FAQs: Transferring from SPTO

If you're thinking of making the switch from SPTO to Insight, or you have already and you're wanting some guidance on getting started, we've included some FAQs and useful things to consider below.

We know switching software is never easy and can be daunting, so if you have any questions at all then do get in touch.

Can we transfer historical data from SPTO into Insight?

We can help you transfer your historical teacher assessments into Insight. See our guide here on the best way to export and send us your data. We can import your historical summative teacher assessments and any test scores. We'll put teacher assessments into Insight in a read-only format which allows for basic analysis of historical attainment and progress.

We can also help you add any set of statements you'd like to track against. Unfortunately we're not able to import formative assessments against objectives into Insight, but have always found that if teachers are happy to assess where children are in Insight for the current term, you usually don't need the historical objective data transferred across (as long as you have a copy of it somewhere for reference).

Can we assess using SPTO's hashtag methodology in Insight?

The system of assessment designed by SPTO, which includes the use of hashtags as points modifiers, is a proprietary methodology which isn't available to use for assessment within Insight. If you're thinking of switching from SPTO to Insight, the real question will be around what sort of assessment methodology you'd like to use going forwards.

Insight is designed to be as customisable as possible around the two main forms of assessment that schools use:

  1. Linear progression models of attainment
    Many schools still choose to assess pupils on a linear scale of steps, with an attached 'expected rate of progress' for each year. You can assess this way in Insight, using any terminology and number of steps you choose. You can include optional 'mastery' steps for children deepening their knowledge of the year's curriculum, and track progress in points. We often see schools using steps along the lines of:
    Y1 E
    Y1 D
    Y1 S
    Y1 M ...
    Y6 M
    This is the closest fit for the assessment model designed by SPTO, in a simpler format. If your school has a well-defined set of criteria for making these types of assessment (eg it's clear what a pupil assessed as a "Y2 D+" can and can't do) and you're happy that you can explain what a point of progress means within your approach (something we've heard inspectors ask!) then we're more than happy to set up Insight to match how you assess.
  2. Point in time models of attainment
    Increasingly we're seeing schools move away from linear models of assessment, which often encounter many of the same issues that were prevalent under levels. Many of the announcements from the DfE, Ofsted and others (see James Pembroke's brilliant post "Arm Yourself!") are encouraging schools to completely re-think assessment, to make sure it's simple, meaningful and useful for teaching and learning. There's a shift away from onerous, complicated, tick-box tracking and from the need to be able to measure progress in points.
    This encouragement has led many schools to move to a simple, point-in-time framework for teacher assessment. If a pupil understands what has been taught so far then they are secure/expected regardless of time of year; if they don't, then they are below. You might have various bands that you group pupils into, to differentiate them further, but pupils aren't expected to start the year at one step and end at another. Progress at a cohort level is monitored through reports which compare current attainment to different, relative start points (rather than measured in points). Teachers can then talk about progress the specific needs of individual pupils and what is being done to close gaps. This kind of approach is a radical move away from levels, and has been readily accepted by Ofsted - “a breath of fresh air” was some recent feedback. 

Are there any other differences to consider?

We've worked hard to keep Insight as simple and easy to use as possible. We've deliberately kept the number of reports down to a handful, and kept a tight focus on assessment tracking (ie we don't offer additional modules like behaviour tracking). In Insight, you'll probably see fewer reports, which are designed to be dynamic and provide different sets of data about various pupil groups really quickly, as it's needed. This might take some getting used to, but we get great feedback on the usability of Insight and hope you'll love it!

Another philosophical difference between Insight and many other systems is that if you choose to assess formatively against objective statements in Insight, Insight won't generate a summative teacher judgement based on those formative assessments. We believe that no formula can replace teachers' professional judgement. Feedback from schools transferring to Insight in the past has been that generated judgments often don't match what a teacher knows about a child, and teachers end up having to fudge objective-level data... the last thing we want. The good news is that in Insight it's easy for teachers to make formative assessments and to record their teacher judgments based on the available information.

Does Insight include support and training?

As part of your subscription, all staff have access to our "Help" menu, where you can find our contact details. We've available by phone 9am - 4.30pm Monday - Friday and by email, and you can contact us in the holidays too.

We generally find that schools don't need on-site training to get started, but once you're up and running you can book a training webinar here, and/or staff can get in touch for support as and when needed. We also have a growing set of help guides, and a discussion forum where you can talk with other Insight users. We're even on Twitter if that's your thing!

Does Insight offer MAT-level reporting?

Yes, Insight has a MAT-level reporting tool called Mosaic. Get in touch if you'd like to know more.

Is Insight likely to close down as well?

Insight is an established product which we've been running for more than 10 years. We've grown entirely by word of mouth, and continue to grow each year. We care deeply about growing sustainably, so that we can can continue to offer the high quality support that schools tell us they love. We're here to stay!

I'm in! What are the next steps?

If you haven't already, check out our demo video here. From there, you can then book a consultation call if you have more questions, or start a 60 day free trial. We'll help you get set up and get your historical data and any statements loaded in, all at no charge. You'll have full access to our support during this time as well.


How did we do?