The ever-changing landscape in Education
Earlier this year the Education Secretary announced plans to scrap GCSEs in key subjects and replace them with English Baccalaureate Certificates. The idea met a lot of resistance from within the education sector and was subsequently abandoned. Follow-up plans were introduced to move GCSE exams away from being taken in stages and reduce the role of coursework.
In addition to these exam changes the government introduced the pupil premium in 2011 and only last month the Deputy Prime Minister launched a consultation for a proposal to reform the way primary schools raise standards. These changes and many more are constantly being introduced with the goal of improving pupil performance in schools and raising standards in education.
Amidst this ever changing landscape, and the increasing pressure that comes with it, schools are expected to clearly record data across an increasing range of areas to measure pupil performance. While software applications for recording data exist in the majority of schools, many systems lack the ability to effectively interpret and query this large pool of data.
Self assessment is common, with schools operating on a proactive basis rather than waiting for Ofsted inspections. Even so, many schools do not have an intuitive and effective method of accessing all of the relevant data in one place that is also displayed in an easy to interpret format.
Primary and secondary schools across England and Wales are using RM Intelligence, from RM Education, which is reporting software based on the Panintelligence dashboard, to effectively measure performance and improve standards. It displays school data as a series of interactive charts across key areas, including special education needs, attendance, behaviour, assessment and staff data.
The charts are automatically updated to show the latest information available, so senior members of staff always have a picture of their school’s current performance. The dashboard software also gives schools the ability to drill down on charts and explore the underlying data. As data builds up over time trends will begin to emerge, providing them with a clear view of their performance across the months and years.
RM Education conducted a recent survey of schools using RM Intelligence and quotes from end users revealed the dashboard reporting software made it easier for them to see patterns and trends, improve the overall ease of analysing data across the board and analysis when focusing on different groups.
In turn this has made it easier for them to share relevant information with stakeholders such as school governors, Ofsted and the local authority. Individuals from these organisations often have very specific questions and the dashboard had allowed schools to quickly answer them by creating tailored charts.
Users in schools have also found it easier to find information more quickly rather than having to search paper records. The most frequent comment related to the flexibility of the dashboard and its ability to create charts focusing on areas specific to the individual.
The number of people requiring information from schools is only set to increase and the volume of data they have to record will also continue to grow. Schools need an effective way of analysing their performance over time and RM Intelligence is proving to be a valuable tool.