SIMS Learning Gateway

February 22, 2009 § 1 Comment

Hamble College are one of the pilot schools for the Hampsire SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) project. In all honesty, it could be the straw that broke the camels bac but I did not think it was something we could miss out on. Its is central to all we are trying to achieve at Hamble College, afterall parental involvement is in my view critical to a schools success.

SLG permits the school and parents share information on 4 critical aspects;

Attendance

Behaviour -achievement and challenging

Progress and attainment

Special needs

IMHO two key points stand out in the conversations, ensuring secure web access to areas of SIMS for parents, students and teachers and how live, LIVE read / write access to SIMS data from computers with internet connection should be. There is was final point to discuss, staff workload expectations. While I accept that making this information / data available to users groups is a step forward there is a need to ensure that staff maintain an appropriate work/life balance. I write this on the back of half-term and its not meant to be a glib statement.

The next thinking bubble is about the integrity of the data – if SLG is to be effective it must report accurate, consistent and complete data. How do middle managers ensure this is achieved?

Looks like I am going back to the ‘Becta Framework’ and how best to develop strategy, policies and procedures and to be convinced by a series of endorsement quotes.

According to Becta ‘Providing parents with timely and meaningful information about their children’s school lives and work can help raise learner achievement,’  – really, I sold.

Now remember that all future, current and historic data will be available for students and parental scrutiny (data recorded without the openness in mind. What of the costs if that data is not accurate, consistent and complete? Has anyone forward thought or discussed the inevitable…. what happens when the erroneous data makes its mark? There are many potential pitfalls, incorrect registers, misplaced comments or misplaced staff laptop? Someone, somewhere, some school will be let down trying to apply online LIVE reporting. What strategies / policies must be put in place to not only to ensure the best working practices but to saftey net the pilot mistakes? I am not being pessimisitic but, I didnt get any guidance on the unforeseen…. only in this modern data driven world has it already been foretold?

uk-government-loses-data-on-25-million-britons and home-office-branded-an-utter-disgrace-after-data-loss

and there were plenty to chose from.

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§ One Response to SIMS Learning Gateway

  • daibarnes says:

    We’ve set up SLG this year as well. Parental access is not there yet though, by choice. We do not have to meet Gov’t demands and I am not convinced this is the best way forward. Do we want parents to see this info? Why? Which parents will look at it? We also have to provide some balance of space for the children is my main concern. Keep parents out! In Moodle for example, do you want parents to see everything their child writes – don’t you want to provide a protected plavce where the child can be who they want to be in front of adults who are not their children? I know my three kids behave very differently to their teachers (whom I work with) than they do to me.

    This is a very interesting topic and I’m not 100% swayed in any direction as to which is the best way to go.

    Parents aren’t going to want to see bad stuff.
    Teachers aren’t going to want to be scrutinised to such an intense level (the pressure).
    Pupils are going to want to be able to get away with more – we’re already killing them softly with data driven exams etc.

    My fear is that providing this data to homes is getting locked in by the box and not good thinking. Nobody really wants it, certainly not the critical mass.

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