In a world where students are almost always online and schools are placing a vast amount of emphasis on computer literacy, Laura Marley, teacher for year 5 and 6, as well as IT teacher and member of the Senior Leadership Team at Annfield Plain Junior School, explains that “anything that used to be paper-based is now online.” This extends beyond the classroom at Annfield Plain Junior School, as staff are now using Impero Classroom and Impero Wellbeing to monitor concerns about safeguarding and bullying, as well as to create a dossier of evidence to present to parents, professionals and local governments.
Prior to using Impero, Annfield Plain Junior School did not have a central system for safeguarding. The Head Teacher was responsible for recording every concern and was informed along with other staff with notes or via email. However, it was clear that creating a streamlined system would help with a variety of concerns, from saving time for staff to providing a good way to record data and have evidence to provide to parents, staff and local authorities/councils.
With student mental health and wellbeing concerns ‘at an all-time high,’ it was important to find a solution that could help the school better safeguard their students. Another key area of focus was online safety and cyber-bullying, with these incidents happening daily. The system needed to be able to better monitor safeguarding or bullying concerns providing somewhere to store information and evidence for parents, professionals and local governments.
Another key requirement was the ability to create and maintain a whole school approach. The school needed a solution which all school staff would be able to use ensuring safeguarding is a responsibility shared by the entire staff.
In September 2021, every staff member at Annfield started using Classroom and Wellbeing. Laura says that teachers, teaching assistants, attendance officers, and support staff started using the system as they were aiming to streamline and implement a whole-school approach to safeguarding (i.e. ensure the responsibility for safeguarding students is shared by the entire staff).
“Many of the features of the software are proving invaluable. The most important aspect of the software is that all concerns are in one place and can be viewed in chronological order. This helps staff to keep track of unfolding events, recognise when there needs to be an alert, and also feel more confident in flagging issues, no matter how small they may seem.”
Laura says that since implementing Wellbeing, Annfield Plain Junior School has felt better equipped to deal with safeguarding concerns.
“As [our school] is in an area where County Lines is an issue, as well as online safety and cyber bullying, it is useful to maintain a system of evidence and allow for a quick flagging system.”
The reporting functionality in Wellbeing has enabled Annfield Plain Junior to provide better evidence to external organisations and even apply for funding which will go towards further upgrades to technology.
“Evidence collected can be supplied to local authorities to support claims on an individual students Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and potentially raise more funds.”
Additionally, Classroom and Wellbeing have enabled Annfield Plain Junior School to better manage and communicate about safeguarding concerns. Laura has found the most important features to be the centralised reporting system, alerts functionality, student chronology and real-time screen monitoring. And when a teacher spots an issue that needs to be shared with a student’s parents, Impero allows them to feel more confident as it allows them to have the information right in front of them for those conversations.
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