How can we show that non-teacher intervention is working in school
Note: this article is based on working practice during 2005
The action plan is a simple idea and work well in helping children and young people structure their learning week. A typical action plan will include the follow:
- Student name
- Student class or year group
- Intervention workers name
- Date of completion
- Comment box
- Student signature
- Intervention worker signature
However, this approach does not allow for quantitative analysis or the visualisation of the results, making it real for the student and usable to impact statistics. The following action plan was designed to capture the student’s achievements in a numeric form, see Figure 1 below.
This action plan contains two reviews, week one and week two. It was purposefully design like this to allow the student to see the difference between the two weeks. This approach also reduced our printing and paper costs as the action plan could print both side of the A4 paper, allowing for four weeks of action planning to be recorded on one piece of paper.
The scores were transferred into a spreadsheet which had formulas and functions to automatically generate graphs. These graphs work well with the students as it allowed them to physically see any changes between the action planning meetings. The graphs were used during parent meetings, student progress meetings and external stakeholders meetings, which had a significant positive impact on stakeholders’ engagement.
At the end of each intervention period (every half term) a copy of the graph would be sent home to the parents, to the student’s form tutor and year manager promoting transparency and home-school communication. For many students on the intervention team caseload (BSED and SEN Statements) this approach increased students organisation skills, such as bring pens, homework and the school planner. A point which I make in my book, if most of the school population do not bring their school planner on a daily basis then why fight with some of the most difficult students in school to achieve above and beyond what the average school student is doing. This type of intervention is about finding ways of making these students feeling successful, so focus on the pen first! Hard mentoring can be used with a much greater effect with students who are successful within school.
Initially, the action plan was completed directly on the computer but the students did not like it, they preferred the convenience of the paper copy and the much more comfy chairs! However, I suspect that the advent of android tablets and touchscreen computing would allow this process more readily. We missed a trick with this data as we only used it to produce the progression graph. We could have used the data to show the percentage of increase in areas such as attendance, homework and bringing equipment across the cohort.
In conclusion, the action plan served as useful function in tracking, monitoring and promoting student organisation and engagement within the system but offered little influence outside the intervention meeting. Any change within the learning environment was related to the student-intervention worker professional relationship making this a qualitative measure and hard to quantitatively capture. We overcame this barrier by developing a credit system; see Visualising Intervention – Intervention Credits.
This blog is based on extracts from this book: A Practical Guide To Inclusion: A Manual For Implementation and Delivery