Real-time data for schools: could it help save a life?

Introducing Head of Looked After Call
By Lucy Newman | 25th October 2021 | 2 min read

When a pupil misses morning register, there’s usually a good reason – sickness, a medical appointment, or a personal circumstance of some kind.

But what if the child left home that day, intending to go to school, but something untoward happened to stop them arriving?

The worst case scenario

It sounds dramatic, but it does happen. And, when it does, in the worst case scenario, there might only be a small opportunity to potentially save that pupil’s life. When it comes to critical decisions, schools must be able to act quickly.

Real time, intelligent data enables a school to rapidly alert the right people – be it mum, dad, or a guardian – and find out why the child is absent. The information can be acted upon immediately and decisively, without delay.

Contrast that with old style paper registers, where the information could be buried or ignored long into the day.

Spotting worrying patterns

Let’s take another pupil, whose attendance to date is excellent, and has never shown any challenging or disruptive behaviour. Suddenly she is frequently late and being given negative behaviour points. Without a joined-up, intelligent data system, this potentially worrying pattern could fester unnoticed.

The more a school knows and understands a pupil, the better it can support them. And schools are swimming in information about pupils.

From the minute they arrive (or don’t), data is being gathered from all around the school. From registration and lunch choices, to assessments and behaviours. All these pockets of data can build up a picture of each individual pupil – but only if they’re connected together and in synch.

Clunky systems and buried data

The problem is, many schools are still battling with clunky old desktop systems, dating back ten, 20, even 30 years. They have data, but it’s buried in different places, with all sorts of admin in between.

But today’s technology – the Cloud, AI, automation, intelligent reporting software and a myriad of other smart tools – has the potential to completely transform the way schools could use the information they already have.  

Better outcomes for children

Data could be taken off the desktop, and into the Cloud, into one place, with real time updates. Concerns could be flagged up quickly, communicated to the right people (via the latest, automated communication tools) and the right support given.

And not just in an emergency, but, for example, to monitor and compare progress across departments or year groups. Proactive changes made early, however small, can have a huge impact on a pupil’s life and learning outcomes.

IRIS Ed:Gen is a brand new approach, developed through listening to customers’ issues with their current MIS. Cloud-based, it pulls live data and uses it intelligently, allowing schools to be more responsive, proactive and productive. 

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