A linked-up approach

As a large new school, Tonyrefail Community School needed to make it easy for staff to share pupil information at the touch of a button. Assistant head and Karl Culverhouse explains how EduKey provided the perfect solution.

Opening a new school brings many challenges, but EduKey’s products have made the process easier for Karl Culverhouse, assistant head and head of inclusion at Tonyrefail Community School in Wales. With over 1400 pupils aged 3-19 spread across a large site, the school needed systems that made is easy report issues quickly, and in a manner that other staff could easily access.

The school uses five EduKey products: Class Charts, Provision Map, Safeguarding, Literacy Assessment and Round Robin. All were developed based on founder Duncan Wilson’s first-hand experiences as a teacher, and with constant communication with other teachers regarding the challenges they face in their jobs and the solutions they need to make their lives easier. For Karl, a key requirement was to keep on top of safeguarding issues.

“With the sheer size of the school site, I could be three quarters of a mile away in another part of school when an issue arises,” he says. “With EduKey’s Safeguarding software, a member of staff can record a safeguarding issue and I can pick up on that at the touch of a button – it’s about having a whole system that meets the needs of a 3-19 school.”

Karl had experience of using other systems in the past and was particularly impressed with how simple EduKey’s software is to use.

“The ease of use for staff is a key appeal. Other management systems can be quite clunky at times, but the user-friendliness of these products encourages staff to use the system to record issues,” he says.

Class Charts has also been a great help: Karl has found it excellent for helping teachers to organise their seating plans, record key information and see how pupils are performing across the school, and to promote and reward good behaviour.

“We use it daily and it facilitates the whole school behaviour management policy,” says Karl. “The staff tell us they enjoy the ease of use of the software, and this encourages them to use it to record both positive and negative behaviour points. Having that displayed in the classroom for pupils is another bonus: they enjoy seeing how they are doing, and it encourages good behaviour.”

Another key point is that by using a suite of EduKey products, the process of accessing and adding information is streamlined.

“There are several different software products, all of which do different things, but having it all in one package makes it easier for everyone throughout the school: you log in once and everything is there under one umbrella,” says Karl.

He has also been impressed with the responsive support provided by EduKey, ensuring that any questions or issues are resolved in a quick and friendly manner.

“If we have an issue, we can get on the phone speak to another human being who can help solve the problem,” he says. “It’s great to be working with a company that has kept that personal touch.”