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Simple & Easy to use Student Attendance System

February 10, 2016

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Being there – it’s an obvious fundamental part of good education: Students need to actually attend school to reach their full potential. As such, schools need effective and reliable ways of monitoring and recording attendance. They need a system that notifies them quickly of students whose attendance is poor, so they can intervene and provide the support they need before it’s too late.

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Large goal for schools to improve it

Schools are put under a lot of pressure to secure good attendance levels at their school. They have targets set externally, but the pressure they put on themselves is more than likely enough. Schools know that a child who attends 100% of a term is likely to significantly outperform even those students who have only missed five per cent. They know the more time they spend with their students, the better prospects they can give them.

Schools and councils across the country carry out all kinds of initiatives to encourage strong attendance. For example, Knowsley council in Liverpool has introduced its ‘attend, achieve, succeed’ scheme this year. It’s aiming to increase by ten per cent at least, the number of students achieving 100% attendance records.

The scheme revolves primarily around encouraging and conveying to students the importance of attendance. And gold, silver and bronze awards are awarded for different levels of attendance. The council has said that so far the scheme has been a success.

Parent Backlash

There are some parents out there who dislike such focus on high attendance. One parent reporting in the Huffington Post for example, believes such schemes shame ill students and rewards healthy ones. And another parent from the Isle of White has been refusing to pay fines for term-time his daughter missed because he took her to Disneyland!

These parents might have legitimate concerns, you can decide for yourself, but it highlights that it’s perhaps not just the children that need to be targeted to improve attendance – but the parents as well. And that’s not to single out the two examples above, but simply point out that there are some parents who are unfortunately apathetic to the child’s education.

Simple attendance solution

Schools need reliable and effective student attendance systems to record presence and tackle the problem of low attendance. A system that is simple from an admin side, but automatically notifies the school of clear attendance concerns. The attendance solutions BioStore provide do just this and more.

An electronic system linked to a central management information system, can be extremely easy for staff to use and can provide all kinds of reports and data seamlessly for the schools to analyse. And by using identity management, the system greatly improves its reliability. Mistakes in the record keeping are eradicated.

Our attendance solution can be adjusted for all levels of education. Because what works best for different age groups is naturally slightly different.

How it works in a Secondary school

In secondary schools, BioStore can provide an identity management solution to schools to record attendance. Either using biometrics, a smartcard, a PIN or a password, students simply log-in to register their attendance. A biometric or smartcard makes it easy for students to “tap-in” as they enter and leave a classroom at scanning points. No time is wasted doing a register, and the whereabouts of students is safely tracked – which can be useful in emergency situations.

Using a Biometric in this scenario has added benefits. For one, students can’t lose or forget their fingerprint. And with a biometric, students can’t hoodwink the system in any way either: they can’t tell a friend their passcode or lend them their smartcard. Biometrics also take out the cost of replacing and reprinting smartcards.

Primary Schools

BioStore has an attendance solution for primary schools too, but arming 8 year olds with smartcards that can be expensive to replace is unlikely to be cost effective or reliable. Similarly, biometrics such as a fingerprint could be problematic with younger growing children.

BioStore’s FasTrak solution combines student attendance with school food pre –ordering. Using a smart board, children register their attendance at school when they choose their meal for the day from the school catering, or indicate they have a packed lunch. This is a great way to not only record and securely register attendance, but also encourage children to use the school’s catering facilities, and provide the kitchen staff with the information they need to run an efficient and economical kitchen.

Classroom time is valuable. And systems that let teachers spend their time teaching – rather than doing the admin needed to prove that the school is meeting its attendance targets – has to be a good thing.

Liverpool Echo: Knowsley Council launches attendance scheme for schools

Huffington Post: Attendance Awards: Why Punishing School Children for Being Sick is Ridiculous

BBC: Term-time holiday father given second fine for Lapland trip

BioStore Multi-factor authentication

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