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:
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.
- Personal data (name, age, gender, educational needs, social background, ethnicity)
- Family data (address, parents’ details,siblings)
- Prior academic data(Standardized test results)
- Calculating how many students will be joining the school the following year
- Gender breakdown of a year group
- Academic profile of a year-group
- 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
School Information Systems are primarily used on a daily basis to keep track of student attendance and reasons for absence.
- 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)
- Overall attendance percentage is calculated for each student
- School-wide attendance percentages are calculated.
- 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.
Did you know?
Students with an attendance rate of 90% see an average grade drop of 1 GCSE grade for each subject they take
School management systems are widely used to record performance of students. This includes both academic and behavior performance information.
- 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)
- Student average grades are calculated
- Year group averages can be calculated
- 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.
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.
- Teacher planned absence is input in to the system.
- The number of supply teachers required is calculated for each school day.
- Temporary timetables for supply teachers can be printed
- 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.
- 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.