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.
Create a leadership environment and school climate that is conducive to good implementation.
- Set the stage for implementation through school policies, routines, and practices.
- Identify and cultivate leaders of implementation throughout the school.
- Build leadership capacity through implementation teams.
Define the problem you want to solve and identify appropriate programmes or practices to implement.
- Identify a tight area for improvement using a robust diagnostic process.
- Make evidence-informed decisions on what to implement.
- Examine the fit and feasibility of possible interventions to the school context.
- Make an adoption decision.
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:
- Specify the active ingredients of the intervention clearly: know where to be ‘tight’ and where to be ‘loose’.
- Develop a targeted, yet multi-stranded, package of implementation strategies.
- Define clear implementation outcomes and monitor them using robust and pragmatic measures.
Thoroughly assess the degree to which the school is ready to implement the innovation.
Once ready to implement an intervention, practically prepare for its use:
- Create a shared understanding of the implementation process and provide appropriate support and incentives.
- Introduce new skills, knowledge, and strategies with explicit up-front training.
- Prepare the implementation infrastructure.
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.
- Reinforce initial training with follow-on coaching within the school.
- Use highly skilled coaches.
- Complement expert coaching and mentoring with structured peer-to-peer collaboration.
- Use implementation data to actively tailor and improve the approach.
- Make thoughtful adaptations only when the active ingredients are securely understood and implemented.
Plan for sustaining and scaling an intervention from the outset and continually acknowledge and nurture its use.
- Plan for sustaining and scaling an innovation from the outset.
- Treat scale-up as a new implementation process.
- Ensure the implementation data remains fit for purpose.
- Continually acknowledge, support, and reward good implementation practices.
Download the full Guidance ReportUploaded: [5.3 MB pdf]
Summary of Recommendations PosterUploaded: [1.2 MB pdf]
Active Ingredients SummaryThis summary provides further information on what we mean by ‘active ingredients’, how to identify them, and ways in which they can be used to support implementation.Uploaded: [289.4 KB pdf]
Professional Development SummaryThis summary provides more information on Professional Development, drawing on recommendations in the guidance report.Uploaded: [338.4 KB pdf]
Example of Implementation PlansExamples of implementation plans created by schools in the Research Schools Network.Uploaded: [560.9 KB pdf]
Gathering and Interpreting Data SummaryA poster with suggestions on how to use data effectively to identify school improvement priorities.Uploaded: [386.9 KB pdf]
Implementation Card Sort ActivityAn interactive activity to introduce some of the key themes in the guidance report.Uploaded: [173.7 KB pdf]
Implementation Plan TemplateA template to help create a clear and logical implementation plan.Uploaded: [123.0 KB pdf]
Implementation Process DiagramA diagram showing the implementation process.Uploaded: [173.6 KB pdf]
Implementation Plan TemplateEditable Implementation plan template.Uploaded: [20.8 KB word]
Master ChecklistAn aggregated set of checklists from across the guidance report, to help reflect on the recommendations in the report.Uploaded: [244.1 KB pdf]
‘Expected, supported, rewarded’ Planning TemplateA template to help school leaders and programme developers clearly communicate what will be expected, supported, and rewarded during the implementation process.Uploaded: [125.7 KB pdf]
A School’s Guide to Implementation online course
This course has 7 modules
Estimated time 11 minute(s)
Support for schools