Sleuth Improves Communication
Sleuth is invaluable as a tool to communicate issues about behaviour.
Sleuth provides a means to communicate noteworthy behaviour throughout the school but it also provides a consistent means of communicating, in detail, exactly what has taken place.
An objective report using common terminology is not only important in supporting consistency but also has a direct impact on how we respond to behavioural issues. The quality of response is influenced by the information we have available. Sleuth enables schools to move away from systems which can often yield subjective and personalised incident reporting.
The reports produced by Sleuth inform dialogue about behaviour involving staff, parents, governors and others involved in the care and welfare of the child. Schools have identified real benefits when conducting parent interviews, providing information at Academic Review Days, feeding back to Governors and engaging multi agency support.
Sleuth communicates everything required by the referee to follow-up the incident and take appropriate action, including the context of the incident, the student(s) involved, their behaviour(s) and any action(s) already given. All staff are up-to-date on the progress of referrals, any outstanding referrals are flagged up as soon as staff login to Sleuth.
For more details of improving communication see:
Improving Communication - The Schools' View
After the Bell by Felix
Below are a selection of comments from schools describing how Sleuth has improved the way they communicate issues about behaviour. Click on the link to read their comments. To read the full case study for the school click 'Read full Case Study' at the end of the text.
Annual Review - We regularly use the Sleuth data to feed into the review process and share the data with external agencies when running multi agency reviews. It is an amazing way of sharing with all stakeholders what is happening in school.
An Objective Focus to Weekly Meetings - Each Monday we have Student Support Services meeting involving the Deputy Headteacher i/c Student Support, all HoY, the Attendance Officer, the E.W.O and the Behaviour Co-ordinator. Information from Sleuth (Incidents by Year and Incident Trend by Date for each Year) provides good focus for the meeting. If we see that the behaviour of one Year Group has been significantly worse than the others we will use the information to try and pin-point why. As a group we will come up with strategies to remedy the problem. We can then use the reports in Sleuth to monitor our success.
Parent/Student Interviews - Presenting a student's behaviour to them visually using the graphs in Sleuth has been really useful to focus discussions. We also use these reports with parents at Academic Review Days and during parent interviews. Parents respond well to the reports as it helps them better understand what we are trying to do. It brings them on board and helps us work together to improve behaviour.
Student Support from External Agencies - The benefits of Sleuth extend beyond the immediate school community. Where the Educational Psychology team offer support to individual students they too can benefit from the evidence base in Sleuth. Their interventions can be informed by the clear analysis the system is capable of producing.
Access to key behaviour data at all levels in school - Staff analyse the recorded data to produce a variety of reports depending on their role in school:
Evaluating Policy - Heads of Faculty and Departments meet formally to discuss behaviour data from Sleuth six times each year (once each term). We analyse behaviour for each department area providing a variety of different reports. The data directs dialogue about the way behaviour is managed and opens up avenues to discuss issues like staff support and the consistent use of the behaviour policy. Where behaviour of individuals or groups is specific to one particular department area we look at ways to manage it.
Communicating with Parents - Heads of Year use the reports function extensively and in particular with parents, which has proved mightily effective at conveying the scale of a situation and the actual detail involved in individual incidents. They also allow us to monitor various indices like individual department or teacher problems with behaviour and put into place support and or challenge in order to improve classroom and student management.
Heads of Year and our Behaviour 4 Learning Centre all use individual reports about particular pupils - the types of behaviour exhibited, the subjects with problems, days of week, time of day, location of problems, members of staff involved, trend line. They will discuss the implications with the pupil and with parents. The reports give members of staff something tangible to discuss with parents and pupils.
Communication with Parents is Focussed - The conversations we are able to have with parents about behaviour is also now much more focussed and we are able to show that we are very systematic in the way in which we deal with behaviour.
Engaging Parents - We regularly use Sleuth reports in dialogue with parents and find the objective presentation of data very helpful. The data is also used at parents evening’s and contributes to an overall picture that we are able to offer parents for each of the students.
Engaging Parents with Evidence - Sleuth data is used in parental meetings to evidence chronologically the range of issues, range of staff involved, sanctions and supports used etc , it is a powerful tool in engaging parents with what they see as evidence in a professional document. We provide Form Tutors with a weekly print out of the behaviour of their groups to encourage focussed discussion about behaviour in tutor time. Also, each department will get a profile of behaviour from sleuth that is specific to their area and will be produced to coincide with departmental meetings as a regular agenda item.
Sleuth gives our Heads of Year the ability to easily monitor students in their care. We can quickly identify students who may need additional support and can generate reports that are useful when discussing concerns and successes with parents.
Supporting Managed Moves - We use individual student data from Sleuth to support managed moves and to engage Outside Agencies who can work with us to provide more specific interventions.
Managing Referrals and On-Call - To manage our referral of students to Circle Time or for 1-to-1 Mentoring sessions we use the Incident Count Report. Where we see a student accumulating a high number of negative referrals we evaluate their behaviour in greater detail. We use Sleuth to monitor the incident count to identify the 'top-ten' students in each year. This may lead to a student being placed in the Circle Time group or, if their needs are more specific, they will be assigned to a mentor for coaching and counselling. These students are monitored using the student group feature in Sleuth. In this way we can monitor their behaviour more closely and evaluate the impact of our intervention work and any strategies used.
In a similar way we also track the use of our On Call system. Where a student has two call outs recorded they are given a Senior Leadership Detention. Line Managers will monitor the use of call outs and where they see a pattern emerging make changes to teaching and learning groups. It also enables us to ensure that we are working consistently across the school.
Developing Strategy from Hard Data - Sleuth allows us to produce a much wider range of reports on student behaviour enabling us to identify a variety or different trends and patterns. We use the full range of reports on individual students prior to review or strategy meetings and we have a half termly review where we profile all students and identify those who are a particular cause for concern. Reports are circulated regularly to members of staff. The leadership team have up to date data at weekly meetings to keep them informed.
Individual Student Support - Sleuth can be used in a variety of ways to support target setting. In some cases this might involve using information in Sleuth to support IBP's or PSP's. A very effective way of target setting is using the reports with young people to allow them to ask questions about their behaviour. The line report was used with one particular student plotting his behaviour over a period of time. Targets were then set using this information. The student in subsequent weeks was keen to see his progress on the graphs measured against previous data. The visual nature of the graphs has provided a valuable opportunity to present young people's behaviour to them in a manner which can encourage them to take responsibility and think constructively about how they might address their own behaviour and identify solutions.
A Consistent Approach to Behaviour Management - It allows us to make decisions about how we are going to manage behaviour based on hard evidence. Something we could clearly demonstrate during a recent visit from HMI. There are now clear links between our policy and the way we monitor with Sleuth which gives us real clarity in our approach.
Communicating Behaviour Issues - The reporting element of Sleuth is used most when:
Communicating with Parents - The availability of information for parent interviews has been identified as a key benefit by the pastoral manager. Not only because the information can be immediately accessed, but also because it can be presented in a variety of ways. Parents can become involved in the 'sleuthing' process as student behaviour is discussed through a more objective focus.
Saving Time - Ultimately Sleuth may be used to support an exclusion tribunal. The speed with which we can now produce a complete history of an individual's behaviour has significantly improved the information gathering process. It's a good example of some of the time saved by the system. "If I lost Sleuth now it would be like losing my right arm".
Communicating with Parents - The reports are used at Academic Review Days when a print out for the term for each student, detailing both positive and negative behaviour, is given to tutors for discussion with parents. We have produced a Parents Guide to Sleuth so that all our parents and carers understand what the system is about and how to read the reports and analysis.
Managing our Seclusion Centre - For a serious breakdown in behaviour we may choose to refer a student to our Seclusion Centre where the student will remain for a two week period and work on aspects of their personal and social development as well as key academic skills. The less serious cases will be interviewed by a Discipline Committee. The committee will discuss Sleuth data during an interview with the students and identify solutions and ways to improve behaviour. Other students with specific and identifiable causes for their poor behaviour may be referred to our Student Development Centre. Each line of referral benefits from the data in Sleuth.
Supporting Students with SEN - We use the data with other agencies who work closely with the school and use the reports to manage our referrals to the Family Liaison Officer who runs an anger management programme with some of our pupils. The information and reports held by Sleuth are also useful for assisting the Statementing process and for use during Child Protection case conferences.
Communicating with Parents - We use a range of Sleuth reports to profile students for Review Days. These form the basis for discussing behaviour with students and their parents. Having such detail to hand enables very specific discussions about behaviour, but also ties this in with academic progress as well.
Support for ALL Students - Where we spot students with zero incidents over a period of time we can respond with positive letters home to parents. Early on in our use of the software we identified that the ability to spot students with no recorded (zero) incidents would be very useful. We asked if this was something that could be included in a future release of Sleuth and are delighted that it is in the latest version as we have a very practical use for it.
Where a student's behaviour deteriorates to the point where they reach the highest level of the intervention framework, Behaviour Manager/Headteacher level, then we have a behaviour tribunal involving the student, parents and key members of staff. Sleuth provides the information for this tribunal. Parents are informed by letter that their child has reached a particular level of the system. The letters allow us to maintain good communication with parents but is also an opportunity to be both transparent and prescriptive in our work.
Communicating with Parents - We have an intervention one step before exclusion where Governors will speak to students and their parents. Governors have really benefitted from the information that we can produce and it has enabled more fruitful discussion. During meetings with parents staff are able to make their points quickly and clearly based on the data we get from Sleuth.
Selecting Appropriate Interventions - The information in Sleuth gives highlights possible lines of inquiry so we can ask the right questions about behaviour encouraging us to think about interventions that might work.
Communicating with Parents - One benefit of the visual reports produced by Sleuth is apparent when we interview parents. It is nice to go to these meetings with more than a list of crimes and punishments. Parents can see we are trying to understand the causes of behaviour and are more likely to support what we're doing.
Dialogue with Parents - Every week we use Sleuth to produce an incident count for each student. Any student with 3 or more incidents for the week will have a letter sent home. At the discretion of the line managers, parents will sometimes be invited to discuss the situation. The reports on individual student behaviour are a valuable means to conduct dialogue with parents and carers about behaviour.
Communicating with Parents - We can easily demonstrate behaviour patterns and trends for individual students to inform parent interviews and start constructive dialogue for intervention.