I'm trying to find out what other schools do in the case of a fire alarm.
We use SIMS, and the delay in trying to print out registers is pretty much unacceptable. It takes the SIMS Administrator about a minute to switch from what she's doing to Lesson Monitor, followed by a couple of minutes to pull up the relevant Lesson Monitor report, followed by another minute or two to print it. In total it can be up to 5 minutes before the SIMS Administrator can leave, with printer paper registers in hand.
What do other schools do?
AFAIK within 5 minutes of registration ending we print a list of absentees - this is kept in a folder ready to be grabbed when the alarm goes. If there's a fire alarm staff retake registers on the field and missing pupils are checked against that list. Quicker than printing off copies of all registers.
We print off Today's Register Report, which is quick and simple to use soon after AM reg. I've actually got a modified template so it changes the layout to suit us better.
The admin staff take them out along with pens and the signing in / out sheet.
What we should do is have pre-printed class lists, laminated, and felt tip pens. These get taken out and wiped clean for reuse. They get updated with tipp-ex / sticky labels or whatever and redone termly if required.
A good measure i heard of was the staff carry out red / green flags or cards, which they can hold up from the muster point to indicate to the control point whether things are okay or not. This saves a hubbub at the control point and runners either staff or students dashing around. Plus any updates are quickly notified.
All of this is to make us feel better.
What the site team does, is check the area, and nominated people clear and sweep the buildings they are in. This is the only real safety measure and what the Emergency Response team will ask you about.
Then we just hope that everybody heard the bell correctly, and haven't gone into lock down mode and are hiding under their desks with the curtains closed!
EDIT: What i should add, is that they are registered by tutor group, which i think is crazy. I much prefer the staff member you're with is responsible for you (the student) and they lead you out and re-register you. They are most likely to know who they have / should have. Anyone else is missing or could have walked on or off site late(r).
I would call the fire service and see what they think. In my experience they are not in the least bit interested in what the school thinks - they will search the buildings anyway.
We have designated fire wardens who are responsible for ensuring that a building is clear (or saying that they were unable to check an area). Registers etc are a backstop - even if they are accurate etc, getting the information needed to the people that need it would be too slow.
If you call your local Fire Service their Technical Fire Safety team will be able to advise.
Ah, I should have clarified that we're fine on building search, wardens etc.
The problem we have is SIMS, and getting it to print a report at the time of alarm. The suggestions of having a pre-printed register are ideal, albeit with the only concern that it's up-to-date. I don't see what else can be done, but hence the question.
Thanks all for the responses so far.
In fact to be really clear, the issue essentially is how we register the students. Whether by SIMS or another means. I'm open to ideas :-)
I must have had the conversation about the best way to do fire alarms about a million times. I've come to the conclusion that without chip implants in every staff and student it is near on impossible to design a system which keeps everyone happy and covers every eventuality.
So the best thing to do is aim for simplicity, then less can go wrong.
Our student muster in mentor groups, so we just have a hard copy of each mentor register with a stack of columns ready to register them for the next 15 fire alarms. Students may leave or join the groups, but that's fine because of the mentor/students know this, and just add to the list. The registers are re-printed periodically anyway. The reception staff then have a pile of stuff that they grab as they leave like the signing in and out book, off site PE registers and trip registers etc. The basic idea is that if a mentor flags up a student that isn't there, but should be, the reception team will be able to tell them if they are somewhere else.
The thing is, come up with any way of doing a fire drill, and I could pick a hole in it. So don't worry too much.
Sorry, just saw your last couple of posts. If you decide that you want to print SIMS registers, and not used pre-prepared hard copies, then without a doubt the best report to use is:
Reports > Lesson Monitor > Whole Group Students Report > Today's Registers Report
If the person who does this (or a few people, in case that person is out) sets this report up as a quick link on their SIMS shortcut bar you can run the report in 1 click when the fire bell sounds.
This is how we used to do it, but I got shouted at for not evacuating immediately. You also need a backup if the printer jams (which happened alarmingly often), or the power goes out.
What's wrong the absence list the attendance officer is waving around all the time and tutor\class lists? Like Phil said, they'll still search regards of what you say.
matt40k: I'm not entirely sure how attendance is logged at our school, other than through SIMS. I have a feeling it's kept pretty much digital at our school, and the most accurate data is within SIMS.
My objective is to just try and find the quickest way to achieve it, but very much interested in what people do at other schools.
We do a couple of things.
First up all teachers have a laminated copy of register, after registering in SIMS they just cross off absent pupils.
Secondly we have an electronic signing in system (Inventry), the secretaries and I have a button on our desktops that immediately prints out a list of everyone who has signed in/out during the day (one of us is always in the office).
We can quickly match up who is/isn't in the school and should be at the assembly point.
At the beginning of the year they print form tutor lists - each pupil is assigned a form tutor. For a fire drill they line up in that group and the form tutor is response for their group. If they are off, then the head or deputy head will take responsiblely (they have copies of all the tutor groups).
Originally Posted by Gongalong
The attendancer offer will generally print a list of absence students then mark them off as they arrive (late) or add notes as to the reason why they are not in. They tend to print it and then go on the hunt as sometimes the little darlings got a bit confused and arrived at the back of the bike sheds rather then the classroom.
What I do know is that most teachers have SIMS, so most registers get input there. Some don't e.g. PE, or broken PC, so switch to paper, which gets returned to the Admin Office, and then entered manually (the personal responsible bemoans how slow Lesson Monitor is, although Capita have acknowledged it's a problem). The Admin Office track absent students that call in, and they get marked off directly in SIMS as well. I think this is why there's a strong belief that the registers have to come from SIMS at the time of the drill.