Quantitative Findings

This presentations below outline the findings as they pertain to:

  • trends in attendance
  • an analysis of how Support Group and Comparator Group pupils rated themselves on the Semantic Differential scale pre-intervention and post-intervention. Had the statistically significant differentials between the two groups remained the same, increased in magnitude (indicating that the two groups were growing even further apart) or decreasing in magnitude (the two groups were becoming more alike)?
  • trends in discipline.

Trends in Attendance [Please click to enlarge]

Whilst one of the aims of Support Group work was not to improve attendance, the approach has had a significant impact in achieving this end. There may be a range of reasons for this but it is likely that pupils felt a greater affinity with the school – a sense of belonging – and it is also clear from the qualitative data that more positive dispositions towards learning developed in many Support Group pupils.

Please click slide to enlarge.

Semantic Differential Scale

The chart below compares the degree to which there were statistically significant differences between how Support Group pupils and Comparator pupils rated themselves on a Semantic Differential scale pre-intervention (the first set of bars) in comparison  to post-intervention (the second set of bars) on the top 8 indicators which had initially differentiated them most. It can be seen that there is a consistent trend of a reduction of the statistical significance which means that the differential between Support Group pupils and Comparator pupils is reducing – they are becoming more alike. Indeed, on the 8th measure ‘I think of myself as being a good learner’ which had initially been highly statistically significant pre-intervention, this is no longer of statistical significance post-intervention. However, it can still be seen that there are still highly statistically significant differentials between the two groups (we can’t wave a magic wand!). This may not be entirely indicative of an improvement in Support Group pupils, it could also be indicative of a deterioration in Comparator pupils, however, it is a very positive finding which indicates that the Support Group approach has impacted upon how pupils think and feel about themselves, an important stepping stone on the way to improvement.

Please click slide to enlarge.

Trends in Discipline

It proved very difficult to ascertain trends in discipline for a range of reasons:

  1. there was little consistency between schools in the approaches that they used to promote positive behaviour and the sanctions that they adopted
  2. there was little consistency in how schools recorded such data
  3. there were reliability issues eg. one teacher’s ‘excellent’ is another teacher’s ‘OK’
  4. gaps in the data. We did not have full sets of data for each Support Group for a range of reasons eg. staff leaving.

However, the trends for each Support Group were examined and the following findings emerged.

Please click slide to enlarge.

It can be seen that the trends for support groups were mainly positive (9 out of the 12 groups for which comparisons were possible fell within this area). [The findings of the initial PhD study in which it had been possible to carry out statistical tests indicated that referrals to Senior Management and the total number of days of exclusion for Support Group pupils reduced to a highly statistical level whilst the trend for Comparator pupils was the opposite (measured up to one year beyond intervention.]