Honley High School, Kirklees
Using PARS Software for Electronic Registration and Behaviour Tracking
Author: Paul Sharrock, Assistant Headteacher
Honley High School is located in Kirklees with over 1200 students aged 11 to 16. The school serves students from various areas in the region and primarily from Honley, Brockholes and Meltham. The school specialises in Science and Mathematics.
As part of a full review of the school’s behaviour policy last year, as the school’s Assistant Head responsible for behaviour, Paul Sharrock was appointed to look at a number of software packages that focused on attendance and the tracking of behaviour.
Following a very good presentation by a representative from TASC Software, we opted to purchase the full PARS package and later purchased their parental portal software called Insight. Initially, teachers were understandably concerned as it was going to result in a major change in the way they operated on a daily basis. Because of this, we have taken it very slowly introducing different aspects of the software since we started last May.
We started with teachers getting familiar with the home page and registering all their classes online. This was the first time we have used electronic registration and it has been very successful. Teachers now find the home page easy to navigate around and it has become a very effective tool in managing any post registration truancy that we may have had. At the same time we devised a new classroom Learners Code and we have configured PARS to support the code. Again, we had a trial towards the end of last year and have been running the new system since September.
Findings & Benefits
Without doubt PARS has had a very positive impact on behaviour at Honley. If the network goes down, as it has happened once or twice, teachers complain that they cannot access it and it has now become a very important tool for the class teacher. PARS is very flexible; you have the opportunity to set it up to work exactly as you want it and the technical help from TASC Software has been excellent! The support team is small but good; the fact that you know who you are talking to and more importantly they know you, which makes it so much easier.
Since September (2012), we now use PARS to record all behaviours/events, positive and negative in and out of the classroom. As a result, we are now issuing more achievement certificates than we did last year. Attendance at detentions has improved and our removals from lessons have seen a significant reduction. We now have a tremendous amount of data available for tutors and Heads of Year which allows us to identify students who we would not have targeted with our old paper system. We made a number of changes to our behaviour policy not to just introduce PARS, but we now have a software system that reflects our behaviour policy and has been key to the improvements we have made this year.
INSIGHT for Parental Reporting
A group of parent Governors and teachers who have children at Honley have just trialled Insight. The parents/carers have been pleased with the information that is now available to them and also like the ease of access and they way it is presented to them. We have had some problems over the accuracy of the data but this has been through human error and not due to the software. As a school we are always looking for ways to improve home school communication and look forward to having Insight available to years 7 to 10 this summer term.