DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: ADMIN

This is the year to finally sort problem paperwork within your school. You can improve safeguarding, productivity, space and compliance simply by improving the way you manage your student records, staff files and financial documents. Outdated ways of working can be transformed through a proven electronic document management system designed in collaboration with school business managers. Sound good? Here, school business manager Alison Jefferson shares how Durham Trinity School use mstore across student records, HR and finance...

“Clearing our filing cabinets has already created enough space to accommodate a new staff member, and we are really happy with the way mstore is transforming the way we work with documents.

“mstore was fast and easy to install; it works with our existing IT systems and software, including SIMS. We didn’t need to replace anything or learn how to use an entirely new system and the software is really straightforward to use. We can save and retrieve files quickly, and safeguarding is enforced more easily too.

Arena is very familiar with the legal obligations surrounding records management in schools, and we were confident from the start that they could help us to achieve our goals whilst remaining compliant with all of the rules. The service has been great, we have had no complaints and I have even referred other schools to them.”

The King’s School use mstore for finance and HR records. Finance manager Tammy Gaines explains: “Before we had mstore, there were folders all over the place. We have sensitive documents to protect so we kept them in locked cabinets, but we had no way of telling who had accessed what, or if they had changed things.”

UK schools are obliged to keep a record of who has accessed particular documents types such as those relating to child protection. mstore makes this easy by automatically auditing activity in the system.

mstore also saves time and space, says Tammy: “We file everything electronically now. We used to shred a lot of documents as we could not store them all; it’s reassuring to have everything backed up in case we need it. It is without doubt quicker and easier to find things in mstore rather than searching through cabinets.”

Recent analysis based on mstore's use in four education institutions shows that return on investment can be achieved within two years. Digital gets it done!

So your new (school) year’s resolution is not a tricky one to make. And with the support of Arena’s education specialists, the transition to better ways of working that finally ditch that problem paper keeps you focused on more important aspects of school life.

Visit www.arenagroup.net/education to read more case studies and access resources, or contact [email protected] / 0344 863 8000.

Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

Innovate My School kindly invited me to ruminate on the theme of "edtech that schools might want to know about in 20/1819". Given that the Department for Education recently announced five areas where they think technology has the ability to create real positive change within the educational system, this seems like a useful starting point. With the usual caveats around implementation, training, and contextualised procurement, here are my suggestions:

Assessment

The DfE states: "Technology has the potential to make assessment far more effective and efficient – while reducing the time teachers spend on marking."

The Edtech Podcast view: If you’re looking for assessment tools, make sure they do more than multiple choice questions, but less than a NASA control centre. The idea is that tools give a clear picture of ‘progress’, so that you can step in with your specialist knowledge of a student’s particular circumstances to support. Many assessment tools now use algorithms to ‘personalise’ learning for a particular student: see CENTURY, Third Space Learning, Watson Education. Assessment focused on identifying personal effort in group work is also surfacing as the demand for collaborative skills intensifies: see Cambridge Assessment and, more generally, Classroom Monitor, GL Assessment, Earwig Academic Timelines, Unio by Harness, Pobble (for Literacy) and HegartyMaths (for Maths) are just a few to review.

Teacher CPD

The DfE states: "We know that for many teachers, individualised training opportunities away from school can be hard won, but there are now more options to take up online training, which can be more flexible and more cost effective."

The Edtech Podcast view: We think this is a massive WIN area, offering continual support and learning for teachers and leaders in a fast-moving world. There are multiple tools and services out there (outside of Twitter, podcasts, Facebook groups, Medium blogs and YouTube channels). Check out the likes of TeacherTapp, Makematic, Spongy Elephant, The Chartered College of Teaching, TeachPitch, HES, BlueSky Education, Onvu Learning and many more.

Administration and saving teachers time

The DfE states: "Innovative new technology can reduce the administrative burden on teachers – saving time and money. Already, moving from server-based systems to the cloud has saved a number of schools thousands of pounds and hours of time.”

The Edtech Podcast view: We have visited schools where the focus on saving teachers time has allowed a laser focus on student support. This is usually driven from leadership with teachers and follows Dom Norrish’s ‘Implementation Effect’ (how the tool is implemented is far more important that the quality of the tool). Where this heavy lifting is done effectively, it allows for huge efficiencies to be made and for teachers to be spending their time. Services range from entire cloud-based VLEs, to niche products around school timetabling or communications. Check out the likes of Microsoft, Google, GroupCall, Wonde, Firefly, Show My Homework, Edval Timetables, and Airhead to get started.

Inclusion

The DfE states: "Technology can help access and inclusion for children with different backgrounds and abilities. This can be especially powerful in supporting students to learn alongside other children irrespective of their needs."

The Edtech Podcast view: The potential for technology to assist learners previously held back by more traditional learning is great. On the show, we have talked about how voice technology might enhance the learning opportunities for those with Dyslexia, and Microsoft has brought out some great tools and enhancements in this area. Many of the “famous” YouTube channels - like HegartyMaths, Khan Academy, and MisterWooTube - started as a way to allow students who were unwell to be able to keep up with their peers whilst in the hospital or in the home. Where class sizes or societal status are an obstacle to learning, personalised technologies allow students to progress. See Microsoft OneNote, Lyfta, Connect Design, Dolphin Assistive Technology, British Dyslexia Association resources, Mrs Wordsmith, Mister WooTube, Edovo, Digiexams, Xprize, One Billion.

Adult education

The DfE states: "In an increasingly automated world, jobs are changing fast. Many adults want to learn new skills, but have responsibilities that make returning to a classroom or lecture hall difficult. That is why, as part of our National Retraining scheme, we will be offering online adult learning courses, including in digital skills."

The Edtech Podcast view: This is an area which is truly exploding, as we see the likes of WeWork ride on the back of a huge freelancer economy and become new global mega-brands - seemingly overnight. These freelancers are well aware that lifelong learning isn’t just a nice-to-have, but a necessity for continued employment. Juggling multiple roles, “gigs” and caring roles, these adult learners are embracing flexible learning opportunities. See FlatIron, WhiteHat, FutureLearn, General Assembly, Facebook with Freeformers, DigitalMe, Pluralsight, Lynda.com, Hub42, HowNow and many more. Knowing and understanding this world is a good starting place for preparing young people as they start to consider what to do after school.

Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

‘Outstanding’? ‘Good’? ‘Less than ideal, but we’ll muddle along for another year’? How does your timetable fare? Asked to give their new school timetable an Ofsted rating, over 25% of teachers told us that they would place it in the ‘requires improvement’ category. Moreover, almost all described their timetable as less than ‘outstanding’, offering a real opportunity for SLT to make meaningful improvements before it’s too late.

If the summer term is a time of reflection, then the autumn term represents fresh starts. Improvements. New ways of working. Changes that make sense for the school. And what better place to start than the timetable? After all, it’s the most important document in the school, and key to success on every level.

With this in mind, we asked experienced headteacher and Edval consultant, Paul Phillips, how a school can improve its timetables at this stage of the year - with minimal disruption. Here’s what he said:

1. Improve your staffing

“For accountability reasons, it is vital that teachers and school leaders can maintain ownership of pupil outcomes. However, it’s equally important for students to build meaningful learning relationships with their teachers. Too many teachers resulting from split classes mean that students feel that they are not known by their teachers. They also demonstrate stress behaviours when the delivery consistency does not go smoothly.

“Teachers also rightly want planning time with their co-teacher, where split classes are a regular feature on their timetable. Without this, curriculum delivery, homework and marking can be a major issue, for teachers and students alike.”

2. Improve your lesson spreads

“With a far greater emphasis on maximising pupil progress, it is essential that the timetable supports effective learning and teaching practice. The ability to offer short but regular language lessons, double sessions for Science and Technology lessons, and avoiding two lessons on a day, allows teachers to better manage learning, marking, homework and time for reflection.

“Control of this area has for many schools been an ad-hoc affair. The power to reduce occurrences of inappropriate spreads, but also the ability to improve teacher spreads, and class spreads, means I can give teachers and students a better timetable experience.”

3. Improve your rooming

“Rooming can be a real headache in schools, and is often an afterthought in many schools’ timetables. But if you ask a part timer, or member of SLT, who has to navigate through corridors and up and down staircases with trolley and boxes of books, equipment and materials, then you will get a very blunt response to this aspect of the timetable!

“Schools with split sites, complex buildings across a campus, buildings with multiple and narrow staircases, need to put much more care into their rooming requirements. Having the tools on hand to maximise rooming quality can dramatically reduce staff and student movement across the timetable.”

4. Improve your option blocks

“Optimising option blocks is essential for all kinds of reasons. Giving students their options ensures greater satisfaction in offers, and enables students to progress more rapidly in subjects that they have chosen, and want to excel in. By focusing on optimising student preferences, I can have far greater control and understanding of student requests.

“For schools in a ‘deficit funding-led curriculum’ cycle, optimising option blocks allows for lean timetabling, the opportunity to drop classes and maintain high student satisfaction. It’s a vital tool in reducing staff costs, and it’s not too late to improve them.”

The year ahead

So why not take this opportunity to tweak your timetable with minimal disruption to the school community? Edval Improve services give SLT the opportunity to supercharge more than just the timetable, positively influencing staff morale, student learning and budget bottom lines in the process.

Challenge our experienced Edval consultants to work on your chosen timetable improvement area and refuse to settle for anything less than the best. Interested in finding out more? Say [email protected], or visit www.edval.education for more information.

Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

Everyone agrees: children do better when their parents show an interest in their school activities, help their learning, and praise their achievements. Attendance increases, children’s motivation is higher, and classroom behaviour, happiness and outcomes all improve. It’s no wonder that parent engagement is a key school priority, and a select intervention to help close the gap for disadvantaged children. So how are some schools getting it so wrong?

Wilbury Primary School had been letting out its facilities to the local populace for some time, however their local authority-managed booking service was deactivated at short notice. This, as you might imagine, brought about a wave of new headaches for the SLT. It was clear that they would struggle to manage the bookings internally as they didn’t have the necessary resources, and therefore needed to find a system that could replace and improve upon the previous one. To solve this issue, the school looked for an alternative provider.

Think safeguarding, and you probably think of keeping pupils safe during school hours, within the boundaries of the school walls. Often, out-of-hours and offsite activities are not tracked in the same way. This is largely down to existing school systems not being set up to deal with the bespoke nature of extracurricular activities - but this doesn’t mean safeguarding is any less important for these types of events!

When it comes to bringing together a school community through data-harmony, there can be a lot of hassle involved. As Tina Holmes, deputy safeguarding officer at Woodhouse West Primary School in Sheffield, discusses: “Admin for safeguarding and pastoral support can be an enormous challenge, especially regarding transition.”

A typically time-pressed Secondary school teacher, Rob spends most evenings planning lessons, marking work, grappling with new specifications, deciphering mark schemes and pondering issues of behaviour management. In his third year of teaching English, he enjoys his work, but increasingly feels there’s just not enough hours in the day. Oh, and he’s just learnt he’ll be picking up a GCSE Drama class in September…

With a history as long as ours, it won’t come as a surprise that we’ve learnt a thing or two about teaching boys along the way. The past 175 years has taught us much about understanding boys and how to motivate them to perform to the best of their ability. We greatly value our heritage and traditions, and our school motto - ‘Supera Moras’, or ‘Never Give Up’ - still inspires our way of thinking.

Haverstock School in Camden was re-built by Kajima in 2004. This was done with a central focus, by the local authority, to make the school a true community institution; operating as an integral part of the local area and fostering a sense of community cohesion. In the 13 years of close collaboration since, the school’s community access has been managed by Kajima Community. The results have been spectacular...

  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1  2 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
Page 1 of 2

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"