Publication - Advice and guidance

Mental health and wellbeing: whole school approach: framework

A whole school approach framework for schools to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health and wellbeing: whole school approach: framework
Appendix 3: Implementation Science framework

Appendix 3: Implementation Science framework

Framework for Implementation (adapted from Fixen et al, 2009)

This framework may be helpful for schools to use to support their implementation of a whole school approach. It is based on the principles of implementation science that supports the implementation of any new approach in a real world context. When utilising the Framework within Scottish schools, leaders will need to be mindful of LNCT agreements on workload, school improvement planning, and classroom observation.

Stages of implementation

Core component

Possible tasks

Where are we now

Next steps

1. Exploration and Adoption

- Getting ready for change

Readiness and commitment (needs analysis)

  • Collect data
  • Gather views
  • Readiness for change
  • Involve stakeholders
  • Evaluation measures

Use a readiness checklist to assess readiness for change

Gather data – e.g. SIMD, exclusions, HWB tracking and monitoring, attendance, Impact of individual interventions, existing MHWB survey data

Consult with stakeholders on their views on needs of school

Decide on evaluation measures to be used


Developing a clear vision

  • Research evidence
  • Goodness of fit (evidence and data)
  • Linking to policies and practices

Look at research evidence

Decide on what approach best fits needs of your context

Carry out a SWOT analysis

Link with school's current ethos, priorities, plans


Implementation group (timeline, vision, etc)

Set up an Implementation/Steering Group (consider who to invite)


2. Installation

- Capturing hearts and minds

Building knowledge, understanding and confidence

Staff selection

  • Identify appropriate staff to support training, implementation, etc.

Pre- and in-service training

  • Awareness raising (all staff)
  • SMT involvement
  • In-depth training for implementation group

Identify the key staff who will take forward training for staff – in whole school and targeted approaches

Arrange an awareness-raising session for all staff

Arrange for additional training for those who are more involved in the implementation of MHWB approach


Organisational structures


  • Financial, organisational, human
  • Physical capacity of school

Consultation and coaching

  • Who will coach
  • How will they coach

Explore capacity within school to take MHWB approach forward

Consider how you can access additional funding if required

Apply for funding for staff/resources/training

Decide on who is best to take coaching forward

Explore whether LA has a model for coaching and support

Consider whether action research might support implementation


Policies and procedures

  • Continue to check fit with school's current plans and procedures – keep, rebrand or let go of those that don't fit
  • Include in School Improvement Plan

Ensure that a MHWB approach fits with current policies and procedures – adapt policies that are congruent with this approach and revise or get rid of those that don't fit with this approach

Ensure stakeholder engagement

Include the implementation in your SIP


Evaluation and measurement

Decide on what measures will be used to keep track of progress - individual pupil HWB measures, staff attitude, environment audit, parent questionnaires, attainment


3. Initial implementation

- Getting the ball rolling

Developing practice (focusing on the vision)

Whole school (vision, roles, tracking, procedures, evaluations)

Whole school

Identify MHWB areas that you will focus on

Train whole staff in approaches/supports for MHWB

Identify implementation group meetings/evaluation points, etc. in school calendar

Develop classroom practice around MHWB

Decide on staff who will monitor progress and support implementation

Discuss and implement approaches to support pupils – discuss at staged intervention meetings, etc.

Discuss MHWB at staff meetings, assemblies

Liaise with parents/carers


Problem identification and solution finding

  • Accept barriers/problems as part of process
  • Provide opportunities to discuss these and find solutions
  • Continue to gather evidence and data and ensure decisions are based around these

Ensure coaching/mentoring procedures take place to share successes/problems

Set up opportunities to share classroom experience – teacher learning conversations

Set up networking opportunities for staff or embark on an action research group to monitor and evaluate practice

Continue to evaluate and measure impact


4. Full Implementation

- Making it natural

Gaining momentum

  • Leadership – keep on agenda
  • Share aims with all
  • Update policies
  • Information sharing

Ensure the aims of the intervention are understood and shared by all staff, pupils, parents/carers and the wider community including partner agencies.

Develop a communication/information sharing strategy.

Key members of staff should model the approach – use the relevant language

Keep on SMT agenda

Update whole staff, pupils, Parent Council on progress using a wide variety of communication channels

Development of an information sheet or information on the website on MHWB for parents/carers


Continued training and support for whole school community

  • Learning rounds
  • Involvement of children/young people
  • Involvement of parents/carers

Follow up on whole staff training by providing more detailed, needs led training

Provide opportunities for staff to observe others lessons (learning rounds)

Introduce MHWB interventions and supports to parents/carers.

Highlight and share innovative practice


Monitor and review progress

  • Continue to gather evidence in relation to progress/impact
  • Embed in systems – use language

Use action research or other evaluative measures to ensure that changes have had an impact

Make changes and adapt where necessary

Use language that is congruent with a MHWB approach.



Planning for short and long term

  • Plan for ongoing evaluation
  • Maintain and review systems
  • Ensuring planning for long term sustainability

Update evaluations

Use self-evaluation to ensure implementation is going well and look at next steps

Discuss succession planning for different roles