Meeting The Digital Challenge in Education


When people think about the challenge of running the education system in the UK, or the challenge of running schools specifically, one of their first thoughts are about the challenges of teaching. Speak to teachers and they would add the changing examinations landscape, the ever increasing record keepingor the inspection visits from OFSTED to the list. Often overlooked is the tremendous task of managing the administration of a school. The endless paperwork that is generated tracking students’ progress, attendance and parental permission forms. Information management is a key foundation to a well-run and effective school. Information has historically always meant paper. Paper files, forms, printers and photocopiers with reams of blank paper arriving on pallets on a regular basis. The thing with paper is it take a lot of effort to manage and control. It costs money to buy, store and move and, when it is needed, it takes time to find and analyse. There have been some major improvements in the way administration is managed in schools in recent years. Parentpay, attendance systems and online learning are ubiquitous. It doesn’t change the fact that most of the core records and information are still held in a paper form. In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the requirements for statistics to be produced by schools to track the education of their students. This reliance on statistical reporting doesn’t look like it is going to change any time soon. If paper is still the primary source then the effort it takes to generate all this data is challenging to say the least. The solution is to move all your information into a digital format. MISL Limited is a leading information and document management company and it has been helping schools to make this transition. Digital information is more agile than its paper predecessor. Paper can only ever be in one place at a time and it takes time to access. Add to that the increased responsibilities for protecting and making information accessible that have been defined by legislationand it is easy to see the benefits of going digital. Digital information really comes into its own when you consider what it can be used for. Digital data allows for all of the statistics to be gathered live. Is attendance an issue? How about setting warning thresholds for attendance in a system that alerts you when there is a dip? How about analysing achievement across all students in a live environment to highlight problem areas or to act as an early warning system for students that need more support? Maybe all your parental permission forms would be better captured online? The possibilities from a fully digital environment are endless. MISL has been working with schools’ information for 34 years now. Originally in microfilm (to reduce space) and since the 1990’s as a scanning and document storage company. They have worked with many schools and government departments to unlock the power of their information through going digital. Increasingly MISL has realised that the key to meeting the digital challenge is to look at the information in a different way. The flow of information through any school throws up new opportunities to make the transition differently. For that reason MISL has devised a complete solution that can be adjusted to suit the organisational context of each school. The tools that MISL has at its disposal cover the full gamut of the challenge. They can store paper records cost effectively, they can carry document scanningand they can design a process to better capture documents generated every day. MISL also has a fully functional document management system that not only manages the scanning process and serves scanned documents securely at the point of need, but also allows for forms capture via the web or on tablets. MISL offers a more consultative approach that starts by helping you understand your information and defineyour needs. It is all very well stating that being digital is the goal but what does that really mean? Is it simply replicating paper in a digital system or is it transforming a document into an electronic form that only allows relevant terms to be selected so that the resulting data can be more accurate and easier to analyse statistically? The MISL approach is different. Yes, they are one of the most experienced companies out there to scan in all of your paperwork, but they will only suggest an approach that actually fulfils your goals, whether that involves lots of scanning or not. MISL will build an end to end solution that works, pure and simple. MISL’s mantra says it all: Your data, your way. Contact us for an informal discussion: or 01992 470060