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Wrexham PRU: Impact report February 2017

Executive summary

Wrexham PRU saw a number of positive changes in terms of staff perceptions and behaviour, student attendance, student exclusion and student achievement points between the year 2015/16 and 2016/17, during which Pivotal Education delivered behaviour management training to all staff and trained and supported 6 staff to become Pivotal instructors with 4 completing all three levels of training.

  • Staff perceptions and behaviour: 9 of 38 questions returned statistically significant positive Compared to the previous year, staff felt they have greater confidence in managing student behaviour in the classroom as well as around the school site, feel that a more consistent and collaborative approach is used in managing behaviour, and feel that staff and the school is more proactive about and successful at managing behaviour.
  • Student exclusions: In the year 2015/16, student exclusions dropped by 9 per cent.
  • Student attendance: Student attendance generally increased between autumn term 2015/16 and autumn term 2016/17 – most significantly so at Dodds Lane – KS4, where attendance rose from 9 per cent to 83.8 per cent (24.9 per cent increase).
  • Student achievement points: Achievement points per term increased by 700 per cent

between spring term 2015/16 and autumn term 2016/17.

 

Introduction

Wrexham Pupil Services constitutes two sites in Wrexham. One is based at Haulfan Centre. Pupils attending this site are generally anxious non-attenders, diagnosis of autism, self-harm etc. The other site is based at Dodds Lane and is attended by pupils with challenging behaviour who have previously been excluded/permanently excluded from school.

Table 1. Pupil numbers at Wrexham PRU

 

SiteKey stage2015/162016/17
Dodds LaneKS368
KS41711
HaulfanKS379
KS41916
Total4944

 

Wrexham PRU began working with Pivotal Education in October 2015. Here is an overview of the training provided:

October 2015: Whoosh! Training day for all staff covering the Five Pillars of Pivotal Practice. January 2016: “Behaviour Policy” training for senior leaders from Wrexham schools.

November 2015: Level 1 Pivotal Curriculum Training for in-house Licensed Pivotal Instructors

January 2017: Level 2 & Level 3 Pivotal Curriculum Training for in-house Licensed Pivotal Instructors

 

Results

The results below are from two surveys taken by staff, the first at the beginning of the programme in 2015 and the second in 2016. The following questions returned significant results:

Q1: To what extent do you think parents and other influences outside of the school have responsibility for standards of behaviour in the classroom?

Q3: To what extent do you agree with “Behaviour in the school is largely beyond the control of individual classroom teachers”?

Q4: In general, how confident do you feel about managing standards of behaviour in the classroom?

Q5: In general, how confident do you feel about managing standards of behaviour around the school site?

Data was available for 17 to 20 participants in 2015, and 18 to 21 participants in 2016. Figure 1. Statistically significant positive outcomes from staff survey

 

On average, staff agreed significantly more that parents and other influences outside of the school have responsibility for standards of behaviour in the classroom (-0.62 point increase) in 2016. They also disagreed significantly more with the statement that behaviour in the school is largely beyond the control of individual classroom teachers (3.09 point increase). Furthermore, staff felt significantly more confident about managing standards of behaviour in the classroom as well as around the school site compared to the previous year (-2.20 point and -1.82 point increases respectively).

Figure 2. Statistically significant positive outcomes from staff survey (continued)

Q10: How consistent is the approach to managing behaviour in your school?

Q11: How collaborative is the approach of staff to managing behaviour in your school?

Q13: To what extent does “I will intervene if I know the child, but generally, I prefer to leave behavioural management to colleagues who are better at dealing with those incidents than I am” apply to you?

Q17: To what extent do you think “Behaviour is well managed in this school” applies to your school?

Q17: To what extent do you think “My school proactively deals with behavioural management issues” applies to your school?


Staff felt that with regards to managing behaviour in their school, staff are taking a significantly more consistent approach to (2.52 point increase) and are significantly more collaborative in (1.96 point increase) in 2016 compared to the previous year. Moreover, staff significantly disagreed more with the statement that they will intervene if they know the child, but generally, they prefer to leave behavioural management to colleagues who are better at dealing with those incidents than they themselves are (2.48 point increase). Lastly, staff agreed significantly more with the statements that behaviour is well managed in this school (-2.43 point increase) and that their school proactively deals with behavioural management issues (-2.33 point increase).

No statistically significant negative findings were detected.

Fewer student exclusions

In the school year 2015/16, student exclusions dropped by 42.9 per cent from 14 exclusions in the autumn term to 8 exclusions in the summer term.

Table 3. Student exclusions

 

Of the 31 exclusions in total, 29 (93.5 per cent) affected male students and 30 (96.8 per cent) affected KS4 (as opposed to KS3) students. The most common reason for exclusion was Disruptive Behaviour (32.3 per cent), followed by Other (22.6 per cent), Drug and Alcohol related (16.1 per cent) and Assault/Violence (Pupil) (12.9 per cent).x

Improved student attendance

Student attendance improved across all categories between autumn term 2015/16 and autumn term 2016/17, but most significantly for Dodds Lane – KS4 (24.9 per cent), and consequently Dodds Lane – all (22.8 per cent) and the whole school (12.6 per cent).

Authorised and unauthorised absences declined accordingly, except for Dodds Lane – KS3 where a slight increase in unauthorised absences was observed.

Figure 3. Student attendance

Increased student achievement points

Achievement points are awarded for progress, behaviour and attendance in each subject lesson – max of 3 points per lesson. Pupils also receive 1 point for tutor time, lunch, break and 2 points for taxis (pupils attend by taxi) providing there are no reported problems. This equates to a max. of 20 points per day/100 points per week. At Haulfan pupils have to improve on their previous week percentage of points to access a reward – again this was determined by the school council.

Achievement points were introduced in spring term 2015/16. During spring and summer term 2015/16, pupils at Dodds Lane collected a total of 4660 points, while pupils at Haulfan collected 2641 points. In autumn term 2016/17, Dodds Lane pupils collected 10990 points and Haulfan pupils collected 18198 points. Figure 4 below visualises the substantial point increases by term rather than school year, assuming that the points collected in 2015/16 were spread evenly across the spring and summer terms. Across the whole school, there is therefore a 700 per cent increase in achievement points between spring term 2015/16 and autumn term 2016/17. Taking pupil numbers into account, this equates to an average 784 per cent increase per pupil (from 75 to 663 points per pupil per term).

 

Figure 4. Student achievement points per term

4.     Discussion

Study hypotheses

Pivotal Education training improves staff behaviours: There is considerable evidence that staff at Wrexham PRU engage in more positive behaviours with regards to challenging student behaviour and have more positive perceptions about how and to what extent the school and other staff manages challenging behaviour.

Pivotal Education training reduces student exclusions: Wrexham PRU saw a substantial decrease in student exclusions between the autumn and summer terms of the year 2015/16.

Pivotal Education training improves student attendance: Student attendance at Wrexham PRU increased significantly between autumn 2015 and autumn 2016, particularly for KS4 at the Dodds Lane site.

Pivotal Education training increases student achievement points: Pupils demonstrated a substantial increase in achievement points achieved between spring term 2015/16 and autumn term 2016/17.

Recommendations

  • ensure instructor licences are kept up to date
  • ensure regular updates and retraining from Pivotal
  • ensure that all new staff are trained in the pivotal approach and inline with current staff
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