Located in London, Ark Greenwich Free School is part of Ark Multi-Academy Trust and strives to keep its students safe and protected in an online environment. Ark Greenwich Free School is passionate about developing an exemplary pastoral system and structured the school in a way every child is known well by every adult, to ensure no child is left behind.
Prior to Impero EdAware, Ark Greenwich Free School managed and raised safeguarding concerns through a paper-based system formatted around “purple forms”, with safeguarding trends tracked via an Excel spreadsheet. This method was seen as very time consuming and required high effort by teaching staff, which resulted in less concerns being made, driving the search for an online or electronic safeguarding solution.
In 2018, Greenwich Free School joined Ark Schools, a multi-academy trust, which was already utilising Impero EdAware. At this point Ark Greenwich Free School migrated over to Impero EdAware for centralised safeguarding management across the whole MAT.
Described as “easy, safe and more efficient” by the Deputy Head, Impero EdAware was pushed out across Ark Greenwich Free School quickly to staff with no difficulties. Training was initially provided to a core group of staff, including the entire safeguarding team. From this, instructions were provided in the staff bulletin, alongside unique log-in details and Impero EdAware was pushed out school wide.
Since implementing Impero EdAware, Ark Greenwich Free School has realised a variety of benefits, including:
Support data protection: Moving to a digital system improves data protection of all students as confidential paper-based records are not left in an office. Being digital also removes the risk of documents going missing or being damaged.
Save valuable time: Impero EdAware can be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device, allowing safeguarding concerns to be recorded quickly and efficiently. Through granular reporting, all safeguarding concerns are manipulated into user-friendly dashboards and graphs, which can be presented at MAT level and passed to referral bodies or governors when needed.
Flag early warning signs: Using the concern chronology feature, Ark Greenwich Free School can create, access and develop a complete safeguarding history for each student. This enables a full picture of a student’s concerns to be detected, so early warning signs can be identified, enabling efficient intervention management.
Q&A with Dan MacPherson, Deputy Head Teacher
How has Impero EdAware helped support your reporting requirements?
I must admit, the reporting function has been great and has worked well. I have found that it really does simplify the recording of our safeguarding concerns. Every term, I am required to send our governors a report of all safeguarding concerns within the school, Impero EdAware helps create an intuitive timeline of events, which is really easy to interpret. I can highlight the students with the most concerns via easy-to-use dashboards, and using the chronology feature I can spot trends and patterns. I also love the graphics I can produce via Impero EdAware, it has made my reporting so user-friendly. Prior to Impero EdAware, I was using an Excel spreadsheet and had to individually manipulate all of the data and create the graphs, which was time consuming. With Impero EdAware, I don’t have to manipulate anything – it is there and ready to go in the format that I want!
How does Impero EdAware help make your job easier?
Before Impero EdAware, the culture within our school was that all the teachers would report a safeguarding concern to myself (the designated safeguarding lead) and I’d then be responsible to take the lead on the issue. This process was very time consuming and high effort for our teachers as they had to first try and find me, then fill in a long form. We found that teachers were not reporting less significant concerns, which are important to create a full picture of a student’s wellbeing. With Impero EdAware, the teachers are proactively getting involved in reporting concerns, which I love as I no longer have to get involved at every level! It makes the process much more pupil-friendly, as rather than the Deputy Head (DSL) speaking to the pupil about the concern, which can seem quite daunting for the pupil involved, the teacher (who they’re in contact with more) can speak to the child directly regarding the concern. The way we’re handling safeguarding concerns with Impero EdAware is much more streamlined and better for the child involved. Since moving to Impero EdAware, the number of referrals have increased and teachers are logging much less significant concerns, but overall it ensures we build the full picture of a student’s wellbeing, ensuring nothing is missed.
How does Impero EdAware help support your approach to spotting and handling safeguarding and child protection concerns?
The concern chronology feature included in Impero EdAware helps identify trends and patterns of a student’s wellbeing more easily. Making referrals to CAMHS and children’s services is much more efficient. All I need to do is download the evidence data and send it, it’s as easy as that – I don’t need to trawl through paper files anymore. I can quickly collate everything that has happened within the past year and send!
How would you sum up Impero EdAware?
Easy, intuitive and really useful!