6.7 School Management Systems

School managements systems, like SIMS, are database driven applications designed to record and monitor data about students, staff and the school.

They are used to record a wide variety of data, including:

  • Attendance
  • Timetables
  • Achievement
  • Behavior
  • Exams

school

Student Registration

When a student joins a school a large amount of data about that student is inputted in to the system, both manually and automatically from data passed on from the student’s previous school.

Data input

  • Personal data (name, age, gender, educational needs, social background, ethnicity)
  • Family data (address, parents’ details,siblings)
  • Prior academic data(Standardized test results)

Processing

  • Calculating how many students will be joining the school the following year
  • Gender breakdown of a year group
  • Academic profile of a year-group

Output

  • Year group report, detailing how many students in a year group and other information
  • Displaying a student detail page where teachers can see an overview of students’ information

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Attendance

School Information Systems are primarily used on a daily basis to keep track of student attendance and reasons for absence.

Input

  • Teachers take a register at the start of class, note if students are present, absent or late.
  • Administration staff record pre-notified absences so teachers know when a student is due to be absent (e.g. medical reasons, school trips, or holidays)

Processing

  • Overall attendance percentage is calculated for each student
  • School-wide attendance percentages are calculated.

Output

  • An absence report can be produced, displaying which student are absent at the start of the day, so that parents can be contacted.
  • Attendance reports can be produced, highlighting students with the best and worst attendance.

classroom

Did you know?

Students with an attendance rate of 90% see an average grade drop of 1 GCSE grade for each subject they take

Performance Management

School management systems are widely used to record performance of students. This includes both academic and behavior performance information.

Input

  • Student termly grades are input in to the system by teachers
  • Student behavior data (such as detentions issued) are input in to the system
  • Standardised test results are input in to the system (CAT scores)

Processing

  • Student average grades are calculated
  • Year group averages can be calculated

Output

  • Student termly reports can be printed, ready for mailing to parents
  • Class and year-group reports can be created, detailing the academic performance averages and statistics.

school-report

Timetable Management

School Management systems can be used to produce and output timetables for classes and examinations, both for teachers and for students.

Input

  • Teacher’s working times and days can be input
  • Class details can be input
  • Student subject data can be input ( which subjects they are taking)

Processing

  • Student and teacher timetables can automatically be produced based on the data input.

Output

  • Student timetables can be printed off for each student and teacher.
  • Teacher class timetables can be automatically produced and linked to the attendance register.
  • Exam timetables can be produced for students.

Supply / Cover teacher  management

Schools need to keep track of teacher absences (due to illness, training, etc) and timetables need to be adjusted so that cover is arranged where necessary.

Input

  • Teacher planned absence is input in to the system.

Processing

  • The number of supply teachers required is calculated for each school day.

Output

  • Temporary timetables for supply teachers can be printed

cover-teacher

Advantages

  • No paper registers are needed so it’s difficult for the information to be lost, and the information can be sent immediately.
  • Useful for easy location of students – just check which lesson they should be in.
  • It can also be used to record achievements and sanctions, so students can be punished or rewarded easily.

Disadvantages

  • If the system goes down, then no records are accessible unless you have backup paper copies.
  • Teachers may have to be trained to use the software.
  • You need a license to use it, or you must pay a yearly fee which some schools may not be able to afford.
  • Sometimes the software is more of a hindrance than a help – in 2009 the software sent a truancy notice to the parents of a student who had died two months prior.

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