A mighty ANT

Reading time: 2 minutes. Relevant programme: SSAT Leadership Legacy Project

Danny Bullock, Assistant Principal for Inclusion at Leeds West Academy, describes the impact of their additional needs team system

When I started out as assistant principal of inclusion, one of the biggest areas for development was enhancing personalisation, which required the sharing of information to all staff, collating evidence of interventions and analysing impact.

Building on ideas I had used as a year 7 and 8 leader, I looked at creating an all-purpose system that would enable staff to access vital information on students such as behaviour, attendance, SEN information, support strategies and more. In addition, it would analyse whole-school behaviour and intervention to provide instant impact data and identify areas of need on four levels: individual student, year group, key group and whole school.

Below is an overview of this ANT system and how it is used in my setting.


The additional needs team holds documentation on students that will be useful for classroom teachers, pastoral teams, SEN teams and SLT. Documentation held includes student intervention logs, student support plan and any other supporting documentation that would support the pupil’s learning. The aim of the system is to provide key information and support to all staff and provide a central platform for interventions and impact logging for pastoral colleagues.

What does it do?

The system holds full contextual data of each student (PP/SEN/EAL …). It gives staff a view of useful (and quick) teaching strategies that can be added to and updated to support a collegiate approach to working with our students. Staff can refer any issues with a student through to the relevant colleague, who will respond and action concerns.

Since starting in November, the system has received more than 330 referrals, including behaviour, SEN, EAL and other concerns. It monitors student access to the school support processes such as Nurture, and can provide a view of how often each student accesses support services, and when.

Ultimately this is a piece of software on the computer and of course, there are many packages you can buy which can provide elements of it. However, its power is not about what you see on the computer. It is aiming to change a culture, to reduce workload and allow efficiency. It provides a clear and transparent tool for all staff, at all levels – which should ultimately lead to improved outcomes and experiences for our young people.

ANT in action

Screenshots of the ANT system can be found here.

Impact and moving forward

Introducing this system into the academy has centralised, streamlined and improved understanding of students’ current behaviour, attendance and academic and pastoral needs for staff at all levels. It has allowed a real collegiate approach to working with students; one where the goal is that no student falls through the cracks.

Since inception in November, 150 colleagues have engaged in the ANT system over 3000 times, a positive reflection of engagement to ensure that all learners’ needs are met.

The next step is to see that transfer into true and clear personalised learning for all students. Sir John Dunford talks about raising the profile and attainment not just of disadvantaged students, but of all students. This system has the potential to do just that, putting key information and strategies in the hands of academy staff to enhance, enrich and support the education of every student who comes to the academy.

Danny Bullock is a graduate of SSAT Leadership Legacy Project and was part of the first cohort of SSAT Leadership Fellows, 2017/18. 125 high-potential future leaders took part in a year-long initiative to support their development as the next generation of system leaders. This opportunity is an exclusive part of SSAT secondary membership, find out more about the nomination process for 2018/19.

Read on the SSAT blog: Why we set up four pathways for pupil premium students

Follow Danny Bullock on Twitter

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