BridgeU: review

This is the third and final post of three. You can see the first here and the second here.

BridgeU intro

BridgeU was set up with the international student in mind. Their founder noticed that there was a gap for supporting students from outside the US to apply to the US, and from the outset of working with them, it has been obvious to me that the platform has been set up with the student user experience in mind. In fact, BridgeU began selling its products directly to students before it moved on to targeting schools and this was probably due to the fact that their founder ran an educational consultancy focusing on supporting students in their university applications before founding BridgeU.

As well as supporting the application process, BridgeU’s philosophical approach has been to try to help match students to potential universities by using an algorithm that takes data that the student inputs and producing matched results based on that student entered data. This is the defining part of BridgeU. Note this is more than just a database, BridgeU’s algorithm will make recommendations to a user about the fit of a university for that user. With the international student in mind, BridgeU currently matches applications to US, Canada, UK, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and we are promised that matching will be available to Australia soon. Recently BridgeU announced global shortlisting and users can now add any university from any country in the world, although they can’t match to all these universities. This free-form shortlisting is a new feature and adds a huge amount of flexibility to the platform.

The student side

Once set up and logged in, students input data into the profile builder; this ranges from personal preferences to the countries and locations that they want to study in, as well as the type of university experience that they would like to have and the courses that they wish to study.

When this is completed they can view university matches on the appropriate tab. These matches are presented nine at a time grouped into three categories, reach, match and safety. Each choice is presented as a card on which students can click to gain more information about the university as well as the matching scores.

In each category, to be able to see more choices, students have to either “shortlist” or “discard” each choice before more are shown. This feature has caused some issues with student users I have worked with, either thinking these nine options are all they have or not liking the feeling of commitment in “discarding” or “shortlisting”. To get around these issues, each of the categories now states how many options there are underneath the category label and students are able to find any courses that have been discarded again via a link on the top right of this page.

Once students have completed the matching they can view all of the options they have shortlisted under the shortlist tab. On the shortlist tab students can also directly add in any courses that they know about that they are considering, bypassing the matching tab. It is this feature that allows students to add any university on the planet – quite a powerful feature. After populating the shortlist tab, students then decide where they will apply by clicking on the “apply here” feature next to each shortlist.

When a student selects a university to apply to BridgeU will give them information about deadlines as well as the documentation that they need to submit as part of their application. The system will also alert the advisor to any required documentation that the school will need to submit. Another really nice feature, just released but still needing some development is application tracking. If you have used UCAS adviser track then you will get a sense of why this is such a good feature for a counsellor. Essentially this simple feature provides a space for students to mark when they have finished preparing and sending their application, as well as mark when they have received an offer and any decisions that they make. This means that the advisor is easily able to keep track of all the application statuses of all their students.

In addition to these research, matching and application tools, BridgeU also offers a “writing builder” to support students in writing a personal statement, or college essays for the US. These tools are still a little basic and I am not convinced that the functionality is any better than google docs, in fact, google docs may be a better place to write if students want to receive comments and input from teachers – I will be testing this out more in a couple of months. To support students in this process there are also annotated exemplars available for the students to view but these don’t provide the level of scaffolding that as a teacher I would like to see and the annotations are a little weak.

Finally, BridgeU has recently developed a careers tool that students can view but unfortunately, teachers can’t at present. The careers tool is ambitious and adopts BridgeU’s global approach by aggregating data on careers from many different countries. The data is supplied by burning glass. The careers tool works a little like the matching program and allows students to view data from job groups and select jobs they are interested in, before viewing a career report that gives some data about earning power, monthly demands for the job and its sector.

The teacher side

BridgeU’s teacher side is still under development, it is obvious that the platform was originally designed with the student user in mind, and BridgeU has had to work hard to make the platform fit into the school ecosystem. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after all, we are all here to support the student applicant. I just believe that one of the best ways to do that is to support the work of teachers and schools.

BridgeU is aware of the issues from the teacher side and is working to address them. They have recently partnered with iSAMs and ManageBac which, to my mind at least, gives them the potential to hugely improve some of the issues that they have. Because of this integration, it is now very easy to add students and advisors to the platform if you use either of these systems. If you don’t, adding advisors and students is a little bit cumbersome, but no more or less than any of their competitors.

The reference writing tool is currently undergoing user testing in BridgeU’s beacon schools and allows advisors to easily assign report writers to an individual student. A little like the students writing builder; there are no exemplars of completed comments or references for teachers to view and the writing functionality itself is minimal in its current state.

BridgeU has worked hard recently to allow document sending as a function, giving schools the ability to send transcripts and other documents directly to US and Canadian universities. The document sending function is powered by Parchment and is built directly into the system. This is a much-needed function for many schools, particularly those with many applicants to North America. When a student selects to apply to the relevant country, the documents that need to be sent are added to the advisor’s task list. From here the advisor can upload the necessary documents and send with just a few clicks.

Finally, BridgeU has recently provided a reporting function for advisors under the analytics tab. From here advisors can easily see which universities are shortlisted and applied to most frequently by their student body. The analytics function will also provide reporting on student offers, rejections, predicted scores, final scores, document sending and an analysis of historical data.

Conclusion

The platform has come some way since I last wrote about them but not as far as I would have imagined in that time, indeed some of the functionality that they were keen to point out they were working on in their response to that article, is still not visible within the system. Added to that they have developed a slight reputation for aggressive marketing, particularly amongst the schools that I communicate with, which is a shame because they are a lovely team (I know, I’ve met them).

That said they have a powerful product that will be ideal for schools that manage a very diverse student body, whose students apply to many different HE systems each year. It’s matching algorithm, global or free-form shortlisting, document sending and its application tracking and reporting are it’s greatest assets currently, and ones that set it apart from competitors.

Areas for development on the platform include the careers tool which is still in their infancy. It is promising that this is being developed but I would like to see more from this section, perhaps even a CV builder or some form of personality assessment.

Personally, I still have some reservations about the platform, as I do about all platforms of its ilk. When working with a product that is being developed, you have to be prepared to work with it and understand that certain aspects may not be delivered in the timescales that are promised all the time. Having said this, this platform does the heavy lifting when it comes to helping students make sense of all university the data that is out there.

Global university admission guidance: review of #edtech platforms

Update (17th July 2018): You can see all my reviews linked below including the one published today of Cialfo:

Update (28th June 2018): You can see my review of MaiaLearning here. I will be chatting with Cialfo next week and hope to have a review coming out sometime towards the end of July.

Update (21st June 2018): Since publishing the reviews of BridgeU and Unifrog I have also had the chance to get acquainted with MaiaLearning and will be publishing my review next week.

Background

In recent months a hole has opened up in the marketplace for global university admissions platforms due to the announcement that the biggest kid on the block, Naviance, was retiring from supporting the work of global university admission guidance counsellors.

I don’t know about my colleagues, but personally, these platforms provide an invaluable resource for my work. If you were to focus purely on the intricacies and nuances of applying to a variety of different university systems and the requirements of those systems alone, you may begin to appreciate the task of trying to help families and students make sense of all the options. When you add in the sheer number of universities on the planet and the impossible task of knowing all of them, let alone knowing about them, then you begin to see the value that an online database and guidance tool brings to the work, if only to limit counselor bias, particularly the anchoring and halo effects.

In this first of three posts, I want to introduce the next two posts examining alternatives to Naviance: UniFrog & BridgeU. Both platforms are same-same but different, approaching guidance with different philosophies and outlooks.

I am not aiming to compare these platforms (except on two points – see below) but will instead aim to describe their functions openly and honestly, before outlining my opinion of what works and doesn’t on these platforms.

Reader beware that this is coloured by own use of the systems in my own context: a small, but very diverse international student body, delivering the three IB programmes from primary to the diploma. This was also my first guidance post and one where I set up the program. I am fully aware that my experience of this work will not be the same as other colleagues.

Any counsellors considering two these platforms should certainly have a go at trialling them both themselves. I have worked with BridgeU since 2016 and have blogged about my experience here and here. I have since worked with UniFrog since 2017.

There are only two comparison points that I will make: Firstly, the platforms are both great! They both solve the counsellor’s dilemma: how do I get more knowledge of the options available to best serve my students. They both democratise that knowledge and enable students to be much larger change agents for their future-selves.

The second comparison is about outlook: BridgeU attempt ultimately to use an algorithm to match student and institution. Thus be aware that there is a layer of filtering that goes on within the system, I make no comment about the pros and cons of this.

UniFrog does not believe in filtering the data for the student. Instead, they aim to provide all the information at once and present a range of filters for the student to play with. Again I make no comment about the pros and cons of this approach.

The different philosophies of each company in the management of the data they present lead to differences in their style of working.

Finally, I am learning that blog posts are best kept short and sweet and so each post will be limited to around 500 words. Each post will appear over the next two Thursdays. With the UniFrog 500 word review next Thursday and the BridgeU 500 word review the week after.

Keep a lookout for them!

 

Life long learning…creating a guidance program from scratch (part 2)

Part one of this two part blog focussed on the major milestones that I encountered in setting up my guidance program in the previous two and half academic years. Part two is devoted to my ideas for next year.

In part one I described three aspects of guidance counseling that I felt were essential for a program to succeed. I welcome comments and discussion as much of what I write I have had to figure out in my own time. I also believe that an effective program covers the following elements:

  1. Careers guidance that comes prior to university guidance; I am currently trying to build this into grade 9 and 10. I believe this is essential in order to encourage meta-cognition and encourage students to reflect seriously on what their strengths are, what they enjoy and what types of work their personality traits would fit.
  2. University Guidance.
    1. Pre Application research, from the end of grade 10 onwards.
    2. Applications, from the end of grade 11 onwards.
    3. Post Application decisions.
    4. Post result fire fighting, if applicable.

Academic year 2017-2018

This coming year I will need to work much more closely with the G12 homeroom teachers to ensure students have time to work on their university applications and also leverage the HODs to ensure that teachers read and pay attention to the policies on predicting grades and writing comments and references. I finally have some time in August inset to take staff through our policies and approach to university applications and their role in the process.

In addition I have (finally!) been granted a budget and was able to plan more effectively for this year. Therefore I am now bringing in career profiling and assessment software for students in grade 10 but will also utilise it with grade 11 next year.

My plans for next year are as follows:

Grade 12

Term one:

  • Grade 12 will take priority in term one as per last year. I have one workshop already booked with them in focus week which will use to finalise UCAS applications and personal statements.
  • Will continue to have timetabled biweekly meetings with each student and more if necessary, less if not.
  • Aim to have UCAS wrapped up by end of September, so that students who are applying to NL can begin applications in October and those applying to North America can begin in October/November.
  • In the absence of core lessons I will utilise one extended homeroom in September, one in October and another in November, to focus on the processes above.
  • Will organise mock admissions testing service exams as well as the actual exams.
  • Will organise interview practice for those going to Oxbridge interviews, but also utilise the future-you festival to provide general interview training for the grade 12s as a group (if they express a desire for it).

Term two:

  • Continue with ad hoc meetings as individuals require it to discuss offers and financing as necessary.

Clearly work with grade 12 goes beyond this time but I am not planning anything formal. That being said the major work load after this point, with this grade, comes during the summer “holiday” when their exam results are released.

Grade 11

Term one:

  • Grade 11 will follow a similar structure to last year: one workshop at the start of the term to onboard them on BridgeU and set goals for that term and another at the end of the term to review progress and set up meeting times from Jan onwards. In addition, this year, they will have a career profile assessment. This will take place in September.
  • During the future-you festival they will have a CV and personal statement writing workshop in addition to the usual workshops we organise.

Term two:

  • Begin one-to-one meetings on a monthly basis to review individual goals and tie in each students CAS and EE into their uni application before beginning work on personal statements.
  • Three whole group sessions on the pros and cons of different university systems (x2) and on writing personal statements (x1).

Term three:

  • Continue one-to-one meetings as necessary and set 1st and 2nd personal statement deadlines.
  • Run three group workshops. One to get registered on UCAS and 2 more to complete as much of the application form as possible and then work on personal statement.

Grade 10:

Term one:

  • Career Assessment profiling and follow up interviews.
  • Future-you festival with workshops on C.V. writing alongside the usual workshops.

Term two:

  • DP subject choices meetings and workshops.
  • Work experience week planning workshop one.

Term three:

  • Work experience week planning workshop two.
  • Work experience week.
  • DP Transition day including work experience week reflection.

Grade 9:

  • Future-you festival including workshop on the career investigator in term two.
  • Grade 10 subject choices in term three.

In conclusion, I welcome any thoughts from colleagues on both sides of the desk to help me continue to improve the services I provide for my students.

 

Life long on the job learning…creating a guidance program from scratch (part 1)

As I blogged on several occasions previously in April 2015 I started working as a university & careers advisor or guidance counselor. In this post I want to summarise how the guidance program I have designed has evolved over the last two years and describe my plans for next year. This post covers what I have done over the past 2 years and the 2nd part will cover my plans for next year.

All this time I have also been a classroom subject specialist for both Biology and TOK, although I was new to teaching TOK too, and initially very under funded but thankfully that has begun to change.

I believe that school guidance counseling has major three aspects that all need to be developed in order to best support students:

  1. Good structures and knowledge surrounding the processes and administration of the program. This can be simple if students are only applying to the UK through UCAS (currently the gold standard in organisation) but the complexity can increase exponentially as students apply to other countries.
  2. Good knowledge of courses and universities, which tends to come with time, visits and conferences.
  3. Good knowledge of students interests and an ability to actually counsel them.

Academic year 2014-2015

I started this year as Director of Boarding with five hours a week teaching, at a school that had only been open for 11 months. I was meant to be planning a boarding program, recruiting students, advising architects but it didn’t work out. By the end of the year I was a University and Careers Adviser. At the time I was also grade 10 (UK year 11) homeroom teacher and grade 10 was our eldest cohort of students.

I officially made the transition in April and have written about those early months here. Essentially my starting point consisted of working out how to garner resources for the office and focussed on essentials like getting the school registered with UCAS, Admissions Testing Service and CollegeBoard among others. It was a research intensive time where I spent a lot of time signing up for resources (I requested prospectuses from every university in the UK and others), finding networks of colleagues I could plug myself into like Swiss+ counselors group, OACAC and the UCAS Adviser group all of which have been lifelines over the last two years.

This was very much a planning phase but at the time I really didn’t have enough experience to structure a program.

Academic year 2015-2016

My teaching contact hours were pushed up to 12 hours a week as my former grade 10 students moved into their first year of the IBDP. Still with no final year students, this year I had plenty of time to carry on my research and building my network of experts that I could draw on with questions.

At this stage my guidance program was still underdeveloped. In the first term, What I did, then, in retrospect, was largely unsuccessful, but it did help to focus my thinking on the first and second elements I have identified above. Up until this point had been largely planning and getting necessary registrations and resources in place and I quickly realise that while important, that wasn’t what counseling was about.

Despite lots of time with which to meet with students, relatively, during this year, my knowledge of courses and universities was severely lacking and, with a background of a classroom practitioner, a feeble ability to actually counsel students. I struggled with the gap between what I knew I had to do and my abilities to do it.

The turning point came for me around Easter of that year when I was given permission to bring on board a platform to help students with their research of universities. I had had to fight quite hard for this and only obtained it through the use of some political game play, and I knew that it would help to bridge the gap  for my students in my lack of knowledge of institutions in the US and elsewhere.

In addition I was able to organise a morning workshop in June of that year. This was my first and only whole group workshop with the grade 11s that year and I thought it would be enough to get them 12 students registered on UCAS and College Board and give them time to begin working on their personal statements. I had planned 3 hours for this but had not factored in how long it takes students to register on UCAS and begin to fill in the application form!

During this year I also wrote the policies for predicting grades, writing references and comments, as well as for student visits to university open days. I also organised my first Future-you festival.

Academic year 2016 – 2017

It was this year that my program really began to take shape. Working more with colleagues and capitalising on changes made in the structure of the timetable I have been able to get more scheduled time in front of students. Extended homerooms on Wednesday mornings and grade 11 core periods have meant that this year has been much more structured for the rising grade 12. The structure this year was as follows (I haven’t included university visits or the careers work that I organise also:

  1. Grade 11 Term 1:
    • A workshop in focus week on BridgeU and university research in general
    • A workshop at the end of the term to review progress on BridgeU. A general theme here is that I a stressing to students the need to structure their CAS and choose an EE that will support their applications to university.
  2. Grade 11 Term 2:
    • Began regular one-to-one meetings (aim for one a month) to review university matching and CAS planning etc
    • Hosted group sessions on the UK and US application process (I had universities come into deliver these).
    • Began the personal statement writing process with a workshop mainly giving students time to think and write.
  3. Grade 11 Term 3:
    • Continued one-to-one meetings and brought the rate down depending on students personal ideas and where they had decided to apply.
    • Ran personal statement writing workshops with two deadlines – 1st draft on May 1st and 2nd draft 1st June (the second was flexible so that students could focus on exams).
    • Ran two workshops on registering with UCAS (I learned from the previous year that it can take my students an hour to run through this). I also made some video materials to support this (I thought students would rather watch than read – but they don’t even do this!). Student have all managed to complete all sections except personal statement and choices.
  4. Grade 12 Term 1:
    • Ran several homeroom sessions to provide time for students to work on personal statement.
    • Had plenty of one-to-one meetings on an ad hoc basis in order to advise on personal statements and completion of UCAS forms.
    • Ran Admissions Testing Service exams and interview practice.
  5. After term 1 I didn’t see that much of the grade 12’s, unless they specifically asked to see me to go through additional applications. This is an area that hopefully will be developed more next year, but essentially, without solid relationship building students are disinclined to visit their counselor and get advice on offers, finances etc.

When I returned to school in August, none of the grade 12 students had written a first draft of their personal statement. I am not sure why I expected them to have done so!

This year the structure has been much tighter for the grade 11s and I hope that next year will be more so for these students as they move into grade 12.

Aside from the regular timetable changes the DP & MYP coordinators decided to make field week the 3rd week in August and I managed to bag some time with both the grade 11s and grade 12s.

There are many reasons why it is very helpful for students to have curriculum time given over to letting them complete their applications. Mainly it reduces student stress but it also valuable time for the students own formative development. The difficulty is convincing colleagues who have no experience in this area that this is the case.

Next week I will write about my plans for next year.

 

Creating a University & Careers Guidance Programme (Part 4)

In this final post in my series reflecting on my first years experience of setting up a University & Careers guidance program I write about working with colleagues, students and their parents.

Giving advice 

Advising students is the central role of any guidance counselor, and for me actually represents the biggest challenge of the job. My background is as a science teacher having been a Head of Biology at my previous school and working with students in the ways required of a guidance counselor, while not entirely new to me certainly present a challenge for my style. I suppose that stepping into this role has been a major catalyst in growing my thinking about education in general. There have been some other factors, like the push from the IB for the integration of ATLS into teaching that have got me reflecting recently on the dynamic of learner-teacher and how this should be manifested in my own practice. I intend to write more on this soon, I just hope that it is possible for the leopard to change its spots.

Stepping into the shoes of guidance counseling I had to become very aware of my own preconceptions and prejudicies that I have carried with me from my own experience, and put these too one side. Guidance isn’t about telling students what you think is best for them in terms of your own limited understanding of where they are at and what options you think are better than others. It is much more about conversation, gaining trust and advocating for the student in what can be a very difficult time for them. They are adults and yet not quite, and whilst dealing with a lot Biological adjustments they can be going through some of the most pressured situations academically, socially and at home.

Looking back it seems as though the skills that I was introduced to and began to learn through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and meditation such as paying attention in the moment and bringing awareness to sensations, feelings and thoughts could not have come at a better time. They prepared me to be aware of the “baggage” in terms of my own ideas/prejudice that I was initially bringing to the role, as well as my tendancy to feel like the more that I talked at a student the better at counseling them I was.

Over this year I have come to see the role as more about questioning, about striving to build that authentic relationship with a student to help them to begin to articulate their own motivations, thoughts, worries and perceptions. Doing this will help them to bring more awareness to their own search for the right next step for themselves.

I still have a long way to go to fully develop the questioning and listening skills required to do this job well but I have made a start and I am aware that this is an area for improvement for me not just in counseling but in my teaching practice in general, as I strive to give kids the tools be become aware life-long learners in their own lives.

The actual practice of counseling comes on a cycle and this year because we had no grade 12 I was able to spend a lot of time working closely with our grade 11s in the first term, a luxury that I will not have next year as my teaching load increases and grade 12 comes through for the first time.

The hardest part was having the knowledge of different universities and courses, with which to advise my students and help them prepare their research and build their lists. None of my students are applying to just one country, and my knowledge was fairly limited to the UK and fairly prejudicial concerning what I knew about that system. This was a major driver for me to lobby the management at school about the need to get a system in place to help students and parents do their research. At this first stage the net needs to be cast quite wide, results can always be removed but they can be hard to find! This is why I opted for BridgeU, they offered a very competitive price for their services but they were also truly global unlike some of the other systems available and their offering comes with a calendar of when to work on the various projects with students, meaning that planning the delivery of particular interventions and meetings with students was simplified. I have posted about BridgeU here and here.

Working with your community

This year I certainly learn’t a lot about internal and external communication within a school environment this year and a lot about parents, partly because I became one myself, a process that had enabled me to empathise much more with parents but also because I have been working so much more closely with them.

Working with parents in this role is tricky one because, putting it bluntly, they pay the fees. This is a thought that I have struggled with this year.In a fee-paying school that runs as a business i.e. to make sales and profit, what are you selling? Who are the clients? the parents or the students?

If your child needs life saving treatment and you out them in a private hospital, you pay the hospital to pay the doctors to work in the interests of saving your child’s life. The hospital is run as a business to make a profit and it is selling its services. The doctors work for the child in the sense that they are saving this individuals life, not for the parent. You would have to be an idiot or mentally ill to think that as a parent, you had the skills and training to save your child’s life in this instance.

Things are much the same in a school like ours but sometimes parents do think that they have the skills and expertise and in my experience much more ready to challenge yours. There are many reasons for this, the communal respect that the teaching profession holds not being a minor reason but I am mindful of the Dunning-Kruger affect which states “The less people know the more the think they know”. This is a measurable effect and has been demonstrated in a few studies.

This is all well and good in work that is obviously highly skilled and one that requires a lot of expertise and training. But can be the same be said of guidance counseling or teaching? Well my experience this year would tell me that yes it can. Obviously to teach well requires years of experience for most people; I’ve been doing it for eight years and I am still along way from mastering it. For counseling the same is true. To understand how to mentor and question to serve students as a guide, as well as become an expert at the changing admissions landscape for several countries not just the UK or the US requires years and years of expertise. Unfortunately some parents that I have come across don’t seem to realise this. Speculation on the reasons why could fill another blog post. The fact is these are skilled professions and educating parents  suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect can present a real challenge to the work of the counselor.

When I first start this work, I was unsure of how to handle this dynamic and was a trifle fearful of upsetting the parents as the fee payers. I guess part of this can be solved by having trust that your senior management will back you and trust you to know your job.

When I first started this role my Head told me that he didn’t rate the counselor in a previous school. They said that the counselor was telling students what they could achieve but telling them not to apply to the “name” schools. In this one year I have come to question this attitude from that Head, perhaps they too were suffering from Dunning-Kruger, but also because I firmly believe that nobody should be telling the kids what they can and can’t do. If I have learned one thing advising isn’t about telling, its about guiding and advocating for students. Even as a dad to a one year old daughter I don’t want to be telling her she has to do something when she is older, I don’t want to have preconcieved ideas about that. Instead I hope to be able to guide her to follow her interests and model the hard work that she will need to put in to achieve whatever she wants. Financially I am already planning to allow her to have the opportunities that she wants to pursue.

I am beginning to have more trust in myself and my convictions but I also recognise that part of this process is about also trying to mentor the parents as well as the students to help them through this confusing and difficult terrain.

One aspect that needs further workis communication with parents. I was astounded by a conversation I had with a parent this year who, after one of the university presentations commented on how it was a shame that not more of the parents were there, going on to say that she had spoken to another parent that morning who had no idea that this event was taking place.

To put this in context, I had sent a letter out to parents, posted a message on ManageBac, put it on the ManageBac calendar, put an announcement in homeroom and put it in the school newsletter.

The parent continued to tell me that none of the parents use ManageBac, the schools curriculum and communication platform, before suggesting that I set up a What’sApp group instead to let the parents know. I was polite and maintained composure but inside I was really riled by this conversation.

I wonder whether we need some communication routines to be developed within the school? And whether our parents need to be educated a little more about taking responsibility for reading the information schools send out? Another parent told me how she was annoyed when teachers didn’t immediately respond to her emails.

Again this is a topic for another blog post I suppose but I am still wondering about where the buck stops? Obviously as a school we need to get more intelligent about the way we communicate with parents and communicating the expectations that we have of parents to keep up to date with school news but on the other hand teachers and staff working with pupils shouldn’t be expected constantly find new ways to communicate with parents and reinvent the wheel. For one thing it just wastes time, time that is better spent in other ways like reflecting on practice, working with students, planning etc. The list goes on.

Any solutions? Answers on a post card please.

Careers Day