AS Tracking

How does AS Tracking work?

AS Tracking measures pupils' steering cognition. By tracking a child's steering cognition, AS Tracking is able to record the development of a child's social-emotional patterns and risks. The technology behind AS Tracking was developed over 17 years of research and development co-led by Dr Simon Walker.

Why was AS Tracking needed?

There are many adolescent mental health self-report tools. These tools were developed for a clinical market, to diagnose conditions in children already identified with concerns.

Whilst these tools have some use with individual children already referred to a clinician, when used to screen healthy adolescents who are required to supply their names, such self–reports have poor accuracy.

The reason for this is that such tools usually need to ask intrusive and even suggestive asking questions. For example, ‘Other children pick on me or bully me’ or ‘I have many fears, I am easily scared’ or ‘I am often unhappy and tearful’.

Adolescents are wary of answering such direct questions; indeed, they may want to conceal or manipulate their answers. As a result the accuracy of such self-report tools is poor. Moreoever, they have never successfully been used to track whole populations of school children year on year, to support all children whatever their needs.

AS Tracking overcomes these barriers by a different approach.

AS Tracking replaces direct, intrusive, suggestive questions with an indirect, subtle and neutral exercise. Developed through two doctoral studies, 15,000 pupil trials, over 17 years, AS Tracking measures how a child steers their actions in their imagination. Studies have shown that how a child steers their imagined actions is a strong indicator of associated social-emotional risks. We call this measuring a pupil's 'steering cognition'.

For example, a study of 2,900 secondary pupils in 2015 showed that pupils’ imagined steering biases accurately linked to risks of self-harm, bullying and not coping with pressure in 82% of cases. Further information about our research can be found on our Research page.

As a result, AS Tracking is able to identify pupils’ hidden risks without asking intrusive or suggestive questions. Often these risks may be undetected even by teachers' expert professional judgment, or by parent or pupil feedback.

Teachers say that AS Tracking becomes a critical fourth piece of their pastoral care jigsaw.

Testimonials

  • Surpassing Expectations

    AS tracking has surpassed the ambitious expectations we had of it. It provides objective, incisive, intelligent analysis in digestible form and tangible action plans. We couldn’t imagine being without this extra, invaluable set of pastoral eyes.

    • Emma Trelawny-Vernon
    • St Ronan's, Tatler Prep School of the Year 2017
  • Being ahead of the game

    If you claim that pastoral care is one of your USPs but you are not using AS Tracking then you are behind the game.

    • Jonathan Harris
    • Dean Close
  • Individual pupil needs met

    AS Tracking has enabled me to prioritise what strategies to deploy with each pupil.

    • Head of Year
  • Accuracy

    It is very striking how AS Tracking works to identify the right children…

    • Senior Master
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  • Surpassing Expectations

    AS tracking has surpassed the ambitious expectations we had of it. It provides objective, incisive, intelligent analysis in digestible form and tangible action plans. We couldn’t imagine being without this extra, invaluable set of pastoral eyes.

    • Emma Trelawny-Vernon
    • St Ronan's, Tatler Prep School of the Year 2017
  • Being ahead of the game

    If you claim that pastoral care is one of your USPs but you are not using AS Tracking then you are behind the game.

    • Jonathan Harris
    • Dean Close
  • Individual pupil needs met

    AS Tracking has enabled me to prioritise what strategies to deploy with each pupil.

    • Head of Year
  • Accuracy

    It is very striking how AS Tracking works to identify the right children…

    • Senior Master
  • Unlocking potential

    A technology like AS Tracking has great power for unlocking the potential of our children.

    • Professor John Bargh
    • Yale
  • Real data

    AS Tracking has given me a framework based on hard data, rather than just on a gut feeling…

    • Senior House Master
  • Confidence in pastoral care

    The accuracy and focus that AS Tracking brings to pastoral care means that we, as a Board, have huge confidence that we are discharging our duty effectively.

    • School Governor
  • Supporting Staff

    AS Tracking provides us with the data to support the new ISI inspection requirement.

    • Head and ISI inspector
  • Pupil wellbeing

    As a clinician I have no doubt that these AS Tracking action plans are likely to achieve a better health outcome for the child.

    • GP and local school doctor
  • Pupil focused

    AS Tracking has enabled us to develop highly detailed and well-focused targets for our pupils.

    • Academy Head Teacher
  • Better support

    AS Tracking has significantly reduced the number of our pupils in need of critical pastoral support.

    • Head of Welfare
    • Monkton Combe school
  • Pre-emptive

    I am so impressed by the pre-emptive aspect of AS Tracking. It is fantastic!

    • Parent
  • Better communication

    I have found AS Tracking particularly helpful in communicating with our families in Hong Kong and mainland China.

    • School Principal
  • Understanding needs

    AS Tracking offers the opportunity to track and better understand the needs of individual pupils and be more likely to perform to the maximum of their academic potential.

    • Chair
    • HMC 2017
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