2. Use of data and information at school and district level
“School managers and personnel who frequently use data and information as the basis for decision-making run more effective schools.”
Data available in school records can be very detailed, such as those recorded in individual student and teacher records, inventories of physical facilities, and financial ledgers. By systematically recording and using school data, school personnel can become more aware of the importance of having timely and reliable information available to support problem-solving, planning, monitoring and management of school activities involving individual students, teachers, material resources and finance.
There has been increasing public call for accountability and transparency in education, especially from local communities. This has alerted school managers and teachers to the need to demonstrate that they actively document and use hard evidences from school records as the basis for their decisions and actions in school.
More and more schools are paying attention to collecting and recording relevant and reliable data, so they have information they can use to accurately monitor the participation and performance of students and teachers in order to effectively manage the school’s resources and activities. The data in the school records may be used for:
- Planning the new school year and organizing classes, curriculum and delivery
- Preparing physical facilities and material resources for school activities
- Recruiting, assigning and training teachers
- Budgeting and mobilizing financial resources
- Programming and class scheduling
- Assigning students to classes
- Managing teaching-learning materials
- Monitoring student and teacher attendance
- Assessing student and teacher performance
- School personnel management
- Financial management
- Managing material resources
- Organizing co-curricular and extra-curricular activities n Supporting school and community interactions
The more these school activities are based on relevant and reliable data and information support, the more efficiently and effectively will they be implemented.
Review the activities and practices in your school or the schools in your district, province or country, and answer the following questions:
- Which of the above school operations are implemented based on recorded data and information?
- What according to your experience can be other possible use of the data and information recorded at school, besides the items in the list above?
- How regularly are data and information used in school operations? What kind of data and information are most frequently used in school? for what purposes?
- What can prevent the school from making use of the data and information that are available in various existing school records?