For many principals, an important part of preparing for Term 1 will be ensuring that their school’s internal processes are running as efficiently as possible.
Careful attention to this practice can prevent mismanagement and fraud, reduce risks to the school and detect errors that may already have happened but mitigate the fallout before it becomes a problem for the school.
Other critical areas this can address include child safety and visitor management.
In the wake of the Royal Commission’s Creating child safe institutions report, school administrators in Australia have been encouraged to implement strong risk management strategies to identify, prevent, and handle threats that might affect children on school grounds.
The report suggests schools adopt a comprehensive sign-in and sign-out procedure to help keep students and other stakeholders safe.
“How schools are managed is integral to students and staff performing to their best abilities,” Scott Crosby, CEO of Upstream, told The Educator.
“Schools must use modern technology, human resources systems, and student management processes behind the scenes to be more quick-thinking, organised, and prepared for change.”
Crosby says automated technologies help school administrators, including HR and payroll teams, stay up to date on payments, student documents and forms, and personnel whereabouts.
“Additionally, automated technologies help schools reduce staff workloads, save time and money, and improve efficiency and productivity for finance, administration, and reception staff,” he said.
“As organisations adopt new processes, schools should be looking for solutions that deliver efficiencies, improve internal processes, and assist in compliance requirements.”
The five things schools should automate
Crosby said automating five specific features can help schools improve productivity and performance:
Admin teams that can manage emails more effectively work faster. Using an automatic capture workflow, which links future correspondence directly against a selected job, subject, or name, removes the silo of individual inboxes, localises storage, and reduces the risk of not having visibility or access to important correspondence. This also makes it easier for parents and school administrators to contact each other.
eForms digitise paper-based forms, letting schools easily store and track important forms from parent permission slips to employee contracts. Using eForms means schools don’t need to wait for information, worry about lost paperwork, or experience double handling.
Visitor sign in
By digitising the tracking of visitors and contractors, schools can manage risk and compliance by automatically verifying the contractor credentials, insurance, and licenses of anyone entering school grounds. They can also more easily locate and manage staff and students in case of emergency.
Accounts payable (AP)
Automating AP helps schools improve speed, visibility, and accuracy in employee and contractor payments.
HR processes and onboarding
Managing multiple teaching staff is often paper-based and manual, slowing down productivity. Schools should replace physical storage and manual handling with digitised documents.