Five ways to create an agile school in a post-covid world

As the covid pandemic reaches the most critical point, schools and many educational providers find themselves having to adapt yet again. While adjustments such as remote learning no longer
have the novelty they did last spring, the situation many schools find themselves in is still far from normal.

The vaccination programme being rolled out across the UK provides some light at the end of the tunnel. While we may have to learn how to live with covid in the long term, much like we do the flu,
this pandemic will end, and at some point, some form of normality will resume.

When this time comes, it’s important schools, nurseries and educational providers stay agile so they can flourish in a post-covid world. In this blog we explore five ways schools can do this.

1. Streamlining administrative processes

A recent report by the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) , suggested improving efficiency could save schools up 10-20 per cent in costs each year while also increasing teaching capacity. The findings include improving the process for capturing accurate student data, ensuring there is only one main source of data and minimising the use of paper as simple ways to address this.

As a company that holds the appropriate use of data at the heart of all we do, we welcome this. Efficient processes can save you time, money and enhance your image. For example, something as simple as creating a paperless solution for tracking visitors on your site, will not only give you peace of mind that you can retrieve figures of those in your school in a moment, but you’ll save time. Especially if the software enables guests to sign in without the need of a staff member for example, and maybe the host could then be alerted, again without the need of a staff member. A system like CBSecurepass provides this plus there are also additional benefits such as being able
to retrieve data on late pupils without the need to trawl through spreadsheets or paper forms.

2. Implement a remote learning strategy

While normality will eventually resume, it is a good idea to think through what a remote learning strategy could look like. While this is a long term piece of work, the chances are we will be managing covid-related challenges for a few years yet. It could also benefit your school in many other areas such as snow days or school emergencies.

A well-thought through strategy and clear communications could combat some of the challenges which have already risen from online learning.

Recent guidance by Ofsted outlines common myths such as a belief that live lessons are the best way to teach pupils, learning has to be digital and remote learning offers a different curriculum to school-based lessons.

It’s also become apparent that there are disparities in how families access a good internet connection and hardware. This is backed up by a recent report by Nominet that shows 20 per cent of parents don’t have a consistently reliable connection and 21 per cent are sharing devices with their children to juggle the demands of remote working and home-schooling.

Schools that are thinking about how they can deliver online learning in the long term while addressing the challenges that have arisen, are well positioned to help their students flourish. There are many ways this can be done and isn’t about having the latest tech, but rather thinking ahead.

4. Safeguarding

Ever at the forefront of any educational professional’s mind, there’s no doubt your school has a robust policy, but how easy is it to manage and administer? Have you considered how you can streamline any superfluous administrative system and align your processes to enable a stronger flow between departments?

From capturing the image of all visitors on site, especially those who pick children up earlier during the day, to knowing the exact times a guest was in the school, now may be a good time to explore how technological solutions such as CBSecurepass can help with this. Administrative duties will change and inevitably increase with all the changes the pandemic will bring, so giving yourself peace of mind in this extremely important area, is one way to future-proof your school and there’s no doubt your administrative and safeguarding teams will thank you for it!

5. Review staff roles

The pandemic would have forced staff to pick up tasks outside of their remit or even double up on a role, especially within smaller schools where everyone ‘mucks in’. Also given some staff will be teaching from home and some on site, it may not be obvious who’s doing what.

Ensuring the process for reviewing work while maintaining strong lines of communication, is more important now than ever. This may be something to raise with your HR colleagues if they’re not already addressing this.

Your school will be more agile and leaders can distribute tasks more effectively when they have clear processes. Also prioritising your staff’s wellbeing and workload, especially at a time like this will maintain morale which will in turn make your school more resilient.

Through we are still in the eye of the storm, it’s the schools that are forward-thinking and open to new ways of working, be that through tech or simplifying processes, that will be best placed not only to survive once the worst is over, but also thrive in a post-covid world.

We provide solutions for primary schools, secondary schools, sixth forms, multi-academy trusts and higher education establishments through our secure visitor management system, CBSecurepass. By using CBSecurepass your organisation will look professional, you will save time and money, instantly improve your safeguarding process and gain complete oversight of the movement of everyone on site.

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