AS Tracking

STEER tracks the impact of lockdown on 8,000 students' mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a UK government policy decision to lockdown schools from March- September to reduce transmission of the virus. This unprecedented action raised many questions for educators:

  • What impact was the virus going to have on the mental health of children and young people across the UK?
  • How was young people's mental health affected locked in at home and deprived of the structure, support and relationships of school?
  • With some schools providing more virtual student pastoral support than others during lockdown, were some groups more adversely disadvantaged by lockdown than others?

These questions have proved difficult for the UK government to answer because it lacked a consistent, historical benchmark of young people's social-emotional wellbeing prior to lockdown. In addition, few organisations had the ability to obtain any new, real-time data whilst lockdown was occuring.

STEER's historic data tracking since 2013 has provided a unique insight

STEER Education is one of the very few organisations in the UK which was in a position to both provide historical benchmark data, and to collect real-time data on student mental mental health, during lockdown.

STEER's historic 7-year AS Tracking database, gathered since 2013, has provided a high-quality benchmarking dataset for young people aged 8-18 on the impacts of lockdown.

STEER's technology enabled schools to continue to track during lockdown

In addition, STEER rapidly launched a modified version of AS Tracking in March which enabled schools to continue to track students during lockdown. Using the app, school tracked more than 8,000 students between March- July, providing a unique insight into the effects on different populations, demographics and ages of students across the country and indeed, internationally.

STEER will gain deeper, wider insight in the coming months as more schools join the AS Tracking programme

In addition, STEER is now gathering post-lockdown data from 70,000 students, an increase of 20,000 from our pre-pandemic dataset. This includes the 8,000 tracked over lockdown; the Autumn data will allow us to develop our understanding of lockdown's effect on our young people's mental health further, as well as the extent to which the return to school has restored student's mental health.

STEER is currently analysing its results, identifying patterns than relate specifically to boys vs girls, affluence, school virtual support and age.This data will be used to inform policy and decisions about the best strategies for national school recovery.

Our next steps

STEER aims to work with relevant stakeholders in national policy to support, inform and guide decision making as the 2020-21 school year progresses. STEER will continue to track it's growing cohort of students in the coming months, enriching and widening the insights it can offer on this unprecedented historic event.


Primary quantitative research into steering cognition

Thinking, Straight or True?, Walker Simon P., 2015

A detailed publication of empirical methods and findings from a wide 15 year research programme describing our central claims: the cognitive, social and mental health implications of the self-regulation of Steering Cognition.

Mental health risks of the Motorway Model of education

Publication of our 2015 study involving more than 6,000 pupils across 16 UK secondary schools which answered the question: Is there a link between schools exhibiting the characteristics of the Motorway Model and increased pupil mental health risks?


As tracking datamodel: theoretical papers and literature reviews underpinning the datamodel of as tracking


STEER uses its research into human biases to develop ground-breaking tools

STEER has successfully built a set of ground-breaking educational technologies from its pioneering research. These tools include AS Tracking, developed to detect students' social-emotional risks earlier by tracking their emerging steering biases; CAS Tracking, developed to improve teaching and learning, by identifying biases which are limiting learning in the classroom; and USTEER, developed to train students leaving school to steer their biases in a healthy, independent way, as they prepare for the challenges of the workplace or higher education.

JUST PUBLISHED

21.05.2019

TEACHER EXPERIENCES OF AS TRACKING

The most recent independent report into the efficacy of STEER's mental health programme AS Tracking has just been published. You can read Rosi Lewis' MSc dissertation undertaken at Oxford Brookes University here: ' What are some teachers’ experiences of using Affective Social Tracking data to support proactive, targeted pastoral care in schools? '


Teacher-experiences-of-AS_Tracking-Dissertation.pdf


JUST PUBLISHED

21.05.2019

External evaluations of TRACKING

The impact of AS Tracking on schools' pastoral provision has been recently evaluated in a number of external reports. These include inspectorate bodies and charitable reports from 2019-20. They are summarised in the short report below.'


Evaluated AS Tracking reports 20.03.20.pdf


What literature underpins Steering Cognition?

Steering Cognition is a term coined by Simon P. Walker to describe a novel construct which is associated with the following major existing research literature fields in cognitive and social psychology:

Steering cognition is a model of social and cognitive executive function. It is explains a functional governor mechanism by which the mind coordinates attention and executes responsive action.

If you would like to know more

Wikipedia- steering cognition page

Steeringcognition.org - research page

Dr Simon Walker - primary researcher's web site**

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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