Reduced workload through smarter CPD [interview]

SchooliP by Derventio Education

Established in 2006, Derventio Education develop software to help schools, colleges and universities to be more efficient and effective. Find out more about us & how we can help you. SchooliP supports leaders to improve teacher effectiveness through streamlining professional development, self-evaluation and improvement planning.

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Image courtesy of supplier. Image courtesy of supplier.

With the new academic year upon us, we wanted to introduce you to Manor Farm Community Junior School and their major successes with professional development, self-evaluation and improvement planning. Here, headteacher Andrew Sierant shares how the school eliminated the need for paper, raised the profile of professional development, and found an efficient new way to manage teacher and staff appraisals…

Tell us about the school’s old method for managing appraisals and professional development.

“Everything was paper-based, with copies stored online. For staff, it was a paper-chasing task that they needed to be on top of. It was neither as efficient nor productive as the appraisal system should have been. I had to trawl through individual files with staff information to then produce reports for governors. Overall, it was an unwieldy process.”

How did you first hear about SchooliP? Why did you choose it for your school?

“I came across SchooliP at the Bett Show. A better system was desired to 'manage' appraisals, and we wanted to get away from it being a paper-chase. Also, I wanted staff to take more responsibility for their own development, and to have somewhere that they could record CPD and evidence towards targets set. In some cases, for staff to even remember their actual objectives and targets! It became obvious fairly quickly that SchooliP could enable all personal development information, related to all members of staff in the school, to be stored in one easy-to-access location.”

Has SchooliP been beneficial to the school?

“Absolutely - everything is now in one place! I can look at each individual member of staff, whenever I want, to see how they are progressing towards objectives/targets set. In some cases, I use this to remind a member of staff that they do not have anything recorded! The information shows how objectives and targets link to the School Development Plan (SDP) and how the evidence on there supports the Self Evaluation Form.

“I can produce reports that inform governors and provides information for the Pay Review Committee. It acts as a great starting point in conversations that I have with staff during appraisal meetings. It also helps staff to prepare for these discussions. Staff have taken more responsibility for their own development. Governors use the software for recording my objectives and how I am meeting them. Professional standards have been added for our teaching assistants and administration staff. In fact, we use SchooliP for all of our staff body.”

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How have staff received SchooliP?

“Staff have embraced it and all make good use of it. In a way, they have to, as they need to input information to be a part of the appraisal meetings. Records of CPD undertaken are much more accurate than before. Overall, it has improved the appraisal / development process.”

What specific results have you seen since implementing the platform?

“More focused and direct appraisal discussions is a big one. This saves time, and both parties have a better understanding of what staff have achieved, as well as steps to develop further. As a head, SchooliP has saved me time and organised me to be better prepared for appraisals. It has allowed us as a school to ensure that targets and objectives set are supporting school improvement.”

Which feature do you find most helpful and why?

“Being able to have staff assess themselves against their relevant standards was a great way to engage staff in SchooliP, and provided a focus for starting appraisal discussions. Showing how targets and objectives link to the SDP provides evidence that we are all working together in improving the school.”

What would you tell another school if they were considering SchooliP?

“If you would like an online system that addresses staff appraisal and development, then SchooliP does that for you. It saves time and helps reduce my workload, as well as staff workloads in general. It is backed up through online and telephone communication, as well as one-to-one support from Derventio Education. The system gives real value for money; the more you make use of it, the better that value is.

“I recently had Derventio Education come into school and give me some support. This involved walking me through various aspects of the system… even the ones that I had forgotten. This was invaluable, and there was no additional cost!”

Describe SchooliP in no more than 10 words.

“An all-encompassing school / staff development and improvement tool.”

We’re delighted that Andrew has given such a positive account of his experience in using SchooliP. We pride ourselves on delivering satisfaction to our customers and listening to their needs. If you would like to experience the school improvement benefits that are being enjoyed by Manor Farm Community Junior School, please get in touch on 0333 0433 450 or Alternatively, click here to arrange an onsite or online demonstration of SchooliP.

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