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My e petition has been approved Sign up to protest the e reporting nonsense

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by scruffycat, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Here is the context

    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop the
    unnecessary spending of tax payers? money on an electronic
    'home' access reporting system

    External internet access to their management information system
    (MIS) should be rejected on the following grounds; the
    expenditure on such a system would be better spent on the
    education of students not replicating internal systems that
    already exist. Schools already send 1 statutory report to
    parents per annum and use modern communication methods such as
    the telephone when issues arise thus the system is unnecessary.
    Parents will have to be educated into the finer details of each
    schools personalised assessment system if it is to allow better
    communication with increased secondary costs. Training parents
    and educating them to follow data protection law and maintain
    updated strong passwords requires substantial additional
    resources and will incur significant cost. The hard to get
    parents are precisely that because they choose not to engage
    with school. Creating an electronic way to communicate will
    not change this situation. Discerning and concerned parents
    contact the school directly and arrange for face to face
    contact this will not change.

    and the link

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Stopereporting/
     
  2. Here is the context

    We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stop the
    unnecessary spending of tax payers? money on an electronic
    'home' access reporting system

    External internet access to their management information system
    (MIS) should be rejected on the following grounds; the
    expenditure on such a system would be better spent on the
    education of students not replicating internal systems that
    already exist. Schools already send 1 statutory report to
    parents per annum and use modern communication methods such as
    the telephone when issues arise thus the system is unnecessary.
    Parents will have to be educated into the finer details of each
    schools personalised assessment system if it is to allow better
    communication with increased secondary costs. Training parents
    and educating them to follow data protection law and maintain
    updated strong passwords requires substantial additional
    resources and will incur significant cost. The hard to get
    parents are precisely that because they choose not to engage
    with school. Creating an electronic way to communicate will
    not change this situation. Discerning and concerned parents
    contact the school directly and arrange for face to face
    contact this will not change.

    and the link

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Stopereporting/
     
  3. actually we already use e-reporting and its great! no extra workload, just what is already on the system gets send electronically. Perhaps the ICT forum isn't the best place for this as many of us prefer paperless systems
     
  4. oc7

    oc7

    An ePetition against eReporting, for some reason I find this amusing

    :eek:)

     
  5. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    From the BECTA website -
    "By September 2008 all secondary schools will be expected to provide information to parents covering achievement, progress, attendance, behaviour and special needs, on a timely and frequent basis ? this should be at least once per term.

    By September 2010 all secondary schools will need to offer parents real-time access to this information (including the opportunity for secure online access) wherever are (sic) and whenever they want.

    Primary schools must meet the basic requirement by September 2010 and the real-time requirement by 2012, though many are already on this journey."

    What is meant by the "basic requirement" for Primary schools does not seem to be clear. Is it once a term minimum, as for secondary schools?
    Presumably it will mean reporting more than once a year, as most primary schools now do.

    The main issue seems to me to be, Does it mean *more* reporting?
    If it does, then the 'interim reports' to coin a phrase, will consist of grades only?

    eReporting does not mean access via the internet to the school's MIS. It just means that reports have to be produced in some sort of file format (pdf) which can be put up on the school's website (or VLE?)



     
  6. Yes, oc7, me too.

    Of course, if so many people hadn't encouraged the Gov't by paying so much lip service to the ridiculous e-learning **** they also peddle then maybe we wouldn't be here.
     
  7. This is the perfect forum to discuss it. Those that know my posts are aware I am hardly a luddite. I am not discussing Vle or MLE's, its the cost of making them portal based (whic RM and capita will gladly recieve = 1 school approximately £5000 X all the schools in the country) and the continual cost of educating parents on how to use and keep data secure (the admin phone cvalls and follow up) And what exactly does the 2010 target achieve? Better commmunication? I doubt it.

    Paperless might be ok for ICT staff but not for all. will it not force a one size fits all reporting hoop jumping assessment system in the long term?

    Also are you happy as a tax payer to be paying the cost of implementing a portal, having it administering at a fair cost so that a small minority log on to view a report that they can request by email. It's the cost I object to as an unnecessary extra system.

    Post 2# What is the cost of ensuring all parent emails are uptodate (phone calls, chasing etc). How secure is the sent email and how often is this the case across all subjects in a real time way?

    Post 3# e petition is the only way to try and reach the masses. But lol the irony had not passed me by.

    Post 4# You cannot secure confidential reports without a security enabled database of sorts. This requires significant investment and training and communication with parents to even get it off the ground. My guess is it will be used by the 15-20% supportive parents and that is it. Then the complaints will come that the data is only updated 3 times a year so it is no real use and only does what the old report does anyway.

     
  8. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    I'm still unclear about precisely how often primary schools have to update their reports.

    Also,
    although the termly reports may be produced by machine perhaps, the annual reports need comments - they presumably will be the same as the present annual reports except that the parents will receive a file instead of pieces of paper. What sort of file will this be (.doc, html, pdf, .txt)?

    Concerning security, do parents now have passwords to their own areas on school websites?
     
  9. Don't understand your concerns, Scruffycat.

    Now you're the defender of the taxpayer, yet you are happy about the thousands/milions pi$$ed away on VLEs that do nothing for learning and enable **** teachers to get paid for being ****. This reporting system has every bit as much value as the Moodles of this world. None.

    Is this petition going to impress your headmaster as much as having a VLE?

    Please; don't make me laugh.
     
  10. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    I may have got the wrong end of the stick altogether, but I didn't envisage this as parents having access to the school MIS.
    I thought that three times a year, a report would be made, but instead of sending it to the printer the software would send it to file. The file could then be accessed by the parent via the intenet.
     
  11. Post 8# We pay nothing in direct cost for our vle as we use moodle and this allows teachers to use as they feel fit. There is no compulsory use nor parental access unless departments want to. This allows them to choose to use the technology appropriately as part of their whole arsenal of weapons. A VLE has an educational emphasis, a reporting/assessment portal a reporting emphasis. I have no issue with a T & L emphasis at all.

    One of the stipulations of the 2010 orders is allow parents to check attendance, details and current attainment reports in 'real time'. This would mean that the system contained uptodate information at all times. This implies that staff would have to ensure that there is a regular input.

    Thus costs are:
    Cost of purchase of a robust and secure system - annual license
    Cost of data manager
    Cost of technology to allow this to be accesible to staff or they are duplicating their mark book.
    Cost of time to follow up and chase assessment from different subject areas
    Cost of training staff and parents to use the system
    Cost of issuing passwords and supporting parents

    Alternatively and probably the only way most schools will be able to achieve it;
    Schools use their current assessment system. Electronically produce the interim and final reports.
    Have a secure website portal to access them.


    So in this case we still have all the costs as above for parents to have the luxury of 3 times a year logging on to view what they already recieve on paper. Or by email if they request it.

    Seems a lot of cost and money to achieve what is already achieved using our current system.
     
  12. "Let's all do eReporting" is the dimwit idea of the week. The one this cretinous bunch of ******* of a government comes out with when it wants to distract from it's latest corruption, dishonesty and incompetence.

    "Wasted billions propping up Northern Wreck, and "fixed" it with behaviour that would be criminal in the Private Sector ? Then just announce you are going to pay people to lose weight."

    There's a continuous stream of ill thought out stupid ideas which inevitably seem to vanish into the ether.

    As (exactly) with VLEs some people will be ahead of the game, most people will be behind. No resources will be provided to schools, but quintillions will be wasted on RM or Crapita to "develop a system" which doesn't work. LEAs will employ yet more people to set up, purchase and run systems who haven't got a clue what they're doing, and waste yet more money.

    No trialling, no thought, no coherency. Just headline grab of the week. All politicians have done this, but this lot are just embarrassing.

    IMO the only purpose of e-petitions is to get targeted email lists for the Labour party. I would hazard a guess that sometime close to an election any signature to a petition will get "important government information" (e.g. Labour Party Propaganda) about that topic.
     
  13. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    I take 'real time' access to mean access via the internet to the latest report. The reports themselves have to be updated every term.

    I do not take it to mean that a parent has access to the current state of the school datbase entries for his/her child.

    The main impact seems to be an attempt to increase the frequency of reports - but if the interim reports are just grades/targets of some sort plus attendance then this will not be a huge increase in workload.
    However, any increase should be balanced by a decrease somewhere else, so the question should be asked as to what is going to be removed as a quid pro quo.

    BTW, the petition needs a rewrite. Some of its sentences are actually two sentences.
    The bit about the telephone as a modern method of communication is a bit odd too. Nothing wrong with the telephone, but it is about 140 years since it was invented.

    I agree with autismuk. LAs will fall for the hype from the usual suspects.
    The technolgy involved exists already, I believe.
     
  14. The difficult bit is getting a web front end to the data which will often be held in assorted different formats, Access, MSSQL, MySQL and various others etc.

    I think the best way is a one way export to a second database which has a simpler standardised format ; it is much quicker to write data export code than to access the real database directly. Then you run those export scripts once a week or whatever. This isn't "real time" but then there isn't any point in it being real time. If there are issues with a child whereby the parent wants day to day progress information this is better done face to face.

    This also improves security as only the data in the second database is accessible externally.
     
  15. Of course, as is usually the case, 90% of these lovely statistics that are so vital will have been made up in the heads of teachers who have no idea who the pupils are.
     
  16. Having read some of the posts I have gone searching the current literature and looked at the case studies and propoganda. Becta website Justification for use is parents want it... and yet the quotes miss the point and do not back up the government targets.

    ?I like the idea of being able to go online to see what he is supposed to be doing because quite often they do not tell you themselves.?

    This is not the e-reporting this is a learning platform?!

    ?In today?s society we have 24/7 access to all sorts of information ? I can check my bank account details whenever and as frequently as I need to, I don?t have to wait for a statement to come in the post. Why should I not be able to see information about how my children are doing at school in a similar way ? whenever and wherever I want as opposed to when the school send me a report or invites me to a parents evening??

    Yes Mr Parent but only if the system is updated real time and weekly with the increased costs as suggested already. Termly reports (the definition of timely given on the website) just means the report electronically, so no change there.

    So what exactly is the benefit? I just do not see when it will add £10000 per annum (my TCO of the system) for the next 10 years (£100,000 per school spent) or so and it will fail unless the funding is ring fenced.
     
  17. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    I agree, scruffycat.
    There seems to be a contradiction between what the parents are being led to expect and what the schools are being told to do.
    The parents are being led to expect a full, up-to-the-minute view of the child's database status, whilst the schools are being told to update the parents' view only three times each year.
     
  18. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    T34 - #12 - real time means exactly what it says. If Mr SIMS wants to know if his daughter is present at 1.20 during the lesson he can log in and see whether she has been registered as present for that lesson.

    It therefore DOES require access to your MIS. It also requires your staff to be doing electronic registration - a further cost for schools.

    #13 "This isn't 'real time' but then there isn't any point in it being real time." The only point with it being "real-time" is the Govt says it has to be.

    What next? - electronic toilet passes so parents know when their offspring go to the loo? I can see a future development here - turd length & weight analysis.

    Most Govt initiatives w.r.t. ICT are sh*t anyway that this is the natural corollary.
     
  19. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    DEmsley,
    "real time means exactly what it says..."
    "It therefore DOES require access to your MIS."

    As autismuk said, there needs to be a buffer "database" between the school database and the parents, IMO
    Electronic registration systems could write to this buffer and to the school database, everyday.
    Parents would have access to the buffer only.

    For other items of information, such as behaviour/marks/grades/comments there needs to be a formal set time at which the information in the buffer is updated. This sort of data needs to be carefully looked at, checked and perhaps amended before being made available to parents. This is not because of any attempt to mislead, but because of the possibility of raising unnecessary anxieties due to errors, having to rush or individual teacher's idiosyncracies. If you are preparing a report for anything, in teaching or elsewhere, you want to present the completed report, not the draft versions.

    Actually, 'real time' access to a child's attendance data might not be a bad idea.
     
  20. None of us seem to really understand what the implications of this dictate will be. It is clear that the guidance is unclear.

    We like a number of schools do not use direct electronic registration. There is no legal requirement to as far as I am aware.

    We use OMR registration. Which is then uploaded to the system during that morning. So you might say the data would be available after lunch.

    As for real time marking it just simply would not happen.

    So money spent to allow a parent to view their report on a screen and download it rather than it being sent or handed to a student to take home. Ummmmm!!!!

    Money spent on allowing them to log onto the system to check daily attendance rather than a phone call. OK I accept this can be 24/7 but is it really necessary? Ummm!!!!!

    So what exactly is the gain then? Ummm!!!!!
     

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