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Case Study: Sleuth - The Behaviour Tracking System

School Name:
Holte Visual and Performing Arts College
Type of School:
Mixed Comprehensive School 11-16
Pupils on Roll:
950
LEA Name:
BIRMINGHAM
Implemented By:
Deputy Headteacher
Why did you introduce Sleuth to track behaviour?

We were collating information about behaviour manually using a range of recording systems but the process wasn't time efficient at all. Just to produce a simple chronological history for a student wasn't straightforward and anything detailed was particularly time consuming.

By introducing Sleuth we were able to simplify, standardise and streamline our recording process. We were one of the first schools to be funded by the Behaviour Improvement Programme (BIP) in Birmingham. We use money from BIP to fund Sleuth. In this respect it ties in very well with the work of our Behaviour and Education Support Team (BEST) and is central to much of their work.

Now we have Sleuth we are able to demonstrate that behaviour in this school is improving. It allowed us to clearly demonstrate to OFSTED how we have made significant improvements in the way we manage behaviour and we can demonstrate that we are working to address the Every Child Matters agenda. In our June 2006 inspection the OFSTED report stated:

"The school has made good progress since the last inspection, particularly in improving behaviour, the curriculum and standards. The high quality of monitoring and evaluation and the drive of leadership and management to raise standards give the school good capacity to make further improvements. The school's successful behaviour improvement programme is an outstanding example of the care and support it provides. Monitoring and evaluation is used very effectively and has provided the firm foundation for recent improvements by developing the skills of teachers, raising standards of behaviour and implementing a curriculum that interests learners."

How did you implement Sleuth?

We streamlined our recording systems so that all behaviour was recorded on a single form. Staff liked the simplicity of the new form as it is easy and quick to fill in. In January 2005 we made further changes to the form. These changes were more cosmetic than anything else, but crucially both forms provide a very clear link to our behaviour management policy. A member of the admin team enters the incident detail into sleuth from the referral form.

We have a full site licence for Sleuth and reports can be generated by staff themselves or by request to the admin team. Our whole Pastoral/Inclusion Team use Sleuth along with our Learning Mentors, Social Worker, Community Police Officer, Educational Psychologist, SENCO and our Learning Support Centre. The individual behaviour types we monitor are refined periodically based on evidence from Sleuth. If we adapt our policy to look at recording a particular behaviour in more detail we just add the new behaviour types to Sleuth.

How has Sleuth improved your behaviour management?

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.

Targetted Support for Staff - The trends and patterns revealed by the analysis of behaviour data in sleuth has led to more targetted and sensitive support for staff. It has also made us consider how we allocate classrooms to specific teachers and how we deploy staff for breaktime duty.

Appropriate Interventions - As a BIP school our BEST Team has allowed us to offer a range of different interventions. Sleuth plays a crucial role in identifying students who need support, allowing us to identify what support we have used so far and what other options are still available.

Engaging Parents with Evidence - Sleuth data is used in parental meetings to evidence chronologically the range of issues, range of staff involved, sanctions and supports used etc , it is a powerful tool in engaging parents with what they see as evidence in a professional document. We provide Form Tutors with a weekly print out of the behaviour of their groups to encourage focussed discussion about behaviour in tutor time. Also, each department will get a profile of behaviour from sleuth that is specific to their area and will be produced to coincide with departmental meetings as a regular agenda item.

Incentives & Rewards - We motivate pupils towards improvement by informing/showing them their sleuth profiles. If there is improvement over a target period we issue an Improvers Award. We also reward pupils with no 'sleuths' with special trips/activities and set targets for some pupils to try not to get any 'sleuths' in a given target period in order to be eligible for a reward activity, this is proving to be very powerful stuff.

Monitoring & Comparing Progress - The comparative data produced by Sleuth has also proved very useful, it is interesting compare one group against another, or a specific group against the whole school. This is particularly useful in countering negative preconceptions that can develop about behaviour. Last year our Year 7 were quickly becoming labelled a problem group, certainly the volume of referral forms suggested this to be so. However when scrutinised more carefully it became clear that 60% of incidents could be attributed to only 15 students.

Sleuth has proved to be a great evidence base that challenges value judgements. We can also demonstrate that certain groups of students have a particular behaviour issues. This year, currently there are 4 times more incidents for year 8 than for any other year group. The profile of behaviour by Year Group informs our Leadership Mentoring where each member of the SLT mentors two students. Each mentor receives a detailed Sleuth profile of the students in their care so all of our interventions are tailored to specifically meet the needs of the individual.

Making Better Decisions - A consistent and simplified recording mechanism is a key factor in improving the way we manage pupil behaviour. By recording the behaviour data in Sleuth we are able to very quickly produce a detailed chronology of the behaviour of both individuals and groups. The behaviour data is widely used in school and makes a significant contribution to the decisions we make about behaviour.

Student Support - Students understand that a record in sleuth means that a particular sanction will be triggered. It is a good way for us to demonstrate that each behaviour has a specific consequence.

  • Learning Support Centre - use Sleuth to assess the impact of the interventions that they use.
  • Community Police Officer: Sleuth is also used by our on-site community police officer.
  • Learning Mentors: use Sleuth data to focus intervention and support work on behaviour improvement with individuals and to select for group work based on common behaviour issues. Sleuth is also then used to measure and evidence improvements.
  • Social Worker: working with our Looked After students finds Sleuth very useful in case conferences.
  • Educational Psychologist: uses Sleuth with the SENCO to set behaviour targets with students.