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Views & Opinion

Under new management? Comment by Damien Roberts, Business Development Director at SchooliP by Derventio

With the current head of Ofsted, Michael Wilshaw, due to step down in December, there has been plenty of speculation around who will replace him, and whether or not the new leader will be from outside of the UK. Although this is an important consideration, what schools should be focusing on is in fact the impact the change may have on them. Being able to show best practice and how the

school is working to improve pupil attainment will always be crucial, regardless of the changes to the Ofsted guidelines. According to the current framework, schools must “provide evidence that will enable the inspector to report fairly and reliably” and there are four main things that schools can do to improve this provision:

Mix it up It used to be the case that evidencing pupil work was confined to the pages of exercise books, or photocopies showing a limited range of tasks carried out in the classroom. Technology has made a big difference to this process, as teachers can now capture various types of work, including videos of presentations and sports lessons, or

photographs of art work and models. This allows teachers to evidence best practice teaching and a wider range of skills developed by their pupils.

Time to go mobile Many people in the UK today have some form of mobile device. Statistics from Ipsos MORI suggests that around 70 per cent of people own a smartphone, and many schools are now using tablets in the classroom. Considering this, using an online platform or a mobile app that allows teachers to instantly upload evidence from their devices will make for easier and more frequently updated content. It also allows access to an entire portfolio at their fingertips, which can be shown to headteachers, Ofsted inspectors and parents whenever it’s needed.

Don’t be a stranger For headteachers, a crucial guideline of inspection is demonstrating that they are helping to improve staff practice through “rigorous performance management and appropriate professional development”. This can be difficult to show, as many of these conversations are

conducted off-the-record in staff rooms or corridors when the time arises. By using an online platform, staff can keep a continuous and recorded dialogue; teachers can show that they are discussing their performance objectives and leaders can demonstrate that they are offering help and training opportunities when necessary.

Keep ahead of the game Evidencing isn’t just for preparing work before inspection – it should be an ongoing process throughout the year, showing both pupil progression and the standard of teaching. By adopting technology to streamline this process, teachers will be encouraged to record more aspects of classroom life and work. When new guidelines are added to the Ofsted framework, schools will be able to adapt their practice to address this quickly and easily, and when it comes to inspection, teachers will have a large bank of varied evidence to draw upon! With these considerations in mind throughout

the year, schools will have all the tools they need to manage processes effectively, no matter what changes new Ofsted management may bring.

Using Positive Behavioural Support to

promote positive behaviour Comment by Anne Price, Head Teacher at Inscape House School

Last year, the Together Trust – the charity that we are part of - made the commitment to use PBS (Positive Behavioural Support) across the organisation. The framework is underpinned by the science of ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) with a strong focus on values, and with the aim of increasing the repertoire of socially significant behaviours for individuals. It is a multi- component framework for understanding behaviour based on assessment of the environment in which it occurs with stakeholder involvement and using this understanding to implement personalised system of support. This enhances the quality of life for our pupils. Unlike traditional teaching methods used by

many mainstream schools, the staff at Inscape House School are using PBS to encourage and reinforce more acceptable behaviours rather than drawing attention to negative actions. This approach means that eventually positive behaviour becomes more common amongst the pupils in the school. Inscape House School is one of a small

number of schools in the country to operate a school wide PBS approach and the total environmental approach aims to increase the quality of life of pupils along with promoting academic achievement. School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) refers to a system’s change process for an entire school. The underlying theme is teaching behavioural expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject. There are three tiers to SWPBS. Tier One

encompasses good positive principles for the whole school designed to proactively prevent the development and exacerbation of challenging behaviour. Tier Two provides a little more support for individuals with more structure and guidance to help students meet school wide expectations and Tier Three provides more comprehensive individual support that requires more extensive expertise and resources. The research supporting the effectiveness of functional behavioural assessment, the design of individualised behavioural interventions, and the


active use of data in the implementation of behaviour support is perhaps the most robust of the databases within SWPBS. We use this teaching method to tailor our

curriculum to each student’s individual needs, one size doesn’t fit all with this approach. We aim to change the whole school environment, not limited to physical environments, to support our students. We have involved commissioners, staff, parents and governors since its implementation last September. We are implementing positive expectations school wide at Tier One while understanding that some students may need a lot of additional support to reach these, requiring input at Tier Two or Three. The feedback from staff has been incredibly

positive and we are realising outcomes with our students that just wouldn’t be possible by using traditional teaching methods. This can not only truly change the education experience for our young people but can make teaching young people with complex needs more fulfilling.

April 2016

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