DELIVER: Support staff, monitor progress, solve problems, and adapt strategies as the approach is used for the first time

‘Deliver’ is a vulnerable phase in which the new programme or practice is applied for the first time. As when trying anything new - be that learning to drive, or playing an instrument - we should expect it to be tricky at first; hence this phase is about continuous dynamic improvement:

  • Motivating staff
  • Identifying and solving problems
  • Identifying successes to solve those problems
  • Providing ongoing support to help embed new skills, knowledge and behaviours.

When delivery is framed in this way as a learning process, monitoring implementation becomes an essential tool in identifying, and acting on, implementation barriers and enablers. For the Bedlington team, this wasn’t just about monitoring fidelity (i.e. are the core practices around retrieval practice emerging in lessons?), but also how staff and pupils felt in terms of the feasibility and benefits of the approach.

The leadership team gave staff time to experiment with retrieval practice in their lessons and integrate it with their professional expertise. High-quality follow-on support was provided through lesson observations, feedback, highlighting good practice and instructional coaching, as a means of embedding and refining new skills (see here for more information on coaching (ADD LINK TO PD SUMMARY)).

The previous work in the Prepare phase to distill an initial set of core practices enabled productive conversations around where to be ‘tight’ and where to be ‘loose’ i.e. where there was scope for subject-specific adaptations (see the Active Ingredients and Fidelity summary for more information ADD LINK).

Checklist questions:

  • Are we able to respond to challenges that arise during the initial stages of using a new approach? Can we use existing structures and processes or are novel solutions required?
  • Is appropriate follow-on support available to embed new skills and knowledge developed during initial training, in the form of coaching, mentoring, and peer-to-peer collaboration?
  • Is the intervention being implemented as intended? Are the active ingredients being observed in day-to-day practice?
  • Does implementation data suggest we need to adapt our implementation strategies?

All of the checklists in Putting Evidence to Work: A School’s Guide to Implementationare available to download here (ADD LINK).