Put your school to the test. Are your data processes compliant?

27th February 2018
There are close to 10,000 schools across Australia. They have a vitally important job of educating the next generation of Australians, and yet, research conducted by the Queensland Educational Sector shows that roughly 62 per cent of schools1 have limited or no processes for the management of non-student records. It would not be a stretch to assume that this trend is true nationwide.

Most schools have limited knowledge of their responsibilities or benchmark processes for the effective management of data and records. Institutions must manage student data using systems provided by the relevant state government departments and in fact, most schools are quite proficient at this. Data within the student management systems (SMS) is often correctly handled and there are processes which ensure that this remains the case.

Unfortunately, this is often where efficient management of data stops. Records outside of the SMS and non-student records are often managed in an ad hoc fashion. Only 30 per cent of schools are digitising records and 70 per cent of these schools do not provide access to digital files to all staff1.

Some would argue that records outside of the SMS do not have the same degree of importance. However, consider the significance of your administrative data – budgeting records, strategic planning documents, recruitment and personnel information. Would your school be able to function without it? It is, arguably, what keeps it all going.

While 24 per cent of schools1 are using a records and information management system to manage non-student records, 80 per cent of these schools are not happy with their system, stating that it does not meet their needs1.

It does not have to be this way. Managing records can be made easy with the implementation of simple processes and the use of technology – where relevant (this should be assessed based on the number of students and administrative staff).

There are not only business benefits, there are also legal requirements, not to mention a community responsibility to get this right. With the correct processes, managing your records can be simple and can assist your administrative and teaching staff on a day-to-day basis.

References:
Records Solutions Annual Education Survey (2015 - 2017)

By: Anne Cornish, CEO and Owner of Records Solutions
Anne has over 35 years’ experience in data and records’ management specialising in the government and education sector. Like most other industries, information management has undergone a significant change in recent years. There are new and unique challenges associated with digitisation and moving to the Cloud. Anne has been instrumental in leading schools through this transition and navigating current trends.

She has worked on projects that include:
  • statewide implementation of an eDRMS, electronic document and records management system for all offices and schools in Queensland
  • school archiving and disposal projects in both NSW and Victoria
  • capture and digitisation of records in large independent schools in Queensland.

Anne represented Australia in developing International Information Standards (ISO 15489) and continuously lobbies to promote the importance of records’ management in all schools.
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