Schools implementing electronic system to streamline document management

Arena Group

Arena works with many clients in the education sector, helping them with the common issues they face relating to the management, control and security of their vital documents. In addition to copy and print, and managed print services, Arena Group has developed mstore for Education, its own electronic document and records management system (EDRMS). mstore delivers a user-friendly mechanism to improve the whole document storage, retrieval and archiving process, whilst adding a level of security and functionality to improve legal compliance and the security of critical files.

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With document retention periods ranging from days to years, document-management specialists Arena Group are working to save schools from storage and retrieval problems. The company’s mstore software, an electronic document and records management system (EDRMS), helps school staff to stick to requirements from the Data Protection Act 1998, which state that schools should not keep records for any longer than necessary.

Using mstore, schools are able to process, maintain and dispose of records as needed with minimal time and manpower. It also allows staff to keep a record of destroyed documents as required. Space issues can be addressed by scanning paper files and storing them electronically. Provided that staff have a system that enables compliance with BS10008 (a standard and code of practice which ensures the evidential weight of documents stored electronically), they can destroy the original paper documents and still have a legally admissible record.

mstore has made the processing of our pupil records much more efficient,” said Ian Parnaby, business and community leader at York High School. “We’ve gained valuable time and storage space, we are dealing with less paper and we feel confident that our documents are very secure.”

According to Arena, an efficient EDRMS will apply retention rules to each part of a classification of documents stored in the system. Documents are stored against the appropriate classification (eg attendance, admission, parental permission forms, SEN statements). The system can then apply rules to dispose of documents or present them for review on a set date - possibly with reference to pupil specific information, such as date of birth. Those documents with a fixed disposal date can be automatically weeded from the files, keeping schools compliant with their policies. This approach can reduce the management time associated with retention, and completely eliminates the issues associated with large physical paper archives.

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