It’s not a well known fact but I am a Fast Track teacher. I don’t sell myself as one as I prefer for my actions to speak louder than my status. One of the bonuses of the (soon to be defunct) scheme is that I get to be involved with whole school projects.
This year I am leading a major change. I am planning to implement a behaviour system that rewards positive behaviour. The work is going well and I have learnt a number of lessons about manging whole school change:
- Change needs ownership – a project is likely to fail if there isn’t a ‘project leader’ responsible for implementation and monitoring.
- Project management is weak in many schools – major changes need a systematic approach. Change can not be rushed through -it’s better to hold off and get the detail right
- Consultation with support staff is vital for change to be effective. My first HoD told me that you can upset anyone in the school apart from the support staff. They are the people who will make the change a reality.
- Making change sustainable is difficult. Not only do you need the support staff on board but thinking about who will continue to lead the project is important.
- Do not reinvent the wheel. Learn from good practice in other schools. Adapt ideas.
- Be passionate about the change. All change needs champions who are 100% behind the idea. I have found that by being passionate, knowledgeable and approachable staff are more willing to sign up to the idea
- Treat everyone as professionals. Ideas in education come in cycles. It’s unlikely that my idea is very new or that it’s the answer to all. This idea is just a tool in the box.
- Give staff ownership. I’ve invited feedback in a number of ways: post-its written during the main presentation will be answered in the staff bulletin, online forum on the school VLE. Genuine consultation is vital – it’s OUR system to make OUR lives better.
- Always have two questions in mind when planning change: How will this make learning better for pupils? How will this make like, and therefore teaching, better for staff? If the answer to either of these is that the scheme doesn’t, then it’s time to get back to he drawing board.
The presentation shown to staff is below. The proposed system is not an original idea!