Trusting your Management Information System during a pandemic

The Importance of MIS

Whilst a management information system (MIS) is not the most glamorous part of education, it undoubtedly underpins a school’s overall effectiveness. An effective MIS works for all stakeholders in education and supports the whole school community. It collates and records information and data on pupils, which in turn supports a school’s need to collate, present and record. The overall purpose of MIS is to reduce administrative time, enable effective leadership and provide an overview of school context at any moment in time.

For MATs, it is important that the MIS software is capable of running all schools from a single central login. This enables leaders to maximise the benefits of working together, share accountability, reduce bureaucratic barriers, and promote a shared ethos and understanding.

Using information provided by the management information system, leaders are able to respond accordingly in order to ensure that they are keeping their children safe. Therefore, it is integral that the MIS provides reliable evidence to support leaders and teachers to take action and help inform decision making.

Management Information Systems during a pandemic

If there has ever been a time where educators need to rely on their MIS, it is now. In education, there is always one key priority: the safeguarding of all pupils. There is no doubt that this role is complex and challenging at the best of times, and the global pandemic has exacerbated this. Key to safeguarding pupils effectively is the role of a management information system (MIS).

As we are aware, a MIS plays a critical role in managing data and other information at the speed the situation requires. During this pandemic, a school’s data set could change daily, particularly the reporting of attendance. In this current moment in time, most children are learning from home; therefore, having confidence that the MIS reports attendance and contact with pupils correctly has never been more important. This recording of information supports leaders in reducing the risk of children being missing from education and in tracking vulnerable pupils closely.

Just as pressing as monitoring attendance for schools currently, is the requirement to rigorously record the engagement and impact of a school’s remote learning offer. Over the last few weeks and months, we have seen ‘live lessons’ springing into action across the country, with teachers impressively leading cooking classes from their kitchens, or maths lessons from their lounge. But this is not where the role of a leader or teacher stops: there has been a huge shift in expectations placed on the quality and effectiveness of remote learning during this lockdown and teachers are now expected to rigorously record engagement and impact of these remote learning sessions.

One of the more recent Government announcements informed school leaders that they would be able to ensure all staff are tested for COVID-19 twice a week. This is ensuring that schools can safeguard the health of the teaching workforce and keep as many staff, pupils and students in school and college as possible. The ability of a MIS to record the rapid lateral flow coronavirus (COVID-19) tests is integral to the success of the testing roll-out.

The benefits of a cloud-based MIS

There have always been advantages to having a cloud-based MIS, but never more so than now. Flexibility and the need to be able to respond quickly to an ever-changing landscape is critical. Being able to access an MIS remotely avoids any delay in administration and reporting, without the need to be onsite:

  • Reorganising pupil groups accordingly, eg. critical workers or moving to new bubble etc.
  • Tracking and recording of rapid lateral flow coronavirus tests
  • Managing bubble closures effectively
  • Providing whole school context and ‘view’ for school leaders during any moment in time
  • Supporting and monitoring engagement the delivery of remote learning
  • Connecting the whole school community

This means that suppliers of cloud-based MIS can respond and support a school’s needs more efficiently, something that is much more difficult with on-premises MIS.

Taking MIS to the next level

Juniper Education has a unique approach to providing complimentary services and systems that best support the delivery of effective education in schools. Excitingly, last year Pupil Asset joined the Juniper family. Pupil Asset is an MIS that robustly supports the effective delivery of school administration but also remains focussed on going above and beyond to support teachers in the classroom.

The vision for Juniper Education is to provide more Child-Time. Therefore, the purpose of our MIS is to underpin the delivery of effective education. As we now develop Pupil Asset MIS further, under the new name of Juniper Horizons, schools can benefit from a unique and integrated MIS solution which includes staff observation tools and parental engagement support.

To find out more, visit our Juniper Horizons webpage.