A new guidance report from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) aims to give schools the support they need to put evidence to work in their classrooms and implement new programmes and approaches effectively.
The report highlights how good and thoughtful implementation is crucial to the success of any teaching and learning strategy, yet creating the right conditions for implementation – let alone the structured process of planning, delivering and sustaining change – is hard.
The authors offer six recommendations to help schools give their innovations the very best chance by working carefully through the who, why, where, when and how of managing change. These recommendations can be applied to any school improvement decision: programmes or practices, whole-school or targeted approach, internally or externally generated ideas. The report frames implementation in four stages: explore, prepare, deliver and sustain. The six recommendations are:
- Treat implementation as a process, not an event; plan and execute it in stages.
- Create a leadership environment and school climate that is conducive to good implementation.
- Define the problem you want to solve and identify appropriate programmes or practices to implement.
- Create a clear implementation plan, judge the readiness of the school to deliver that plan, then prepare staff and resources.
- Support staff, monitor progress, solve problems, and adapt strategies as the approach is used for the first time.
- Plan for sustaining and scaling an intervention from the outset and continuously acknowledge and nurture its use.
These suggestions provide guidance on how schools can create the right environment for change, from supporting staff to getting leadership on board.
Sharples, J., Albers, B., & Fraser, S. (2018). Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation. Guidance Report. London, England: The Education Endowment Foundation.