MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Programmed to Do Better ; New Software Is Helping Schools " and Parents " to Tackle Truancy and Disruption
Smith, Claire, The Independent (London, England)
It sounds like an idea for a science-fiction novel: 'Computer program saves school'. But at King George V in South Tyneside, truth is stranger than fiction.
Two years ago, the 600-pupil co-ed comprehensive was judged a failing school and put on special measures. With pupils from council estates classed in the top 5 per cent of the most socially deprived, its challenges were typical: low attendance (about 85 per cent), disruptive behaviour, lack of attention in class and poor attainment. Now, two years later, it is ranked as the 32nd most- improved school in the country on GCSE results. How did they turn things around?
'We found a technology that made it easier for us to monitor attendance and behaviour. This helped us to steer our resources in the right direction,' says the head, John Frain.
The software was Serco Learning's ePortal, a web-based live database that can be used to record attendance, misbehaviour, student assessments and reports. Each teacher at King George V has a networked laptop, and they can all simultaneously access the system to input and review comments about students.
'Now teachers can see how a pupil who is causing trouble in their class is behaving in other classes, simply by looking at their computer. It allows one person to get a holistic view of what's really happening with individual children on a day-to-day basis. When you can see the behaviour, then you can start to manage it,' says Serco's marketing director, Michelle McCann.
At King George, teachers began to log any incidents of misbehaviour. Before, they would write it on a slip of paper and hand it to an administrator to input. The school was taking part in a nationwide behaviour improvement programme. This meant it had to deploy a 'lead behaviour professional', a specially trained teaching assistant whose job it is to deal with class disruptions. It's not just bad behaviour that's noted. At the end of each term, pupils with clean attendance records go into a draw with a chance to win a mountain bike. Adding fun and motivation, at the …
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Publication information: Article title: MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Programmed to Do Better ; New Software Is Helping Schools " and Parents " to Tackle Truancy and Disruption. Contributors: Smith, Claire - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: June 2, 2005. Page number: 9. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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