A model for change
S.C.O.P.E. -Strategy, Communication, Objectives, Practice, Evaluation
SCOPE is the model the coaching team at Learning Cultures have developed to support senior leaders plan how to implement a coaching strategy within their school, consortium or trust. It is a mnemonic designed to focus on how best to scope a strategy that will deliver excellence and improvement across the whole school.
Clearly defining the vision and goals of the school or group of schools. The strategy should be linked to the desire to build on what is working well and the desire to identify, share and cascade good practice.
How the strategy is communicated to others is critical. All staff need to have a clear understanding of the strategy, what it means to the school and the part they play in achieving the vision and the goals. There is always a danger that the priorities and important messages are diluted where communication of the strategy is passed over a variety of people. Ensuring that everyone understands the content of the plan and strategy and can articulate with accuracy how they can contribute to achieving it.
Normally through the appraisal process individual members of staff are given or negotiate a set of clearly defined objectives that they will endeavour to meet during a defined timescale. These should be linked to the strategy and vision and goals that have been defined and communicated to all staff. The appraisal process should also provide individuals with an agreed programme of professional development that will ensure that they can achieve the objectives they have set or have been set. In a coaching context it is much more relevant that the individual has the opportunity to negotiate their own SMART objectives linked to the strategic plan.
Senior and middle leaders, teachers, support staff and others within the organisation need time and resources in order to put their stated objectives into practice. This needs to be clearly identified at the beginning of the process. Professional development, training and opportunities for professional learning conversations as well as interim appraisal meetings can support all staff to put into practice their stated goals and objectives. Developing a coaching culture is profound evidence that there is a commitment to achieving the strategy, everyone knows the part they play in achieving it and they have the time and resources to succeed.
It is essential from the initial planning stage to have a clear understanding of what the desired outcomes will yield as a result of the construction and communication of the strategy. Asking the question 'What will success look like' and communicating that to everyone will help to ensure that the process can be evaluated. This process also needs to define what has gone well and what needs to happen next.