We often hear that what matters is parental engagement. One way to achieve this is to keep parents informed about their child's progress and attainment. How do we know this? Because there are plenty of research studies that show this to be the case.
Posts by Terry Freedman
If you attended the recent ed tech extravaganza, aka Bett, you will know how easy it is to become carried away when you see a new product. You may well be tempted to take advantage of any special Bett prices, but it’s worth taking a step back. The key questions should always be:
The consequences of pupils arriving late or missing school altogether can be long-term and life-changing, as we saw in our article entitled The importance of being there. There is clearly a great deal to be said for MATS to get their attendance and other data in as early as possible, but it would be even better if pupils at risk could be identified before absenteeism and other poor habits become entrenched.
Last year seemed to witness a tipping point. Suddenly, developments that had been bubbling away for years appeared to have reached a level of maturity in terms of technical capability, if not (so far) price. This is especially true in the area of virtual reality as experienced through headsets such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, which makes it possible to ‘walk around’ a three dimensional representations of a person or object.
Ofsted. The mere mention of the organisation is enough to strike fear into even the stoutest of hearts. It’s very easy for senior leaders to inadvertently create even more workload for their staff in order to demonstrate to inspectors that the school has everything covered. Sometimes, an increase in workload cannot be avoided. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to inspections some of the advice ‘out there’ is almost designed to lead to a great deal of unnecessary work. One thing a MAT can do is lay down a few rules for its schools which, while perhaps not reducing the anxiety of an inspection, may at least keep the workload under control.
One of the advantages of having several schools under one umbrella, such as in a local authority or a multi-academy trust, is that you are able to draw on a much wider pool of data than would otherwise be the case. In effect, you can avoid the 'bubble' phenomenon.
Truancy can have dreadful consequences for a child's life chances. Even absence from primary school can affect a pupil's GCSE results, as we saw in the article Spotting truants before it is too late. Groupcall Emerge can play a large part in identifying patterns of truancy, but then how do you get those kids back into school?
Headteachers may balk at the potential loss of control they may experience if their school joins a multi-academy trust. However, there are plenty of potential advantages of doing so. An obvious one is economies of scale in terms of the bulk-buying of items like printer paper and other essentials. Perhaps less obvious, though, is the potential to afford higher specification communications systems, including wireless technology -- both through each school and between schools.
So, you've decided to implement a new system in school. Maybe it's a different way of reporting to parents, or a new way of assessing pupils without using grades or levels, or something really major like implementing a new MIS. Whatever it is, and no matter how large or small the project, chances are that at some point you will consult with other people to find out their views.