36Degrees (29th April 2010)
I know ... Jim Knight said a lot of things and the goalposts don't exactly get moved, but they may get a new lick of paint, have extra bits of wood stuck on them and then go from football to shinty goals.
Jim Knight's comments were about 'aspirations' about what technology should provide. My post from above is the latest infomration that is coming out from Becta and what I told schools yesterday.
I hope to get my presentation up online later today or tomorrow (with a suitable voice-over) so that it can be seen by our schools ... and probably the rest of the world, but the summary of it is in my lengthy post above.
Sorry Tony, it was a very quick reply just before I left work. What I should have also said was that there are a lot of people on here asking similar questions so I suspect that the information is either not very clear, difficult to find or both.
As my NM post is currently only temporary and my contract is repeatedly extended (long story) it was only when I had to explain our Parental Engagement plans to staff that I did research as to why we are doing it. It has been driven by SLT and my input only really started just before we made the decision. I automatically assumed that my lack of knowledge on the subject was due to the nature of my post but now I'm not convinced it is. As always, if you want to find out what is really happening and why you need to look on EduGeek. Although it is an excellent resource full of people willing to help I don't think this forum should be the primary resource in this matter.
A good number of LAs have had events about it ... Northants didn't do one for secondaries, but have just done it for primaries (and are likely to do a follow up too) ... but Becta and SSAT have done a number of regional events about both Parental Engagement as well as specifically for online reporting. Lots of information goes into schools about this as well as through materials from NAHT or ASCL.
The message that a lot of people see tends to be the one from suppliers ... and this is not always the message that comes from other places ... suppliers *can't* change their message that quickly as they have it ties in with marketing, implementation strategies, etc ... and it only takes one comment from a minister in an interview which then results in civil servants running round trying to fit it into the existing policy or dredge out references from particular reports to lighten the comments. It isn't just you ... the message has been a bit confusing and has taken some time to clear up. I know some of the things I have previously said on here about it haven't been as clear as my recent post about it ... but the difficult thing is that there are clear and proven benefits from using technology for parental engagement, online reporting and 'real-time' information (relatively real-time ... how close to real-time would depend on your school and what parents / students need).
If you want to raise it further then Becta has an online collaboration area where people can discuss these things with consultants, suppliers, Becta staff and people in schools. Becta collaboration: Jive SBS: Becta collaboration
We have already decided on the Parental Engagement Portal plug in for Frog which will, at present, be 24 hours old at most but Notts LEA are going down the Capita / SIMS route.
After mentioning to my bursar that I had attended Tony's Parental Engagement course, the second question I was asked (after how much will it cost!), was should we be looking at this now or by 2012? Most of the paperwork the head and her have seen loosely groups primary and special schools together, hence 2012.
Can you clarify this for me? I'm at Wren Spinney, a special secondary school.
Secondary is secondary ... I have not seen anything to separate mainstream and special ... but I will take the question to Becta to get confirmation.
The response from Becta is ... nothing is explicitly mentioned for special schools as it is assumed they will follow the guidance associated with the phase they are in.
If you are in the position now of being a secondary special then the best thing you can do is to use the toolkit (and primary or secondary resources would work to start with) to baseline where you are. This will then allow you to start planning for what you need to do. I would not jump in and buy something without the planning bit. To be honest, special schools tend to have a closer relationship with parents and have developed that relationship further than mainstream schools.
Advice to your bursar (and SLT) is to baseline, plan a strategy and start engagement with a parental group to make sure you are planning for what they and the students need. This might not take you as long as a mainstream primary / secondary. Remember that it is an expectation backed up by the criteria from Ofsted ... don't make rash purchasing decisions to tick a box, but don't hang around on the planning.
Sylv3r (1st May 2010)
Sylv3r (6th May 2010)
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