Management Information System (MIS) for schools
Expert ideas for a better working life at your school or trust
Category : Blog
What is an MIS? An school MIS, or management information system, is a piece of software which brings together data into one place, and helps organisations make decisions, from daily tasks through to top-level strategy. Every school in the UK has to have an MIS, which manages data around all aspects of school life. A
An school MIS, or management information system, is a piece of software which brings together data into one place, and helps organisations make decisions, from daily tasks through to top-level strategy.
Every school in the UK has to have an MIS, which manages data around all aspects of school life. A school MIS is used by the teachers to take the register or log behaviour incidents, by the headteacher to see cross-school statistics, and the office staff and data team to analyse information and contact parents.
Each school can pick their MIS based around their own unique needs. Over the past five years, more and more schools are moving away from legacy, server-based MIS and are instead choosing to go with cloud-based MIS. In Autumn of 2021, over 1,400 schools moved to the cloud in one term alone.
Cloud-based systems can help consolidate all core student and staff data, including attainment, progress, behaviour, payments and messages into one system, improving reporting and giving schools a truly holistic view of their organisation.
Cloud MIS allow school staff to work from anywhere, a benefit realised by many of those already with cloud systems during the pandemic. But there are plenty of other benefits too, including the ability to have a far more holistic view of your school or trust, and cost-saving.
Having a good MIS is essential for effective governance in any school or trust. To be able to challenge a school or trust’s performance, or to have a true understanding of what is going on in your organisation, having up-to-date information that can be interrogated easily is crucial.
Often, governing boards have to rely on reports being manually number-crunched, meaning the data can lag behind real time events by the time their meetings take place. Without an MIS that allows you to have a live feed of data, it’s impossible to accurately understand what is going on in a school.
Cost-savings are also a critical part of moving to cloud MIS, particularly with many schools reviewing their budgets as a result of the cost of living crisis. Cloud-based MIS systems are typically 20%-30% cheaper in terms of license fees and support. They also help reduce the number of systems you need in your school, as functionality isn’t modular and comes as standard (e.g. SMS, online payments, parent evening booking etc). This is important as budgets are tight.
Hannah Stolton, CEO of governor and trustee recruitment charity ‘Governors for Schools’, sees the effective use of a MIS as important for all governors. ‘A key element of a governor’s role is to provide effective and robust challenge to school leaders. Data is a key form of evidence that governors can use to help with their questioning. From attendance, attainment, and monitoring trends, access to up-to-date information is vital to enable governors to perform this function effectively.
Arbor is a cloud-based MIS, helping schools of all sizes work more easily and collaboratively, with intuitive tools designed to make a difference. With over 3,500 schools and trusts, we are the UK’s fastest-growing MIS community.
In Arbor, governors can use tools such as Custom Report Writer to build out a report unique to their school, and live feed this report into Google or Power BI. Governors can look at this information any time and know that their live dashboard is up-to-date and truly reflects what is going on in their school. This could be for when governors want to see a statistical average for Pupil Premium attainment, or the attendance for a particular demographic in one year group – any kind of information that needs to be investigated.
Arbor are also proud to have a team made up of ex-teachers and school staff, many of whom continue to be governors. Click here to hear more from our school governors and trustees.
If you think your school or trust would benefit from reviewing their MIS, we’d be happy to talk through your options with you, to help you find the right fit. Click here to get in touch with one of our friendly team.
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