Teachers call for reduction in administration according to survey

91% of teachers in NSW reported administrative demands were a major hindrance to their core job according to a University of Sydney survey conducted in July 2018.

Around 18,000 primary and secondary public school teachers in NSW were involved in the Understanding work in schools: The foundation for teaching and learning survey and asked to rank the frequency of activities in schools across planning and preparing lessons, reporting to parents and playground duties.

Teachers believed data collection requirements such as administration, paperwork, data and reporting were delaying constantly move them away from their key focus – providing quality lessons to their students.

Sentral is a solution that helps teachers move away from the hassle of daily reporting, paperwork and administration. Sentral provides tools to make student assessment and reporting a breeze throughout their education lifecycle so teachers are able to spend their time on what matters most.

Here’s how most of Sentral users are evaluating student learning and differentiating their teaching to address students’ needs more:

Using target teaching methods

Sentral allows teachers to insert data and compile comprehensive insights to individualise student performance and tailor requirements for those performing or underperforming.

Save time

Did you know you can save time on collecting, managing and reporting by creating teacher friendly workflows? Spend time on what matters most with automatic templates to insert data.

Communicate better in and out of the school

Improve your communication frequency and quality with Sentral by sending reminders using the Parent Portal to notify parents of homework and assessment tasks and direct message parents about achievements or concerns – that way you can always remember what you said and track progress!

Analyse your class results and plan accordingly

Analyse class results and identify whether you need to amend classroom activities at the right classroom level. You can also easily analyse student, class or cohort performance to measure against internal standards.

For more details on how Sentral can help your school, visit www.sentral.com.au

Education and technology adoption delivering industry empowerment in the classroom.

Education software exists to drive the education industry to greater efficiency, so it can be said teachers of today are being empowered by technology more than ever before to help develop student academic performance.

One may not think of Schools as typical to adopt technology. However, this is all changing. While digital technology has been around for decades, over the last few years the education sector in Australia has invested significantly more than most high-achieving OECD countries across public and private schools according to the Education at a Glance 2018 report.

The application of technology such as Sentral Education’s web based software, has added innovative and paperless tools allowing teachers to spend more time interacting with students and identify learning patterns faster.

As today’s world continues to evolve and become more automated, teachers and administrators are asking for web-based software solutions to help seamlessly manage school administration, student data to empower and deliver results.

Without technology wasted time is spent on duplication of processes, lack of insight and the operation of different systems between schools.  New technology offers the possibility to review  inefficient methods and adopt a central process with transparency for both teachers, students and parents.

Helping to reduce excessive workload

The Education Training Directorate (ETD) claims that a reduction in face-to-face teaching hours is not the most effective or efficient way to reduce teacher workload. Back in 2015, the ETD in the Sydney Morning Herald proposed to reduce teacher workload by a minimum 20 hours per year by streamlining or re-assigning administrative tasks.

Sentral Education plays a large part in eliminating wasted time and reducing inefficient processes across many of the responsibilities teachers deal with daily including administration, attendance, assessment and reporting, wellbeing and parent communication.

Changing landscape of the classroom

Technology has allowed teachers to focus more on student needs rather than mundane and repetitive tasks.  With Sentral Education, we hear all the time that teachers have developed a more personal interaction with students by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of academic performance. Parents also gain as Sentral assists in continual education development digitally with comprehensive visuals that parents can understand using Sentral’s Markbook tool.

Restoring work-life balance

Technology in the classroom helps to restore work-life balance for teachers who can now identify and eliminate non-essential tasks and spend time getting to what matters most.

Sentral Education is the trusted solution of choice in over 3,000 schools across Australia.


Insights from Sentral – 7 Reasons why it will improve student performance

7 Reasons why Insights will improve your school’s student performance

  1. Eliminate the need for wading through high volumes of data captured in spreadsheets, mark books and high-stakes assessments. Dashboards and data explorers can diagnose gaps in student learning for you, and provide adaptive and predictive ‘next steps’.
  2. Gain a fuller picture of each student’s performance without having to navigate complex charts. The dashboards provided in the Insights module are designed to clearly and easily communicate the learning story with the use of infographics, for Principals, executive and teaching staff.        
  3. Understand how each student is performing in comparison to peers with key statistics like mean, median, mode and standard deviation.
  4. Identify who is struggling and who is excelling with the ability to monitor your students learning achievements in real time with live monitoring of adaptive assessments. Observe them as they work at their own pace and see if your students are demonstrating surface or deep understanding of the topic. This allows you to decide whether to act as learning happens to re-teach a skill or clarify a misconception.
  5. Set up an assessment in minutes and immediately grade student work using your smartphone, tablet or computer. Everyone knows that learning styles differ and we now have a module that also caters to the artists, performers and pen-and-paper writers. This module lets you define all aspects of richer tasks to be assessed, providing an extra layer of flexibility.
  6. Assess your student’s work in whatever format works for you. Use marks or rubrics, enter written or record aural feedback, or even take smartphone photos of student work and attach them to the grade.
  7. Access the diagnostic dashboard for an immediate overview of your students and answer important questions like ‘what core skills challenge most students’. This will assist your planning for future learning.

If you are interested in learning more about Insights and how it can help your school, call us for a demonstration.

Phone (02) 9029 3993

Notifications to parents made easy

There are many instances when parents need to be informed or updated with information from their childs school. Maybe the bus is returning late from an excursion, a child is absent, the school is closed due to a freak weather event or a lockdown is in progress and parents need to be informed.

In this digital age, everyone expects real-time communications. However, managing real-time notifications can be cumbersome and costly. If you’re relying on email, these can be easily missed or siphoned into the junk folder.

Sentral’s Messaging module offers bulk text and email capability, that can be managed both on and off-site from a computer or tablet device. Templates and cohort filtering make it easy to send out information quickly to the whole school, a targeted group or individuals so staff can get back to their most pressing tasks quickly.

Some key features and benefits include:

✔  Messaging is linked into the Attendance module to facilitate a semi-automated daily text message personalised for parents with children absent from school.

✔  Messaging leverages sporting and excursion groups from the Activities module to send permissions notes and reminders via bulk email.

✔  Reduce parent ‘notice fatigue’ by targeting messages to relevant groups and individuals. Distribution groups can be made on the fly or saved for future use.

✔  Two-way text messaging allows parents to provide absence reasons and schools that take a dedicated SMS messaging number can receive unsolicited messages (eg not just replies to messages sent but new messages) from parents advising of absences or other important information.

✔  Student reports can be emailed to parents, providing them an PDF copy they can reprint on demand. This eliminates costly printing and postage and saves considerable staff administration time as well.

If you are interested in learning more about how Sentral can help with your schools administration and student management tasks, call us for a demonstration.

Phone (02) 9029 3993

Streamline reporting to parents and get back to teaching

Reporting student progress to parents is something all teachers and schools want to do well, though the time and effort involved in the process of generating individual student reports is stressful and exhausting. It can also be very expensive if reports are still printed on paper and posted to parents. The combined administrative effort of printing, collating, envelope stuffing and posting reports is an often invisible but very time consuming task.

Good software can help to streamline the processes involved, reduce inefficiencies, and eliminate some of the hard labour involved in a manual reporting cycle. Teachers still need to spend time reflecting on data and classroom observations to then write meaningful feedback for parents and students. However good software can automate some things and create timesaving workflows for others.

Sentral offers a solution that takes some of the effort, time and cost out of academic report writing and distribution. The system is highly configurable to cater for your school curriculum, preferences for the types of information included in the report, and the way it’s presented to parents. Some key features and benefits include:

✔ Intuitive workflow to define all curriculum and reporting requirements using inbuilt scales or define your own. Workflows can also be set for assigning sections of the report to be completed by specific staff and setting due dates for completion.

✔ Automated data transfer from Markbook, Continuum Tracker, Activities, and Attendance eliminates double data entry and historical views of student reports provides ready reference to inform reflection on progress.

✔ The comment wizard is smart enough to insert the individual childs name, add the correct gender references like his/her and check punctuation issues like sentence case and full stops.  It also provides comment starters, curriculum content statements and access to shared or personal comment banks to help teachers to provide meaningful feedback regarding students progress.

✔ Supervisors can see the progress their staff are making towards completing reports and approval for publishing gates can be established. Summary print views also help to reduce paper use when supervisors prefer to edit and mark up comments for staff to rectify.

✔ You choose how to distribute reports to parents. Reports can be printed on paper as individual reports, or bath printed as class or cohort groups, year groups or whole school. All reports can be PDF archived. Schools can also publish reports to PDF’s for distribution via email through our Messaging module or distributed to the Student and Parent Portal where Parents and students will always have access to their current and past reports.

While the term 2 reporting session is beginning to fade into memory, the end of year reports are not that far away. If your schools reporting is harder than it needs to be, call us for a demonstration.

Phone (02) 9029 3993



Managing Student Medication in Schools

School staff tell us that managing, administering and dispensing prescribed medications for students in their care requires staff training and a forensic level of administration and attention to detail. There’s no room for error when it comes to being responsible for ensuring that a child receives their medication while at school.

Sentral’s Health module assists schools with almost every aspect of the management and administration of prescribed medicines. The Health module will take care of all records and details of dispensed medications, giving your trained staff the confidence that things are as they should be when they are dispensing medication.

Policies governing prescribed medications in schools vary from state to state, and no doubt between schools. We’ve reviewed a number of policies to see how well the Health module checks out against some key requirements.

✔ Can easily identify what students require medication

✔ Can record parent/guardian permission

✔ Can record storage & dosage requirements

✔ Can record warnings & expiry dates

✔ Can record administration days and times

✔ Can access this information off-site (excursions etc)

✔ Inbuilt notification system

If you are interested in learning more about how Sentral can help you better manage your school, call us for a demonstration.

Phone (02) 9029 3993

Moving away from paper-based school management systems

Two years ago, Port Broughton Area School was spending a lot of time and effort on daily administrative processes. Teachers and administration staff were in need of a more automated and integrated solution. Paper-based roll marking was becoming cumbersome, as was manually typing out daily email notices. There was agreement that producing reports in spreadsheets and word documents needed to become a thing of the past.

What the school needed was a comprehensive management system, to simplify administration and attendance tasks and make student information readily available. The system needed to be suitable for an R-12 school, and of course, fit into their budget.

The school decided to implement Sentral, starting with daily attendance. Staff quickly adapted to the new online system; even those who were initially resistant are now the biggest supporters.

Two years on, the school is using Sentral for roll marking (morning and period-by-period), daily notices, reports, interviews, behaviour management, parent communication (letters, emails, SMS and parent portal), room bookings, and much more.

“Sentral have been fantastic to work with, the help desk is quick to respond and it is a very user friendly product.  We certainly wouldn’t want to imagine running our school without Sentral’’, Joelene Wilden, Deputy Principal at Port Broughton Area School.

If you are interested in learning more about how Sentral can help you better manage your school, call us for a demonstration.

Phone (02) 9029 3993

Sentral Education founders nominated as Technology Entreprenuers by The Pearcy Foundation

Sentral Education founders Geoff Byers and Peta Byers nominated as Technology Entreprenuers by The Pearcy Foundation.

The Pearcey Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in 1998 in memory of a great Australian ICT pioneer Dr Trevor Pearcey who pioneered the first digital computer in Australia, believed to be the fourth operational stored program electronic computer ever constructed.

CSIRAC was built between 1947-1949 and is the oldest surviving computer of its type in the world and currently is on display in Melbourne Museum. The Foundation operates broadly across the Australian Information Communication Technologies (ICT) sector, celebrating achievements through national and state awards and being involved in debate and public policy on critical national issues.

Peta and Geoff Byers were nominated (as one of nine companies) as Technology Entrepreneurs recognising “taking a risk”, “making a difference” and “being an inspiration”.