Durrington MAT utilise IRIS Education solutions for strategic end-to-end school management

Durrington Multi Academy Trust includes a primary school and high school, serving a community of nearly 2000 students. As such, the leadership team understand the importance of efficient operations and are utilising a suite of IRIS Education solutions to streamline almost every aspect of back-office management. 

Director of IT, Alex Robbins, shares his experiences of employing multiple IRIS Education solutions throughout the school day: 

“Each solution now plays an intrinsic role in the running of our schools,” says Alex. “We’ve chosen platforms which, when used alone, make a big difference to processes. Due to the integration offered across the IRIS Education suite, when used together, the solutions become even stronger. From morning registration to locking up at night, IRIS Education software empowers our teams to keep the trust running smoothly.” 

Safeguarding and parent engagement 

“We utilise PS Connect for absence management and home/school communications. Following both morning and afternoon registrations, we contact parents of absent students and ensure children are safe and where they need to be. The system provides a centralised record of student absences; it’s a great way of safeguarding our students.” 

“Parent engagement is very important for us. PS Connect translates messages into over 40 languages, removing any potential barriers.” 

Cashless payments 

“We introduced BioStore not long ago and the system has already vastly improved lunchtimes. BioStore and +Pay integrate seamlessly. Parents can top up lunch money quickly and easily online, in the shop, via PayPoint, or with the ParentMail app, reducing cash on site.” 

“Parents have visibility of where money is spent and what students have eaten each day. Students can’t nip to the shop and spend money on junk food; they eat a healthy meal in the school canteen, which is reassuring for parents of children who suffer from allergies and food intolerances.” 

Streamlined lunchtimes 

“BioStore utilises fingerprint scanning, meaning there’s no cash to exchange at the till. A number of our students claim Free School Meals; a consistent approach to payments means every student enjoys the same experience and no student is highlighted as receiving FSM. Again, the safeguarding aspect is a huge benefit of the system for us.” 

“The reporting facility offered by BioStore is fantastic; cashless payments enable really efficient finance management. Rather than spending time counting stock, the kitchen team can pull a report in moments and effectively manage suppliers – no more over ordering, under preparing or unnecessary waste. The ability to centralise meal deals is also key for us.” 

Asset management 

“Managing assets efficiently is vital to protecting value and ensuring compliance. IRIS Assets offers the functionality to do all this and more, and for great value for money. With over 1000 IT assets alone, the ability to centralise items, access data and add new assets to the system in seconds is fantastic.” 

“IRIS Assets reports also support our IT strategy planning. We can see which items cost us the most, in terms of time and money – information which enables us to make smarter purchasing decisions.” 

IT support 

“IRIS Assets also streamlines our IT Support services. If a member of staff experiences an issue with a computer, for example, the asset number corresponds with the ticket number and we have instant access to all the information we need on that particular item.” 

Compliance 

“When it comes to annual audits, IRIS Assets supports us in achieving compliance. IT is a large capital expenditure, so it’s important that we are completely transparent about our assets. Every item links to a PO number and can be found and reported on with ease. Our next step is to add intangible assets to the system, including documentation and contracts, so we can manage end dates and maintenance across our sites.” 

Financial management 

“We were initially using a local authority system for trust finances, but it lacked the functionality and flexibility we required. Clearly designed to support MATs, PS Financials provides our finance team and CEO with all the information they need to stay on top of our financial position.” 

“Centralising finances across the trust and having data at our fingertips via the online portal is empowering. We can take ownership of departmental budgets and plan strategically. The ability to break down finances into different levels is vital for any MAT and the flexibility to set remits on accessibility for different users is also very convenient. Our CEO has an overview of finances across both schools and can drilldown as required, ensuring value for money in everything we do.” 

One supplier, multiple solutions 

“The quality of service we get from IRIS Education is fantastic. We have a single point of contact, one support team and knowledge base. Even down to providing staff with a single log in – using one supplier makes sense for a number of reasons.” 

“We’ve used systems in the past which, while may interact with each other, are provided by different suppliers. It causes headaches; the school becomes a middleman, trying to maintain communication between different organisations when all you really need to do is focus on the day job. With IRIS Education, you’re in safe hands; they understand the challenges of running a busy MAT or school and they develop software to meet those challenges head on, before they become issues.” 

“As a MAT, we’re invested in making things easy for our people. We don’t let administrative tasks become a burden; we examine processes and identify how to collate them and make them work for us. We do this by providing staff with the tools they need to make life easier, not harder. IRIS Education software is designed to meet the needs of the education sector – their solutions are reliable, efficient and continuously developing to support our operations. I’d recommend IRIS Education to any school looking to streamline back-office management and processes.” 

IRIS Education is at the heart of streamlined school management. Get in touch to discover how our solutions can support your school or MAT to improve productivity, engage with your parent community and remain compliant.