In this blog series, Caroline Fisher, Product Manager at RM Education, delves into the wealth of ways that school MIS data can be used successfully to drive long-term improvements.

Most schools now rely on an MIS to complete statutory requirements such as the School Census and School Work Force (SWF) Census; but are they really making the most of the data that can be held – and crucially, interrogated – in their MIS?

In today’s data-rich landscape, schools can now use their MIS to make more informed decisions than ever before, based on access to crucial information on everything from attainment and progress tracking to behaviour management.

Last year’s report commissioned by the innovation foundation NESTA explored this topic in detail.

The report suggested that while the UK is leading the way in areas like opening up government data, the education sector has made limited progress by comparison - despite the vast amounts of data that’s now being collected in schools every day.

But fortunately, this is a trend that’s slowly beginning to shift, and schools are now seeking a much greater level of information from their systems.

They’re now beginning to realise the true potential of fully exploiting the power of data for things like monitoring attendance patterns, communicating with parents, storing documents electronically, holding medical information, tracking SEND requirements, cover arrangements, and exploring contextual data analysis to spot anomalies and identify trends.

Conversely, from a staff data perspective, schools can also see data on clearance information, as well as CPD and training information, contract type of staff members and statutory attendance information.

While historically, data used in schools tended to be based around personal information, contact details and attendance information, data has now become much more contextual.

Schools can delve deeper into the information they hold to explore variables such as disadvantaged circumstances, language proficiencies and mobility.

And when this contextual information is combined with a clear set of objectives for improvement and a robust MIS, schools can really begin to use their data much more effectively to maximise teaching resources and optimise children’s learning.

The full NESTA report can be found here.

To find out more about how RM Integris can help you to unlock the power of your data visit www.rm.com/integris




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