Educating children is no easy feat. It's a complicated and meaningful job and we don't really know a way to make education itself more "efficient". However, that doesn't mean that we can't help with everything else that goes into running a school.
If teaching is the most important work you do in a school, then it makes sense to streamline the rest – admin work, parent communication, enrollment and student data management.
That's exactly what a digital school management system would help you with. What do you need to look out for when researching school management systems and how do you pick the one that's best fit for your school? Let's dive in.
What Is School Management Software?
School management software systems are intended to make your daily school life easier. This involves:
- automating a lot of your recurring tasks, and
- digitally storing your school data, making it easier to access and more secure
Maybe your school is already using technology (e.g. Excel and shared drives) to digitally manage your school. Although these digital tools are useful, they still require a lot of manual upkeep. In contrast, school management software is specialised for schools. They often come with features and data-entry points (like attendance) that target your daily needs.
Common Features in School Management Software
Many school management software systems target multiple school operations: class-related, staff management, finance, and data management. More sophisticated systems also offer portals for you to train and manage your teachers' progression.
- Attendance management – digital attendance-taking, monthly/weekly attendance reports, daily health check feature (e.g. option for logging temperature and symptoms)
- Portfolio – automated portfolio generation, portal for teachers to record student observations
- Daily incident log – on-the-go recording of school incidents for future reference and for the reference of other teachers
- Events calendar – a way to display upcoming events and notices to staff and parents
- Fee reminders for parents – automated reminders sent to parents from the system
- Secure digital transactions – sending automatic receipts for transactions, digital records of all transactions and outstanding fees
- Finance reports – regular financial reports generated from school transactions recorded
- Parents' portal – parent log-in that allows them to view student progress/information, and outstanding fees independently
- Parent-school communication portal – records of all communication between school and parent, secure communication channel to facilitate exchange of sensitive information
What to Consider When You Make Your Decision
At the end of the day, the system that suits your school best isn't the most high-tech one...it's the one that fits your needs. So, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you make your decision:
- Is it easy to use? Is it easy to learn?
- Is it reliable? Does it have a lot of technical problems? Will it crash when you need it?
- Does it have the features that your school needs?
- Does it make the school day easier for your teachers? For your students? For your administrators? For yourself?
- What is the customer support like? Is it immediate? Are the staff helpful and pleasant?
Choosing a school management software can be daunting. You will be investing time, money, and effort shifting your school over to a different way of operating. So, it's important to know what you're getting into. Ask a lot of questions and make sure that you're getting the best deal!
Our recommendation is LittleLives, a school management software system that provides all of the above basic functions and more. Over 1000 schools across 10 countries use LittleLives to manage their daily school operations.
Good luck searching!