Research School Network: Implementation in Action Using the EEF’s implementation framework and tools to support school improvement work, by Louise Gregg & Jaimie Lall-Sachdev

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Implementation in Action

Using the EEF’s implementation framework and tools to support school improvement work, by Louise Gregg & Jaimie Lall-Sachdev

by Somerset Research School
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This guest blog is written by Jaimie Lall-Sachdev (Teaching & Learning) and Louise Gregg (Reading), both Assistant Headteachers from Haygrove School. The school is a mixed, comprehensive secondary school in Bridgwater, Somerset that is on a journey of improvement. Jaimie and Louise share how they have used the EEF’s implementation framework and tools to support their school improvement work.

Louise Greg

Jaimie Lall-Sachdev

Assistant Headteacher, Haygrove (Teaching & Learning)

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Jaimie Lall Sachdev

Louise Gregg

Assistant Headteacher, Haygrove (Reading)

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Implementation in Action

Using the EEF’s implementation planning model as a vehicle to deliver a whole-school transformation


Having received support from our previous School Improvement Partner and the EEF, we have embarked on a period of significant change at the school using the EEF’s implementation planning model as our vehicle to deliver a whole-school transformation.

Following our previous Ofsted visit in 2022, we identified priority areas within our Quality of Education that needed fundamental change, particularly around the consistency of high-quality teaching and learning and literacy. We utilised the A School’s Guide to Implementation from The EEF to create long-term plans to affect the changes needed.

The Why?

Problem


One of the key areas we found useful was the first stage of identifying problems. As schools we can often focus on quick solutions to solve issues but very often, this results in short-term initiatives that are not sustainable. I am sure we can all find a poster around the school of a previous initiative that is no longer being used! However, this scattergun approach to solving problems causes confusion for students and excessive workload for staff. We wanted a long-term model, that potentially increased workload slightly to begin with, but in the long-term provided consistency for staff and created a high-quality education for our students.

The area of identifying all the problems of an issue is not a short process and one that should not be rushed. It requires time to speak to all stakeholders involved and sometimes the key issues are not what you think they are. We found that taking the time to complete this first section properly provided the foundation for the rest of our plans, thus securing sustainability.

The What?

Intervention Description


Describing the intervention (often referred to as specifying the active ingredients” or core components”) is the next stage of the process. Very often, you can switch to making a To Do List here but that is not the idea; you need to identify the core principles and practices that must be present in any intervention you set up to address the problems. When this is done well, it provides the checklist for you to refer to, especially when new initiatives are wanting to be introduced – does it meet the requirements listed in this part of the plan?

The How?


The next stage in the implementation planning process is to list the strategies required, essentially your To Do List. This is the working part of the document to make sure you are progressing through the plan. When changes are being requested of you, it is your guide to show that you have already thought through the whole process and therefore will not be buffeted by external pressures to make quick fixes. High-quality professional development always features here, but this should not be all that is listed. The guidance report includes a comprehensive list of potential implementation activities, ranging from securing funding to purchasing resources to recruiting champions.

How well?


Implementation outcomes are checkpoints for you to use to monitor how well you are working through your plan. We wrote ours in the present tense, as though we were crystal-ball-gazing’, stating what we would expect to see happening in the short, medium and longer-term. It may involve collecting data from learning walks, student voice, surveys, etc. We’ve found it really useful when searching for evidence to establish if our plans are working or not and whether any changes are required.

And so?


The final but important stage is to clearly outline the final outcomes. We found it helpful to consider the positive opposite’ of the problems or challenges stated in column one. Where possible, we look to include statements about pupil outcomes: attainment and/​or progress.

As a school we have utilised implementation plans to support some significant whole-school changes. They have provided clarity for leaders around the process of change and supported staff understanding the need for change through deep exploration of the problems.

When Ofsted returned to visit, we used our implementation plans to show where we were on our journey and even though we have not completed all aspects of the changes, it showed that we had considered where we were going. It really helped our Ofsted meetings as Senior Leaders and we felt more confident in talking about that area of school improvement.

Implementation plans were a game changer for us as leaders in supporting whole-school change. We have affected some major changes to the quality of education at school and this would have been unimaginable and a much bumpier journey without the implementation plans. We are now going to explore the process of implementation planning with middle leaders, to expand their use across the school to ensure sustainable development.

Board
Haygrove School - Implementation Planning Wall

Implementation Planning Wall – This board is in our office. It is a working wall that enables us to check where we are and what is coming next. This is great in ensuring a constant focus on what really matters.

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Podcast: Listen to this blog with Podbean

Implementation in Action

To listen to the audio click here

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Listen to our Podcast here

The newly updated, full guidance report and all accompanying resources can be found on the EEF website here.

An online course which walks you through the implementation process can also be found here.

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*NEW* A Schools Guide to Implementation – EEF Guidance report

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