The wide spectrum of learner ability, learning styles and other carefully considered attributes such as social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) all play a role in supporting our learners. There can also be physical or assistive needs, attendance or behavior issues that are related to external factors – these all have a part to play on each learner.
If we want to have a positive impact on the lives of our learners and help them reach their potential then we need all the information about them in one place.
There are so many people that need to be involved in the process of supporting our learners, processes and systems, forms and reports, documents and data, meetings and monitoring. For example the people that may be involved are;
- Learning Support and SEN team
- Career Guidance and Counselling
- Year/Form Heads
- Class Tutors
- The Learner
Creating an inclusive education culture in a school ultimately means bringing everyone together. It also means bringing all the information about each individual learner together too. This is where we have seen the disconnect or the challenge for schools in trying to make this happen.
There is so much that needs to happen in order just to get to the starting point and often creates big time sinks, increases workload and can even cause friction. Making sure that learners do not get lost or overlooked while making sure those who are receiving support are catered can be difficult to manage.
Ultimately we know that while learners have certain similarities and traits – every learner in a school is different and we need to support each and every one.
So while group or individual supports are put in place for some learners and more intensive supports for a few, support for all learners is just as important. We already have support in the platform for automatically differentiating learners in SchoolWise but we needed to do more.
The Continuum of Support
To enable every school to provide the highest level of inclusive education we knew we would have to take a holistic approach and the existing continuum of support was perfect. We looked at each level with the same importance as the next because supporting all is just as important as supporting some or a few.
This is something which everyone is already familiar with and is a great model. Each level has it’s own set of requirements but we wanted to create something that was universal and that everyone involved was able to get their job done from learning support to a year head to a teacher.
Introducing Learner Support to SchoolWise
We are so excited to finally announce “Learner Support” to SchoolWise. Where you can manage all the information about every learner in your entire school in one place to create an inclusive educational environment!
So when we sat down with our schools to see how the management of all learners right across the continuum of support was currently being done, we underestimated the amount of time and volume of work undertaken by everyone in the school to support learners. The countless conversations, review meetings, notes, emails, documents, forms, assessment and screening data, collating and reporting of information is immense. Schools are certainly not given enough credit for this work that nobody outside of the school gets to see.
This produces information from insular and fragmented systems and processes, some manually produced, some from assessment tests, some from the MIS/SIS, some from spreadsheets or documents and everything else on paper. Trying to bring all this together while still making sure that the correct information it is accessible by the right people is a huge challenge.
The key takeaways that we took were
- The teacher is crucial to the process
- Learners with emerging issues were difficult to identify and is a very involved manual process
- Communication with everyone involved was essential but difficult
- Managing processes is complex and arduous
The solution = Learner Support
Taking a holistic approach to the problem and ensuring we are able to give the highest level of inclusive education was essential to our process. We listened to everyone involved in the process to see what their needs and requirements were and in the end we came up with a new addition to the platform called Learner Support.
You can now access to all the information about each learner in one place. SchoolWise brings everything together.
This is a new addition to the SchoolWise platform and will be available to everyone in September 2019 ready for the new academic year.
You can now search across the entire school for any learner and get access to everything you need. There is pre-built segments for learners in each level of the continuum of support. You can search or tag learners by their interests or if you need to flag them as a priority. You can quickly filter the list of learners depending on whether you are running study skills, an event for those learners interested in STEM courses or those learners that are currently in the solution framework.
The learner profile will give you all the information around each individual learner in one place. You can also add information such as notes that each of the learners teachers will see, you can message all the learners teachers to alert them of any issues or concerns, add their social, emotional or mental health issues along with adding internal notes, plans, forms etc. Their attendance data and information such as if they are turning in their work or late with assignments will all appear in one place. You can even view their CAT4 data, message the year head or class tutor at the click of a button!
Solution Framework and ILP
When we looked at how learners in the some or few level were receiving support, we looked at the solution framework approach as part of the continuum of support. We have implemented the same process in SchoolWise but now you can track each step of the process with pre-built forms or you can upload documents, add notes and information.
You can now create an ILP (Individual Learner Plan) right within a solution framework for setting targets or documenting strategies for the individual learner.
You can open a solution framework or view any previous frameworks the learner had completed. This will display all the forms, documents, notes and outcomes of that process all in one place.
When will it be available?
The scheduled release to all schools is September 2019 right in the time for the new academic year. This will be a new section in the platform and more information will be available in August 2019.