Easy document management in schools


04 June 2015

Hanover selects OPENFinancials from Capita

Why schools such as The Blue School and Stoke Park are choosing Swordfish as their document management solution

Why schools are choosing Swordfish

Schools need to keep detailed records on their staff, pupils and finances and it's crucial that this information is easy to find. Swordfish, an electronic document management solution from Capita, helps schools to store and access documents at the touch of a button. Using Swordfish can also help to reduce school costs and save valuable staff time.

The Blue School, Wells

With a history dating back to 1641 and more than 1,550 students aged 11-18 on the register, The Blue School is the largest state maintained all inclusive secondary school in Somerset. The school introduced Swordfish to make its record keeping more efficient and reliable and to reduce costs.

Stephen Jackson, Head Teacher explains: "The SIMS system already allows us to digitally store information on individual education plans, parent correspondence, contact details and staff documentation with pupil or staff records, and we were ready to take this to the next level.

"We initially looked at an alternative product but it could only have a small number of people using the system at any one time. For us this wasn't practical, with a danger that people who could not log on having to revert to inefficient practices. Swordfish gives us unlimited users which suits us much better."

Accurate and current

Pupils' work, behaviours, activities and achievements are closely monitored at The Blue School, and this can generate a lot of information.

"Individual pupil records can grow rapidly, and it's important to have the current version of a document, especially for medical reports. Swordfish ensures the latest information comes up with the relevant pupil record in SIMS. Earlier versions are stored safely but are only available to those with the correct security access," says Stephen.

Time is being saved too. "We used to maintain a significant number of paper files per pupil. This could prove troublesome. For example, if a telephone enquiry came into the administration office, we found in most cases we would have to put the enquirer on hold or call them back whilst a search for the relevant paperwork was conducted.

"Swordfish allows us to search electronically stored documents at the touch of a button which means we have access to the right information at the right time. This means we can answer parent or staff enquiries much more quickly. In most cases it saves us the price of a call back too!

"Emails between teachers relating to pupils' performance and behaviour are also being stored, something we couldn't do easily before. Now we have a holistic view of all correspondence relating to every pupil and member of staff."

Added security

Swordfish is also helping the school comply with both the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act, meaning that information must be secure yet easily and rapidly available to authorised users. It also helps schools avoid fines for non-compliance. Stephen comments: "Security is vastly improved now with the single sign on for both SIMS and Swordfish and an unlimited user licence means more people are using it. The security built into the system means that no matter how many people use it, we can set each individual up with the relevant access rights, ensuring they see only those documents they are authorised to see."

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