Teacher develops data tool to track the struggles and success of pupils

A PRIMARY school teacher has developed a data tracking tool for nurseries and schools which he says can forecast future struggles or successes for students.

Early Essence to Primary Essence, which was initially piloted in four Yorkshire schools and has been commended by Ofsted, signposts high achievers and equally identifies those pupils who need early intervention. Now, 15 schools and nurseries are using the system.

The brainchild of teacher Scott Parkin in partnership with web developer Adam Mawson, Early Essence to Primary Essence is an online, live data tracking system that allows nursery providers, primary schools, parents and pupils to follow the progress, development and attainment of children from birth to 11 years.

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New Zealand-born Mr Parkin, from Hipperholme, Halifax, a teacher for 10 years and deputy head at Brackenhill Primary School, Bradford, has been working with Mr Mawson, director of Primary Technology, a Bradford-based ICT services provider, for more than a year to develop the system.

Early Essence to Primary Essence enables the learning community to have instant access through investigative data, which describes the past, present and future learning of individual pupils, while also analysing this performance at group (special educational needs, boys, girls), whole class/cohort and full school level.

Parents can access information on their child’s progress and attainment in real time at regular points throughout the year.

Mr Parkin said: “The intelligent use of data has become central to the work of all professionals involved in education and having had responsibility for data management and analysis over many years, it is my ambition to see more data smart schools delivering pupil progress.

“At any moment nursery providers, schools and parents have access 24/7 to personalised, relevant and current reports which profile a child’s progress against national, school and personalised aspirational targets both accurately and coherently.”

Early Essence is developed for the pre-school sector and aimed at the private nursery market and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) teams in primary schools.

The system will also support early years providers in assessment and delivery of the new statutory framework for EYFS 2012, which became mandatory on September 1 this year and sets standards that all early years providers must meet. The Early Essence package integrates with Primary Essence enabling all information to be instantly transferred through to primary practitioners.