Case Study: Sleuth - The Behaviour Tracking System
Prior to Sleuth our incident information was recorded on paper and then passed onto relevant members of staff where necessary so it could be dealt with at the appropriate level. In all cases incident information would go to the Heads of Year who would be responsible for maintaining a more concise incident history for each student. We operate an Assertive Discipline Policy at Ashburton so it is crucial that we respond consistently to behaviour according to the framework of our policy. Sleuth helps us to do this.
At Ashburton we have a very clearly defined system of intervention to address behaviour. This is based on the number of referrals for inappropriate behaviour. As the severity of incidents increases so the student moves through the system. The interventions start with the Form Tutor moving to the Head of Year, Senior Teacher, Deputy Head and then onto the Behaviour Manager and then the Headteacher.
Each member of the management team has clearly defined responsibilities and interventions. Staff fill out a referral form/incident slip only when they have exhausted the range of strategies available to them as classroom teachers (Level 0 responses). We are keen that the referral form does not disempower teachers by appearing to have greater gravitas than the assertive strategies they can use in their classrooms.
If a student does not respond to the classroom teacher's strategies then the referral is made. Managing incident information is no longer a task just carried out by the Heads of Year. Once the incident report form has been concluded it is logged into Sleuth by members of the admin team. The way we record information and the way Sleuth reports allows any staff member to easily determine how and whether incidents have been concluded and enables us to spot students as their incident count starts to increase so we can manage behaviour at the lowest possible level before it escalates.
Targetting Interventions - By using Sleuth we can more easily meet the needs of groups of students by pinpointing types of behaviour by gender, year group and ethnicity. A specific example of this was a social skills programme we ran: when we profiled our behaviour by Year Group we identified Year 8 as a problem. Further investigation identified boys as the main perpetrators and within this sub-set a group of twelve boys were specifically identified. We then initiated an intense Social Skills programme for these twelve Year 8 boys. We employed the services of an external agency to deliver a ten week programme which ran for 4 hours a week. Using Sleuth we were then able to test the effectiveness of the work comparing behaviour before and after the programme.
The ability of Sleuth to provide a very detailed analysis of individual behaviour means that it is a crucial tool in our work to support Vulnerable and At Risk students. Sleuth, in conjunction with data relating to other aspects of a students schooling, enables us to provide much better support for this student group. The "Every Child Matters" agenda has meant that we have to think carefully and clearly about how we support each student in our care. Effective use of Sleuth certainly helps us towards meeting this agenda successfully.
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.
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.
We use information from Sleuth to inform all aspects of behaviour management at Ashbourne. Sleuth is a key part of our strategic response to behaviour. It has informed our Staff Development and the way we deploy staff support.