Research School Network: Securing implementation stability through systems and structures From Grand Designs to bricks and mortar

Securing implementation stability through systems and structures

From Grand Designs to bricks and mortar

by Great Heights Research School: West Yorkshire
on the

Before Bluey and Paw Patrol dominated my TV screen, I used to enjoy watching Grand Designs on Channel 4. Now at this stage you may be thinking that the delirium of the final half term is starting to kick in but bear with me.

It was the episodes where things started to go wrong that really hooked me, where optimistic budgets went completely awry, where the realities of a coastal location were overlooked, the projects without detailed plans and of course nothing ran to time. Within the education sector, we can’t take the same chances or risks with implementation.

'It is all too easy to dream big when thinking about implementing a new programme or practice and overlook the structural conditions that make it possible.'

EEF, A School's Guide to Implementation

To get it right, we need an almost exhaustive consideration of the systems and structures that will allow people to enact the behaviours that drive effective implementation.

What are some of the systems and structures that we may need to consider?

You may be going blurry eyed just thinking about your curriculum led financial planning and timetables or how you will ensure classes are being taught whilst protecting ECT time. Will implementation be possible within the context of these plans?

Similarly, have we been thorough in our consideration of all the resources that are needed (and the money that this requires)?

How about meeting time? How much do you actually need? The fight might already be on to secure a previous slot or two. We know that effective professional development that supports behaviour change takes time, a message that comes through loud and clear in the EEF Guide to Effective Professional Development.

What your processes for monitoring and evaluation? Will we be able to capture the right data that enables us to reflect on progress?

Clarity around roles is key but how do plans fit with existing roles and responsibilities as outlined within job descriptions?

Now I’ve not been into a school yet that is short on systems so wherever possible we should aim to repurpose those existing systems rather than bolting on new ones.

In addition, some systems and structures are less controllable than others which may vary dependent on the context of your school. We must recognise the internal parameters that of local, regional and national policies as part of our consideration of context.

●Have we been exhaustive in our consideration of the systems and structures needed to support implementation?

●Have we considered the systems and structures that are outside of our gift and how this impacts on implementation?

The blogs below explore the other contextual factors outlined within Recommendation 2 of the Implementation Guidance Report.

What is being implemented?

People who enable change

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