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Case Study

Heron Way Primary School replaced radios with teamSOS

Isca Academy

Implementing teamSOS at Isca Academy delivered a profound impact on effective oversight across the school.

It allowed senior leaders to think and act strategically and lead with insight and clarity, knowing exactly what was happening.

introduction

Isca Academy is a city comprehensive school in Exeter and part of the Ted Wragg Trust. The school has just over 1000 pupils with a diverse intake. The academy has entered a new phase with a change of senior leadership including a new headteacher. Jamie Engineer is the Senior Deputy Headteacher with responsibilities for Inclusion and Behaviour and implemented teamSOS across the school.

BEFORE

Staff used classroom telephones to call the Administrator on a mobile for help. Messages were then relayed to the On-Call team for action.

When staff sent a request for help by telephone:

• On-Call teams were unable to prioritise the incidents as they came in.

• Information on incidents had to be written down and passed on to responders.

• Internal communication during serious incidents was not as responsive and co-ordinated as it needed to be.

• There was no effective way to record actions and check if follow-ups had been completed.

• It was difficult to ensure that the right processes were followed.

• Staff felt isolated and sometimes unsupported.

• It was not possible to capture systematic data on incidents or have full oversight across the school.

The school went from being a place where sometimes you felt unsure that everything was being dealt with and you don’t have a clear record, to knowing exactly what’s been dealt with.”

“I am able to be anywhere in the school or out of school and see every behavioural instance that is being dealt with at any moment, and how effectively. It enables our team on the ground resolving behavioural or safeguarding or attendance issues to communicate instantaneously.”

AFTER

Staff use teamSOS to call for help.

• On-Call teams are notified directly on desktop, tablet or mobile.

• All details of the incident are communicated via teamSOS and responders can see what actions are being taken as they happen and can assess and respond accordingly.

• The escalation feature allows immediate communication with the right people in serious incidents.

• The incident timeline provides evidence of the incident as it unfolds and helps SLT assess how behaviour is dealt with.

• Automated task lists ensure all actions are followed up.

• Teachers feel supported as they have full visibility of their request, the response and know help is on its way.

• Responders and SLT coach staff, providing best practice, advice, and guidance during an incident

STRATEGIC IMPROVEMENTS

“teamSOS immediately provides senior leaders with an effective oversight of what is happening across the setting, whether you are in or out of school. We are now able to manage and direct the team in a way that we’ve never been able to do before.

Ultimately with the data flows and feedback loops from using teamSOS we are now able to generate a lot more strategic time to improve the school and refine processes”.

Heron Way Primary School replaces radios with teamSOS

DECISIONS BASED ON EVIDENCE

The timeline detailing the staff actions, text messaging and audio logs has been a great asset to the schools on-call incident management. The collation of evidence allows for factual reporting and helps the school to ensure they are dealing with behaviour in the right way. The timeline has provided responders and senior leaders with the ability to share best practice, advice and guidance to the staff in the heat of the moment.

“teamSOS gives us a data stream that we can measure how well we are dealing with behaviour, on a level that we haven’t really had before.”

WORKFLOW

“The timeline enables us to keep track of all incidents in priority order. An incident is only removed from the log once it has been completed and closed into the archived records for future reference if required.

We are able to delegate tasks effectively and having clear records gives us the evidence and confidence that everything has been resolved and dealt with effectively”.

EASY IMPLEMENTATION

“We had introduced quite a lot of change over a short period of time and the staffing body had to adapt to a fair amount of change, so we were expecting a certain amount of natural push back, but we have received little or no negative comments. Everyone is involved in running and operating teamSOS, with no issues. Initially we were intending to run our previous system in conjunction with radios, but we found it completely unnecessary.”

“Another good thing about the teamSOS app is that there is enough flexibility to work in the way we want it to work.”

COMMUNICATION

“From day one of using teamSOS we were able to communicate instantly with all the right people. On-call staff are able to prioritise the most urgent incidents and staff know immediately that they are being responded to. The follow up checklists that automatically appear in the incident timeline when created, ensures all actions are undertaken and nothing is left to fall between the gaps”.

ESCALATION OF INCIDENTS

Being able to escalate a non-critical incident such as breach of school uniform to either another response team or an administrator allows senior leaders and staff to make better use of their time and dealing with the more urgent incidents.

Heron Way Primary School replaces radios with teamSOS

THE NEXT STEPS

The next steps for Isca Academy are to expand their use of teamSOS by implementing the playbooks to further support their workflows and the announcement features to enhance lockdown and evacuation procedures.

The school’s advice for other schools considering teamSOS

Initially the school took part in a small free trial, which proved successful. The decision was taken to purchase and implement across the whole school.

Jamie says “We would definitely recommend teamSOS to other schools. We think the product is robust and can easily be deployed across the whole school with immediate impact for all staff. teamSOS has simplified our on-call incident management process and has greatly improved internal communication. Onboarding is very easy with little training required. All staff need to know is how to raise an incident and how to communicate in the timeline. I recommend you have clear protocols and assign a member of staff as the project manager to personalise teamSOS for your own school, oversee the implementation and to refine things as you go along. It is so simple, and near on impossible to go wrong. teamSOS support is excellent and they listen to our needs and accommodate our requests where possible. We highly recommend teamSOS”.

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“The product is robust and can easily be deployed across the whole school with immediate impact for all staff. teamSOS has simplified our on-call incident management process and has greatly improved internal communication.”

Jamie Engineer

Senior Deputy Headteacher, Isca Academy

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