Interventions make a difference – prove it!

As well as working with school assessment systems, I’m a school governor for a medium-sized primary school in a deprived area near Manchester.

Not surprisingly I’m keen that our school uses SIMS to best effect and was pleased to talk  with Lucy Crawford at this year’s SIMS annual conference. Lucy is the product manager for SIMS Interventions, a new module currently in development by Capita. She describes SIMS Interventions as:

…a system to track under performing students, allocate additional support and resources, and track how those resources affect KPIs, as well as how much those resources cost, from a central area, so that outcomes can be tracked against cost.

If you are going to make an intervention with a pupil, it’s very important that you have a means of measuring the impact on the student. It’s a variation of the question that governors are taught to ask of their schools: ‘how do you know?’

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We need to know that when a school makes an intervention, the interventions is proportionate to the individual pupil’s needs and that the intervention is timely and cost-effective. Proportionate, because we don’t want to overreact or be ineffective. Timely, because there is no point delivering a wonderful intervention just one day too late. Finally, interventions must be cost-effective, because we all know that school budgets are under pressure.

What is SIMS Interventions?

SIMS Interventions are a way of managing your interventions within the SIMS database. The plan is that they will harness the ability to plan, run and analyse the effectiveness of you interventions. Capita are developing the module now and plan to release it in 2017.

How does it work?

Interventions can be set up once and used many times. Each intervention contains the name of the intervention, subject area, start and end dates, and expected outcomes. RunSchoolInterventionReportStaff and pupils are allocated to each intervention. Each pupil’s start points and targets can be recorded and progress is measured as having exceeded, achieved, partly achieved or not achieved the target.

Each intervention can be managed in bulk (with facilities to set targets and start points for the whole group ) and down to the pupil level (where individual targets and start points can be entered). All the interventions offered by the school can be brought together in a single, manageable format.


‘How do we know these interventions are working?’ is a typical governors question. SIMS Interventions provides a set of reports and enhancements to help answer that question.

Interventions Group Filter

Interventions Group Filter

Adding Interventions as group filter in Assessment Manager

With my interest in assessment, I do like this! A lot of school currently set up user defined groups to do this. It will be much easier with a direct link to SIMS Interventions. Basically, a new ‘interventions’ filter will be added to the existing list of group filters.

Adding Interventions to the reporting dictionary

Adding Interventions to the reporting dictionary means that you will be able to create your own reports and mix intervention data with assessment, attendance, behaviour data etc. Regular users of SIMS reports will be able to create some fantastic analysis!

The school intervention report

A school intervention report is a grid with pupil names as rows and with the interventions they have been assigned to as columns, so you’ll always be clear about the interventions each pupil has been allocated.

School Intervention Report

School Intervention Report

The intervention outcome analysis

Each intervention offered is displayed as a row with a breakdown of the percentage of pupils having achieved or not achieved their targets.

Interventions in SIMS Discover

Combine data from all areas of SIMS into informative and easy to analyse graphs. Imagine being able to cross reference interventions against outcome grades, behaviour points and attendance percentages (and on the same graph if you feel so inclined!)

Pricing and Availability

SIMS Interventions is due for release in 2017 and will be included as part of the basic SIMS annual license cost. In other words, free of charge. If your school attaches any importance to the outcomes of interventions (and what schools doesn’t?) it’s bit of a no-brainer.

Intervention Outcome Analysis

Intervention Outcome Analysis