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Schools must invest in integrated technology to reduce teacher workload, says Advanced

Cloud-based MIS solutions and wearable devices can eliminate data duplication

Schools must realise the potential of cloud solutions and other disruptive technologies, such as wearable devices, to tackle the escalating issue of teacher workload. Investing in integrated Management Information Systems (MIS) will help to eliminate disparate sources of information to manage, freeing-up time to teach and improving morale.

This is the advice from a new white paper, ‘An integrated education. Can technology genuinely reduce teacher workload?’ commissioned by leading software provider Advanced Learning (Advanced) in association with ed-tech innovator and entrepreneur, John Roberts.

Schools are facing a teacher shortage crisis with *53% contemplating leaving their profession in the next two years, partly due to excessive workloads. This follows The Department for Education’s Workload Challenge survey where 56% of teachers admitted significant frustrations with recording, inputting and monitoring information, with 45% citing that data duplication added to their workload burden.

Government policy has influenced schools to capture increasing volumes of data which has diffused down to teachers. This has been exacerbated by a ‘collect as much as possible’ principle by senior management and further compounded by poor implementations of outdated MIS, leading to a culture of ‘data drowning’.

John Roberts explains, “UK schools invest £600m each year on ICT but the MIS market remains dominated by a single monopoly which stifles innovation. With many disruptive technologies reaching maturity, schools no longer have to compromise on quality and can take advantage of modern solutions which meet for their specific needs.

“Cloud-based solutions, wearable technologies and personal low-cost devices automate manual data entry procedures and have enormous potential to dramatically reduce the workload of teachers and allow them to do what they do best: teach.”

Schools’ ability to embrace innovations in education technology is limited by restrictive IT infrastructure and outdated systems. Flexible cloud-based MIS streamline the collection and reporting of reliable, decision-driven data and provide schools with a single source to communicate content and analysis. By optimising workflows, MIS solutions eliminate the need for information to be entered twice and significantly remove the administrative burden placed upon teachers and facilitators.

Moving to the cloud also encourages interoperability so that school data no longer has to reside in separate silos. This allows teachers to better collaborate together and build effective pupil relationships to enhance learner outcomes and decrease workload.

Andy Makeham, Managing Director of Advanced Learning, comments, “Alongside sensible Government policy and school leadership focused on retaining quality teachers, cloud-based MIS solutions can play a genuine role in cutting unnecessary workload and enhancing pupil achievement.

“However unless schools realise the potential benefits of embedded technologies and raise their expectations of what software providers can deliver, the potential to impact teachers’ well-being will remain unrealised.”