4 ways technology can help with staffing shortages in schools

Whether it’s due to technological advancement, government legislation or a combination of factors, education is evolving; from classroom learning, to administrative management and more. With each fruition, new opportunities and challenges emerge that we must address and adapt to in our continued commitment to empowering students to achieve better outcomes.

Once such challenge was highlighted in a recent article by The Independent, which revealed that the UK Government has failed to meet teacher training targets in most secondary school subjects, and that less than 75% of teaching positions in subjects such as RE, music and maths were recruited for.

With staffing shortages already presenting a significant problem for schools across the country, figures like this are far from comforting for staff members who are already feeling stretched by under-resourcing. With no clear solution in sight, is it unreasonable in this digital age to expect technology to support us with this?

At iSAMS, we believe that this is not only is a very reasonable expectation but an increasingly necessary one. The very idea for our management information system (MIS) was born from teachers’ frustration with software that wasn’t supporting their fundamental needs.

If you’re teaching in a school that’s already under-resourced and understaffed, it’s more important than ever to have access to reliable systems that increase the efficiency of everyday tasks, freeing up time for you to concentrate on providing your students with a positive learning experience in their journey to higher education.

The UK Government has failed to meet teacher training targets in most secondary school subjects.

So, how can technology help?

  1. Quicker access to key school information
    At the heart of the most successful schools is a central database which stores all their key administrative, financial, academic and student wellbeing information; an MIS or equivalent. Whilst it’s all very well having an up-to-date and secure system, if you can’t access the data within it when you need to, it becomes almost nullified.Investing in a 100% web-based MIS like iSAMS means you can access school information wherever you are and whenever you need to. Whether it’s on a school trip, at home or in-between classes, you no longer have to be in school and logged onto a school computer to view the key information you need.

Plus, with iSAMS’ intuitive iOS- and Android- compatible suite of apps, these details are literally at your fingertips, available on your mobile device. Here you can gain instant insights via a fully interactive dashboard, so you don’t have to spend time delving down into systems to find the information you’re looking for.

  1. Organise cover for lessons more easily
    One of your first considerations when faced with a shortage of staff is who’s going to cover the next lesson, which is why the iSAMS Cover Manager module was developed. Pulling through information from other areas of iSAMS’ MIS, this module enables you to take full control of cover lessons.View lists of staff available to cover each absence, add permanent and supply teachers to the booking calendar, suspend lessons from the timetable to make staff available for cover, and email and text staff from a log of their contact details to keep everyone updated. Plus, stay on top of everything using the Master Cover Timetable, which shows you all the cover that’s been arranged for either single or blocks of days and is customisable to meet your exact needs.
  1. Supports school workforce planning
    According to the DFE, staffing costs make up 70-80% of an average school’s expenditure, and you must ensure you’re investing in the right people to deliver the best student outcomes, especially if you’re limited in how many staff members you can hire.[1] A staffing review aims to do exactly this, but it can take up a huge amount of time if this information is not kept in a manageable format.The iSAMS HR Manager provides you with the key features needed to support you in your school workforce planning. These include: managing staff applications from current and former members of staff, storing enrolment details and census information, details of all requested and taken leaves of absence, staff development and appraisal records, and a probation and security section where you can keep track of CRB records and disclosure information. Additionally, with an in-built search functionality, all this is very easy to get hold of when you need it.
  1. Enables you to spend more time teaching
    There are many advantages to having an MIS that’s fully integrated. One of them is that not only is everything accessible through a single interface, but you also only have to update information once and on a single system. This ensures a greater efficiency when managing and sharing key information throughout the school community, which means that you spend less time on administrative tasks and managing information.

We’re not suggesting that technology can replace or fill in for your teachers, but what it can do is support your existing teachers by freeing up their time to concentrate on what they’re fundamentally there to do: teach.

To find out more about iSAMS and how we support teachers, empower students and enhance parental engagement, visit isams.com. If you’re intrigued by the possibilities of our MIS and would like a no-obligation demo of some of the features discussed above, please email sales@isams.com and we’d be delighted to arrange this for you.