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A Case Study:
North Birmingham Academy

Goal: For all students to leave the school with outstanding life and employability skills for work and social life in the 21st Century. 

Outcome: North Birmingham Academy became one of the top 100 most improved state schools in the UK. Staff engagement and teaching has dramatically improved. Student aspiration, behaviour and performance has been transformed.

"One of the best things about my job is meeting extraordinary people from every walk of life. Business people, forces, police, NHS, government, education and a whole host from the voluntary sector. But amongst all these people, those supporting and encouraging young people, are often the most inspirational to me.


Being a headteacher is never easy. Being the head of a school like North Birmingham Academy, in one of the most deprived areas of the country, with a wide array of social problems, is especially hard. This is why, when I met Kim Popratnjak, I realised I had just met someone a bit special. Her energy, vision and determination, were exceptional and the team around her as committed as she was.


One student stands out to me. I met him at a school open day, at the end of the summer term. He had come in specially to see me, as he had officially finished at the school. He told me that before encountering Packtypes he had been getting in trouble with police. That he was on a slippery slope, going nowhere. He then went on to tell me everything he had learn about Packtypes, about himself and about the future he wanted. He told me he had taken his Packtypes Cards with him to a job interview, and used them to help him talk about himself. He got the job. He looked me in the eye, shook, my hand and thanked me for helping him. This is just one reason amongst thousands, why I love using Packtypes with schools and young people."

Will Murray, Founder Packtypes

Turning around a struggling school

“Increased self and social awareness and enhanced self-esteem are the keys to us achieving our goals as a school.


I want all our students to leave us as confident, articulate and aspirational young people that we can be proud of, with huge employability skills for life and work in the 21st Century.


We are using Packtypes to get students talking openly about themselves, identifying any barriers to their learning and in helping them overcome those barriers. 

You can actually see the difference in self-esteem, confidence and academic performance since we introduced Packtypes. There’s no doubt that Packtypes has helped us raise the aspirations and understanding of both our staff and more recently, our student body.


As one of the UK’s top 100 most improved state schools, I think there is no doubt that using Packtypes to transform self and social awareness has had a huge impact in relation to our performance against Ofsted expectations.” 

Kim Popratnjak, Principal 

Introducing Packtypes to staf

Launch Day 

Packtypes was launched to all 150 NBA staff through an exciting training day where every member of staff was trained on Packtypes and equipped with their own Packtypes Professional Pack. The day received incredibly positive feedback, being rated by staff as the ‘most valuable inset day ever run at the school’. The day was inspiring and provided the platform to launch our Packtypes initiatives across the whole school. 


Staff Engagement 

Staff trained in using Packtypes to enhance learning and relationships have built stronger relationships with students and colleagues. They have particularly fed back how much better equipped they feel to deal with a wide range of different behaviour amongst students, colleagues, and parents. 

Introducing Packtypes to students 


Special events took place right across the school to launch Packtypes to our students. Each year group had a programme tailored to their specific needs.


Launch to Year 7 and Year 8 Packtypes 

Launch events took place for all Year 7 and Year 8 students and new tutor groups were formed according to the Packtype profiles. These year groups have been assessed by the school as ‘the best behaved year groups ever’, displaying excellent attitudes towards learning, lessons, teachers and school in general.

Other Packtypes Student initiatives at the school included:
  • Packtypes Student Ambassadors trained and appointed. 

  • Packtypes used as part of intervention work with students within our ‘Access to Learning’ programme. 

  • Staff used Packtypes to plan and deliver special learning support to two specific groups of underachieving students: Year 10 Girls and White British Boys. 

  • Packtypes EQ (self and social awareness) Report Cards used to help students set and review their own self and social awareness targets.

Packtypes Coachdog Buddies

We introduced a ‘Packtypes Coachdog Buddy’ system for any Student placed on ‘Phase 4’ of our Behaviour Policy and required to move classrooms. We called the programme ‘Coachdog Buddies’, because Coachdog is the Packtype most associated with, empathy, listening, care and relationships.


‘Coachdog Buddies’ are dedicated and committed members of staff, who have received additional Packtypes training, and whose task it is to support and listen to, students who require additional behavioural and attitudinal support. 

This programme has led to multiple, highly purposeful, and beneficial discussions and had a really positive impact on the behaviour of these especially needy students.

Packtypes EQ Arts Week

The Packtypes EQ Arts Week for all Key Stage 3 students was a massive success. 

Students gave amazing performances based on Packtype behaviours and were also given tasks to do associated with each Packtype. The opportunity to recognise, explore and develop behaviours outside their comfort zone proved enlightening.

Case Study Results:

North Birmingham Academy – Key Cultural Indicators 


There are always certain ‘Key Cultural Indicators’, (KCIs) that provide a clear view of the health of any business or organisation. These are not just ‘performance indicators such as turnover, profitability etc, but behavioural indicators that let you know whether that organisation is on the right path or not.


In the case of North Birmingham Academy, the story could not have been clearer.


As a result of introducing Packtypes across the school:

  • Detentions decreased by 32% 

  • Exclusions reduced by 75% 

  • Serious incidents decreased by 35% 

  • Student engagement at functions and clubs increased 40%  

School Behaviour Policy 


A new School Behaviour Policy incorporating Packtypes was launched focusing on the key positive behaviours associated with each Packtype. The result has been that every student who needs it can have a Behaviour Programme designed around their individual needs and requirements that complements their specific strengths. As a result, every student now feels valued and validated.

Example Student A - Incident Log

At the start of year 8, Student A was excluded. They were regularly verbally abusive to members of staff and found it extremely difficult to recognise when they were in the wrong, it was always someone else’s fault. They experienced real anger issues. Using Packtypes with them helped to significantly speed up their process of reintegration.


Student A is now a leader and role model to a group of Year 7 students whose behaviour has been quite challenging. Developing his self and social awareness and social skills through using Packtypes, has been the main reason for this speedy transformation.

Example Student B - Incident Log

Student B was part of a Packtypes based program designed to illustrate to young people how their behaviour and choices effects other people around them.


As a result of using Packtypes with them, Student B positively took control of and changed their own behaviour as the graph illustrates. Again, it was using Packtypes with them that empowered them to take ownership of their own behaviour and choices and learn how to adapt their behaviour and responses to the needs and behaviour of others.

NBA Incident Log_edited.jpg

Academic results

All 12 students who went through Packtypes academic intervention programmes are no longer Grade D. We also believe that increased self and social awareness creates more inspirational classrooms and more interested and engaged learners. 

Packtypes was also used with Post 16 Students to help them write their own personal development plans and in making their own college and job applications. 

Packtypes EISAF School Award

Our Emotionally Intelligent School Award presented to North Birmingham Academy for exceptional students and staff development. Of special note was the outstanding way they have used Packtypes to develop greater personal awareness, confidence, teamwork, leadership, and employability skills in their students.

What can we learn from North Birmingham Academy's Experience?

'Seeing children and young people learn incredible things about themselves and each other, and as a result start taking responsibility for their own attitude and behaviour, is one of the most rewarding things I have ever witnessed. Their ever-increasing ability to adapt their behaviour in response to different people and situations, makes them feel far more empowered and independent'.

Will Murray, Founder Packtypes 

Packtypes changes lives: Dramatic, but true! Nowhere is the power of Packtypes clearer than in schools where you see the course of students’ lives change in front of you. Dramatic impact like this is not limited to schools, as I have regularly witnessed similar transformations in the workplace.


Assessing behaviour and attitude is key: North Birmingham Academy were able to measure the dramatic impact of Packtypes because they were already measuring key student behaviours. Key behaviour measures (we refer to them as Key Cultural Indicators or KCIs) provide a more valuable perspective on organisational performance than standard outcome measures (KPIs).

Make development immersive: Don’t make enhancing performance a bolt on activity, make it central to the way you operate. Packtypes is so visual, you can feature it on walls, doors, offices, shopfloors etc. inspiring people to keep looking for new ways to improve performance.


You can actually change the way people think and behave: Traditionally changing attitudes and behaviour has been extremely hard, but with Packtypes you can. Even in the hardest situations like prisons, young offenders’ institutes and schools with disaffected students, Packtypes inspires people to reassess their choices, responses, relationships and aspirations.


Personal ownership turbo charges improvement: However good your leaders and managers, the people best placed to drive improved engagement and performance, are the people themselves. Giving everyone their own Packtypes Pack and showing them how to use it, is pretty much guaranteed to improve your organisations performance.


People learn visually: Never underestimate the importance of making learning and development tactile, playful, and visual. When learning comes alive, it stops being an activity of last resort and becomes something people actively want to get on and do.


Improve performance one person at a time: Every person you engage using Packtypes, helps your organisation perform better. With full engagement in UK organisations running at a lowly 9%, it seems a tragic waste to not being using Packtypes with your staff, even if only in small way initially.

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