This school year, Ysgol Cae Top Primary in Gwynedd will this year be maximising the use of a resource that in July won them ‘Best Tech Adopter’ at the prestigious Wales Technology Awards. The tech in question? eeZeeTrip - made by Gwynedd neighbour Semantise Ltd!
As the external environment becomes more complex (law changes, penalty increases, more vocal and critical stakeholders, technology changes), more demands are placed on the leadership teams in schools. Coordinated crisis management in the short term is all very well. But is the training investment by the organisation keeping pace with the future needs of the school?
There are many benefits of changing the way a school manages student records, from traditional paper-based systems to electronic document management – saving space, increasing productivity, ease of audit preparation. But with the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) on the horizon, now more than ever is the time to act and review how you manage student and other files.
With new data protection regulations coming into force in May 2018, all organisations, including schools, will need to rethink how they manage personal data in order to comply fully. GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is designed to bring data protection up-to-date and provide greater protection to the individual. This will place more onerous requirements on schools to manage data well and more rigorously than current regulations permit. Penalties have also increased, making this a critical issue that cannot be swept under the carpet.
A review of Earwig Academic by Umesh Patel, ICT education consultant.
This year, the Department of Education once again decreed that Interim Assessments for KS1 and KS2 had to be supported by teaching evidence: “To show that pupils have met the standard, teachers will need to have evidence that a pupil demonstrates consistent attainment of all the statements within the standard.” (Source: Interim frameworks 2017, www.gov.uk)
As teachers, we spend our careers refining and honing our teaching skills. It makes sense, therefore, that any technology we use in school should enhance these skills or free us to use these skills better. As a teacher, I saw how this could happen, but also how commonplace badly designed software that didn’t have a positive impact was, as well as how many teachers struggled to plan and apply any technology well.
At Bett Academies (16-17 March, NEC, Birmingham), Tom Rees, headteacher and director of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (pictured above, far left), will be sharing his school’s journey to becoming part of Northampton Primary Academy Trust (NPAT). He will also be explaining why, for better and for worse, it’s a marriage worth maintaining. The seminar session at 14:55 on Friday 17th March is free to attend, and is designed to give schools alternative ideas around gaining academy status.
The organisation of school pupils into after school clubs and the associated admin has always been a complex and time consuming exercise for schools. Allocation of pupils to extra curricular activities, chasing parental consent slips and collecting fees can take days, and they’re generally dreaded tasks for school staff at all levels. This was the issue at Hilltop Primary School in Crawley before they enlisted the help of intuitive and wide-reaching activities management system SchoolsBuddy, which now saves at least one member of staff at the school a huge 25 hours a week of work.
In the drive to deliver cost savings without compromising on educational quality, schools are struggling to stay afloat, with budgets coming under immense pressure. Due to a combination of rising costs and pupil numbers, the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts that current school expenditure per pupil will fall by over 7% in real terms between 2015-16 and 2019-20. Consequently, many schools are continuing to search for innovative solutions to generate and maximise income, rather than solely cutting their budgets. Such institutions have a wide range of assets from which they are able generate income, however the key to success is ensuring that they have the most effective marketing and booking systems to maximise these opportunities.