AS Tracking

Increasingly schools want to act proactively to prevent pastoral car crashes rather than respond once they occur

Supporting new pupils joining Wellington is a pastoral priority which we take very seriously. Where AS Tracking records are able to be forwarded to us, it enables us to understand the needs of a specific boy or girl that much sooner. This only strengthens the start that pupil is able to make at our school.

Julian Thomas, Head, Wellington College

AS Tracking enables schools to be proactive, targeted and evidence-based in their pastoral care.

  • Screen & identify hidden pupils with an increased mental health risks BEFORE they crash.
  • Target the strategic areas of need for a specific pupil, or a specific year group, making your pastoral care strategic & proactive rather than reactive first aid.
  • Signpost your ‘school culture’ to ensure it is always best supporting pupils’ ability to make wise, prosocial, emotionally healthy choices.
  • Track & evidence, for governance & inspectorates, that your education has made a difference by building an audit of impact on individual pupils' wellbeing year on year.
  • Refer pupil AS Tracking data to clinicians, counsellors or school nurses to join up pastoral care.
  • Use hard data to inform pastoral dialogues with parents to educate a consistent school-home approach.

Detecting Pupil Wellbeing Risks Earlier

AS tracking is a breakthrough adolescent development tool that detects wellbeing risks earlier by a pioneering assessment of pupils' cognitive steering biases.

AS Tracking provides a unique fourth piece of the school pastoral care jigsaw, supporting professional judgement, parent and pupil feedback.

Existing adolescent mental health self-report tools have been unable to provide reliable pupil development data for schools. Based on direct questions, such tools are often intrusive and even suggestive asking questions like ‘Other children pick on me or bully me’ or ‘I have many fears, I am easily scared’ or ‘I am often unhappy and tearful’.

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. To date, there have been no large studies where whole populations of school children have been tracked, year on year, to support identified, targeted support to all children using such tools.

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.

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.

Unique data, unique support

  • AS Tracking has already provided a unique 5 year dataset of the social-emotional development of 1000s of children as they have grown up across the ages of 8-18
  • We are currently tracking nearly 20,000 children mainly in the UK. This data is providing unique insights into mental health across adolescence which we are able to use to provide guidance to our schools
  • Unlike existing tools, AS Tracking can be repeated year on year without the quality of our data degrading
  • We are able to provide schools with precise, targeted guidance about how to support the right children, at the right time. Schools find that AS Tracking becomes the vital fourth piece of their pastoral care jigsaw.

There is increasing evidence the AS Tracking system detects risks such as self-harm, bullying and anxiety/depressive/controlled thinking concerns. There are also striking indicators it may identify and be diagnostically useful for emerging neuro-developmental conditions such as ASD, ADHD and others. This tracking data, collected twice/year, year on year, can be passed to clinicians, such as nurses, counsellors, CAMHS, psychiatrists and GPs.

Frank O’Kelly MBE MB BS MRCGP DA(UK) DCH DRCOG - School doctor, GP 30 years, Clinical Commissioner

AS Tracking Features

AS Tracking provides a school with:

  • A pioneering online whole-school screening assessment that screens pupils quickly and non-intrusively, twice yearly, for steering cognition patterns that indicate poor self-regulation.
  • Early indicator system for pupils with increased risks for wellbeing issues such as controlled eating, anxiety, over-checking and fixating; social competencies problems such as dominating others, social mimicry and entitlement; limiting learning behaviours such as not being open to feedback, complacency, lack of focus and inappropriate expectations.
  • A targeted individual action planning tool to put in place targeted support for specific pupils.
  • An evidence of impact system enabling schools to evidence the impact of their pastoral care.
  • A group action planning tool for pastoral deputies to write year/house development plans to ensure each stage of the school is as pastorally effective as it can be.
  • Continuous, secure AS tracking data tracking records for each pupil enabling joined-up pastoral care between schools over transitions from the age of 8 to post-school.

AS Tracking has had a fantastic impact in our boarding houses. It’s enabled us to identify at a really early stage those pupils who are at a hidden risk of developing social and emotional difficulties; we know how to help them and can track their progress over the coming terms. Working proactively and strategically has significantly reduced the number of pupils in need of critical pastoral support.

Head of Welfare, Monkton Combe School

Since its commercial launch 16 months ago, a new school has been adopting AS Tracking every week of the year.

AS Tracking - Impact on Schools

What AS Tracking does is provide measurement and evidence to back the knowledge we have and potentially identify children ahead of a crisis or who are struggling without us knowing. Also, for new children arriving in the school at the age of 13, whom staff don’t know so well, we are able to get a much fuller picture.

Pastoral Leader - Wellington College

It is very striking how the system works to identify the right children. It enables us to work out, with even more certainty, which boys need help and where to focus in that boy’s life.

Senior Master - Harrow

We received an email from a set of distraught parents yesterday as issues have been arising for her son. The boy was flagged as a priority following the assessment in January. Before we had AST this would have made me quite anxious about what to do next. It's so useful to have the assessment data/action planning to hand to get clarity on the issues and specifically how to help.

House Parent with 17 years experience - UK school

One of the strengths of AST has been to help us fine tune action plans for specific pupils, where, although the presenting issues are the same, the root causes are not.

Houseparent - Monkton Combe School

I was blown away by their conviction but even more, I was impressed by how articulate they were in analysing and describing their pupils. There was real insight, texture and sophistication.

Delegate speaking of the skills of teachers using AST at the recent AS Tracking Practitioner Conference

I vividly remember the AST consultant calling us to say she was particularly worried about the results she saw for one pupil, and it was a teenager who had, unbeknown to her, had a serious meltdown only a few days before. That was a striking moment, realising that a simple but clever online test could be that powerful. It was astonishing and very compelling.

Headmaster - London Day School

AS Tracking has enabled us to develop highly detailed and well-focused targets for our pupils. Over time, I am confident that the system will allow us to redress the balance of our assessment systems: increasing the focus on children’s social and emotional development; highlighting individuals needing further support and allowing us to monitor the impact of interventions with the same degree of rigour currently applied to the analysis of pupils’ academic progress.

Head teacher - London academy

With the emphasis of inspections shifting to place the emphasis solely on outcomes for pupils' achievement and personal development, schools will want to find ways of measuring the impact of their provision in order to review and refine what they do to help pupils flourish. AS Tracking provides us with the data to support that requirement.

Headmaster and ISI inspector

One of the hardest things for Governors to monitor is ‘Are we REALLY looking after our pupils’ emotional wellbeing?’. Seeing the accuracy and focus that AS Tracking brings to the school's pastoral care means that we, as a Board, have huge confidence that we are discharging our duty effectively.

Governor - UK independent school

AS Tracking offers the opportunity to track and better understand the needs of individual pupils as they progress through their school career. A tool such as this potentially helps schools to better help their pupils to deal with the stress of modern life and, in doing so, be more likely to perform to the maximum of their academic potential.

Chair - Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference 2015-16

As a clinician who, over many years, has seen CAMHS services overwhelmed, I have no doubt that these AS Tracking action plans are likely to achieve a better health outcome for the child for two reasons. Firstly they equip teachers, who know the child best, to act rather than relying on external professionals, who do not know the child. Secondly they are put in place within the school environment, so that the child is not separated from peers, but supported within the context of school.

School Doctor

To discuss how your school can adopt as tracking

call +44 01225 667232 or email