Headlines: June 24th, 2005

Pilot schemes have been set up to enable schools to give parents access to attendance information, assessment scores, homework diaries and student timetables on a secure web site. The schemes, which are operated by North Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire County Councils, put into action the DfEE’s commitment to make greater use of online media to improve communications between home and school.Using Parents Gateway, produced by Capita Education Services, parents can log on to a secure area of the school’s site to view their child’s latest test results or find out if they made it in to school safely. The data they view is extracted from the school’s management information system and the process does not require any human intervention from the school.

David Jackson, North Lincolnshire’s ICT Manager of Education, Learning and Achievement, says the county council’s education service wants to help parents to be closely involved in the education of their children, “More and more parents are asking for detailed information regarding their children. If we can provide these details in an easy to access manner – via the web – then we know that parents will use the service to help support and encourage their child. We believe that Parents Gateway can provide the information that parents want without adding to the workload of busy school staff as the system reuses data that our schools are recording anyway.

If the pilots are a success the service will be offered to all schools in the authorities’ area.