Starting your Sleuth Project

For the best possible start to your Sleuth Project, the Sleuth Advisory Team will deliver advisory and training to your key-users through a series of online and on-site sessions.  The Sleuth Advisory Team includes school leaders and teachers with experience of organisational improvement and behaviour management practice who can advise on the most effective approaches to implementing Sleuth, training staff colleagues and using Sleuth effectively.

Included in all new Sleuth Projects is a programme of advisory and training delivered in two stages:

  • Preparing to Launch Sleuthas soon as you order Sleuth we will start the launch programme to adapt Sleuth to your own policies and pastoral systems and support you to plan and launch Sleuth (steps are described in more detail below);
  • Embedding Sleuth in Practice– at an agreed point after launch (usually a term or so) we will review progress to ensure that your key objectives are on track, the operation of Sleuth is efficient for staff and the information they need is available to inform and develop their practice. We will then plan and deliver further support and training to key-users so they have capacity to continue to develop the school’s use of Sleuth.

A summary of the typical steps involved in a Sleuth Project are shown in the graphic below.  In practice these steps are not always linear and will be adapted to suit your specific needs:

There is no fixed time scale for launching Sleuth; you are usually the critical resource so the more time you can spend with us the quicker the launch.  Typically we suggest you allocate 8-12 hours of staff time but this can be spread across staff and over days or weeks depending on their capacity and availability.   You also need to allow time to roll-out training to colleagues.

For best results, we recommend that you plan for the steps to launch to be concluded within a half-term (six weeks).

Preparing to Launch Sleuth

Preparation and planning is key to the success of any project so the objective of our first task is to gather as much relevant information as possible in order to produce a project plan for the launch of Sleuth and for developing and embedding its use to achieve your key objectives.

The notes below set out some of the key information we need so that you can make a start as soon as you are ready:

1. Select your Sleuth Project Team

The most successful approach to implementing Sleuth is for us to work with a small group of your staff who will be responsible for the launch and management of Sleuth in school.  Ideally at least one will be a member of SLT so that decisions can be made quickly on the setup and use of Sleuth.  We can help you select the ideal team based on roles, experience and skills.

Our advisory and training programme will be delivered to the project team who, as Sleuth Key-Users, will then roll-out appropriate training to their staff colleagues.  For best results, the launch is designed to be concluded over a short period (maximum half a term) so it is crucial that staff on the project team are allocated enough time in this period to work with us.

2. School Documentation

Please collate and send us any relevant documentation about your school, your policies and pastoral systems, for example:

  • Behaviour Policy: including the negative behaviours to be acknowledged by staff, all sanctions available and the role of different staff in managing behaviours/sanctions;
  • Rewards Policy: including the behaviours and learning skills to be encouraged and recognised by staff with any points/merits tariff used for rewards;
  • School Improvement Plan: including any key improvement targets where progress could be monitored and measured using Sleuth, e.g. fewer serious incidents, increase in positive recognition, reduction in lunchtime bullying;
  • Staff Handbook: including the school’s values and expectations of staff for recording and managing behaviour (if not in the behaviour/rewards policy);
  • Positive Handling/Restrictive Physical Intervention Policy: (for special schools) the RPI model/strategy used and any recording and reporting requirements;
  • Incident/Referral Forms: any paper proformas for recording and referring behaviour;
  • Document Templates: any letters/documents/certificates/images that are used, e.g for communicating with parents, (if planning to generate documents/emails from Sleuth;
  • Systems and Processes: e.g. for managing detentions, dealing with referrals (to colleagues), using on-call/duty staff (if not in staff handbook);
  • Staff Roles (for Referrals): e.g. Heads of Dept/Faculty/House/Year/Phase/Key-Stage, Curriculum Leaders and SLT;
  • School specific information:  e.g. Term Dates, Session/Periods and timings of the school day, subjects/activities taught, locations around the school.

Documents can be in any available format, electronic or hard-copy and can be emailed, faxed or posted.

3. Key Project Dates

We will liaise with you to set the key dates in your Sleuth Project.  Often it is helpful to work backwards from your intended launch date when you wish to go live with Sleuth so it is a good idea to have a date in mind to plan towards.  Allow time for staff training and a short period to run a trial/pilot if you wish.  The amount of contact time with us for the key-user group varies but we would suggest around 4 to 6 hours in preparing for launch.  We appreciate there are other demands on staff time so a lot of the training can be delivered in a series of 45minute sessions via online meeting tools (Teams, GoogleMeet or Zoom) at times to suit your staff availability.  Alternatively we can deliver a longer session on-site face-to-face with all your key-users involved.  Six weeks or so after launch is a good time to review progress and plan further training if required (particularly for analysing collected data).

4. Monitoring & Evaluation Schedule

The Monitoring & Evaluation Schedule is a framework for mapping out how, when and why different staff might use the information from Sleuth.  This is typically based on staff roles and how frequently the information will be used  (e.g daily, weekly, termly).

In practice, this is a often an evolving process and we don’t expect you to articulate every bit of information required by staff in advance; however, identifying some of the key opportunities when you can use the information from Sleuth is a significant driver for the launch of your Sleuth Project. This could be a constructive brain-storming session for different staff groups.

For example, consider what information would be useful:

  • for SLT to discuss at Leadership Meetings (e.g. weekly);
  • for a SENDCo to monitor interventions or Pupil Support Plans (e.g. termly);
  • for a staff team to review in team briefings (e.g. daily);
  • for Governors to demonstrate progress against school improvement targets (e.g. half-termly);
  • for tutors/class teachers to share with pupils (e.g. daily/weekly) and parents (e.g. termly);
  • for a Headteacher to present to pupils in assemblies (e.g. weekly).

Add as many opportunities to use the information in Sleuth as you can think of.  We can then plan the initial set-up to make sure as much of this information as possible is readily accessible for the appropriate staff when you launch Sleuth.

We can provide some examples and templates to help you discuss and plan your own Monitoring & Evaluation Schedule.

5. Load Core Data – Link Sleuth to MIS

As soon as we receive your order for Sleuth we begin the initial technical steps to create your Sleuth database. As soon as this is done we will send you instructions to load the core data (e.g. staff, pupils and timetable data). This can be done in one of three ways and may need you to involve your school IT Team and/or Data Manager:

  1. Sleuth Importer Tool: A software tool that your IT team will need to install that automates the loading of core Sleuth data from your MIS (e.g. SIMS, Facility CMIS, Integris G2/S2, ISAMS, Arbor, Engage, Bromcom) and thereafter maintains it automatically overnight and/or on demand;
  2. CSV Files: If you do not have an MIS or cannot use the Sleuth Importer tool then you can generate CSV files for staff and students.  Contact us for details of what you need to provide and we can load them for you;
  3. Manually Keying-In: If you would prefer to enter your core data manually, let us know and we’ll show you how.
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