We rolled out successfully an electronic registration system in September and the system itself works fine, but we are getting a lot of human errors which is making life a lot harder then when we used OMR's. I would think these errors were still happening with the OMR's last year but the electronic system is making it a lot more obvious.
The issues we are having:
Teachers are not doing the registers at all, or when they do they do it at the end of the day which quite often means the teacher has no idea who is in the class so marks everybody as being in.
Teachers are incorrectly marking the registers wrong - we had one issue today where the teacher mentioned they is 2 people in the class with the same first name and another who has changed their hair style as to the reasons why the mistakes happened!!!
We all know that an attendance registers is a legal requirement, but we have no confidence in allowing our pastoral support managers to ring parents asking why their child is off as they might be in, but the teacher has done the register wrong.
I am meeting with the 2 deputy heads next week, as I feel they need to be putting more pressure on the teachers getting the registeres correct!
The attendance clerk is e-mailing the staff to say they have not done their register, but she feels she doesn't have the clout to demand the register is done. I disagree as this is ultimately her job to chase up registers so attendance details are right.
Any help or advice would be greatfully received or feedback from other schools if they are in similar problems. From local schools I have spoken to they have all gone / still having similar problems. I know we have only been using electronic registration for 3 months - but I think its best to get these issues nipped in the bud now, rather then further down the line.
If teachers were that sloppy at taking registers in our school, there would be severe consequences for them. The registration of students is one of the teachers responsibilities. By not doing it or not doing it properly they are more than likely breaking their contract.
In my opinion your SMT should be taking this issue extreemly seriously, putting a lot of pressure on teachers to get it right, and taking measures against those that don't comply. They'll soon get the mssage!
AM & PM registers are a legal documents and as such should ALWAYS be filled in correctly. The sooner some teachers realise this and stop taking offense when told such the better it will be for a lot of people who have to do the chasing up.
Reinforce your policies and stress the importance of having an up to date and reliable register. H & S, fire drills, census attendance reports etc all rely on accurate registers.
I'm in the same situation at the moment. Staff are generally entering their session marks ok but the lesson marks are just absolute cr*p.
In general about 25% of lesson marks each week are missing, for our school that means about 110,000 marks since the start of this academic year!! (I'm not including N's in that total)
For our fire drills we use a sweep system instead of registers so thats ok the window when trying to get the teachers to complete the registers.
I recently meet with one of SMT to tell him that this situation was meaning that we had all this lesson registration information that was in effect useless since it was incomplete. When I asked who was responsible for line managing the registration process he said no-one and that he'd raise it at their SMT meeting. That was 2 weeks ago and they still don't know.
It just yet another system that was dreamt up with out any consultation with the ICT department and its become a big waste of money. We wireless'd up the entire site, brought an extra server, paid through the nose for LM7, total bill was about ¬£10k. Now its in all those who were involved in the dream have washed their hands of it.
The teacher issues surrounding their non-taking of registers and being told about incorrect marking is probably a combination of their rebellion against modern technology and the holier than thou attitutude towards support staff.
I was not involved in the E-registration implementation in our school (over 2 years ago), but it has taken a long time to get it right and, in the beginning, had several of the problems explained in the original post.
I believe the key areas to focus on are backup from the headteacher and SMT; and training for all staff. And as others have said, it is a requirement and they must be constantly reminded of this. If not by the attendance officer, then by someone they will take notice to - eg, the head.
This is all down to policies and procedures - its not a technical issue, so let the sh1t flow up hill on this one :-)
Luckily in our school the staff are told in no uncertain terms they have to take registers or face the consequences.
Our policy is, a report is run 5 mins after each sessional register period. Any missing and an office duty kid is sent with a paper register and waits while it is completed.
This ensures we have the statutory registers completed within 30 mins of first lesson.
For lesson registers, a weekly report is run for all staff. The report is emailed to all staff, any missing registers must be completed - a check is carried out a week later. Every teacher misses the odd lesson register for one reason or another, its just a case of getting to the persistent offenders.
We found if we let the situation slip, teachers get into bad habits and its hell getting back on track.
As we will start to include lesson attendance in reports soon, its vital for us the data is present and accurate.