Schools & Data Management

Data, data, data, everywhere you look! Schools and their ability to gather incredible amounts of data around the students in their care is simply mind-boggling.

The important first question then arises of “which parts of this data should be communicated with students, parents, school staff and overarching governing bodies such as Education Departments or even government agencies?” However, the following question of “Which School Information System (SIS) will be vehicle of choice to address pressing administrative challenges” is often the first item that schools research.

These two questions are at the forefront of today’s schools and the educators working within them. All school leaders are acutely aware that the administrative overload is impacting negatively on quality teaching time and thus decreasing opportunities for improving student learning outcomes.

At the same time however, these same school leaders have come to the realization that access to all this collected data and having an ability to interpret it in appropriate ways provides a golden opportunity to better gauge student learning changes over any time period. This in turn can provide staff with early warning signals that certain students need additional and/or targeted support NOW. The other side of the coin is also true, i.e. students showing improvements are more easily identified and rewarded via a corresponding school based positive reinforcement.

Education departments as well as other government agencies have also long recognized that access to clean, unambiguous data provides a fantastic pathway to be able to build quality strategic plans based on reports furnished by schools. Schools can now more easily provide these much needed reports with the use of a quality SIS.

Another important component with the above identification and resulting handling of this student data is the ability to bring parents, other family members and carers into the communication channel. All of the students’ extended family can now be allowed to feel and experience important school events and instances via ‘just-in-time’ two-way communication.

The future face of education may be unknown to many, but one part of it is already here. That part is to easily gather all data and be able to share it with relevant bodies. A quality SIS which is very agile and can keep evolving as the education ‘landscape’ changes is the vehicle everyone needs.

The above is a personal viewpoint from …
Stan Wawrzyniak
Director of Operations
Sentral Education