We are currently in the midst of one of the worst teacher shortages we’ve ever seen. Cuts to funding and an upsurge in teacher workload have left many questioning their place in the profession. In addition to the increase in planning, marking and feedback – let alone taking classes, teachers are increasingly having to prove their worth, with added pressures coming from both the Government as well as school Senior Leadership Teams.
Posts by Groupcall
According to the management guru Peter Drucker, the best way to predict the future is to create it. This applies very much to issues of attendance, truancy, lateness and general data gathering. It’s much easier to try to make sure things go right from the outset than to try to steer them back on course once they’ve gone wrong.
The Data Protection Act as we know and love it in the UK dates back to 1998 in its original form. It was a far-reaching, even visionary, piece of legislation. But at that time the web was in its infancy, the Google search engine was in beta mode and social media hadn’t been ‘invented’ — Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, was only 14 years old at the time.
Let’s start by examining the term ‘too late’. What does it mean: how long out of school is too long?
The surprising — and perhaps shocking — answer is that even one day out of school can affect a pupil’s academic achievement. In March last year, the Department for Education issued a press release summarising its latest research:
According to the University of Salford, as of September 2016, 2,075 out of 3,381 secondary schools in England had become academies and 2,440 of the 16,766 primary schools had gained academy status. However, the hitherto inexorable rise of multi-academy trusts may not necessarily continue completely unabated.
One of the key principles of a good Ofsted inspection is that when the final meeting occurs with a Head of Department, subject leader, or Principal, there should be no surprises. The last thing anybody wants is for the inspector to say "Everything is good except that you haven't addressed X", only for the interviewee to say "Yes we do, but you didn't ask for that information."
Given how efficient it is to use a management information system to keep track of absenteeism, communicating with parents and recording children’s progress (see What else can technology offer schools?), you’d think that every school in the country would find their MIS to be absolutely essential.
The 80:20 rule states that 80% of the outcome stems from 20% of the causes. In business, for example, it’s a commonly-held belief that 80% of sales comes from 20% of the customers, 80% of complaints arise from just the most difficult 20% of customers, and so on.
Having attendance and punctuality statistics available is a must: so far so obvious. These are the basic metrics a school needs in order to keep its children safe and on track. But have you ever considered the benefits of ‘meta’ metrics?