Case Study: Sleuth - The Behaviour Tracking System
In the world pre-Sleuth we spent all our time engaging in and responding to teacher conversations about behaviour incidents, and even more time chasing endless pieces of paper around in order to monitor and follow-up incidents which were recorded on endless behaviour slips. This led to a behaviour tracking system that was at best haphazard and inconsistent and at worst chaotic and often counter-productive. We realised that we must have a more organised, efficient and effective way of:
When we introduced Sleuth we initially constructed an incident slip/referral sheet which was based on the way an incident is recorded in Sleuth. These sheets became the only way to present information and a member of the admin staff then processed them and entered them into the software.
Better Data Makes for Better Decisions - Sleuth has had a major impact on the way we monitor and manage behaviour. Pastoral staff now have accurate and reliable data (which can be accessed at any time) on which to base decisions about target students, and how best to deal with the behaviour on show. It also means that pastoral staff get the full picture and can assess just how bad a student’s behaviour is and whether the behaviour is isolated or cross curricular. It enables us to focus in on the root causes of behaviour incidents and be much more proactive about consequences and ways to re-habilitate.
Appropriate and Effective Intervention Leads to Improvement - I don’t know if Sleuth itself has improved behaviour but the way we record, monitor and deal with poor behaviour has meant that poorly behaved students are dealt with much more quickly and much more effectively and so repeat behaviour has become less of a problem. This is obvious when you look at the pattern and frequency of behaviour incidents in Sleuth and how they tail off when you have dealt appropriately and effectively with any individual.
Monitoring Bullying - We log bullying in Sleuth and again we are able to build up a much more accurate and complete picture of the type and frequency of bullying going on but we do not as yet use Sleuth to log rewards and merits. We have a separate system for this but it would make sense to use Sleuth to administer both carrot and stick elements of school policy.
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.
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.
Sleuth has been the best piece of school based software I have ever used and is making a daily difference to the way our school deals with the issues of behaviour and discipline. School tutors have welcomed it with open arms because it makes their lives both easier and more productive. I am sure as the whole staff start to use it they will also appreciate what it can do and how it can help them.