MIS Systems Thread, End of Year reports - software? in Technical; Look into Tasc, as if they can get connected to the hosted server, then you just connect to that, your ...
2nd July 2012, 10:53 AM #16
Look into Tasc, as if they can get connected to the hosted server, then you just connect to that, your own way. Would solve a few issues.
3rd July 2012, 05:37 PM #17
I'm not sure that I should contribute to this thread but through what ever route, your teachers should have access to the information on the pupils they teach. It is essential that teachers know about medical issues, unusal situations etc. Recording attendance as it happens saves huge amounts of clerical work and allows parents to be contacted within minutes of the start of the day if a child hasn't turned up - suppose something has happened to a child on their way to school? Assessment entered directly into the MIS is the only way forward - the school needs a holistic view of a child; its no good that being in a teacher's mark book.
I recently listened to an account from a parent (also a journalist) of what had happened to his children at school; they both had specfial needs. When he complained that no teacher knew about his children the head proudly pointed to a row of folders on a shelf saying "I know everything about your child". This parent could not believe that in this day information about his children wasn't available to their teachers - it should be like going to a doctor who can just call up your record.
If your school is in England the new Ofsted will look for evidence that SLT and teachers know about all the childrens' needs. Using the MIS should make that possible. If you can't do it don't expect to do well!
3rd July 2012, 10:06 PM #18
Possibly you shouldn't have, @PhilNeal
4th July 2012, 08:35 AM #19
- Rep Power
I think that's more of an issue in a larger school. We know our kids pretty well here.
4th July 2012, 08:54 AM #20
I think it's a good point. The only hold back is the cost and the LEA should be shunned for 'providing' such an expensive 'solution'.
4th July 2012, 07:18 PM #21
Bev, I've been with Brian Lightman ASCL's General Secretary today who has been explaining the new inspection framework to us. His message to heads was crystal - whilst Ofsted inspections are not in themselves a reason to do something, it is clear that an evidence base is considered to be essential for any school. Inspectors give a day's notice and the school will be expected to provide evidence that every child is achieving their full potential. A school will fail if it takes the stance that "it knows it's pupils" if it cannot prove it.
We are in a new era and whilst I accept that it's my view that teachers should have direct access to the data, I can't see any other way of achieving it. Obviously access can be achieved through several routes.
Last edited by PhilNeal; 4th July 2012 at 07:20 PM.
4th July 2012, 10:02 PM #22
Oh the grandiose twaddle we all casually accept and regurgitate: First they'd have to figure out each child's "full potential" and that is clearly beyond the wit of man. Sprogette is God Empress of the Galaxy a few billion, trillion parallel universes away and they're not going to make that happen here are they? What it really means is something like: Achieve some reasonably safe prediction of their ability to surmount the extremely limited set of banal, slightly height-adjustable educational hurdles that we can afford right now.
Originally Posted by PhilNeal
I'm certainly not questioning schools having to produce documented predictions and outcomes etc., just our ready acceptance of political bulshytt. All those years of civilisation and we're still doing this, in fact doing it more.
 It's very useful and has a different etymology ;b
4th July 2012, 11:34 PM #23
I think what Phil's trying to say, we're in the digital age, accept the fact your going to have a enter it an electronic system. It's more a question of covering one's rear then anything, like Bev said, in a small school in a small village, everyone knows everyone its completely pointless, but all it takes is one person to kick off and the system fails apart. At least with it all in MIS system, you can go, I know you know, because it's in the MIS system, which you use every day to mark the register.
If you want to blame anyone, blame society and it's "quick win" ideals - ie "where there's a blame there's a claim". If you want to have a rant about Capita, at least moan at them about the right thing... like this:
Capita publicity to show only UK staff - some of whom are being let go
4th July 2012, 11:56 PM #24
We had a bit of an issue with reports last year, so i decided a change was needed this year. It gave me a year to write one - enter PHP + MySQL
It's been a dream compared to last year. All the students are populated from the school MIS and Teachers have web access from home. The final report is saved as pdf for archiving purposes and we print the parent copy from those, so printing is fast and efficient!
5th July 2012, 08:48 AM #25
My only problem with that, is if every school builts their own it's wasting a lot of money. Now if you make it open-source...
5th July 2012, 09:09 AM #26
- Rep Power
We have plenty of data, that's not an issue at all. I produce reports, spreadsheets, graphs, you name it. If anything, I think we possibly have too much data but that's another debate for another time.
We had Ofsted in January. We had an issue with the amount of progress made, but not with the amount of data we had to prove that lack of progress....
Our problem is primarily with the collation of the end of year comments. SIMS isn't designed to work well with text, that's not it's primary function, and I understand that, but we produce text heavy end of year reports, and we need a system that can cope well with those comments. SIMs isn't going away, we will continue to use it as the main repository for all our data, but it does not provide what we need to effectively enter the comment data.
5th July 2012, 09:30 AM #27
Sorry Bev for sounding dumb, but are you talking about the word limit on SIMS?
5th July 2012, 09:34 AM #28
- Rep Power
The word limit is a big problem. We also have a problem with ? appearing when we import comments containing dashes or apostrophes. You can't do a search and replace if a teacher has misspelled a word in 300 reports. It's not a 'text' editor - that's not it's function, which I understand, but for the quantity of text I deal with on these reports, it becomes a major issue.
320 pupils, 15 comments per pupil, that's over 4500 comments. They are all entered into Excel and spell checked but the bulk of the editing happens in SIMS as I've found if I export and reimport I introduce more mistakes (and more question marks)
5th July 2012, 09:54 AM #29
Personally this is a case of designed for the developer rather then the customer. IE it's more work for the user but it made it easier for the developer to create. I'll be interested in @PhilNeal reply, it's not a new feature and I know for a fact people have been moaning about it for years.
5th July 2012, 10:53 AM #30
It's not great as a system, but Profiles is better and more geared towards report writing, proofing etc. However that will need even more user interaction with SIMS.
I think you've got two separate issues, one is getting the users access to SIMS, and the other is the features and functions within SIMS once they have access.
I'm pretty sure if you can find another way to give access to SIMS, loads of your problems will disappear. No export / import eradicates the '?'s. The end user (author) is responsible for their data entry, and accuracy, as well as making changes post proofing. The LA have to give a better / cheaper solution or at least assist you in getting a third party software to link in easily.
Otherwise, I don't advocate it, but it's what our Primary did here for 1st semester reports last year: Export an individual report from SIMS with the basic data in, i.e. student name, reg, the layout / logo etc. Then just let teachers write their report directly into that file. Tell them not to rename it, or change anything else. Proofing may take a bit longer, but can be done on paper and edit the original document. At the end upload the document manually to the student. It's a pain, but for the hassle you currently have, this could solve the issue. You get a report with no limits in the format you want, and it's stored in the MIS against each child as required. It's basically bypassing the whole technical function of the MIS, but it works.
In combo with that method you could employ some other report writing tools to handle comment banking easier. Look at some of these other threads:
Report Writing - i'd be interested to hear if @dhicks managed to get his system off the ground, he's a reliable chappie
Some links in this thread Report Assist
Teachers Report Assistant - FREE time saving utility for teachers
came across this from a link from a link ReportComplete!
and all that before you Google it
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