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.
There is one constant source of teacher dissatisfaction, often cited as the main reason for leaving the profession. You guessed it: workload. Survey after survey, over several years, have told the same story. Teachers want to do the best job they can, but there are so many demands on them, not least in admin-related work, that many end up working far too many hours.
We've all heard about them and laughed at them: those school reports that look as though they're saying one thing but are in fact saying something quite different. "Has an imaginative approach" could mean "Makes paper aeroplanes out of the worksheets". "Good at decision making" might mean "Bosses the other kids about and doesn't listen to their point of view".
Safeguarding. It’s a term we in education have become used to, but what does it really mean? Most teachers probably think it’s about protecting children from bullying, cyberbullying, and inappropriate content or behaviour online. But a brief glance at the Government's Safeguarding website demonstrates that there is much more to it:
The rise in teacher workloads has meant that teachers are spending more time dedicated to their profession, with less time spent on themselves. Teachers have cited planning, marking and data tasks as the biggest cause of their increased workload, yet with the right technology these tasks can be reduced, meaning teachers can spend more time teaching while at the same time achieve a better work-life balance.
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.
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.