In July, South Australia’s principals called for “systemic changes” to the way school leaders are supported in their role, saying the education system risks losing quality leaders if nothing is done.
The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Well-being Survey 2017 revealed that in addition to an increase in physical violence, the state’s school leaders are also facing rising workloads.
The lead author of the report, Australian Catholic University (ACU) associate professor, Philip Riley, said the South Australian Education Department has been “very proactive” about becoming “the well-being state”.
A recent example of this is a new partnership between the state’s education department and a major education software provider, aimed at helping more than 900 schools slash administrative red tape and increase student focus.
Civica’s Education Suite (CES) will serve a community of 185,000 students and 30,000 teachers through personalised learning, collaborative experiences and increased engagement.
The landmark education management system is aimed at improving learning and care for students, analytics and reporting and tools to support the management of school sites.
Scott Bayliss, chief information officer for the Department said the platform will “
“modernize and transform” school and preschool operations across the state.
“The Education Management System will be a powerful digital tool with a comprehensive suite of features to streamline school management tasks and support our teachers to provide individualised learning and track and report on each student’s progress,” Bayliss said.
“It will help us to improve student outcomes and reduce the administrative burden placed on teachers and early childhood workers.”
Bayliss said parents and caregivers will have access to a dedicated and secure parent portal that they can log on to at any time and from any device to see information relevant to their child.
“It will be an important enabler for school improvement and support our aspiration to become a world-class education system that ensures learning management is a priority,” he said.
A key factor in the Department’s decision to implement the Civica solution was its design which aims to support teaching and learning, save educators’ time spent on administrative tasks, improves data integrity and transparency, and streamlines information for users to work collaboratively.
Simon Jones, managing director for Libraries and Education at Civica, said the partnership will “make a positive difference to students’ lives”.
“CES is a powerful schools management solution that can improve the education outcomes of students and families across South Australia,” Jones said.
“Almost every day we are reminded about the increase in teachers’ workload through greater administrative requirements, giving them less time to focus on teaching.”