While measuring school performance is important, it is vital that the data used is properly understood and that the broader picture is not lost, says headteacher Peter Kent

Jenni Whitehead provides clarification on when the Data Protection Act applies to photographing and filming students in school

School data is an exceptionally valuable asset and schools are not doing enough to safeguard it. Mark Hoyland talks us through the issue

Headteacher Brian Rossiter outlines his experience of seeking to take advantage of the variety of alternative qualifications available to boost his school’s headline statistics, while at the same time preparing individual pathways into the world of work for his students

Data protection law sets firm boundaries around what information you can collect. Educators retain excessive data at their peril, writes Simon White

Joan Sallis continues her series looking at the issues that concern governors, by focusing on the use of biometric technology in schools

We live in a data-rich age where almost every aspect of childhood is quantified! School improvement partner, Dave Weston, helps you see the wood from the trees

Jenni Whitehead investigates a new IT-based system of sharing information between key agencies

We begin a series of best practice advice features with a look at the implications of a school having its own bank account

At Belvoir High School staff help pupils set their own SMART targets while house days are used to help pupils develop strengths

In my own school, and I suspect in many others, each summer holiday sees the introduction of more and more ICT equipment.

Ruth Bradbury provides some practical advice for how you can stay ahead of the game.

Ruth Bradbury outlines the cost of staff absence to schools and explains how a range of practical measures can help staff to maintain a better attendance record for the benefit of themselves and the school.

Andy Walmsley describes how action research at Biddick School Sports College was used to target students’ learning needs and develop peer coaching among teachers.

We are constantly trying to drive up standards of teaching and learning with new approaches, preferably those with a strong evidence base. But is ‘What Works?’ the right question? Should we really be asking ‘How do good teachers get better?’ Elaine Hall reflects on the messages from a meta-analysis of teaching and learning interventions.

Education writer and former headteacher Gerald Haigh shows how ICT can be used to track pupils’ behaviour and create good, quantitative evidence on which to base action.

Most schools have not kept up with what management information systems can do for them, says education writer and former headteacher Gerald Haigh. Here he illustrates how they can make more of equipment they already have in school.

Schools are having to tighten up their record keeping after an Ofsted survey found confusion surrounding procedures for vetting staff.

The security risks faced by schools are many and varied. This breadth of scope is mirrored by the numerous legal issues relating to security. Mark Blois from Browne Jacobson LLP offers an overview of some of the most important issues, followed by some advice on good practice.

The idea of using quantitative measures to evaluate students’ personal and social development can arouse considerable anxiety. James Park, director of Antidote, argues that there is a way.

The concept of ‘study skills’ is found in a large number of schools and is often seen as a dry subject by both teachers and students. However, the approach adopted in this publication is refreshing and entertaining and was a pleasure to read.

The DfES has issued a revised version of its guidance aimed to support schools and local authorities in recording pupils’ needs in the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC).* Data is used to help with planning, to study trends and to monitor the outcomes of initiatives and interventions for pupils with different types of SEN.

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