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Lindsworth School

Lindsworth School

An Ofsted journey from 'Special Measures' to 'Good'

Report Card - Lindsworth School

Secondary School


134 pupils

The school has 134 pupils, while the other school in the Federation, Springfield House, has a roll of 97. The students all come to the school with a statement of special educational needs. They are referred through the Local Authority (Birmingham).

The Lead Pastoral Co-ordinator at the school is Dean Williams. His overall job role is to oversee behaviour, attendance, and personal development across the two schools in the Federation, as well as managing the school’s pastoral learning support workers and a group of higher-level teaching assistants.

But before going on to hear what he has to say about BehaviourWatch, it would be useful to examine the background of the decision to try it out, and perhaps to hear a more objective viewpoint –from Ofsted.

The assignment: Turn Lindsworth around and escape Special Measures

Going into Special Measures provided us with an opportunity to get the school back to the place where we needed to be, to become more in line with mainstream schools as far as the experiences we were providing for our pupils. And subsequently, what we did was, we had a real focus on our teaching and learning practice within the classrooms. Bringing teaching and learning to a good place, with the teachers consistently providing good or outstanding lessons for pupils – keeping them engaged for the entire 45 minutes that they’re in the lesson – allowed the pupils’ behaviour to improve as well, because they are more engaged. In other words, the harder the lessons, the more interesting they are, and therefore the more engaging. That had the knock-on effect of making it possible to give pupils more positive points for behaviour, which then allowed us to increase the amount of positive contact we were having with home. We had a lot more phone calls, text messages, and emails going out to parents to say that little Johnny had a successful day in school today. And of course, as a result, parents became much more supportive of what weas a school were trying to do. “At the same time, the school was building up an evidence base of the pupils’ progression, and real-time development, such as the positive contacts with pupils, the behaviour rewards and real-time progress as well. That level of data enabled the school to continue turning things around.”

How did BehaviourWatch fit in at the school?

The school started using BehaviourWatch in 2013-2014, on a trial basis with a cohort of pupils who obviously had social emotional and mental health difficulties, but were a little bit more extreme than the average pupil in their behaviour. After a successful pilot, BehaviourWatchwas adopted fully by the school in 2015.

The program was introduced into the school in two stages, in effect. In the first phase, the focus was simply on getting the data into the system. Once plenty of data had been input, the school was able to progress to the next stage, which was to start analysing that information. This trajectory is reflected in the comments in the Ofsted monitoring reports of December 2014 and March 2015.

Williams explained why that particular group of challenging pupils was chosen for the trial: “There was a lot more violence amongst those kids, there was a lot more physical and verbal provocation, and there was a lot more disengagement with and disaffection towards the education system. In fact, they were deemed to be at a severe risk of permanent exclusion from the school.”
Picture of man in front of a fenced football field.

Lindsworth's Behaviour Timeline

July 2014

Students are enjoying being able to see the ‘league tables’ of who has gained the most positive and negative points for their behaviour and attitudes to learning. A significant effort is being made to ‘catch students being good’, recognising and praising where they are making good efforts with their learning and behaviour. The new system of daily telephone calls home to tell parents or carers when their child has done particularly well is well thought out and its impact is being well monitored.

December 2014

Behaviour is analysed comprehensively, although there is not enough clarity about different types of ‘serious’ incident to discern patterns and trends. Attendance remains very low but has improved by eight percentage points this term to 66%.

March 2015

A new behaviour management structure has been introduced following consultation with staff. This is well thought-out and, although new, was observed being used by many staff during the inspection. The analysis of both behaviour and attendance information is thorough and rigorous and is used very well to target interventions and actions according to what it is showing. Procedures for monitoring attendance on a daily basis are secure. Some intensive work with families is helping to raise attendance.

June 2015

Attendance in these year groups [7 and 8] has risen rapidly. The impact of the students’ much improved attendance and behaviour, combined with a diet of increasingly good teaching and support, is having a clear impact on their progress.

January 2016

The analysis of information about behaviour and attendance is exemplary. It gives leaders an excellent knowledge and understanding of where and why problems occur, and which pupils are doing well or need support. It enables leaders to support staff effectively where they need more help with managing particular groups or individuals.

Evidence Building

Unfortunately, non-attendance by a pupil may lead to the parents being taken to court. BehaviourWatch, by making it possible for the school to log every attendance, non- attendance and behaviour, enables the school to have conversations with parents about the reasons for non-attendance. If the matter still ends up going to court, whoever is dealing with the case there will be able to read all of the school’s interventions and conversations with parents which took place before it reached that stage.

Apart from the data that BehaviourWatch enables Lindsworth to collect and analyse, one of the key strengths of it as far as Williams is concerned is that it’s very much pupil centred. Also, the work that goes into the product behind the scenes: like other schools that have adopted BehaviourWatch, Lindsworth School has a bespoke system tailored to their specific needs. And crucially, the company is very responsive: According to Williams,

"The support that we get from BehaviourWatch is second to none. If I call or send an email, I’ll get an email response back very quickly or over the phone. I would definitely recommend BehaviourWatch”

The final word

Visitors have commented on how calm and orderly the school is, while the Minister of Justice praised the school highly after a visit in early 2019. Furthermore, teachers from other schools have visited Lindsworth in order to see the system in action.