Even jannies log on at 'electronic school'

6th April 2001 at 01:00
Greenwood Academy in Irvine claimed to be Scotland's first "electronic school" this week, parading a whole series of dramatic benefits from the application of information technology.

The school says it has used technology to beat truancy, boost pupil attainment and operate a reward system which has improved pupils' behaviour.

It now plans to enable parents to call up information on how children are performing in each subject via a school website, following a successful pilot in England.

North Ayrshire Council claims Greenwood is the first school in Scotland to use technology on this scale, although e-registration is deployed in around 700 schools south of the border.

Philip Galbraith, Greenwood's headteacher, says there are enormous benefits, just in terms of saving on the routine administration of registering pupils. All 84 teachers have been issued with a mini-keyboard the size of a Filofax which allows them to record absenteeism for each class.

As a result of being able to record pupil movement within the school and detect patterns of non-attendance quickly, Greenwood has seen ts absence rate fall from 15 per cent in 1997 to 9 per cent last session, which was below the national average for secondary schools of 11 per cent. Current levels are running at around 7 per cent.

Bromcom, a Kent-based software company which supplied the system, has nominated Greenwood as a centre of excellence in school management technology. Even the janitors are logged on.

The combination of a pupil behaviour system with the Internet-based pupil performance monitoring system, which the school installed in January, is what Greenwood claims gives it the electronic edge.

Developed by the Aberdeen-based Pisys computer software company, the system automatically works out pupils' grades from the raw data fed in by teachers, calculates their likely success in all their subjects and highlights where pupils are failing to meet their targets.

North Ayrshire plans to introduce the software in all its 10 secondaries by August.

Mr Galbraith says the slashing of paperwork to the bare minimum has allowed Greenwood to concentrate on improving the quality of classwork in the school.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today