Time and Data: Hours Building Data or Hours Understanding Assessment Data?

Although we live in an era when technology is evolving at an alarming (but brilliant) rate, many of today’s schools are still using paper-based systems for tracking and assessing pupil progress. In this post, we highlight how an advanced software-based system can impact and benefit schools. 

The digital age has afforded every sector a wealth of technology that provides both short and long-term benefits. While technology is prevalent in schools, paper-based and simple computer systems that consist of Excel data entry are now somewhat primitive and can be vastly improved upon. 

So what is the solution for schools that need a more efficient way of tracking and assessing pupil progress but also want to save time spent on building and understanding data? 

The Current System Has Drawbacks

The current process for many schools assessing pupil progress looks a little like this: Teachers record their insight on paper. This data is then entered into Excel spreadsheets to ensure that everyone can access it and for analytical purposes (such as building graphs). This method requires staff members to record and input data twice (on paper and computer), which takes time. This time could be better spent attending to more vital duties or providing a window for understanding the data in front of them fully.

You then have to consider the time it takes to build graphs and assess pupil progress by using filters, and then review the graphs and potentially create new ones. This is simply time schools don’t have, especially when you consider how important it is for senior leaders to have a clear understanding of the data before they present it to staff or governing bodies. The key here is to make the entire process quicker and simpler without sacrificing efficiency. Enter BSquared software.

Tracking and Assessing Pupil Progress with Software

With so much data being recorded every day at schools, it’s crucial for the systems being used to be as advanced and efficient as possible. A school must have the ability to summarise data, apply filters when needed and develop a more in-depth understanding of both groups of pupils and individual pupil progress. This is paramount for pupils with learning difficulties, as regular and accurate assessments are essential for putting an effective support system in place that will benefit them the most. Our assessment products have been used to assist pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) for over 20 years. 

Not only this, but it’s not uncommon for senior leaders to require reports within as little as few hours or even on the same day. This is a big ask when using a conventional pupil tracking system and would likely mean that at least one staff member would have to drop everything else they are doing — this then impacts the workload of everyone around them.

Assessing pupil progress is critical to ensure pupils get the most from education and are set on a path to success. If a school is failing to attain the data and insight needed to provide pupils with this opportunity, it not only reflects on the school poorly, but it can have a devastating impact on pupil progress. Fortunately, the modern educational system is more knowledgeable and equipped to support pupils with SEND, so it makes sense for their ability to track and assessing pupil progress to follow suit. 

Investing in Efficiency

Discussions or suggestions about school funding will always be a tricky subject, especially when the suggested invested could be seen as “non-essential”. Replacing paper-based systems with software may well receive the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” treatment. However, for something as crucial as education, surely it’s better to enhance a current system than completely fall behind with the times? Paper and Excel spreadsheets do offer a cost-effective way of recording data, but that’s about it.

B Squared Software revolutionises the way schools can record, summarise, filter and present their pupils’ progression. This saves time and effort, which opens the door for leaders to focus more on other crucial aspects of running a school as well as improving the overall quality of support pupils receive. Introducing proven software can provide staff members with more insight into the pupils they oversee and help them develop new ways to cater to their educational needs. The latter is especially crucial for SEND/SEN pupils, whose progress needs to be regularly monitored to ensure that they are benefiting from their current level of support.

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