Enhancing the sustainability of school improvement initiatives

Helen Askell-Williams, Gloria A. Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Schools address students’ educational needs by delivering a range of traditional and innovative programs. Selecting, implementing, and sustaining a new program is a school improvement initiative. Despite investments of (often) substantial resources, many such programs have relatively short school lives. Effective educational initiatives need to survive in order to continue to deliver personal, social, and economic benefits. However, practical guidance for sustainable implementation of new initiatives in school settings is relatively lacking. Drawing from literature and interviews with 70 school leaders and teachers, we created and delivered to 10 educational sites a self-assessment site improvement tool. Principal components analysis identified 20 components, and feedback from sites indicated the practical usefulness of the tool. Adopting a systems perspective with explicit attention to interactions between goals, processes, and emerging outcomes has the potential to generate more thorough consideration of the range of components that influence sustained program implementation leading to site improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-678
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Effectiveness and School Improvement
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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