Case Study: Sleuth - The Behaviour Tracking System
We were served notice to improve our behaviour by Ofsted. The school was in Special Measures between 2000-02 and Serious Weaknesses between 2002-06. Our 2004 report stated that weaknesses in behaviour management led to unsatisfactory behaviour in lessons and a high level of fixed period exclusions. We introduced Sleuth to support our behaviour policy and help us evaluate our behaviour strategies. It has played a significant part in helping us address the issues raised by Ofsted. Sleuth enabled us to demonstrate why particular interventions are used e.g. Circle or 1-to-1 Mentoring, and also to measure their impact.
In our Satisfactory inspection report at the end of 2006, Ofsted remarked in particular on our use of Sleuth and identified it as important to our systematic approach to behaviour management:
"Initiatives to improve behaviour are having a good effect .. New behaviour strategies ensure a calm atmosphere in nearly all lessons."
"Exclusion numbers have decreased since the introduction of a very successful computer programme to track incidents of bad behaviour. This information is analysed and action taken is bringing improvement."
Before Sleuth we used a triplicate carbon form to record incidents. When we introduced Sleuth this was replaced with a single PIF (Pupil Information Form) as all staff could use Sleuth to access behaviour data. Although we have access to Sleuth on every PC, data entry is done by the administration team.
Referrals are made through Sleuth so we have no paper changing hands after the reporter has filled in the PIF. Incidents are logged into Sleuth twice daily so staff who may need to access information to deal with an incident can do so on the same day. Incidents which are considered to be severe are dealt with immediately and then logged in to Sleuth.
Sleuth has helped us to develop a far more systematic approach to the way we manage behaviour. It enables us to intervene early so we can prevent behaviour escalating. From a whole school viewpoint, the language we use to describe behaviour has become far more objective.
Evaluating our Behaviour Policy - Sleuth has helped us to define our Behaviour Policy. We recently reviewed our Behaviour for Learning Policy and considered the types of behaviour and the range of sanctions and rewards that we used. These were then put in to a hierarchy. Sleuth enables us to record our responses to behaviour and test the consistency of our policy.
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.
Staff Professional Development - We have also been praised in our use of data from Sleuth to address CPD by the Standards and Effectiveness Unit of the DCFS. We use Sleuth not only to look at how we can best support our students but also our staff. Where we identify staff who appear to have difficulty with certain aspects of behaviour management we look to put in place a clear mentoring programme. In most cases this will involve an AST, or a senior member of staff, coaching a teacher 1-to-1 to address new strategies, often supported by lesson observations.
Rewards and Promoting Positive Behaviour - Sleuth is used to track positive behaviour and manage our Bronze, Silver, Gold awards and also other rewards such as Mentions in Assembly, Certificates and Badges. Tracking the positives is having a real impact in checking our preconceptions about behaviour. Students are now actively asking about behaviour points and are proud to be wearing badges. We have inter-form competitions and points scores are shared in Assembly.
Heads of Year are given a fortnightly report listing the achievements of their cohort but some keep daily tabs on their pupils' progress by accessing Sleuth directly. We make use of the Zero Incident Count report in Sleuth to ensure we can also reward those pupils who reach the end of a year with no negative referrals. These pupils were taken on an ice skating trip. In particular, the response from parents to this was great. We took 50 students from year 7 and 32 from Year 8. It will be interesting to compare this figure next year.
Monitoring Bullying - Sleuth is invaluable for tracking bullying. Staff may record an incident on a PIF (Pupil Information Form) but we have also opened up the system to our Peer Listeners. They have created a specific sheet to record bullying. When an issue is bought to them by a student they fill in a form with all the details. This is then bought to the attention of a member of staff, the situation is dealt with and details are recorded in Sleuth.
Supporting the SEAL programme - Sleuth plays a vital role in how we are responding to the SEAL programme. We have used Sleuth to look at in-class behaviour and as a result have identified a high number of incidents involving students on the SEN register. We are now revisiting, with support from LA Advisors, how we approach differentiation within each faculty area as a means to improve access to the curriculum and remove barriers to learning.
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.