Are you ready to innovate in your school?

Monday, 7 November 2022 by Weduc

Education is currently going through a gear change, as schools continue to adjust and reexplore what education should look like in a modern, post-pandemic world. However, on this journey, the adjustment to remote learning was just the beginning.

Evidence has suggested that, in schools, “innovation is not only necessary but can be exciting and rewarding and result in a whole range of benefits.” And there are multiple reasons for this.

For one, there are reports that suggest education as it stands is not giving young people the skills they need for the future. For instance, half of all employers have found that schools are not adequately preparing young people for the world of work. In addition, research found that, in 2020, the average GCSE grade gap between low-income pupils and their peers was 1.6 grades.

As a result, schools require innovative change “to enable greater creativity, flexibility… to deliver a more personalised educational system” and address an attainment gap that has only been worsened by the pandemic.

Of course, systemic change that truly addresses the societal factors at play in these issues needs to occur in a top down fashion, with initiatives that stem from the government first. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things individual schools and MATs can do to “enable greater creativity, flexibility…. and to deliver a more personalised educational system and foster new skills amongst learners.”

That’s why we’re exploring how schools can nurture a culture of transformative innovation and ensure the young people that pass through their doors are receiving an education that is in touch with the modern world.

What to consider before making changes in school

Of course, overhauling systems in schools isn’t as simple as just making a switch. It can be a huge process for both staff and pupils, requiring staff to learn new ways of doing things, and for pupils to give them a grace period while this is occurring.

But the benefits clearly outweigh these issues as UK schools are leading the way when it comes to bringing the use of technology into everyday teaching and learning practices. So, what do schools that are looking to join this movement into the future need to keep in mind before making the leap?

  1. What are your goals?
    Clearly, there’s a reason your school is looking to make changes and adopt technology. So, before you start to invest, you need to decide exactly what it is you want to achieve. For instance, if it’s improved pupil wellbeing, then you need a solution that can involve parents. Or if it’s to reduce the admin burden on teachers, then you need a system that can automate tasks.

    This is where it’s also important to gather the opinions of any relevant stakeholders to make sure the visions of the school and its stakeholders align.

  2. What do your pupils and their parents want?
    It can be easy to jump straight into considering what staff want and need from an EdTech solution, however, asking pupils and their parents what they want can be a very valuable exercise. It can enable you to look for a solution that can uniquely cater to the issues they’re directly experiencing.

    Plus, if your pupils feel involved in the process of change it can provide a sense of belonging and ownership over the new systems that can override any inconveniences that occur during the installation process.

  3. What do your staff want?
    This is important for all the same reasons as above, but also because your staff are the people who will be using the new system day in, day out. This means it’s vital to ask them what they want from any upcoming changes. That way, they won’t resent having to learn to use something new and will be able to understand the benefits right from the outset.

  4. What resources do you have available?
    This point is both simple and not so simple. At the end of the day, you can’t spend more on a system than your school has got to spare. On the other hand, it’s important to calculate the costs you could save by incorporating all your systems into one, instead of having multiple systems that don’t ‘talk’ to each other. That way, you can truly gauge the budget you have available to invest.

5 ways schools can innovate

So, you know you want to make a change in your school. The trouble is, EdTech solutions seem to be quadrupling by the minute, and now there’s too many to choose from. So, we’ve broken down a few vital options to consider right here.

  1. Communications platform
    Make communications easy by investing in a platform that can make it simple to fire messages across the school, talk to parents in a variety of ways, and track responses. Best of all, provide one place in which teachers, parents, and pupils can all read messages and respond. This way, it’s easy to flag issues with parents or other teachers and come to speedy resolutions.

  2. Parental engagement platform
    There’s evidence to show that parental engagement has a more significant impact on pupil outcomes than any other aspect of schooling. Clearly then, parental engagement is key to ensuring your pupils are prepared for later life. A parental engagement platform can bring all the key information parents need into one place, help to manage home learning, and support parents’ involvement with their child’s education in a multitude of ways.

  3. Parents’ evening system
    Speaking of parental engagement, improve attendance for all future parents’ evenings with a digital parents’ evening system that allows them to attend online and choose appointment times that work around their schedule. Plus, make life easier for teachers by reducing the need to chase responses and providing allotted appointment times, so they can’t run over on the night.

  4. Homework app
    We all know that the problem with telling pupils their homework requirements is that they forget. That’s why a homework app can save time for teachers and improve pupil outcomes by providing one place to communicate homework tasks, set deadlines, view completed work, and keep pupils organised.

  5. School meal manager
    Innovate school catering with a school dinner app. Enable parents to book meals in advance with easy to access menus with allergy information, plus enable discreet management of free school meals. Better still, innovate cashless school catering and prevent debt mounting up by providing access to easy online payments.

  6. Custom branded app
    Better yet, bring all the systems you need into one place with an app that’s custom branded to your school. Post messages across all systems with one click, provide an information hub for parents and pupils, choose what solutions you want as part of the app, and discover the simpler way to take payments for everything from school trips to school meals.

It’s time to reinvent your school

At Weduc, we understand that many schools are going through the process of school innovation and that adapting to change can be challenging. That’s why, alongside our EdTech solutions we provide a comprehensive support service, so that you can be sure your school is in safe hands, whatever you decide to do.

So, whether you want to innovate school dinners, school communications, parental engagement, or homework processes, click here to book an informal chat at a time that suits you. Alternatively, drop us a line via our enquiry form, or give us a call on 01509 221 349.

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