HOW FILEHOUND EDU CAN SAVE HOURS A WEEK FOR SCHOOL BACK-OFFICE TEAMS!

No more hours spend locating important information in shared drives, filing cabinet or other disorganised file stores. What a relief!

When thinking back to life at school, most us hark back to fond memories of our favourite teachers. Great teachers are indeed at the core of what makes school a positive and valuable experience for us, and they certainly deserve our admiration and respect. 

However, what most of us don’t think about, due in large part to simple lack of exposure, are the school back office teams who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep a school running smoothly. These unsung heroes are the administrators, the school data managers, the finance admins.

These individuals are rarely exposed to us during our time at school as students, and can often get overlooked despite being the lifeblood of every school. Without these dedicated staff ‘pulling the ropes behind the curtain’, our schools would not be operational. They’re the ‘go to’ people when curricular staff need information and support urgently. Put plainly, they keep our schools running.

Here at FileHound we’ve been spending some time with school back office teams to gain an understand of their unique operational challenges. As teams that maintain and manage mountains of data across a multitude of systems, school back office teams are faced with a number of difficult and complex problems in their day to day roles. Problems which have been compounded in recent months by remote working situations and continually shifting priorities. 

Some of these challenges include;

  • Large volumes of student and staff files to manage, retain and retrieve at a moment’s notice
  • Common instances of unstructured or disorganised data in shared drives, MIS systems, local workstations and elsewhere
  • Typically a ton of paper archives, be it on-site in filing cabinets or off-site in document storage facilities
  • Longer retention policies than most organisations, due to student safeguarding policies
  • More sensitive document contents than many organisations, including personally identifiable information for both students and thir parents, even extending to financial information
  • Sheer lack of storage space, with school real estate being prioritised for teaching & learning activities
  • Lots of manual entry and duplication, both of process & data
  • GDPR & operational challenges – local authorities and governing bodies are still working with schools battling urban myths around compliance and retention policies

Most of all, and adding additional weight the above burdens, schools have a huge dependancy and reliance on the knowledge of local team members. It’s common for school administrators to remain in post for years, gaining a huge and invaluable body of knowledge about school systems and processes. These processes can change often and are not always well documented.

Additional pressure is being put on schools under the current climate to allow teams to work remotely or cover for furloughed colleagues during COVID lockdown. Many school systems are accessible only on-premises, and are not available in the cloud, making working effectively at a distance a real challenge for these teams.

What about MIS systems? 

MIS systems are the central source of truth for schools in terms of student, staff and finance data. It’s also true that some MIS systems do offer the ability to store documents. However, file storage features are typically very basic, offering a basic file store area which can be often used as a ‘dumping ground’. For many schools, this can cause more issues than it solves with regards to managing important documents. Integrating MIS data into other schools systems can also be a challenge, with dependancy on the MIS your school uses, as well as the integration capabilities of the third party system. Lastly and most challenging, few MIS systems offer a truly cloud model, compounding the remote access challenge.

The fact is, MIS’s are made for managing school data, NOT for managing documents.

Despite the above issues, back office teams muddle through and find a way to make things work. This can get schools by most days, but on a bad day – things can be a real challenge. The FileHound team have been sensitive to this and we’ve been working to offer a simple, practical and affordable solution to these challenges.

What is FileHound edu? 

FileHound edu is a flavour of FileHound Document Management made specifically for the school back office, with some unique features to make it the perfect fit for school admin teams. 

FileHound edu offers;

  • A truly ‘cloud first’ EDMS with no on-site installation required
  • Integration with the most common MIS systems 
  • Integration with your current scanners, MFDs or secure print solution for an easy ‘scan, index & retain’ workflow 
  • We have the tools and experience to support schools with importing data from their MIS
  • Simple & intuitive enough for administrative teams to adopt quickly
  • Built by education specialists with school back-office teams in mind
  • Our education experience helps us support school budget holders & decision makers to understand the benefits and get going as fast as possible

How does it work?

FileHound edu lets users scan or send any document directly to their team’s FileHound inbox, where it can be quickly indexed and retained. 

When indexing a letter to a parent, for example; 

  1. Simply open the file from your inbox
  2. Click the ‘Index’ button, assign the Document Type and enter the relevant Student or Staff member’s Name
  3. There is no step 3! FileHound automatically pulls all the relevant metadata from your school MIS, saving you a ton of manual input

That’s it! The file is securely stored in the right place, with the right retention policies and the right metadata. 

Find it in a flash!

Using our powerful Search features, any file can be quickly retrieved in a matter of seconds, by simply typing a few key words.

No more hours spend locating important information in shared drives, filing cabinet or other disorganised file stores. What a relief!

Interested?

Want to learn more? Get in touch with our expert team now: info@filehound.co.uk