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Looking back: 16 articles you may have missed

by Henry Kilshaw on December 21, 2017

We at Groupcall have been publishing articles on our blog at the rate of once a week on average (recently increased to twice a week). That’s quite a few, and so we’ll forgive you if you’ve missed some. In case that is so, we’ve produced this guide to some of our most useful articles in various categories.

Of course, these categories are arbitrary to some extent. For example, truancy, data and safeguarding are related issues. But we hope this guide will provide a starting point should you wish to explore particular topics.

One last thing before leaving you to browse through the list. These days the trend is very much towards evidence-based education (and rightly so), and that is reflected in many of the articles on our blog. As far as possible, we’ve drawn on research from both here and the USA to explore the issues concerning schools today.


There’s a lot more to data than merely collecting numbers. Over the past year we’ve looked at various aspects of data, including these perspectives:

Setting the tone for the year

This article was based on the advice of management ‘guru’ Peter Drucker, who said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. Six areas are suggested as focal points. Although the article was originally intended for the start of the academic year, it still holds true for any MAT taking on a new school, or as a way of starting afresh in 2018.


Why you need meta-metrics

This article could have been sub-titled: It ain’t what you do, it’s how quickly you do it. Metrics (attendance, punctuality etc) are the lifeblood of education, but its also useful to know how quickly that data is being collected and collated.


Data protection

No doubt youve heard about the changes in data protection, but have your staff? Like safeguarding, data protection is a whole-school issue. These two articles provide a quick introduction to whats happening:

GDPR is coming…

Actually, its already here, as this article explains.


Data Protection

Look here for a brief guide to whats happening, plus links youll want to bookmark and follow up.


When should you appoint a data protection officer?

Do you even need to? This article explains the current position.


Safeguarding and truancy

As mentioned a moment ago, safeguarding is a whole-school issue. What does the term refer to?

The importance of safeguarding

As this article shows, it covers a lot more than e-safety. Read on for a brief intro to the governments safeguarding strategy, and how Groupcall’s Emerge can help you comply with it.


Children with disruptive home lives

For a look at this from a classroom perspective, read about David in this article.


Spotting truants before it’s too late

Weve put a couple of articles about truancy under the same heading as safeguarding because the two are linked more closely than you might imagine. Truancy can adversely affect a childs life chances. Even the odd authorised absence has been found to have a deleterious effect on examination results.


Using nudge theory to improve attendance and punctuality

Nudge theory is all about making small changes, such as in communicating with people, to effect a positive change in their behaviour. But its not just about getting people to submit their tax returns on time. Research suggests it might also work in schools to cut down on absenteeism and lateness.


Parental engagement

On the subject of communication, how well do you communicate with and engage parents?

Parental Engagement in Schools: Perception and Reality

Groupcall commissioned original research to delve into how schools communicate with parents, and what parents prefer. Some of the results will surprise -- and shock -- you. This is the first of six articles. Use them as a prompt to ask tough questions of your own schools’ practice.


Making your messages readable

Theres not much point in sending out texts and emails to parents if they cant work out what youre trying to say. This article explains some (perhaps surprising) facts, and includes a couple of links for you to check how your messages stack up in the readability stakes.


Multi-academy trusts and LAs

Many of the articles focus on local authorities and multi-academy trusts, but we thought they deserved a category of their own anyway.

The advantages of joining a multi-academy trust

Autonomy is great, but its also lonely -- especially when things go wrong. From a support perspective, joining a MAT has much to recommend it, as this article explains.



Here are a few articles that we could have squeezed into the above categories, but not being contortionists we decided not to.

Your parents live in a cashless society. Do you?


How translation software can help schools


Pupil champions



We hope you have found these and the other articles on Groupcall’s blog useful. We’ll be back in the new year, refreshed and ready for Bett. Have a good break, and we’ll see you then!

Looking back - 16 articles you may have missed