. However, the aim is to improve the learning environment for pupils and you may learn something that you weren’t aware of – perhaps your humming distracts the students, or your habit of randomly bursting into song isn’t funny, it’s just disruptive. 
Consider this a learning experience for everyone and remember the rewards should outweigh any pain!

Key learning Point: 

~ We can use a SWOT analysis to create an accessibility profile

~ Completing a SWOT with your pupils allows you to find out more about your pupils and create a truly inclusive learning environment.

Scroll to Top