Underachievement and disruptive behaviour: The psychometric solution

Bookmark and Share

How can we improve the performance and behaviour of underachieving and disruptive students? Sally Wells describes how one school has turned to a tool normally used to select candidates for high-level jobs – psychometric assessments.

Psychometric assessments have long been a recognised tool in the business world to help HR departments manage the recruitment process more effectively and to find the people with the most appropriate skill sets for the role they are recruiting for.

These assessments evaluate someone’s abilities and aptitudes, as well as behaviour, to give a rounder, more detailed picture of their strengths and their potential than can be gauged from an interview alone.

But now psychometric assessments are being put to a very different use – as a way of re-engaging underachieving or disruptive students with education.

How did it begin?
The idea was borne from Sharon Ferguson, a parent with two children at St Benedict’s, a Catholic upper school in Suffolk, who noticed the difference in how her daughters approached their schoolwork. As a consultant at Thomas International, a leading psychometric assessment company, with an extensive knowledge of these assessments, Sharon decided to profile her daughters.

The results showed that her younger daughter was as intelligent and talented as her older daughter. In fact, she processed information more quickly, which meant that she was bored and frustrated in lessons. The results of the assessment helped…


School Leadership Today