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Joining the Juniper family

As you may know, Pupil Asset joined Juniper Education in spring last year. It was an easy decision joining Juniper because we loved their vision of bringing together education services and experts to create solutions that support schools in a new and truly joined up way. We are all driving towards the same goal – creating more Child-Time by increasing insights and efficiency at every point of the school day.

What has this meant to Pupil Asset MIS?

Last autumn we relaunched Pupil Asset MIS as Juniper Horizons for new customers. The purpose of this was to signify an increased focus and investment in development, but to also update the appearance in line with other Juniper services.

The temptation when something is new is to create an immediate impact which everyone notices and talks about. Changes to Pupil Asset MIS are not a new thing, but previously as a small company with limited resources, meant that those changes weren’t always finessed. Now part of Juniper, I recently found myself reassuring our development team that, if no-one noticed that they had done anything, then they had done a good job – not always the most motivational thing to hear, but important, nonetheless!

Since joining Juniper Education our focus has been on two key areas, ‘under the hood’ (speed and reliability) and improving the User Experience.

Subtle adaptations have been made to the way teachers and administrators navigate through commonly used pages. Making them look better, work in a slightly more logical way and remember preferences more efficiently.

All of these incremental developments are being applied to both Pupil Asset MIS and the rebranded version, Juniper Horizons MIS.

The doctrine of marginal gains

Subtle improvements to the interface mean every time someone uses our MIS, we save seconds, minutes and ultimately hours of time for that person. If we make the changes in the right way, these savings come without having to re-learn new processes. When we add new functionality in the right way, it gets used without us needing to find ways to update busy people how to do so. The aim is to deliver intuitive design, where the process and next steps are obvious.

Your MIS experience, how are we doing?

Since last summer, among other things, we’ve supported ongoing statutory changes to attendance and registration during the partial school shutdown. We have created reports which take the pressure away from the daily DfE ESS returns and introduced the facility to manage bubble classes.

Critically we’ve improved the design and functionality of some key pages.

We are continuing to implement a new and more consistent user interface (the layout and design of the software). This interface is present on our most recent pages; for example, COVID test reporting pages and file management. Ongoing refinement of the interface and user experience will continue to be applied across existing pages during the coming months.

Our aim is to create a clearer path through the software and make pages easier to navigate without the need for training. In addition, we are bringing the software up to date, aligning it with current technology.

To help new and existing users we are also implementing in-page help on more complex pages so users can get quick access to text guidance, how-to pages and support channels.

But we’re not sure you noticed those, at least we hope you didn’t! The goal is that you just used them as you always have and it was just a little bit quicker, giving you that bit more time to get on and do something else.

To find out more, visit our Juniper Horizons webpage.

Stella Mead

Stella Mead

Stella has been involved in Education for over 20 years, starting that journey with Norfolk Local Authority, planning and implementing the NGfL roll out across the county. Various roles in the private sector covering LAN Design, Careers Events and Marketing and Quality Assurance led Stella, in 2007, to Pupil Asset, who have recently been acquired by Juniper Education at which point she moved from Educational Director to her current role as Director of MIS Support. Pupil Asset specialised in assessment and school management software for the primary sector. Stella has supported schools through the change from levels to the current curriculum led models of assessment, to changes in Early Years assessment and embracing new and innovative ways to manage day to day processes online using Pupil Asset MIS through a mixture of product strategy, training and customer support.