What is the role of
the teacher today?
Hello. I’m Damien Roberts, Director and Co-Founder of Derventio Education.
Firstly, I’m not a teacher nor have I ever worked as an educator. We do have two teachers in the family and we talk regularly about the pressures on modern teachers today – and I believe that there are many.
From the recent funding cuts to stricter inspection regimes which focus on quality of teaching, to pay progression for staff, there are many pressures which are affecting the modern educator.
As a father of four children I greatly respect the work that is undertaken by teachers in schools and strongly believe that teachers deserve parents’ full support and co-operation to ensure the highest standards of quality of teaching are delivered to their children. It’s a partnership between parents and teachers striving to get the best out of their students. A partnership that only works if both parties are committed to its success.
At a recent parents’ evening at a local Secondary school in Derbyshire it was clear that in the main the teachers there were driven, passionate and believed that they were making a difference for my son. I think that this is extremely important.
If a teacher does not have passion for what they do, how can they expect the children to thrive and prosper?
Now most teachers start out with a passion for education, believing that they can make a difference. But along that journey somewhere they are beaten into submission by several factors that make teachers begin to question why they even got involved in the first place.
This is backed up in the news with 5%-10% of teachers leaving the profession every year.
With the changes in education there has been a rise in the amount of bureaucracy involved, which can be all too time consuming. This is where Derventio can help.
Derventio worked with Sir Mark Grundy, Executive Principal of the two most improved schools in the country at the time in Sandwell in the West Midlands. Sir Mark was knighted for his services to education and is very well respected heading up government thinktanks on education.
Sir Mark identified with these pressures on teachers and set about working with Derventio to develop a solution that would save teacher time and enabling the recycling of that time, to where it was most needed, in the classroom.
Many aspects of the data gathering required in readiness for inspection by teachers and school leaders was being recorded on paper. This was cumbersome and not an effective use of time and required significant leadership time to develop management reports to identify strengths and weaknesses within the school.
So, Derventio is responsible for designing and developing the SchooliP solution. SchooliP stands for School Improvement and Performance, it’s a web-based product which seamlessly integrates the process of professional development for staff, linked to whole school improvement planning and self-evaluation.
SchooliP is used in hundreds of schools, colleges and universities, both across the UK and indeed the world.
SchooliP records the appraisal process for staff in a transparent web-based solution that is available to staff either on-line or via a handy mobile app. Staff use the product to upload evidence against targets and standards and to record the success of activities and courses related to their continual professional development.
SchooliP helps to celebrate successful teachers and provides the evidence needed for pay progression, appraisal and reporting to key stakeholders.
The success of the product within schools is best outlined by those who use it.
Charlie Barber, Vice Principal of Hartsdown Academy in Margate, southeast England utilised SchooliP as part of her headship project as it was ‘such a massive task to change the whole performance system across the whole school’ so she needed an intuitive system to help her do it.
“I have found a real benefit of SchooliP has been that it has given a voice to those ‘unsung heroes’ within our school, those who don’t necessarily shout about their achievements but have a massive impact on our school. This is now all evidenced within SchooliP and those individuals now get the recognition they deserve. Staff became whole heartedly onboard with SchooliP when they realised what the system could do for them.”
“As a senior leader, SchooliP also gave me easily accessible proof and evidence to show any steps we have taken to support staff, should I ever need it for stakeholders or even for legal reasons.”
Powerful words there and testament that SchooliP is making a difference in schools.
Is that the end of the problem – certainly not. With a general election lurking just around the corner the educational landscape changes constantly and will certainly continue to do so.
As creators of software though we aspire to create solutions that really work for teachers, based upon their needs and delivering in the simplest form which is accessible to all our teachers. These needs are constantly changing and evolving and solutions need to do the same if they are to support what must be one of our most important areas – our future, our children and the teachers who mould them.