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Case Study

Heron Way Primary School replaced radios with teamSOS

Sybil Andrews Academy

Sybil Andrews Academy dramatically reduced staff workload by no longer having to manually monitor or triage on-call incidents and replacing their email alert system and radios with teamSOS.

introduction

Sybil Andrews Academy is part of the Unity Schools Partnership trust and is a new comprehensive secondary school in rural East Anglia with an increasing number of students joining year by year. The school has a young staff body with different range of experiences particularly with managing behaviour in the classroom.

Chris Handley is the Head of RPE | Head of Geography at the Academy and implemented teamSOS across the school during his secondment to SLT.

Background

Previously staff would send emails to raise an on-call request that was manually monitored and triaged by the Attendance and Welfare Officer. Radios were used to alert the on-call team which were noisy and disruptive. Broadcasting details of incidents over radios meant only limited information could be shared.

 

reduce truancy and improve attendance

Challenges

When staff sent the email for help:

  • Staff did not know if their request had been seen and if help was on its way. They felt isolated and sometimes unsupported.
  • The manual monitoring and triaging of the alert emails created an enormous workload on members of staff to the detriment of other tasks they needed to perform.
  • The internal inclusion team was reliant on a student’s version of the event when being removed from class.

“Solutions in schools need to be simple and seamless, and to me teamSOS was effective enough that even the novice could understand how to use it and feel supported”

Heron Way Primary School replaces radios with teamSOS

The Solution

teamSOS was recommended to the Academy by other schools in the Trust. Initially Chris considered a trial of teamSOS with a small group of staff but because it was so easy to set-up and launch it was decided to implement across the whole school straight away enjoying the benefit of the following improvements:

  • On-call teams are notified directly speeding up response times.
  • teamSOS has dramatically reduced staff workload by removing the need for manual intervention for monitoring or triaging.
  • Staff have full visibility of their request for help and kept in communication making them feel fully supported.
  • So easy to deploy and train that staff used teamSOS immediately after going live with great success.
  • teamSOS allows responders to provide best practice, advice, and guidance during an incident before attending the scene.
  • The communication channels remind the on-call team to check in on and support supply teachers, members of staff or students
  • SLT are able to make informed decisions and provide the right level of support in key areas by reviewing the evidence and reports.
  • Escalation to the Inclusion team and responders being notified directly has improved information lows and no longer relies on the student’s version of events.

““Even though responders may not be turning up in person the timeline allows them to be more supportive to staff than we could ever before”

Chris Handley

Head of RPE | Head of Geography, Sybil Andrews Academy

EASY IMPLEMENTATION

“Introducing something new, particularly around technology, people can be reticent and concerned they may do something wrong. I planned the implementation to include clear guidance documentation and held drop-in clinics for a week pre, during and just after deployment to support those staff that were apprehensive. teamSOS documentation is now part of the school’s staff handbook”.

WORKLOAD IMPROVEMENTS

teamSOS allowed the school to manage their workload more easily. They can have up to 20 calls in one lesson period, not all-for class removal, it could be a quick request to check-in on a student, member of staff or a new supply teacher. The system shows the on-call team the most recent request in the in-tray, and they are able to prioritise allowing them to reach the most urgent calls for help first.

ADVICE & GUIDANCE

“We have found with teamSOS that responders don’t always have to respond in person but can give advice and guidance remotely in the timeline. This saves time, makes incident response more efficient and empowers staff to be able to handle incidents without intervention.”

ESCALACTION OF INCIDENTS

When an incident requires classroom removal, the schools use the escalate function in teamSOS to alert the internal exclusion team that a student is on their way. This provides the team with full visibility and accurate evidence record before the student arrives. The incident is then added to the behaviour system and detentions assigned if required.

RESPONSE TEAM HUNTGROUPING

The school has also taken advantage of the response team “hunt group” technology whereby if an incident has not been responded to within a small timeframe of minutes, teamSOS automatically notifies a back-up response team of the school’s choosing. Notifications can also be repeatedly sent to responders until a designated staff member responds. This process reassures staff that someone will come to their aid even if the original on-call team are busy dealing with another incident.

Heron Way Primary School replaces radios with teamSOS

“We found the hunt groups and repeated notifications very useful, and the staff have found the process to be very reassuring and feel more supported

 SUPPORT FOR STAFF

“The SLT is now able to manage and direct the right level of support to staff and departments across any given day of the week. The school has detailed analytics of the day’s activities as to who raised what incident, how often, what category of incident and against which student. SLT can also see who the first responder was, how quickly they responded and how long it took for the incident to be resolved. In addition the communication channels have become a good reminder for the on-call team to check in on staff, supply staff and students providing a high level of support”.

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 the timeline provides the responder with the ability to share best practice, advice and guidance to the requester. 

THE NEXT STEPS

The next steps for Sybil Andrews Academy are to expand their use of teamSOS by utilising the playbooks and guidance features to provide quick advice and guidance in the hands of all their staff.

The school’s advice for other schools considering teamSOS

Chris says “We would definitely recommend teamSOS to other schools. We think the product is very effective and the uptake from staff is very positive. We appreciate some schools may be reticent about introducing another system. It is another system, but because of its ease of use, ease of login, ease of setup I think it’s a really effective system to consider. Onboarding is very effective, staff are really supportive, and teamSOS seem to be really switched on to support as well as guidance and onboarding. So we would highly recommend it”.

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“We would definitely recommend teamSOS to other schools. We think the product is very effective and the uptake from staff is very positive.”

Chris Handley

Head of RPE | Head of Geography, Sybil Andrews Academy

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