Interventions, tracking effectiveness

Interventions is going to be a new module – baked into the SIMS7 core product. I’m quite excited about this – as it sounds like both Phil Neal (SIMs Director) and Lucy Crawford (Product Manager ) are as well – judging by both the presentation and lunch discussion we had at the Summer Conference.

The module is currently in development, and expected during the first half of 2017. I first heard about the idea for Interventions a few years ago now; as a way of bridging the gap for tracking the effectiveness of and reporting on actions staff take to ensure children reach their potential by early flagging and supporting of needs.

The mission, now set for this product area is clear – and follows though these early ideas..

“SIMS Interventions will be a system to track underperforming students, allocate additional support and resources, and track how those resources affect KPIs, as well as how much those resources cost, from a central area, so that outcomes can be tracked against cost. “

Speaking of cost – there won’t be one. SIMS Interventions will be part of Annual Entitlement, meaning it will be free of charge!

At its core – this boils down to one simple short statement – an intervention is not one if no progress is monitored or cost accounted for.

So how is it going to work? Remarkably stripped back is the answer. As Lucy told me, she wanted to keep complexity to an absolute minimum. Set up and recording needs to be quick and easy for success; and there would be no duplication with other product areas. Data would however be consumed and surfaced throughout SIMS.

There will be 3 layers of data:

  • Definitions of interventions
  • Membership (dated ranges)
  • Details of students (sessions, progress)
  • Overlaying this, will be reporting.

Using Interventions

(Note: Imagery and descriptions taken from an early beta so may not resemble final product)

SIMS Interventions will be accessed from two key areas, both linked from the focus menu. Interventions > Run or Plan.

  • Plan: Sets them up
  • Run: Where those doing the interventions go

Looking first at the proposed “Plan” area – you will find Interventions grouped as “Overviews”. This just keeps things tidy – and means you won’t have a huge long list. Instead, you can group by Area – eg Academic, Extra Curricular, Pastoral – and then then by Subject.

Intervention scheduling is where the actual intervention “blocks” are set up. It is these that students are added to; and that have date ranges and sessions. However, they are not timetable linked.

The image of the proposed area is self explanatory – you choose a name, and set the year, and date ranges when active. The number of sessions is then chosen. Costs are not mandatory; but are recommended for full accountability.

Adding students provides options for filtering to find the students. This includes discover groups; as well as the normal Year, PP, SEN etc.

Indicators are shown too – to allow progress monitoring against a target that you set (free text). Facilitators are staff, agency, parents etc. Facilitators can be overall to intervention group, as well as to the individual students.

Bulk edit, multi select and all for start, end, target etc Indicator column to show whether start

date and target are set for the student (S, and T)

In terms of permissions, these will be built in with system manager. They will follow the standard rules of view only, edit or hide completely.

Once you have “built” you intervention, how do you run it – and what does “running it” mean?

First off, the “run” list will be sorted by yours first, and then most recent. For ease of display, the panel on intervention info is collapsible. Those are both nice touches – particularly the first. “Running it” is essentially each session of that intervention – so think of it as a register; and you can record progress against the aims of the intervention.

To run the intervention (session), double click – or select and chose open – which will show you your list of students progressing thought the intervention track. You can then record the levels of process made through the intervention targets; either individually or in bulk. The outcomes are lookups and customisable. The date of outcome will default to today.

Add a session essentially “registers” the students as attending a session. Each outcome is whether or not they progressed that session. You can set individual or bulk start points; and from the bulk screen – you will also be able to remove any existing ones.

As you would expect with the recent focus on reporting and ability to account for progress; the options for data visualisation and reporting was high on the development priorities. In the first release will be a core set of key reports, which will be expanded on over future releases. In addition, Interventions will be added as group filter in Assessment Manager (mark sheets, Programme of Study etc), as well a being added to the overall data dictionary. This allows maximum flexibility, and if the pre-built report you are looking for isn’t yet there – you will be able to build your own. You will also be able to use Discover to manipulate Interventions data, and drill down to individual students as well as do group comparisons.

One example of a built-in report concept is the Intervention Map, pictured. Also present is planned is the Effectiveness report.

Q and A
At the end of the discussion was a rare opportunity for a full question and answer session about the planned product, and future enhancements. These included – in brief the areas below, and Ill try and follow these and the progress towards release in a later post.

What accountability reports will be available for tracking costs?
Built in costing reports coming later, can do from dictionary though

Can interventions be attached to individual reports?
Not yet, but can print separately

Will Interventions appear as an option within the Teacher app?
Not in first release, but his is a potential development.

What are the Staff role types available? What about LTA, TAs?
The standard SIMS user types – Contact, Employee, Teacher, Parent, Agent. TAs and others similar would show under Employee.

What about the current “interventions” area in SIMS?
This will be renamed to Initiatives, as associated with behaviour one off events not interventions.

Will interventions appear on Student Teacher view?
This is planned after initial release.

Will it be possible to add documents to interventions, to record progress for example?
This may be considered for addition in future

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