Keep, Start, Stop, Shine

A Collaborative Reflective Tool for Your Next Planning Meeting

by Dr David Lamb


Planning meetings have always played a pivotal part in our support of schools and educational settings at Applied Psychologies. They provide important functions, including:

  • agreeing, monitoring and reviewing casework

  • planning group-level and systemic educational psychology involvement

  • serving an operational role in managing the schools hours and ensuring value for money (an important consideration in a traded model of service delivery)

The consistency and predictability of planning meetings can help to build and strengthen relationships between an educational psychologist and key people within an educational setting (e.g., Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinators).


With schools being stretched and tested to their limits due to COVID, we have been needed more than ever to provide a helping hand to staff who are often in a position to ‘bring about the biggest change’ for the most vulnerable children and young people in education.


Ensuring that I am being as effective and supportive as possible at planning meetings has therefore been on my mind this year.


The model


At the start of the academic year, I read a post on twitter from Dr Dan O’Hare (a previous guest speaker at our Service Delivery Meeting) about a ‘Keep, Start, Stop, Shine’ model (below) which he has used when engaging in organisational psychology work with Head Teachers and Senior Leaders.



This simple four-stage framework led me to think that this could also be a helpful and collaborative process to use with SENCOs at our planning meetings in order to:

  • gain feedback on the service we are providing (the good, the bad and the ugly!)

  • create a safe space to take on the role of ‘critical friend’ to share our views

  • explore opportunities together about how we could support the school in the future

  • take time to reflect on the successes which have already been achieved


Reflections


I have used this approach with a few of my schools this term and wanted to share some of my initial reflections about the process:


A pat on the back…

The tool has provided further reassurance about how much educational psychology involvement is valued – the support, the guidance, the knowledge, the impact. There has also been a real joy in praising those I am working with, helping to strengthen relationships and help staff see how progress has been achieved by working together.


An opportunity to learn…

When taking over a school from another educational psychologist, the framework has enabled me to learn about what has gone well in the past and what might need to be done differently moving forward. This in turn, has helped me to think about how I may need to adapt my practice as an EP for different settings (and potentially look to acquire new skills and knowledge) and also to really consider where I could add value, either in terms of suggesting something new, or helping to build upon existing work.


Better never stops…

This framework has supported me to keep up to date with changes in the schools I am working with and potentially contribute to whole school initiatives. By engaging schools in this evaluative process, it is my view that we are also demonstrating a real commitment to our schools that we want to keep improving the service they are receiving – excellent customer service!


An email in advance saves time…

Like with most things, a bit of advanced warning is appreciated, and this tool is no exception. Some SENCOs shared that they felt a bit ‘put on the spot’ when asked these questions at the start of our meeting (after all they came with a long list of items they wanted to discuss with me), and would have liked the questions to have been sent in an email before the planning meeting to provide them with enough time to prepare.



In summary, Keep, Start, Stop, Shine is a short, powerful and collaborative tool to help EPs review and plan their involvement with those we work closest with in our educational settings.


My intention is to continue using the framework at planning meetings at different points during the year and keep reflecting on its usefulness. In discussion with SENCOs, we have also discussed how the format might be an effective tool to include in different phases of casework, e.g., feedback meetings and review meetings to help structure conversations.


I hope you find it a useful addition to your toolkit, and I would love to hear how you use it in the future. If you would like to ask me anything or share your reflections on Keep, Start, Stop, Shine, you can email me at info@appliedpsychologies.com or tweet me at @AppPsych.


Thanks,

David

EP and Co-Founder

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