What is a Support and Intervention?
There may be occasions in University and/or school when the performance of a Student Teacher is such that additional action is required beyond the normal systems of support and assessment. On these occasions, the Support and Intervention process may be activated by the University, the School or by the Student Teacher. Please note, there are two types of Support and Intervention, the first described at Stage 1 below and the second at Stage 3.
Why may the Support and Intervention process be activated?
The purpose of initiating the Support and Intervention process is to make certain that the Student Teacher is aware of the concerns at the earliest possible stage in order that an appropriate support action plan can be agreed. In many cases, the additional focus and support enables a Student Teacher to continue to progress in the expected manner and it is not viewed as a punitive step.
Please note, we reserve the right to over-ride these processes if concerns are raised over safeguarding.
Who can activate the Support and Intervention process?
If the University has concerns about a Student Teacher’s progress or professional conduct within the University context the Support and Intervention process may be activated in relation to, for example:
- attendance and/or punctuality;
- completion of school based activities, tasks and enrichment activities arranged by the University;
- meeting deadlines for submission of key documents;
- maintaining appropriate professional conduct with all University and school staff.
In the first instance, the University Tutor will discuss these with the Student Teacher. This may lead to the University Tutor/Course Leader raising a Support and Intervention.
A Link Tutor acting on behalf of the University can also instigate the Support and Intervention process within the context of the school placement.
The Placement School
If a placement school has concerns about a Student Teacher’s progress and/or professional conduct, then in the first instance the Mentor in the placement school should discuss these issues with the Student Teacher. This is part of the process of monitoring progress against the Teachers’ Standards and addressing any concerns. Depending on the nature of the worries, this may lead to activating Stage 1 Support and Intervention, followed, after an agreed timescale, by either a resolution without any further action or the instigation of more detailed Support and Intervention at Stage 3. Exact details are given below.
The Student Teacher
If Student Teachers have concerns about their own progress towards the Teachers’ Standards and have identified that they require additional support they may also initiate the Support and Intervention process themselves.
Please note: If a Student Teacher walks out of a school experience placement, having not followed all expected lines of communication and reporting to address any Support and Intervention issues (as detailed in the step by step process outlined in this handbook) then this will normally constitute an Inadequate grade profile and result in a failed placement, with no automatic right to a resit.
What can trigger the Support and Intervention process?
A Support and Intervention could be issued for the following possible areas of concern:
Likely relevant Teacher Standards
Area of concern
TS2, TS3, TS4, TS7, TS8
Part One: Teaching
A Student Teacher does not make the expected progress despite appropriate support over time;
A Student Teacher shows that they are not meeting the Teachers’ Standards, when they have been guided on how to do so.
- Interim assessment grades show RI (excluding FSE) and/or I
- WPLRs indicate a lack of progress towards identified targeted TS over a period of time
- If a Student Teacher ‘plateaus’ and there is no evidence of further progress or development in the quality of their teaching;
Part Two: Personal and professional conduct.
A Student Teacher fails to demonstrate high standards of personal and professional conduct. (This is applicable to both University and School).
- Poor attendance or punctuality
- Inability to follow correct procedures and policies (eg appropriate dress code)
- Lack of self-awareness,
- Inability or unwillingness to accept professional feedback
- Inability to develop and maintain effective relationships with all staff
What are the stages of the Support and Intervention process?
This process is outlined below:
Stage 1: Activating Initial Support and Intervention
- At the earliest opportunity, the mentor or university staff member discusses and documents concerns with the Student Teacher.
- The member of staff and the Student Teacher agree strategies to remediate the concern together with the timescale, targets and actions.
- The concerns, targets and actions for the Student Teacher must be recorded in Section 2 of the Weekly Professional Learning Record (W.P.L.R).
- If the concern has been raised by a member of school staff, the Subject/Link Tutor is included in discussion (possibly by email) and monitors as appropriate.
Stage 2: Reviewing Stage 1 Support and Intervention
- Mentor, Student Teacher (and Link Tutor, as appropriate) review targets using the full range of evidence.
- If the agreed targets and actions have been met, and evidence supports this judgement, the Stage 1 Support and Intervention can be concluded and normal professional learning routines continue.
- If insufficient progress has been made, proceed to Stage 3.
- The Link tutor is informed of outcome of Stage 1 Support and Intervention.
Stage 3: Setting up Support and Intervention agreement and Action Plan
- Member of School Leadership Team (PCM) and Link Tutor informed that concerns detailed in Stage 1 have not yet been resolved.
- Joint review meeting (and observation where appropriate) with the Mentor and Subject/Link Tutor. Subject/Link tutor moderates the evidence with the Mentor to confirm whether there is a need for an ongoing Support and Intervention. If so, a formal meeting with the Subject/Link Tutor, Mentor and Student Teacher takes place to agree the Support and Intervention and set revised targets.
- The Support and Intervention documentation is completed by staff and student teacher and emailed to all relevant parties. This includes Part A, the Support and Intervention Agreement and Part B, the Action Plan (see below). A copy is held by the PCM or other senior school leader and the University.
- An agreed period of time is set for the Student Teacher to focus on the Support and Intervention targets.
- Explicit actions for the Student Teacher, Mentor and or Subject/Link Tutor are agreed and documented on the Support and Intervention Agreement and Action Plan.
- All observations and review meetings should focus on the Support and Intervention targets and judgements against these should be recorded on both W.P.L.R.s and Lesson Feedback Record/s.
Stage 4: Review of Support and Intervention Action Plan
- At the end of the specified timescale, a formal review of targets takes place, by the Student Teacher, Mentor and Subject/Link Tutor who will use the full range of evidence.
- A decision is reached as to which of the three possible outcomes has been demonstrated:
i) If sufficient progress has been made, the Support and Intervention ends and the normal professional learning routines continue;
ii) If partial progress has been made, the Subject/Link Tutor, Mentor and Student Teacher review the issues, revise the targets and the Support and Intervention is extended; extension of the Support and Intervention may only happen once unless there are exceptional circumstances agreed by the Course Leader/s. Further review is arranged following the agreed extension period, and a further joint lesson observation is arranged (as appropriate) to support the subsequent judgement.
iii) If insufficient progress has been made, the Student Teacher fails and their placement is terminated. Proceed to Stage 5.
The outcome of the Support and Intervention is recorded in the ‘Conclusion of process’ section of the Support and Intervention Agreement. A copy is returned to the University.
Stage 5: Next steps for unsuccessful Support and Intervention
The Student Teacher is informed of the termination of the placement and the reason, also of the capacity of the Examination Board to award the opportunity of a re-sit if it is judged to be appropriate. The student teacher may, additionally, be signposted to relevant university support systems if this is judged appropriate. This is recorded on the Support and Intervention Agreement within the section ‘Conclusion of process’. The final decision is confirmed to Student Teacher following the outcomes of the Examination Board.
It is important that if a Support and Intervention process has been instigated and has been successfully resolved, that the Student Teacher begins the next stage of professional with a “fresh start”.
What should Support and Intervention target setting involve?
- Targets for improvement must be explicitly linked to areas of concern in the Student Teacher’s teaching which prevent the pupils from making the expected progress, and be referenced to the Teachers’ Standards and grade descriptors. The setting and revision of targets must be based on the review of the full range of evidence; there must be clear alignment between the identified issues and the targets set
- Targets will require agreed actions for both the Student Teacher and all those working with him/her in the programme
- Outcomes of the targets need to be specific, measurable and appropriate for the stage the student is at in their placement and on the course.
What types of action and evidence may be appropriate on a Support and Intervention Action Plan?
Actions and associated evidence should be specific and achievable in the short-term. Staff have found the following strategies helpful in supporting student teachers to gather evidence towards their targets, though the list is not exhaustive:
- Directing the Student Teacher to specified Professional Learning Activities (PLAs) and discussing their responses;
- Ensuring the Student Teacher receives consistent guidance about approaches to be taken - some Students Teachers have difficulty in choosing the best approaches from a number of options suggested;
- Ensuring the teaching load is appropriate for the Student Teacher’s current situation;
- Ensuring classes being taught are appropriate for the Student Teacher’s current situation;
- Arranging for the Student Teacher to work alongside an experienced teacher in a support role - for example, leading specific sessions of the lesson in order to allow them to work to their strengths and hence develop successful practice;
- Arranging for the Student Teacher to work with a teacher to provide support for specific pupils who will benefit from additional support or extension activities;
- Providing extra support in developing the Student Teacher’s subject knowledge (possibly with additional advice from appropriate university staff);
- Arranging for additional, focused observations of other teachers, perhaps outside as well as inside the Department (Secondary) or in other classes (Primary) in order to develop the Student Teacher’s understanding of good teaching in practice;
Providing evidence of action in response to constructive criticism e.g. through annotated lesson plans.