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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Is online parental engagement still a requirement for schools? in Technical; As the title says, has there been any movement on this by the new government? Has the requirement been dropped ...
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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Is online parental engagement still a requirement for schools?

    As the title says, has there been any movement on this by the new government? Has the requirement been dropped or put on the back burner? Just read this back (fighting a migraine) and it doesn't make sense. What I mean is are schools still required to give parents online access to things such as grades, attendance etc?
    Last edited by beeswax; 28th May 2011 at 11:04 AM.

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    I don't think it's as high on the agenda as it possibly was under the previous government legislation, but we will continue to publish this sort of information as the parents have actually engaged more with the school through the increased information they now are able to view on a day-by-day basis.

    As with most things involving schools and ICT - the new government have yet to make any decisions other than cutting funding to schools through schemes such as the harnessing technology grants.

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    beeswax (30th May 2011)

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    Cache's Avatar
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    Looked this up a few months a go to see where we should be upto:

    Online reporting to parents - The Department for Education

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    beeswax (30th May 2011)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    If you are not looking at including it, or have not already included then it can be a limiting factor with OFSTED, but it is expected that those schools likely to have few OFSTED visits (those already outstanding) will not be pressed too hard.

    The main reason why it is not a cast-iron requirement is that there is no funding attached to it.

    Reading between the lines with the present look at Information Management systems (ie the new framework the Dept is doing) then it will be part of that, with set links in with Learning Systems (especially since the change in stance on things like SIF after the initial attack on interoperability / integration tools).

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    beeswax (30th May 2011)

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    jenny_urey's Avatar
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    ..... just to add - parental reporting should not just be seen as an external body requirement - Schools surely should want parents to have an active role in thier childs education and allow them to be pro-active in understanding thier childs ongoing progression/development rather than wait till a 5 minute slot at a parents evening. (talking as a parent of a 17 year old and wishing I had more access to her information - particularly homework hand-in dates!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    If you are not looking at including it, or have not already included then it can be a limiting factor with OFSTED, but it is expected that those schools likely to have few OFSTED visits (those already outstanding) will not be pressed too hard.

    The main reason why it is not a cast-iron requirement is that there is no funding attached to it.

    Reading between the lines with the present look at Information Management systems (ie the new framework the Dept is doing) then it will be part of that, with set links in with Learning Systems (especially since the change in stance on things like SIF after the initial attack on interoperability / integration tools).

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    beeswax (30th May 2011)

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    jenny_urey's Avatar
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    their! ..... Bank holiday morning spelling! :S


    Quote Originally Posted by jenny_urey View Post
    ..... just to add - parental reporting should not just be seen as an external body requirement - Schools surely should want parents to have an active role in thier childs education and allow them to be pro-active in understanding thier childs ongoing progression/development rather than wait till a 5 minute slot at a parents evening. (talking as a parent of a 17 year old and wishing I had more access to her information - particularly homework hand-in dates!!)

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your replies.
    My question came about because of a comment from my line manager because of some major budgeting juggling before the new school term begins in September. We have to ask ourselves (and I'm sure this is going on at schools up and down the country) what is essential and what is desirable [at some unspecified date]. Our OFSTED inspection last September noted several outstanding features, and apart from one satisfactory, all the rest were good, so I don't expect we'll be visited again soon, and this gives us a little time to play with.
    From a personal point of view I would have liked to have the sort of access to my daughters' progress when they were school age, which can be made available now. Just because this has moved down the agenda somewhat, not providing parental engagement would, in my eyes, be seen as offering the bare minimum.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenny_urey View Post
    ..... just to add - parental reporting should not just be seen as an external body requirement - Schools surely should want parents to have an active role in thier childs education and allow them to be pro-active in understanding thier childs ongoing progression/development rather than wait till a 5 minute slot at a parents evening. (talking as a parent of a 17 year old and wishing I had more access to her information - particularly homework hand-in dates!!)
    There's no hope with 17 year olds and homework dates. All you can do is read their planner. My eldest, also 17, has a pretty good parent portal, but as homework is set most lessons there is no formal homework timetable and deadlines are not on their VLE. It might work lower down the school when the homework timetable applies, but the parent portal wasn't fully active until September last year!

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    witch's Avatar
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    I agree - AFAIK homework hand-in dates wouldn't be accessible via parental engagement and I have also struggled - in the end I left it to them and to be honest, my now 22,20 and 18 year-olds havent really let me down - well not often anyway

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    Hi,

    just finished my dissertation and did a bit of research into online reporting in the current climate. There were some suggestions on here previously that Ofsted will now be driving learning platforms and online reporting. However, recent Ofsted inspections in several local schools barely mentioned ICT at all, and online reporting was not mentioned.

    In fact, one of the schools was similar to yours; previously had outstanding features. Now they are outstanding despite not using online reporting or a learning platform.

    Don't know how it stacks up nationally but if you look at the Ofsted framework it doesn't mention online reporting. The framework is from 2009 so might be updated by this government?

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    jenny_urey's Avatar
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    Ofsted proposals 2011-05-16


    32. A school’s work with parents makes a difference to how it responds to pupils’

    needs and supports their learning and progress. Most schools recognise the

    need to engage parents. Schools that are outstanding in this respect exploit

    many different forms of communication, invite constructive feedback and raise

    aspirations by giving parents useful and frequent information about how their

    child is progressing. Importantly, they also show parents how they can support

    learning in the home. We propose to consider the quality of a school’s work

    with parents in the judgement on leadership and management.

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    Your findings there znova confirm what I always felt about the framework, in that a school could quite easily show outstanding engagement without having such current internet trend approaches in place. Even that revision proposal that Jenny has posted, only touches on "different forms of communication" and "frequent information about progress" and is pretty much a re-word of what was there. Having "on-line reporting" with, or complimentary to a VLE will not guarantee an outstanding judgement on engagement - indeed I suspect many examples of online reporting that have been put in place so far do no more in terms of "information about progress" than the establishment was already doing with hardcopy. The VLE on the other hand ought to clearly be demonstrable as an additional & different way of supporting learning in the home.

    Both have great potential - unfortunately the previous Sep 2010 "deadline" caused many to panic into spending money or making bad decisions to get something in place for what was an artificial deadline anyway and not a statutory requirement. Now, I personally think the "wise" establishments should be taking their time to ensure they select the right technology, or defining use for what they have which goes above and beyond what they could achieve through traditional methods. The downside to that is that, in a lot of cases, what is implemented is very much constrained by the features/capability offered by the chosen technology, and in that sort of scenario, a rushed selection on technology often leads to disappointment when it is subsequently discovered how limited that technology is.

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    We are still awaiting delivery of our online parental reporting system from the developers. We were judged outstanding a couple of months ago with no online reporting in place.

    We are desperate to get the system running but have to wait....We were not worried about the Ofsted angle, just that it may break down some of the barriers between school and home. It is another method of communication which will undoubtably engage a portion of our parents. We do not see it as a replacement of the hard copy we currently send home, costly though this may be.

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