This module provides an introduction to the building blocks of a School Records Management System (SRMS). After completing this module, you will be familiar with the key elements of a SRMS and the fundamentals of creating, managing and using a SRMS to gather, analyse and disseminate information about a school.
This manual focuses on using SRMS as a tool for monitoring progress toward Education for All (EFA) goals. The content is applicable to basic educational institutions such as primary and lower secondary schools, but many of the principles and practices can also apply to other types of educational institutions.
1.2 Getting started
A school manager needed to make a quick decision about a major roof repair which will affect three classrooms, but he suddenly realized there was not enough information about the conditions of these classrooms and the classes using them so as to help him make a good and reliable decision to move or re-schedule the affected classes. He knows that some of the needed information can be gathered from within the school, but he will have to make a special effort and spend extra time and energy to collect and analyse the data. “Wouldn’t it be good if we had already recorded all such information and it is available now,” he muttered to himself.
“What happened after I decided to start school yesterday one hour later due to local floods and difficulties for children to come to school?” A school manager wants to know how such decisions have been implemented, and what has been the effect. To be able to check the attendance sheets that show how many students attended the delayed first class in the morning, would have helped him to know how effective was the decision, and what to do next time.
”Oh no! Not again! How can I find all these data to report to the Ministry of Education?” Filling out school census forms and reporting to higher levels can be a nightmare for many school managers, especially those who do not have a school records management system. Each time when they are asked to supply data, they are obliged to make a special effort to collect and summarize the data so they can meet the reporting deadlines. As a result of such last-minute rush, some of the data are either incomplete or inaccurate, or both.
1.3 Learning objectives
School managers, inspectors, local and district education officers will:
- understand the importance of keeping systematic records of data and information about a school’s activities.
- be aware that effective management of schools – and of the whole school system – depends on the availability of quality data that flow from individual schools to other parts of the education system.
- learn that information from school records is used to support evidence-based management of schools, to improve reporting to higher levels, and to help inform and mobilize support from local stakeholders.
- develop the practical skills that are needed to manage and use school records.
Education policy-makers and administrators at the central and provincial level will:
- understand the need to promote the practice of SRMS throughout the school system and ensure all stakeholders understand the importance of systematically managing school data that is required for monitoring, policy and decisions-making, planning and management.
- know that school records should be standardized throughout the school system to ensure consistency, reliability and comparability of data.
- know how to develop policies to govern the management of data in the school system.
- be able to provide instruction to schools that will enable them to develop and manage a standardized SRMS.
- know how to share responsibilities for establishing, implementing and ensuring compliance to a standardized SRMS among various actors in the education system, including district education officers, school inspectors and school managers,.