SUSTAIN: Plan for sustaining and scaling an intervention from the outset and continuously acknowledge and nurture its use


Once a new programme or practice is integrated into the normal routines of a school it is tempting to assume that little or no further effort is required to maintain that success. Be aware – schools are rarely static! A change in staff could fundamentally change how an intervention is perceived, or there can be a drift in the way an approach is implemented, away from the core practices that led to initial successes. As such, sustaining implementation requires ongoing support to acknowledge, reward and refine good implementation practices. 


Even though most staff at Bedlington Academy have become comfortable with using retrieval practice they still think about how they could refine its use. Monitoring data suggested that that in some cases too much time was being spent on retrieval practice, so an effort was made to streamline delivery. The school also has a wider priority on improving vocabulary, and efforts have been made to integrate retrieval practice with this work – see here for an implementation plan for this project.



Checklist questions:

  • Do we have a stable use of the intervention, as intended?
  • Is it achieving the desired outcomes?
  • Have we created contingency plans for any changes across the school that may disrupt successful implementation?
  • Is it appropriate to extend the use of the approach to additional staff? What is required to achieve this?
  • How can the existing capacity and resources be best used to support scale-up?

All of the checklists in the guidance report are available to download here.