Equipping Pupils to Steer the Road of Adolescence
: The innovation and impact of AS Tracking: an educational tool to assess, support and track pupil self-regulation

  • Jo Walker

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This context statement critically narrates the innovation and impact of AS (affective social) Tracking: a tool to assess, support and track pupil self-regulation. Written as autoethnography, the context statement uses the literary device of metaphor to guide the reader through this professional journey.

I begin by recognising that an increasing number of pupils are struggling to steer the high-opportunity, high-risk road of adolescence, resulting in an increasing number of pastoral crashes. Whilst schools have introduced many initiatives to equip adolescent learner drivers to steer this road, I explore why their impact has been limited. I point to self-regulation as a foundational developmental skill, enabling pupils to make wise, emotionally healthy and pro-social choices. I reflect on my experience as a local authority advisor for BESD (behavioural, emotional, social difficulties), standing at the side of a pastoral crash scene. I explain how this compelled me to adopt a proactive, strategic and evidence based approach in my own practice, and shaped an organisational approach across a local authority. Whilst this approach had a significant impact, there were several limitations.

I describe the innovation and impact of an assessment, action planning and tracking tool that overcame these limitations. AS Tracking supports proactive, targeted, evidenced pastoral care by identifying at an early stage those pupils who are struggling to self-regulate – pupils who are developing habitual and limiting thinking or behavioural biases that increase their future risk of ‘crashing’. AS Tracking guides teachers in targeting low level, strategic support to help individuals steer more wisely, and tracks pupils’ self-regulation over time.

In conclusion, I analyse how the development of AS Tracking was shaped by this professional journey, and how the use of AS Tracking has begun to shape a culture of proactive, targeted and evidence based pastoral care. Whilst recognising the impact of AS Tracking, it remains a tool in formation. As its use across different sectors widens, there are challenges ahead that will necessitate further development if it is to continue to make a powerful contribution in equipping pupils to steer the road of adolescence.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Winchester
SupervisorJune Boyce-Tillman (Supervisor) & Jane Erricker (Supervisor)


  • Self regulation
  • Education
  • Adolescence
  • Mental health
  • Assessment
  • Tracking

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