Guildford County School
“Edulink One is so much more than a parent portal. It has vastly improved our communications with students and parents, and revolutionised our staff’s normal way of working – increasing efficiency and impact. We cannot imagine life without it now!”
Daryl Bond, Assistant Headteacher
Guildford County School was looking for a new parent portal solution to replace its current software. They were searching for a solution that could unite several systems, especially homework and parental engagement systems with the schools SIMS.net system.
After looking at several solutions including well known homework and parent apps, Guildford County chose Edulink One because of the range of functionality for the price. They loved that Edulink One combined homework, parental engagement, registers, timetables, behaviour and clubs all in one system. Plus Edulink One didn’t need hosting on the school’s server so that gave the system the thumbs up from the Network Manager too.
After trialling Edulink One at the end of the summer term, the new system was launched in September 2019. Roll-out was easy. It found that students and parents didn’t need a user guide as the interface is so intuitive. Staff had an initial internal training session which included how to set homework, but then the school found very little support was required.
Assistant Headteacher, Daryl Bond says “Staff loved Edulink One from day one. It’s revolutionised our parent portal and how we use data. It has made taking registers simple, particularly for PE teachers and staff that don’t teach in their form’s classroom. Homework setting has been standardised and managing clubs now has a proper solution. The analytics function is great for leaders and heads of years too.”
“Being able to access student data anytime along with their reports, anywhere on mobile devices is so powerful and has increased the efficiency of the conversations staff can have. The greatest but unexpected benefit has been the huge time saving for staff. It’s had such a positive effect - making them more effective and efficient and helping them upskill. We can’t imagine life without it now.”
“Edulink One has had a great impact on students too – accessing their timetables, their homework and behaviour/reward points has been simple!”
Guildford County has also saved money as well as time by rolling out Edulink One. Not only are they saving on software costs by consolidating systems but also printing costs as school reports and other communications have now moved online.
During Covid-19 lockdown, Edulink One has been ‘invaluable’ in taking the school online. Guildford County is using MS Teams to timetable lessons for the students and then Edulink One for parents so that they can see what’s being set and completed for their children. The school rolled out the Achievements functionality so that staff can reward students during lockdown.
Commenting on parental feedback on remote learning during this period, the Assistant Headteacher says “Parents have raved about achievement points (and Edulink in general), and so many commented that they have kept students (and parents) motivated”.
The school has also successfully launched the Communicator (messaging) functionality during lockdown to support remote learning, enabling staff to contact groups of students and parents instantly. One member of staff has commented: “Being able to send a message instantly to all the students and parents in my class (reminder of an upcoming remote assessment or homework submission deadline) is so powerful. Best thing ever…!”
Daryl Bond goes on to say “the quality of help and support from the Overnet Data team is outstanding” and made the experience of rolling the software out easy.
Summing their experience up, he says that even though Edulink One has only been fully operational for 8 months so far, the “staff can’t imagine life without Edulink One now”.