Taking the register may seem like just an administration task, but in reality it’s an essential part of a teacher’s day, not simply because twice daily registration is a statutory requirement, but because the process underpins so many other tasks and a duty of care for pupils.
In most cases, the register is no longer hand written – and rightly so. The sheer amount of data that is generated via registration is quite staggering. In a school of 500 pupils, we’re talking about 1,000 pieces of data a day or nearly 200,000 per year. When you scale up to bigger schools or MATs, it’s easy to see how rapidly these figures can multiply and how unrealistic it is to consider manual data entry of hand-written registers. This is incredibly important data that requires easy access and interpretation.
When it came to creating Take Register, our key focus centred on making the process as fast and intuitive as possible. SIMS Next Gen is aiming to free up teachers from burdensome administration to instead focus on what they do best, teach. Let’s not forget that a register is, after all, a simple mechanism to record whether a child is present or not.
The result is, and we hope teachers and school leaders will agree, quietly impressive.
It probably isn’t a surprise to learn that there are peak times for morning and afternoon registration. When you consider primaries and secondaries, we’re talking about millions of ‘present’ or ‘absent’ lines of data every single day. With that in mind, we’ve built Take Register from the ground up, to be able to handle these morning and afternoon peaks in a seamless, highly-functional way.
Take Register is a web-based product, hosted by ESS. In plain English, this means teachers don’t require a specific device to use it, instead it can be accessed by mobile phone or tablet. It is easier than taking a paper register and is, in fact, so simple to use - there is no need for any training. Critically, it takes just five minutes for Take Register’s data to be synchronised back into SIMS.
We’re in the process of rolling out Take Register to a small pilot group of primary schools before beginning a rigorous period of feedback to iron out any teething problems. At the same time, we’re starting to develop Take Register for secondaries – with more of a focus on lesson attendance. We are, of course, also developing a Welsh language version, too.
Take Register is designed to make life easier for teachers, which is an equally exciting and fulfilling challenge. It offers a glimpse of what to expect with SIMS Next Gen as we focus on supporting teachers in the classroom.