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Case Studies.

University College Birmingham

/ Rory Haynes

Supporting the future of education

With the ever-changing MIS landscape, it is crucial that Early Career Teachers are made aware of the platforms they will be using on a day-to-day basis 

Bromcom Education Consultant, Dan Sears, and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Lead at UCB, Michelle Haywood are hosting a series of demonstrations to trainee teachers illustrating how a modern MIS operates, starting with Safeguarding.  

We sat down with Michelle, to discuss the support programme and how this collaboration could be an effective model for ITT providers in the future.    

Establishing Trust 

I first came across Bromcom when I was Director for SEND, Inclusion and Safeguarding across a 12-school MAT. At the time we were recommissioning MIS and Bromcom stood out for me with its capabilities around inclusion and safeguarding. It was evident that it could work in our large secondary schools and facilitate the sharing of important information among key Safeguarding personnel.  

As part of a trust-wide migration away from SIMS, I lead the Safeguarding transformation. Previously, we had been using the SIMS product MyConcern. Unfortunately, the student data could not be housed centrally, this could be achieved with Bromcom.  

Our migration project involved ‘Champion Schools’ who led the charge in migrating all the data, including Safeguarding, to the new system. There were initial concerns about the protection of data when the process took place. The last thing you want is vital records being removed from a child’s history which could impact their future. Fortunately, we were able to migrate to Bromcom with minimal fuss and store all this important information in one location.  

From the off, we enjoyed the way we could record information with Bromcom. We focused on SEND reporting at one of our High Schools during lockdown. Our staff used the system to log conversations with parents, progression with online learning, and attendance. It allowed us to create a digital, chronological record of interactions which we could refer to in later discussions. It also allowed us the opportunity to perform intervention if required. Additionally, we were no longer writing notes on scraps of paper and then forgetting to upload at a later date!  

In terms of functionality, Bromcom allowed us to achieve exactly what we needed from a Safeguarding perspective. We could scan and upload documents relating to specific children and also grant permissions to necessary staff who were part of the Safeguarding team. Staff could record data, but sensitive information was protected where required. 

Through my work with Bromcom, I met Dan Sears. He supported our Safeguarding training and was the first name I thought of when it came to MIS training at UCB. 

Educating educators 

At UCB, we want to highlight the importance of Safeguarding from the off. Bromcom offers the ideal solution here. From previous experience, I know it’s an efficient way of recording vital information in an appropriate format. I gave Dan a call and he gladly volunteered his time in support of our future teachers.  

This session is crucial for early development. Ideally, it should form the bedrock of understanding when it comes to reporting personal and sensitive information. 

We hope this Safeguarding meeting will be the beginning of a blossoming relationship with Bromcom. Students will gain exposure to a great MIS while developing their understanding of teaching practices. 

This partnership forms part of a wider initiative to bring in industry experts, who can highlight the diverse nature of the education community.  

There are different products, techniques, and theories across the teaching landscape. We want our budding educators to be aware of as many as possible. This means, when they progress to middle and senior leadership, they can make informed choices on best practice. We don’t want to promote an attitude of ‘I used this before, so let’s use it again’.  

Studies show that what you learn in your first five years will shape the rest of your teaching career. We want our students to be forward-thinking!  

Dan’s experience in education is extensive and we’re delighted that he is volunteering for UCB! 

About UCB 

Based in the heart of the city centre, University College Birmingham provides post-16 education with a particular focus on vocational qualifications. It is highly respected by employers and industry alike for offering career-focused education and training. Their PGCE course is Primary specific with between 60 and 70 students in the 2022/23 cohort.