The wide range of learner ability, different learning styles and other carefully considered attributes such as social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) all play a role in supporting our learners.
There can also be physical or assistive needs, attendance or behavior issues some of which, can be related to external factors – these all have a part to play in the lives of each learner in your school.
There are so many people that need to be involved in the process of supporting our learners, processes and systems, forms and reports, documents and data, meetings and monitoring. The list can often look like;
- External Consultants or Practitioners
- Learning Support and SEN team
- Career Guidance and Counselling
- Year/Form Heads
- Class Tutors
- The Learner
Creating an inclusive culture in a school ultimately means bringing everyone together. It also means bringing all the information about each individual learner together too. This can be a challenge for any school as we have seen over the past number of years in building SchoolWise.
There is so much that needs to happen in order just to get to the starting point and often creates big time sinks, increases workload and can even cause friction. Making sure that learners do not get lost in the process or overlooked while also making sure those who are receiving support are catered can be very difficult to manage.
Ultimately we know that while learners have certain similarities and traits – every learner in a school is different and we need to support each and every one.
So while group or individual supports are put in place for some learners and more intensive supports for a few, support for all learners is just as important. We already have support in the platform for automatically differentiating learners in SchoolWise but we needed to do more.
So, when we sat down with our schools to see how the management of all learners right across the continuum of support was currently being done, we underestimated the amount of time and volume of work undertaken by everyone in the school to support them. The countless conversations, review meetings, notes, phone calls, emails, documents, forms, assessment and screening data, collating and reporting of information is immense. Schools are certainly not given enough credit for this work that nobody outside of the school walls gets to see.
This produces information from insular and fragmented systems and processes, some manually produced, some from assessment tests, some from the MIS/SIS, some from spreadsheets or documents and everything else on paper. Trying to bring all this together while still making sure that the correct information it is accessible by the right people is a huge challenge.
The key takeaways that we took were
- The teacher is crucial to the process.
- Learners with emerging issues were difficult to identify and is a very involved manual process.
- Communication with everyone involved was essential but difficult to manage and keep track of.
- Managing processes is complex and arduous.
- Everything must be GDPR compliant
The Solution = Learner Support
Taking a holistic approach to the problem and ensuring we are able to help you grow and nurture an inclusive school to the highest level was essential to our process. We listened hard to everyone involved to see what their needs and requirements were and in the end, we are excited to finally introduce Learner Support.
Finally, after 14 months of research, focus groups, pilots and the generosity of our schools, you now have the ‘big picture’ of every learner in your school with the ability to store and access all of their information in one place. SchoolWise brings everything and everyone together to support each and every learner.
The continuum of support is built right in to SchoolWise with the ability to create individual learning plans (ILP’s), store notes, track conversations, medical information, message teachers, year heads, store CAT4 and other testing data along with assessment and homework analysis.
A closed loop that keeps everyone informed, involved and up to date from teachers to year heads, learning support to guidance and management to the learner all in one place.
Learner Support will be available to everyone in January 2020. What better way to kick start the new year! More information will be available after the Christmas Holidays!