Teachers Christian Fellowship of NSW: Conference papers DEVELOPING A SUPPORTIVE SCHOOL CONTEXT Rob Spence


Rob Spence, District Guidance Officer, Campbelltown

A Model for Effective Change
Over my thirty-three years in education I have introduced a number of significant innovations in schools,
and systems changes at both local and regional levels. The model below is based on action research as to
why these innovations were successful. The five concepts for effective change can be applied to any
project within a school and not just in relation to behaviour management systems.

Concept - Personalise Actions Notes and script

Try and establish a positive relationship
with members of the school community
before you try and affect change.

Talk with a cross section of people.

Ensure people can see a benefit for themselves.


Listen for the language used by others. Use the same language and terminology. Be wary of your own jargon.


Be prepared to make changes to your original plan.

It is usually not a good idea for your first encounter with people to be based on trying to make changes!!

“I am concerned about …”
“I have been trying to think of how to
address this issue.”
“I was wondering if it would be good
to …”
“What are your thoughts?”

“How would this benefit you?”
“I can see …” or
“I can hear …” or
“It feels like …”

Once you tune into other staff you
may need to make changes to your
original plan because you have
become aware of some other ideas
that are good and fit in with the needs
of the school. The wider the
ownership, the more chance the
changes have of occurring.