Effective Records Management in SEN Settings. Simplify Information Governance.

As schools, especially those for Special Educational Needs (SEN), handle a vast amount of data and documentation, proper records management is essential. This involves creating, storing, and maintaining accurate and reliable records that help in decision-making and meeting compliance requirements. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of records management for SEN schools and how Ascentas’ records management solutions and document scanning services, along with the Laserfiche Cloud solution, can help.

How important is effective Records Management in SEN School?

SEN schools serve a vulnerable population of students with disabilities and special educational needs, and the records of these students are critical to providing appropriate educational and support services.  It is extremely important for SEN schools to deploy and maintain an effective Records Management solution.

Effective records management ensures that accurate, up-to-date, and relevant information about students with SEN is collected, stored, and accessible to authorised personnel. This information includes assessments, individual education plans (IEPs), progress reports, medical information, and other sensitive information about students and their families.

By maintaining these records in a systematic and organised manner, SEN schools can:

Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements – SEN schools are legally obligated to keep accurate records and ensure that students receive the support and accommodations they need. Failure to maintain proper records can result in legal and financial penalties.

Facilitate effective communication and collaboration – Accurate records help SEN schools communicate effectively with parents, teachers, therapists, and other professionals involved in the education and support of students with SEN. This improves collaboration and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Improve student outcomes – With accurate and up-to-date records, SEN schools can track student progress, identify areas of need, and make data-driven decisions about the best interventions and support strategies for each student.

Records management is therefore essential for SEN schools to provide effective, high-quality education and support to students with special educational needs.  But what can happen if your records management solution isn’t effective or worse, doesn’t exist.

What can go wrong if SEN Schools do not deploy Records Management effectively?

SEN schools must ensure that they comply with all these legal requirements related to record-keeping.

What can go wrong if SEN Schools do not deploy Records Management effectively?

SEN schools handle a lot of sensitive information about students, their health, progress, and learning requirements. This information must be kept confidential, secure, and easily accessible when needed.  SEN schools are required, by law, to comply with legal and regulatory requirements related to record-keeping. The key legal requirements for SEN schools to keep records are:

The Education (Pupil Information) Regulations 2005 – These regulations require schools to keep certain information on each pupil, including their name, address, date of birth, gender, and SEN status.

The Children and Families Act 2014 – This Act requires SEN schools to keep records related to each student’s education, health, and care plan (EHCP). These records must include assessments, progress reports, and any other information relevant to the student’s needs.

The Data Protection Act 2018 – This act requires SEN schools to protect the personal data of students and staff, and to obtain consent from parents or guardians for the collection and processing of their child’s data.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – The GDPR is a European Union regulation that requires all organizations, including SEN schools, to protect the personal data of individuals and to obtain consent for the collection and processing of that data.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years – This code of practice provides guidance for SEN schools on the collection, storage, and use of records related to students with special educational needs and disabilities.

SEN schools must ensure that they comply with all these legal requirements related to record-keeping. This includes ensuring that records are accurate, up-to-date, and relevant, and that they are stored securely and confidentially. Failure to comply with legal and regulatory requirements related to record-keeping can result in legal and financial penalties. 

The Challenges

Without proper records management, schools may face challenges such as:

Compliance Issues: As already mentioned, SEN schools must comply with various regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Protection Act, and the Freedom of Information Act. Proper records management ensures compliance and helps avoid penalties.

Inefficiency and Inaccuracy: Without a reliable record management system, schools may face inefficiencies in locating or accessing relevant documents when needed. This can lead to errors in decision-making and potentially harm students.

Loss of Data: SEN schools collect vast amounts of data on students, including assessments, individualised education plans, and medical records. Losing any of this data can have severe consequences for the school and students.

Legal Issues: Poor record keeping can lead to legal issues, including lawsuits for data breaches or non-compliance with regulations.

Ascentas’ Document Management & Document Scanning Services

Ascentas provides reliable document management and document scanning services that can and do help SEN schools in the UK manage their records efficiently and have been doing so for over 30 years. The company offers a range of services, including:

Document Scanning: Ascentas’ document scanning services convert physical documents into electronic formats, making them easily accessible and searchable. This saves time, space, and reduces the risk of losing data.

Document Management: The company’s document management solutions help SEN schools organize, store, and retrieve documents easily. It includes indexing, categorising, and tagging documents, making it easy to search and find the required information.  More information on Laserfiche Cloud and how it can help can be found here and is discussed in the next part of the post.

Secure Document Destruction: Ascentas offers secure document destruction services to help SEN schools dispose of confidential documents safely and efficiently. This service ensures that sensitive information is not accessed by unauthorised personnel.

Cloud Migration: Ascentas’ cloud migration service provides secure and reliable migration of your current on-premises solution and data into Microsoft Azure. This service ensures that the documents are easily accessible and can be shared with authorised personnel from anywhere, at any time all secured in the Microsoft Azure environment.


Laserfiche Cloud Solution for Schools

Laserfiche Cloud is a cloud-based solution that can help SEN schools manage their documents and data efficiently. It offers a range of features, including:

Workflow Automation: Laserfiche automates document workflows, streamlining processes, and reducing manual errors. This feature ensures that the correct documents are available to the right personnel at the right time.

Secure Document Sharing: Laserfiche provides secure document sharing features that enable authorized personnel to access and share documents easily. This feature ensures that sensitive information is accessed by authorized personnel only.

Records Management: Laserfiche offers records management features that enable SEN schools to maintain accurate, complete, and reliable records. This feature ensures that compliance requirements are met, and records are easily accessible when needed.

Search and Retrieval: Laserfiche’s search and retrieval feature allows users to quickly search for and retrieve documents. This feature saves time and makes it easy to find the required information.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, effective records management is crucial for SEN schools. It helps to ensure efficient operations, compliance with regulations, and protection of sensitive information. It also helps ensures that accurate, up-to-date, and relevant information about students with SEN is collected, stored, and accessible to authorised personnel.  Records Management solutions, document scanning services, and Laserfiche Cloud from Ascentas can help schools to achieve these benefits and effectively manage their records. Investing in these solutions can pay dividends in terms of time savings, efficiency, and compliance.