Support Planner:  Observations


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Observations  -  what we know, think or wonder....

[Note: Support Actions are recorded and considered in an similar manner]


Observations will be

  • incidents - these are events (each occurring in a place at a time) of concern because people's success and well-being are breached by someone's behaviour. Most users mean a particular person's behaviour when they use the term 'incident', however this is often unfair to the 'offender'.
  • statements of concerns, e.g., noting trends or worrying possibilities, eg, "Trs concerned about attendance and arrival"
  • or simply general observations, e.g., noting progress or a particular perspective

NB. Users tend to initially focus on recording behaviour associated with incidents as in the next example. Later they also include statements of concern and later still summaries of progress and achievement.


The Support Planner allows easy recording of observations, eg, various aspects of an incident

  • Date - when the incident occurred
  • Observation - a description of what the student did in the incident
  • Type - some coding to indicate how aspects of the incident might be categorised (allows for later analysis)
  • Who played a significant role in resolving the incident
  • Resolution - the response to the observation, e.g., how the incident was resolved
  • End - ticked when a satisfactory response to the observation has been completed
  • Reference - is a hyperlink to any associated document, e.g., a letter to parents 

Example Incident


This record might represent the following situation:

The student was involved in serious conflict in the classroom in third period on Tuesday 22 May last (also identifies teacher) during which the student continued to used offensive language (L/) and acted in a threatening (T/) fashion and the harassment (H/)over an extended period of time. This was offensive to the staff member (OS)  and caused the teacher to be concerned for her/his safety (HS). The matter was dealt with by the AP and involved the protocols associated with being 'red carded' (RC/) (inc Letter to parents) as well as time out for three lunch hours (TO/3). At this stage the matter is deemed to be resolved )box ticked). It might be worth checking the letter for more details and a possible annotation on letter to parent re family response?

Later value

The letter sent to the parents can be retrieved by clicking on the hyperlink


This record can be considered in relation to other incidents involving the student possibly revealing patterns in terms of

  • Frequency of incidents (increasing or decreasing?)
  • Days of the week
  • Times of the day 
  • Where:  in class or elsewhere
  • Use of bad language and other behaviours
  • Type of incident
  • Identification of parties involved
  • What steps have been taken


This record will contribute to statistics available as reports on 

  • Numbers and types of incident being experienced in the school
  • Participation in incidents by year and gender
  • Problem times and locations within the life and work of the school
  • Use of Timeouts and other 'consequences' in attempts to resolve and prevent problem incidents
  • ...


Together with similar recording of Support Actions these records provide a wealth of data that has real potential to

  • undertake dynamic functional analysis that can be used to
  • inform decision making at a whole range of levels within the school
  • enhance and coordinate everyone's efforts
  • enhance the conversation around success and well-being for all members of the school community

Other Observations

These might include

    - "Mother concerned about attendance"

    - "Mother reports behaviour inconsistent with ADHD (?) - check

    - "J. pleased with his achievements,, says clear goals v. helpful"

    - "J. very helpful in Peer Support"

    - "J's attendance much improved this term"

    - "Participating well in Spanners - has respect of staff"

    -  ...

Monitoring progress  -  3 key questions

Thus the Planner can be used to help to answer three key questions

  • What's working?
  • What's not?
  • And what else might be possible?


Follow this link for more on Monitoring Progress




Ivan Webb Pty Ltd 2001 onwards