Guidance for Parents

Schools will provide parents with clear guidance and information when they start to use AS Tracking

Schools adopting AS Tracking give guidance to parents about why, and how AS Tracking will be used to support their children. Some of that guidance is made available on this page. For any questions which remain unanswered, parents can ask their school to provide them with further information.

Yes, schools do know their children well, but they can only know what children make visible to them. Some children might be struggling in some way but may not tell an adult or even show that struggle in their behaviour around schools.AS T can make limiting patterns of thinking visible to schools at an early stage. It will guide teachers in identifying small, subtle, strategic low level, in-school strategies to help individual children develop more rounded, healthier patterns of thinking.

Absolutely not. Schools use AS Tracking as the fourth piece of the pastoral jigsaw. It sits alongside teachers’ professional judgment, parental feedback, and feedback from pupils. It does not replace them. What AS Tracking offers is an insight into how a pupil is thinking at different stages of their adolescent journey. Making visible the pupil voice can help your child’s teachers understand them better so they can give each pupil the right support at the right time.

Before schools use AS Tracking, they will have asked a number of questions to ensure that the assessment process is underpinned by sound methodology. Most self-report assessments ask direct, sometimes unsettling questions like 'Do you feel safe at school?' or 'Are you ever tempted to self-harm?'. By contrast, the AS Tracking assessment engages the child's imagination in a safe, open and playful exercise designed carefully by psychologists not to be unsettling or suggestive. It uses what psychologists call 'clean, neutral' to explore a child's responses to neutral cues rather than direct, suggestive statements. Most children find the process enjoyable. Parents at schools using AS Tracking can ask to see samples of the questions.

Before schools use AS Tracking they perform rigorous checks to ensure STEER complies with the highest standards of data security. STEER are accredited under the UK government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. The data they hold on pupils is anonymised and encrypted. STEER has a guarantee that in no circumstances do they share with third parties unless under parental consent.

No. STEER has a policy that AS Tracking cannot be tried by parents for three reasons. First, to ensure parents to do try to 'coach' their children in the assessment. Second, because parents will not have had the careful introductions that all children will have prior to completing AS Tracking in the school environment. Third, to rightly protect its intellectual property. STEER makes sample assessment questions available to parents in a document which can be shared with them by their user school.

STEER have a clear Data Protection Policy and guidelines in place to ensure SARs will be responded to in a timely manner and in compliance with applicable standards.

AS Tracking shows how a pupil is developing their pattern of thinking over time. It does so by tracking a child's steering biases to ensure they are healthy. If unhealthy biases were detected, they would not be indicators of imminent risk. Instead, they would be helpful, early guidance for the school to ensure that child received specific and helpful messages, to support them in school. These messages would be through their normal everyday interactions with their teachers and opportunities of school. At times, the school may choose to share those messages with you as parents, in order to ensure that the same messages are reinforced at home, as well as at school. If this is the case, the school may invite you to have a conversation with them.

It is every parent's right to see data that is held on their child. However, schools will not normally share children's AS Tracking data on a regular basis. This is for a number of very good reasons. First, as we have explained, AS Tracking data is used to guide low level interactions with a pupil, which are just part of the normal run of the school's pastoral care. Teachers cannot share every interaction with parents. Second, teachers have been trained to read & understand the AS Tracking data, parents have not. Teachers will take the time to discuss AS Tracking scores with parents only when it is appropriate because, without a careful conversation, parents would not properly understand what the data means. Third, pupil's AS Tracking scores fluctuate. Teachers use AS Tracking to see where a pupil's bias may be becoming more entrenched. They will therefore, often wait until their is enough evidence of this, before inviting a conversation with parents.

AS Tracking was developed by accredited professional members of the British Psychological Society (BPS). We have engaged in extensive conversation with the BPS Psychometric Testing Centre about whether AS Tracking should be regarded as a psychometric. Whilst AS Tracking has psychometric properties, for example, meeting the acceptable standards for validity (construct & predictive) and reliability (above 0.7), a decision was reached through the dialogue that AS Tracking is not a psychometric instrument. The tool is designed to track an emerging cognitive function rather than a fixed set of traits or behavioural properties. The BPS accredits psychometric instruments designed to measure fixed psychological characteristics. It is not STEER’S policy to bend the design of AS Tracking to fit the current PCT BPS accreditation framework.

Measures of reliability, validity and standard statistics remain extremely relevant to underpin the safe use of AS Tracking. Therefore STEER publishes all its research and development papers as part of its transparent, rigorous and scientific methodology in order to demonstrate the reliability, validity and efficacy of AS Tracking. Research papers..

Yes. STEER maintains the highest standards in data protection and has already implemented the necessary changes to be compliant with the GDPR. Your children's assessment data will be treated with the strictest confidence by your school and only shared with the relevant members of pastoral staff. STEER will store all data about your children securely under its Privacy by Design, in which names & identities are anonymised.