Paul and I visited the John Warner School in Hertfordshire this morning to talk to the headteacher about introducing evidence based programmes to schools.
The advice he gave was interesting.
In his view getting the right buy-in from the appropriate level in the management team was critical. Of course at the headteacher level, but even more importantly getting the person who would manage the programme in the school, either an assistant headteacher or someone in the management team.
He argued that providing them with training in the programme – not so much the delivery, but the strategy, theory and outcomes – could be critical to success. As was showing them how it could benefit their school and their own career.
Another tip was to provide training for the teachers that will be delivering the programme in the school itself. Which he suggested will see higher take-up (including amongst non-teaching staff) and reduce costs.
Other points he made were not to pitch the programme as part of PSHE (which he felt was not well regarded by teachers), to only allude to meeting Ofsted’s outcomes, to provide ongoing feedback to the school, and use them as recruiting agents for future roll-out.
Finally, he also said that if there is to be a cost to schools then finding ways to provide discounts to early adopters would be useful in embedding the programme.
Interestingly, there was a very big cultural divide between the school and other local institutions in particular the council (‘too much money sticks to the sides’) and the health service (‘you get invited to a meeting only for it to be cancelled’).