Is it too clunky? Is it too slow? Does it take longer to perform certain tasks? We wanted to know.
According to Leanne Gomes, “census - is the worst.” This is the task that takes up most of Leanne’s time, “It has to be completed three times a year [October, January and May] and it slows the whole system down for everyone. You can’t access anything whilst it’s running.”
Leanne is a School Data Manager from the UK, managing student data for primary school through to sixth form children on a daily basis. This is approximately 3,000 children in total. But Leanne is not afraid of data. She loves to be able to use it effectively but, in order to be good at her job, she needs the right tools at her fingertips.
Leanne spends most of her working day inside an MIS and, to learn more about the common challenges she experiences with her current system, we asked Leanne to outline what her major pain-points are. Using her current MIS, there are at least five:
“There is no automation.” Overall, this makes tasks more time-consuming than they need to be.
“All the help and support is outsourced.” Because it’s such a big company, you have to use external, paid-for services to receive support if you encounter a problem with the system.
“It’s not cloud-based,” Admins and data managers can’t access or use the platform at home during school closures.
“Lots of third party add-ons - there are too many things to log into!” Her MIS doesn’t cater for everything which means there are different systems and processes to complete different tasks.
“Communications aren’t visible enough.” Teacher notifications go to their MIS specific account, rather than their email inbox. This means communications can easily be missed and responses delayed.
With this in mind, we wondered what changes or features school admins and data managers would love to see in an MIS platform?
“Improved timetabling In every system, it’s really fiddly, takes a long time,” Leanne shares. “I would like a straightforward option that allows you to be flexible, such as the ability to move student profiles around depending on interventions and social bubbles for those who are self-isolating during the pandemic.”
Due to COVID-19, it is critical that schools are communicating their plans and strategies across the school and to the wider school community, including students, parents, school staff and the local community. But for this to be done effectively, with the added workload and pressure for school admins to face every day, there needs to be a reliable system in place that works with you, instead of feeling like it’s working against you.
So, what main barriers would stop you or your school from changing to a new MIS right now? “Key decision-makers need to be involved at the start of the process,” Leanne explains, “You can’t force a new system on staff. They need to be invested in order to do the training and learn how it works.”
We get that it must be a busy and challenging time for all school admins and data managers, which is why we’re bringing cutting-edge technology from the world's leading brands to schools.