Module A1: School records management

4. How to operate a school records management system?

As shown in Figure 1 in Section 2, the life cycle of a school record involves many stages from creation to retention to archival and finally disposal. A school records management schedule is closely linked to the schedule of school activities and the timing of tasks performed by teachers and school staff to manage the classes and the school. A schedule of tasks that are required to man- age the essential school records described in Sections 3.1 to 3.9 are summarized in Table 1.

We can see in Section 3 and Table 1 that school record management schedules may vary depending on:

• the type of record.
• what the record is created for.
• who creates the record.
• when the record is created.
• when should it be updated.
• how many records are to be created and updated.

For example, individual student and teacher records and inventories can be created at the beginning of the school year, and continuously updated and used throughout the year. Teacher performance evaluation reports are created just once a year, towards the end of the school year. Other school records, such as student performance summaries and financial summaries may be created at the end of each school term.

The actions of the school staff who are responsible for creating and updating each type of school record must take into account the overall schedules for planning, conducting, monitoring and evalu- ation of specific school activities. For example, before the beginning of the school year, inventories of school facilities should be updated so they can be used for organizing and scheduling classes. Once the classes begin, attendance sheets must be systematically updated on every school day, and summarized at the end of each month to monitor the rates of attendance.

example 11 shows a school records management schedule over a period of 12 months in a school with three school terms and a major school holiday in november and december to end the school year. This kind of schedule is necessary for school records management in defining the tasks and reminding the relevant school staff to create, store and update specific records on specific dates. Sys- tematic school records management will require strict adherence to such schedules so as to main- tain a complete, consistent and uninterrupted information base for monitoring and managing the operations of the school over time.

Taking into account the organization of activities within the school, the school management can set up at the beginning of each school year a SRMS schedule like in example 11. This schedule will include clear designation of SRMS responsibilities to ensure all the relevant school staff are clear about who is responsible for creating and updating which records, and understand when and how these records can be updated and used to support school management.

Activity 12

Discuss with school managers and staff about their respective roles and responsibilities with regard to the school records management tasks and schedule in Table 1 and Example 11, and then answer the following questions:

For school managers and staff:

  1. Are school records management tasks and responsibilities well defined in your school? if yes, please list them. if no, why not?
  2. does your school have a school record management schedule like the one in example 11? if yes, what does it look like? how is it implemented in reality?
  3. if no, would such a schedule be needed? Why?  (Activity: Sketch such a schedule based on your knowledge of the school calendar and school record management practices.)
  4. What does it take to ensure that the school record management schedule is followed?

For district and local education officers and school inspectors:

  1. Are school records management tasks and responsibilities well defined in the schools in your area? if yes, please gather and show some examples. if no, please find out and explain why not?
  2. do the schools in your area have a school record management schedule like the one in example 11? if yes, what does it look like? Please gather and show some examples.
  3. if no, would such a schedule be needed? Why?
    (Activity: Sketch such a schedule based on your knowledge of school calendars and school record management practices in your area.)
  4. What does it take to ensure that the school record management schedule is followed in school?

For central and provincial education administrators:

  1. To your knowledge, are school records management tasks and responsibilities well defined in the schools in your country or province? if yes, please gather and show some examples. if no, please find out and explain why not?
  2. do the schools in your country or province have a school record management schedule like the one in example 11? if yes, what does it look like? Please gather and show some examples.
  3. if no, would such a schedule be needed? Why?  (Activity: Sketch such a schedule based on your knowledge of school calendars and school record management practices in the country.)
  4. What does it take to ensure that the school record management schedule is followed?

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