Six Phases of School Development

The Six Phases of School Development describe the evolution of a school from an industrial model of education to future-ready. Learning for the future happens best in a certain type of school, and the methods of teaching, learning and assessment that have been the norm for over a century are now redundant. Schools must evolve into a new future, and how this evolution happens is described across the Six Phases.

Six Phases of School Development Overview

These six phases describe the evolution of schools’ operating systems across three broad stages with three transformational stages. They demonstrate how schools have operated in the past can be displaced by a series of interconnected interventions. These interventions enable schools to leapfrog into a preferred future of student progress, achievement and organisational excellence.

The three broad stages that exist in the evolution of a school are FragmentedFormalised and Focused, and this evolution is characterised by continuous improvement. Continuous improvement in an organisation manifests in two forms: incremental improvement and transformation. In the transformation stages the priorities for improvement that form the foundation for a new and better way of optimising student progress and achievement are made explicit. Transformation disrupts current best practice and displaces or absorbs it in an utterly new way of ‘seeing’ and operating that is exponentially better. 

Each transition process is shaped through Preparation, Consolidation, and Mastery

  1. Preparation for growth includes the exploration of the meaning for it, together with implications and the ‘how’ of change including new skills and knowledge needed.
  2. Consolidation of improved practices broadens and deepens integration of improvements into mainstream practice.
  3. Mastery confirms new norms in a new phase. Practices in the school have displaced the previous in all Seven Operational Dimensions to complete the transition to a new phase of school evolution.  

Operationally, successful transitions are defined by the identification and management of successful individuals and teams. The nine box grid below provides an overview of this process.

Further information about how the Six Phases of School Development are applied within the Indigo Schools Framework can be found in the Primer on our Resources Page, or please email if you’d like to learn how the Phases can be successfully used within your school.

Interested in transforming your school? Let’s start a conversation.

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