Case Study: Sleuth - The Behaviour Tracking System
Prior to using Sleuth, incidents were recorded manually on report forms which were passed up the pastoral chain to the appropriate level. Once seen, and acted upon by all necessary parties, forms were stored with the student records.
We hoped to have a central bank of student information for work with parents and to allow pastoral managers a clear, factually informed picture regarding behaviour throughout the school. By processing the data we could enhance the strategic management of behaviour by identifying trends resulting from the analysis of key behaviour data.
Much of the data required by Sleuth already existed on our incident report forms. However Sleuth provided the opportunity to gather a wider range of information than currently logged on the forms so these were amended slightly. In particular, specific descriptions of observed behaviour were included.
Not all fields in Sleuth are used yet, e.g. 'learning activity', although it is recognised that this would also be very informative. Once completed the incident report forms are entered into Sleuth by the Teacher Assistant Team. Each year group has an attached Teacher Assistant who is responsible for entering data for students in their year group. Two hours of time are allocated for each TA per week to carry out this task.
Our networked version of Sleuth is accessible on four PCs located throughout the school. All the PCs are available to those staff involved in the administration of the system and those requiring key information in pastoral management. At present one PC is located in the Behaviour Support Co-ordinators office, one in a Deputy Headteacher's office, one in the staff and one in the school office.
Provides Objective Evidence - During the first half of the winter term the data suggested that year 7 students were getting more detentions for failing to do homework than any other year group in the school. When this data was challenged it became clear that Year 7 were no worse than other year groups but that staff were keen to impress on the new intake the importance of homework. Alternatives to detentions as an immediate response to 'failure to do homework' were explored and homework catch-up sessions were introduced.
A Proactive Approach to Behaviour Management - One trend to emerge from Sleuth relates to the timing of incidents, whether a weekday or a time during the day. A significant proportion of incidents take place during lesson 4, straight after morning break. In the case of an individual student, lesson 4 was a hotspot with 13 incidents contrasting with just 1 incident for period 3. The student when interviewed said he didn't want to jeopardise his breaktime! A comparatively short break may lead to students not having enough time to eat, drink and relax so the idea of extending this break is being explored. It has also been interesting to note the comparatively low level of recorded incidents during lunchtimes. A significant number of students live locally and many return home for lunch. Management of this 'unstructured' time is a key area for whole school behaviour management.
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.
Access to Quality Information - The most obvious benefit to the school has been the improved access to information and the quality and variety of information that can be obtained. This has made a significant contribution to existing practise.
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.
Informing Tutors - Prior to each tutor meeting reports are published which profile each particular year group. This data is presented in a variety of different ways in order to support constructive responses to behaviour management issues. Individual tutors are provided with profiles of their tutor groups detailing numbers of incidents, sanctions, and individual students who may be causing concern.