Advice and guidance on planning an intervention. How to Plan, Do and Review!
Having identified an area of need the next step is to plan (or
select) a suitable intervention for that individual or group with
similar needs. The intervention is then put in place and its impact
measured. It is vital that the PLAN, DO, REVIEW cycle is used. This
reflects the problem
solving process previously described.
Thought should be given not only to why an intervention is
selected, but also to the quality of delivery and the impact of the
intervention. Such evaluation is vital in not only planning next
steps but in deciding if the intervention is a useful one to use
with other individuals or groups of pupils.
When planning an intervention it is important to consider the
- How have pupils been selected for the intervention? Do the
objectives of the intervention match with the pupils’ identified
- How is the intervention impact going to be evaluated? Gathering
information for the ‘Review’ needs to be done before the
- Do you have all the information needed to complete the first
parts of an ‘Intervention
Sheet’ and know how you will be collecting the information
needed to complete the sheet?
- If planning a group intervention, do all pupils have needs that
can be met by the same intervention? This does not necessarily mean
the same needs, for example where social and emotional skills are
being targeted it is often useful to have a group where some
participants are skilled in areas where others have difficulties to
enable sharing of strategies.
- Does the person who is delivering the intervention have the
necessary skills, knowledge and understanding? Are they familiar /
confident with the content and format of the materials / approaches
to be used? If there are training needs who will be able to provide
this training – will it come from within or outside of school?
Click here to
view the Effective deployment of TA's
- Is there a dedicated space for the intervention to occur in? Is
this within or outside the classroom?
- Are all those involved in the intervention aware of what it is
and why it is happening? This includes the pupils.
You can view
a checklist for a quality intervention here
When delivering an intervention it is important to consider the
Is there a method for recording / being aware of :
- The number of ‘sessions’ that actually happen (often planned
sessions may be missed due to other events within school) Record of
intervention programme document here
- Individual pupil attendance
- Pupils’ attitudes towards the ‘sessions’ and comments they make
about the intervention and themselves
- The confidence of the adult in being able to deliver the
intervention and beliefs about its usefulness
All of these factors can have a major impact on the
effectiveness of an intervention and should to be taken into
account during the ‘Review’ stage of the process. There is a
Provision management record sheet that can be used to record some
of this information
- Are all the physical resources needed available? Is time
available to prepare them? Is there somewhere to store them?
- If an intervention is occurring beyond the classroom, is there
a process for sharing information about the intervention and pupil
progress with the class teacher? This is important so classroom
practice can support the pupils in the areas being addressed.
(Withdrawal) Checklist here
- Where an intervention involves supporting an individual / group
with their work is there an awareness of the research
into the impact of having support?
What is Evaluation?
Evaluation seeks to assess the impact of a defined project – a
time limited intervention in this case. There are two clear
purposes of evaluating an intervention:
- To measure individual pupil progress (or lack of it) enabling
you to plan the next steps for their development. (Has their
personal objective been achieved? Is further intervention needed?
Should intervention take the same form ?)
- To decide if the intervention is useful – reflecting on the
value of intervention for future use and how it can be improved.
(Should the intervention be used again? What could be changed to
make it more effective?)
Evaluation is important as it enables you to monitor
individual pupils’ progress and make informed decisions
- Whether an intervention is effective – is it having a positive
impact on pupil outcomes?
- What factors made the intervention effective (or not)?
- Could any changes be made to make an intervention more
effective? For example is the lead person confident in their
skills? Is there a need for staff training? Did pupils enjoy the
intervention? Did pupils think there was a point to them doing the
- Should you continue with an intervention or repeat an
intervention with another group?
- Is an intervention is cost effective (in time or money) – could
similar improvements have been made with no intervention / another
intervention? (When interventions are formally evaluated the
progress of a ‘control’ group – a group of young people with
similar needs who are not receiving the intervention – is also
assessed. This enables you to decide if the intervention group
would have made the same rate of progress even if the intervention
was not put in place.)
An effective evaluation is one that is:
FIT FOR PURPOSE
You need to be clear about why you are evaluating; what the
results are for; who will use the results; and whether you have
chosen the most appropriate assessment tools
You need to be careful that you are measuring what you think you
are. If you use a complex questionnaire to get pupils to rate their
confidence you may end up with information which says more about
their literacy / language skills than their confidence!
Reliability is the extent to which the measure would get the
same result if you repeated it
Is the planned evaluation practical? Do you have time to collect
and interpret the information. There is no point collecting
information if you aren’t going to use it!
document contains details of the Tools to assess the impact of
An intervention’s impact should be measured in terms of how well
it achieved the objectives set for it. For example, the impact of a
reading intervention should be measured in terms of changes in
An intervention may also bring about changes in other areas (for
example children in a reading skills intervention may gain in
confidence) and these are known as unintentional impacts. However,
in the reading example, the intervention’s effectiveness is not
measured by how much pupils’ confidence increases – although this
could be an objective for the reading intervention the next time it
The objectives for an intervention should be based on the
pupils’ identified needs and what you hope the intervention will
achieve. ‘SMART’ or ‘SMARTER’ goals / targets can be used:
Specific – worded in clear language
- Measurable – written in a way that can be
observed / counted / measured
- Agreed – discussed and owned by all those
involved in the intervention (eg staff, parents, pupils)
- Realistic – achievable
- Time Limited – a time frame is set
- Evaluated – planned means to evaluate
- Review – Use of evaluation data for future
In group interventions these may be different for each
individual and will be recorded as ‘target competencies’ (document
to be added shortly) on the Intervention
Within the provision management software there are links to
potential targets based on the National Strategies objectives for
Listening and Numeracy
(National Curriculum Levels P Scale 4- Level 5).
For pupils where unwanted behaviours are the main concern,
targets from SEAL may be appropriate where the behaviours reflect
under developed social and emotional skills. SEAL
Classroom observation checklist here.
Alternatively, it is suggested that schools work with pupils to
identify mutually agreed targets and interventions are designed /
selected to these. Behaviour
Targets for July 2009 can be viewed here.
Your school’s Educational Psychologist and / or staff from
locality based CEIT teams can work with schools on solution
oriented individual target setting with pupils. Contact details can
be found in the guide to
local support services.
Evaluations need to be planned before an intervention begins. If
we want to measure the impact an intervention is having we need to
know where skill/knowledge levels were before the intervention so
they can be compared to skill/knowledge levels after the
intervention. We also need to know how we are going to measure
In the reading example, if an intervention was designed to
increase a child’s sight word vocabulary, we would want to know how
many sight words the child knew before the intervention (the
baseline measure) so we could compare it to how many sight words
were known after the intervention. We would also need to know how
we were going to measure this.
There are a selection of methods that can be used to measure the
impact of an intervention, see ‘Tools to
assess the impact of interventions’. This provides information
about methods of assessments and potential advantages and
limitations of their use.
The National Strategies suggest considering the following in
deciding whether an intervention is effective.
Success criteria for an intervention should be:
- At least double the usual expected rate of progress ie ratio
gain of 2 or more / Ratio gain = Gain in months / Length of
intervention in months
- Progressing at least 1 National Curriculum sub level every 2
- For behaviour any success criteria must be negotiated with the
- It is accepted that for the 1% of pupils with severe and
complex needs, their rate of progress may be slower.
- What was the average progress for the intervention?
- Was this equal to/better than/worse than the success
- Did any pupils make exceptional progress?
- If so – why?
- Did any pupils make inadequate progress?
- If so – why?
Other contextual points to consider
- Pupil attendance
- Pupil punctuality
- Pupil attitude/self esteem
- Pupil readiness for intervention is based on more than entry
- Other interventions pupil accessing
- Sessions missed due to another school activity eg (trips)
- TA absence
- TA redirected to other duties
- Quality of TA deliver
- Appropriate teaching or learning styles
- Quality of accommodation
- Timing of sessions
- Time of day
- Is intervention taking the place of core subject
- Timetabling for convenience or achievement
- Interruptions or distractions during interventions
- Has the skills/knowledge gained from the intervention been
transferred into the wider curriculum and made an impact on (a) NC
Levels and (b) progress towards predicted levels as evidenced by
school tracking system?
- Is Teacher Assessment secure?