Leading effective change: Education innovation and initiative


School leaders are required to effectively lead and manage change. Accelerating student achievement and creating a culture which is focused on growth and continuous improvement requires change. It’s important that change be well-managed to ensure the best results for students and employees of the school.

To implement effective change, the school needs to carefully consider:

  • The reasons for the change: is it evidence based? Will it increase student achievement?
  • How to create support for the change
  • How leaders will model and support the change
  • Constant and effective communication throughout the process
  • Empowering students and staff to contribute to the change
  • How to integrate change into the culture to ensure sustainability
  • Potential effects on teacher and leadership workload

What is the role of the board in this process?

The principal will manage any educational change processes within the school. However, the board may need to approve any additional resourcing which exceeds the existing delegations to the principal, if required.  The board should be receiving reporting from the principal and asking questions in its governance role.

What questions should boards be asking regarding proposed changes?

  • What are the reasons for the proposed change? What evidence supports the reasons?
  • Is this consistent with the board’s strategic plan and vision? Does it fit with our policies and culture?
  • How is this change going to benefit the learners in our school?
  • Are there are any significant impacts on employees and their workload?
  • Is there likely to be some resistance to the change? What is the plan for gaining support of leadership, employees and students for this change?
  • Are there any barriers to implementation? I.e. other proposals, policies, priorities or projects?
  • What additional resourcing is required to implement this change? (money, time, staffing, professional development)
  • Is there a robust plan? Is there a trial required? How is communication going to be managed?
  • How will the outcomes be reported? How will we know the change is successful?
  • How are we going to sustain the change?

Resources to assist in considering change:

Scroll Arrow Icon

© 2018 New Zealand School Trustees Association