This article reports on an investigation of the factors that influence school planning in community high schools in the Solomon Islands. In particular, it examines principals' experiences of having worked with school plans. While the international literature focuses on school planning and the planning process, much of this literature relates to Western contexts, which are sometimes irrelevant to the context of a developing nation such as the Solomon Islands. Thus contextual specificity is an important underlying factor in the study. While school planning is critical for schools, this research showed that most principals in community high schools in the Solomon Islands do not have the confidence to formulate, implement, and successfully evaluate a school plan.
As qualitative research, this research gathered stories from community high school principals on Makira Island through semi-structured interviews. These interviews were analysed on a case-by-case basis and used a thematic analysis approach.
Key findings of this research, regarding school planning, include the urgency of providing professional development and ongoing support for community high school principals, the role and priority of interpersonal and school-community relationships, the critical importance of school planning as a process, and the notion of seeing a school plan as a working, living document that supports the activity and development of a school.Implications from this research include the need for current and future school principals to undergo professional development that is geared towards improving understanding and skills in school planning. A thorough understanding of the essential elements of the school planning process, alongside ongoing support, will greatly enhance current and future community high school principals' capacity to improve planning in their schools
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