Truancy has been a problem for schools as long as memories serve, and isn’t going away easily. It hasn’t always had the same level of attention as other issues, such as funding, strikes or workload, but truancy is always there, and is something every school should be looking to tackle.
In addition to our previous blog, examining the difference in perception between parents, senior leaders and IT professionals, we are continuing to dissect the Parental Engagement Effectiveness Report to better understand the implications for schools. The topic in question this time is about where schools go wrong in reaching out to parents of children.
Groupcall commissioned a large-scale research survey that was sent to schools and parents, with a view to evaluating the effectiveness of parental engagement– as seen by parents and the schools themselves. As you might expect, there were sections where all parties aligned and some where they differed radically. While the entire report is available for download here, this is the first in a series of six articles that analyses the implications of the results.
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.
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.
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?
A well thought-out and integrated management information system (MIS) and other technology can provide a lot more benefits to a school than simply speeding up certain processes.
It's one of the big issues facing some schools: how do you make sure that all of them attend school? And punctually? It's not just a matter of making sure they're safe either: Ofsted requires every school to produce an attendance record.
There are several ways to keep children safe, both online and offline. Perhaps the first thing to recognise is that the two things are related. In an article entitled “Adolescents’ experience of offline and online risks: separate and joint propensities”, Anke Görzig states: