The Education Endowment Foundation offers a very insightful guide into how schools can put evidence into practice. This can be found here.
The EEF state that schools are learning organisations. They continuously strive to do better for the children and young people in their charge. In doing so, they try new things, seek to learn from those experiences, and work to adopt and embed the practices.
Implementation is a key aspect of what schools do to improve, and yet it is a domain of school practice that rarely receives sufficient attention. In our collective haste to do better for pupils, new ideas are often introduced with too little consideration for how the changes will be managed and what steps are needed to maximise the chances of success. Too often the who, why, where, when, and how are overlooked, meaning implementation risks becoming an ‘add on’ task expected to be tackled on top of the day-to-day work. As a result, projects initiated with the best of intentions can fade away as schools struggle to manage these competing priorities.
This blog will aim to suggest, in line with the EEF’s guidance report, steps to follow in order to ‘implement’ change coherently within a school setting. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great an educational idea or intervention is in principle; what really matters is how it manifests itself in the day-to-day work of people in schools.
|1||Treat implementation as a process, not an event; plan and execute it in stages.||Allow enough time for effective implementation, particularly in the preparation stage; prioritise appropriately.|
|2||Create a leadership environment and school climate that is conducive to good implementation.||
|3||Define the problem you want to solve and identify appropriate programmes or practices to implement.||
|4||Create a clear implementation plan, judge the readiness of the school to deliver that plan, then prepare staff and resources.||Develop a clear, logical, and well-specified implementation plan:
Once ready to implement an intervention, practically prepare for its use:
|5||Support staff, monitor progress, solve problems, and adapt strategies as the approach is used for the first time||· Adopt a flexible and motivating leadership approach during the initial attempts at implementation.
|6||Plan for sustaining and scaling an intervention from the outset and continually acknowledge and nurture its use.||
The two fundamental elements when using these recommendations above are:
- To treat implementation as a process, not an event. Plan and execute in stages.
- Create a leadership environment and school climate that is conducive to good implementation.