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Parental online reporting - £20M for the UK every year? Wasting taxpayers money again.

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by oopsaflower, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Deadeline for Sept 2010 - online parental reporting. Where are you up to? Can I buy shares in Crapita? They must be making a fortune out of the 20,000 schools and colleges in the country.
    I've just been quoted nearly £10K to put an online reporting system in place at my college, linked to sims. All this will do is provide a log-in for parents to see attendance records, a few general progress grades and a couple of comments. Isn't this a waste of money? We have a very effective monitoring ststem for attendance and parents are infromed of progressand potential issues half termly now.
    Balls - stop wasting taxpayers money!! (More importantly, stop generating new initiatives that are silly, time-wasting and duplicating stuff we already do).
    This money should be used to e.g. buy some duckhouses or a few extra flats for MPs.
  2. Deadeline for Sept 2010 - online parental reporting. Where are you up to? Can I buy shares in Crapita? They must be making a fortune out of the 20,000 schools and colleges in the country.
    I've just been quoted nearly £10K to put an online reporting system in place at my college, linked to sims. All this will do is provide a log-in for parents to see attendance records, a few general progress grades and a couple of comments. Isn't this a waste of money? We have a very effective monitoring ststem for attendance and parents are infromed of progressand potential issues half termly now.
    Balls - stop wasting taxpayers money!! (More importantly, stop generating new initiatives that are silly, time-wasting and duplicating stuff we already do).
    This money should be used to e.g. buy some duckhouses or a few extra flats for MPs.
  3. Completely disagree --this is about parental engagement, which is a huge factor in whether a child achieves or not. Isn't that worth it?
    In terms of Capita -- isn't your LA helping you and other schools find a solution to this? Its not up to individual schools unless they really want to do their own thing??
  4. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Yep we are doing it ot using capita - getting online attendance, rewards and behaviour, timetable for all parents to see. Parents like it many sit down with their child and discuss the day they have had - agreed its about engaging parents (yes its hard still to reach the hard to reach parents).
    For us it has focussed where we are and what we need to do.We still have not got reports online but we have now reviewed our reoprting process and parents now have great visibility - yes I hate Balls up but this actually works rather well - and no we are no in a leafy suburb but an inner city school drawing off high areas of deprivation!
  5. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    The problem is one of perception and cost. Why is the Government spending a fortune on a unified NHS IT system but not on schools?

    I don't know how far down the line you are gnasher2005 with this but there are so many issue and problems that have not been thought out by the Government when suggesting that this is a good idea that the mind boggles as to what they think *is* the purpose of this?

    Perhaps you could enlighten us as to how exactly this is going to engage the parents with the learning of the students?

    The information to be given by statute is so minimal and vague that it will not help to engage parents at all. Rather the opposite in fact - it is going to be unused by the vast majority and abused by the vociferous minority to meddle and interfere with the day-to-day running of the school. This is not parental engagement with the learning!

    Who should have access to what information is a minefield for the school to sort out. No Government thought has gone into that at all, where are the guidelines?

    • Student gets home - "why were you late to lesson 3?" thwack, smack.
    • 2 minutes past 1 - Office receives a call - "Why hasn't my son/daughter been registered in school? Have they wagged it? Where are they?"
    • SIMs records uncompleted registers - How many parents are going to use this as a reason to abuse the school and its staff? Probably not many but enough I suspect.
    Engagement is all about involving the parent in the *learning* of the student not the day-to-day minutii of running the school. Used on its own this is the wrong tool to engender engagement IMHO.

    In my view schools need to be encouraging the conversations about the learning that is taking place not what time they registered, what grade they got last term etc. Those are the conversations that encourage, enhance and improve learning (and hence the results) not the chance of beatings for lateness or phone calls about missed registers etc.

    Not once do Desforges and Abouchaar in their DfES report (http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR433.pdf) mention access to attendance data as being a useful or important part of engaging parents.

    The Byron Report (2009) is also worth a read: http://www.nextgenerationlearning.org.uk/ohnothingmuch

    Julie McGrane's article on http://www.teachingexpertise.com/articles/achieving-true-parental-involvement-1581 also makes interesting reading and she makes some excellent points on dialogue.

    Wow this is a long post for me. I'll finish it off with:

    • What exactly are you trying to achieve with this?
    • Why? If the only reason is Government initiative then why follow this one and ignore others?
    • What proportion of parents are going to:
      • Use it
        • Find it useful
          • Understand it
        Schools should have a VLE. Wouldn't parental access to that be more likely to engage parents with the work the students are doing and improve the learning discussions that take place rather than the dry and dull statistics we're trying to foist upon them?

        Last Point: If parents thought more up-to-date information of this kind were helpful wouldn't they have asked for it under the Freedom of Information Act before now?
  6. Respect, DEmsley
  7. T34

    T34 Established commenter

    I'm mystified why parents should want reports - meaning end-of-year or end-of-term reports on the internet.
    Since they are renewed at most three times a year what is wrong with a piece of paper?
  8. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I'm surprised to see such views in the ICT forum, from people who are presumably espousing the benefits of on-line statements, billing, etc., to their students in both financial and environmental terms.
    Pieces of paper have a cost, of course, in both materials and labour for collation, etc. - assuming that the reports are only available on-line, then £20 million probably isn't far off the cost of paper reports for a year. I can't really see how it would cost £20 million a year on an on-going basis, though - that sounds more like an initial set-up cost.
    Our reports have been on-line for a number of years, and the benefit is that they're all kept in one place, so parents and students can look at any report, from any year, at any time*. As far as I can see, this doesn't contradict any report's recommendation that there should be good communication between home and school!
    The downside of our system is that we send out paper copies as well. We're not a mainstream school, though, and our students log in to our web-site most days.
    * I'm always intrigued that the SLT are so obsessed with the idea that we shouldn't write the same thing for two students, when it's unlikely that a parent will see two students' reports, yet they never check that you haven't written the same thing two years running for one student.
  9. We provide parents with their childs target grade, and report their current attainment every term. We also colour code the grades according to whether they are ahead of, on schedule or behind schedule for reaching their target.
    This information is displayed online ot parents anytime they wish to view it, and the grades build up term by term to provide trendlines and target areas become obvious where parents can intervene with their children or contact the school.
    This sort of quality data is extremely useful for students to know, staff to know, and definitely for parents to have available and at their fingertips. It makes parents more empowered, involved, and informed about their children's progress term by term. It makes for more informed discussions among all three sets of stakeholders
  10. It must take ages to fabricate this made up, pointless, silly 'data'.
    One can only admire your hard work.
    Thank goodness you have state-of- the-art it to propogate this ***
  11. I'm always amazed by Humans. Take John Brown, for example. He usually wins dick-of-the-month for his posts yet even he can kick the occasional braincell into action and come out with some sense.
    1) We now spend every half term "assessing" each child's level in ICT.
    2) To do this, we use the most woolly, subjective criteria possible.
    3) This makes any level, any sublevel purely subjective.
    4) This also makes it impossible to make meaningful comparisons across schools.
    5) It does allow you however, to show "progress", even if it is pure rubbish.
    6) This satisfies Heads and politicians.
    7) Add in the secret ingredient, 'targets' and you have a system that can be described.
    8) Once you have a system, you can keep adding to it. Teachers beware! You will be asked to generate more and more and more and more numbers for "analysis" using more and more and more of your time.
    9) We have now given up trying to do this assessment. We just make up grades after each block of work to show progress towards 2 levels of progress between KS3 and KS4. It takes 5 minutes and even that is a waste of everyone's time.
    10) The whole pointless exercise is utter utter c R ap.
    So let's all report it to parents and present it means something.
  12. Oh, I forgot to mention. All of this is supported by LEAs, putting on huge numbers of the most idiotic time-wasting courses, trying to get some sense made out of the New Orders amongst practical Heads of Department. Becta - HA! They're still brown-nosing their way to this year's bonuses and wouldn't be critical of anything except not enough red smarties in a tube, they're so pointless.
    Time for work ....
    Ready to rock .....
    Feel gooooodddddd ......
  13. Not at all - it's already in the MIS. Just a matter of having it display automatically on the parents site. That's the beauty of it - no extra work. [​IMG]
    That must appeal to even you John??
  14. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Which planet are you on dinohunter?
    No extra work? Have you started looking at this issue yet?
    There's a shed load of extra work generated by this issue and no-one in Government has grasped this nettle.
    A small subset of the questions needing answers:
    • WHICH of the data do you release, to whom?
    • How do you safeguard the students?
    • Which parents, of the number that each student has, are entitled to access to the data?
    • How do you ensure that this information (as in who is entitled to it) is kept up-to-date?
    • At what point does a student have the right to prevent access to the data? Is this age related?
    • Should a parent have access to the data about the child's home address? Is this true for all parents?
    The list off issues to tackle is so long that we've delayed our proposed launch of this from Jan 1 to TBA.

  15. How hard this is depends on the MIS you use, some are designed to do it 'out of the box'. There was no extra work for us to share attendance, behaviour, attainment, progress and digital copies of letters, reports, SEN papers etc with parents as our system is designed to do it and we already allowed teachers to access the MIS from home to support flexible working.
    The controls of which data is released is easy to switch on and switch off by each module on the MIS, the connection is https:// secure and parents have user names and passwords. The parents who are the official contacts on the MIS, as in who we would confidentially send letters to, get access- much more secure than kids carrying reports home in bags and leaving on the bus, the system does not show parents a photo or address, but does show this to teachers.
    We have an 'enter once use many times' approach to data- we all used the system for registers, logging behaviour, putting in assessment levels for the old in-school systems, this data is now shared with parents with colour coded target tracking. It is extremely well used by parents and we have systems in place to support parents who have problems with access to IT, such as 6 times a year automatically generated paper summaries. We have saved lots of time as we no longer write traditional reports, teachers don't do anything extra to generate online reports. We also have training workshops to help parents use the information and a dedicated parents web site with articles on supoprting learners at home and annoucements for parents.
    I wouldn't say change your MIS just to do online reporting, but at least review if your MIS is working for you annually and be prepared to look at better systems than the norm, the questions in DEmsley's post are good, but not hard to deal with if you have the right MIS.
    Other schools who have cracked it can be found at www.ict-register.net under 'themes' and 'parental engagement'
    We've been doing it since 2007 and it was no more work than generating the user names and passwords. The work was done years before when we gave teachers web access to the MIS- which is a scandal that many schools expect teachers to mark work at home and put in grades and comments on the MIS but don't let them access the system from home so they have to work late and organise child care when they could do all that when the kids are in bed.
  16. scruffycat

    scruffycat New commenter

    No contractual obligation to do any of this at home. Nor could there ever be under european law. If you want me to do it make it directed time and secondly give and pay for the equipment. You will still have to meet the needs of those that chhose the non technology method (both staff and parents) and as such is why systems like this will never take off. They will be underused over developed wastes of space.

    But then I like seperating wokr and play.. staff say to me 'I want a laptop for home working' and I say 'Do you want to have the expectation of doing this this and this at home? They tend to think about it and go away.
  17. Hi Everyone,

    I apologise upfront if posting about products/services are not allowed, I couldn't find anything within the terms and conditions, if this is the case then delete this post.

    We understand that primary schools are required to report, online to parents, by September this year, we are a new start up organisation who are offering a student reporting solution to meet this requirement, at a very competitive price.

    Features include;
    - Attendance/Target reporting
    - Mobile/Tablet friendly
    - Relationship manager
    - Child Profile with post tagging

    If anybody is interested in any further information or want to schedule a demo, please contact us using the form located on our website: http://tinyurl.com/6n8fo8u or email us directly at sales@studentreport.co.uk

    Thank you
  18. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I thought the idea of an MLE as a requirement for schools had been scrapped now..... I think you may have understood wrong.
  19. Thanks for getting back to me, I haven't heard any new information regarding the scheme being scrapped?

    Could you point me to somewhere where I can find this? I've looked on education.gov.uk and it still states online reporting has to be done by September, although it does state at the top, all material is currently going through review, it doesn't explicitly say it's been scrapped.
  20. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I contacted the DFES about a year or so ago after the demise of BECTA in the quango cull. I was informed then that the "current" requirements to have an MLE had vanished along with BECTA. However you may well be right to say that at some point in the future there will be a requirment to reinstate the parental side of a vle, however until I am told to do this I really am not going to bother....
    Why don't you give them a ring?

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