Whole School Improvement
It is crucial that any school improvement plan can be developed and evaluated based on clear evidence which is easy to access. A standardised and objective means to report behaviour should enable a straightforward analysis of recorded data. The comprehensive analysis available in Sleuth means it plays a crucial role in planning aspects of whole school improvement relating to social inclusion and student welfare. Analysed data can therefore not only lead to a very proactive approach to whole school decision making but also enable schools to easily demonstrate where improvements have been made as a result.
A clear system for evaluation and review is a useful way for schools to demonstrate their capacity to change. Sleuth not only supports this capacity to change but also the means to measure the impact of change.
For example, where student punctuality and readiness to learn is identified as a weakness you may decide to introduce a Meet & Greet policy. The success of this strategy can be monitored and measured using Sleuth. Sleuth will provide the detailed analysis to reveal, for example, in which subject areas it improved classroom behaviour, which year groups responded most positively and the individual students who benefitted from a consistent introduction to each lesson.
For any strategy for improvement Sleuth will provide evidence of its success, so you know what works and what doesn't, examples of good practice can be recognised, re-used and shared.
For more details of whole school strategies see:
Whole School Improvement - The Schools' View
After the Bell by Felix
Below are a selection of comments from schools describing how Sleuth has contributed to whole school improvement. 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.
Reviewing Policy - Our use of sleuth means that we are able to evaluate and modify aspects of our policy with far greater frequency. There is no need for periodic audits of behaviour to give us an evidence base to review policy because we already have this in Sleuth.
Measuring Impact of Strategies - All in all Sleuth is an extremely useful tool. It allows you to plan the strategies you want to use and then enables you to measure the ongoing impact of these strategies. Most of all Sleuth lets us know that what we are doing is working when sometimes you all too easily lose sight of that.
Evidence of Improvements for Ofsted - Sleuth allowed us to clearly demonstrate to OFSTED in our recent inspection that we have made significant improvements in our behaviour management. Our OFSTED report makes clear and continued reference to the outstanding approach we have developed to manage behaviour.
In our original SEF return to OFSTED we made reference to the improvement that the school has made in addressing behaviour. During our inspection, by using Sleuth, we were clearly able to demonstrate that we had evidence to support our claims. We could show that the individual support framework that we have put in place for students is based on evidence and helps us to select the most appropriate intervention. We could explain why particular interventions had been chosen and show the impact on the student's behaviour over days and weeks. This provides a good indication of how well we are working to the Every Child Matters agenda.
The reports in Sleuth allowed us to demonstrate our progess in whole school behaviour improvement made over the last few years. In the last two years a specific type of behaviour has led to an increase in the number of Fixed Period Exclusions. This crude statistic is often used to determine the effectiveness of the behaviour management of a school but even though our fixed period exclusions (FPE) had increased we were able to demonstrate that those students who had received an FPE were seldom excluded twice. We could also demonstrate that generally behaviour over that period was far better and that actually it was the increase in one particular behaviour that had led to an increase in FPEs. The detailed analysis in Sleuth allows us to move beyond basic one dimensional FPE data and encourages us to be more analytical. Our behaviour management is underpinned by this detailed data, it is evidence based, planned and personalised.
A Whole School Approach - We are now in the process of allowing staff to input their own behaviour incidents into Sleuth and monitor what happens. We intend to have a paperless system of behaviour monitoring and by allowing full access to Sleuth hope that the pass-the-buck syndrome of behaviour management will become less and less of an issue. I now expect to see that staff will follow up and deal with their own behaviour problems and that Heads of Department will take a fuller role in the management of behaviour within their departments.
In essence Sleuth allows someone like me to check that various things have happened before they get to senior pastoral people, rather than things just being referred to senior pastoral people without any input from the teacher or their Head of Department.
Evidence of Improvement - We have found using the data in Sleuth very helpful in supporting certain assertions that we make in our SEF. We can easily show that behaviour has improved over time by using certain graphs, which helps us to demonstrate that teaching and learning have improved. Our lesson observations indicate that behaviour has improved and this can be backed up by the evidence in Sleuth.
OFSTED Inspections - During a recent OFSTED inspection Sleuth was a valuable source of evidence which enabled us to clearly demonstrate the improvements that we had made in reducing poor behaviour whilst increasing the number of positive behaviours. Care and guidance at De Aston School was rated as outstanding. I feel Sleuth has made a significant contribution to this.
Student Support from Key Stage Managers - As Key Stage Managers Sleuth has also made key contributions to how we perform our roles. We have used the graphs profiling the behaviour of each year group in assemblies to demonstrate the behaviours which are giving us cause for concern and set specific targets and challenges for each year group as a whole. The visual impact of the graphs in Sleuth is proving very effective. We can also demonstrate that behaviour is deteriorating or improving over time.
More Consistent & More Strategic - In terms of consistency Sleuth has been useful in helping us move forward as an organisation. We formulate our behaviour strategies using Sleuth as well as basing our Behaviour Action Plan on the analysis it provides. We have proof of the things that work and the things that don't, whereas beforehand we responded based on anecdotal evidence and a gut feeling about behaviour. Certainly we have benefited from a much more systematic recording process.
How Effective is our Policy - Sleuth allows us to monitor how effectively our behaviour policy flowchart is being used. This is essentially our behaviour policy but structured in a way that staff and students can clearly see a course of action for each behaviour. Sleuth is useful in allowing us to monitor the consistent application of this.
Saving Time - Sleuth has enabled us to address the task of recording behaviour but also gives us far more benefits. Sleuth allows us to easily and quickly analyse our recorded data. This would have taken ages without Sleuth and would have been very labour intensive.
Monitoring Strategies and Making Changes - We may look to change groups around to alter the dynamic, offer additional support where appropriate or target support at particular times of the day. Through our monthly meetings strategies are formulated and reviewed each month.
Managing Teaching Groups - The data from Sleuth is used widely throughout the school. Faculty Heads have found the data in Sleuth to be particularly useful. The range of information available gives them a clear idea of behaviour specific to their area of management allowing a more focussed response to behaviour at Faculty level. The information influences the way that groups are put together in certain subject areas and the dynamic of groups has been altered accordingly.
Setting behaviour Targets - A faculty can analyse the incidents then select a target behaviour on which all members of a faculty work to address. It is a good way to set behaviour objectives within each faculty.
Supporting Decision Making - We are considering changing our school day at the moment and data from Sleuth has been very useful to support our considerations. We have found that Thursday is our highest day of the week for negative behaviour. Our worst lesson is lesson 4, which comes straight after lunch. We are an inner city school with a shortage of outside space to accommodate students during breaktimes. We are considering taking on more supervisors at lunchtime and are exploring the possibility of a staggered lunchtime.
Timetabling - The Senior Leadership Team have found the data produced by Sleuth useful when drawing up the timetable. There are examples where we have decided that certain lessons should not follow others.
Ofsted Self-Evaluation - The data and analysis produced by Sleuth is invaluable information for the Ofsted Self Evaluation Form. Sleuth enables us to demonstrate how and why we manage behaviour based on hard data.
In general, Sleuth allows us to see whether the Behaviour Policy is working effectively and whether behaviour of a particular type is being dealt with at the appropriate level.
Our previous system did not involve all staff in pastoral care. Now, with Sleuth, both Heads of Year and Heads of Area use behaviour data in Sleuth extensively: HoAs now manage behaviour specific to their department and HoYs pick up the more widespread concerns.
Developing Strategies - Sleuth is central to our behaviour management, particular benefits have come in the shape of our reward system, providing evidence for developing strategies, sharing good practice and supporting our at-risk students.
Strategic Planning - Sleuth has provided valuable information to inform our strategic planning for behaviour. We are easily able to identify causal factors and respond accordingly.
A Whole School Approach - Significant changes have been made to our whole school policy and it is felt that it will contribute to further developments with our whole school approach.
Monitoring Policy - On a Senior Leadership level Sleuth has been useful to test our system and determine the consistency of our policy and how it is applied.
Reducing Teacher Workload - The information in Sleuth has been valuable when working with students and parents. It has also contributed to our school policy of developing the role of Admin staff. As a Beacon school this is one area upon which we are focussing. We are listed on the DfES website as an exemplar in Admin Policy. The aim has been to lift the admin burden from teachers, and Sleuth has definitely helped.