I loved the creativity, the freedom to deeply explore topics and the ad hoc back and forth with a curious set of students that could erupt at any moment. Teaching is a wonderful profession: it is fast-paced, engaging and you will never have two days the same. But I left teaching 4 years ago to pursue a career in EdTech. Unfortunately, the technology landscape in education until recently was detrimental to not only the provision teachers can offer, but also the ability to keep up with the stringent bureaucracy that the profession requires. Watching my football team, Arsenal, can be bad enough most weeks - but when you have a pile of Year 9 books to mark that evening as well, that pain is tenfold.
Teachers are expected to: plan and deliver outstanding and captivating lessons; mark every student’s work with regular cadence, giving thorough and individualised feedback for improvement; regularly monitor pupil assessments and highlight areas for improvement moving forward - and this is just the teaching and learning aspects! It is also essential for attendance to be correctly monitored, incidents reported and parents contacted, both for negative and positive feedback. If I’m being truly honest, I can count on one hand the amount of positive phone calls I made as a teacher - there simply isn’t enough time for the luxury of calling up a pupil’s parents to praise them regularly.
Consequently, teachers are working harder and longer than ever - in fact, a study this year found that 22% of teachers said they would think about leaving in the next two years, with 52% of this figure saying their workload was “unmanageable” or “unmanageable most of the time”. This is up from 35% in 2021. It remains one of the professions with the largest amount of unpaid overtime hours. I’m so passionate about changing this and I’m confident EdTech can underpin a wonderful new age of Education.
This brings me to the “why’. Why EdTech? I’ve always loved tech - when I was teaching, unfortunately the schools I worked in didn’t have the capacity to give staff or the students their own devices. Subsequently, I bought the cheapest Android tablet I could find and set about populating it with apps to bring my classroom to life. The biggest impact for me came from parental engagement using the app ClassDojo - even though often the communications were just emojis or short messages, there was a newfound transparency that improved both behaviour and pupil outcomes.
I’ve always wanted to make a tangible impact in Education - that’s why I made the difficult decision to leave the classroom and pursue a career in EdTech. I felt that equipping other educators with the technology to eliminate or alleviate all the pain points I experienced myself was my calling. This is the reason I joined the team at Compass. Our timely entrance into the UK market is enabling us to design and iterate our product alongside the people who actually use it, to shape a sector-leading MIS that will not only alleviate the pain points of UK teachers, but will also foster a more efficient future for teachers. Ultimately, we want to ensure teachers can concentrate on the thing they excel at (and enjoy) most: teaching.
The Compass MIS simplifies the everyday management of the school ecosystem, making life easier for staff, students and parents through a range of unique modules within its all-in-one management system. Crucially, the system allows the school to designate differing levels of access to different stakeholders ensuring staff, pupils and parents are all appropriately and regularly kept informed on all the important information. Contacting parents is no longer a luxury, it’s a given. Monitoring data closely is no longer a chore, it’s a norm. Furthermore, the Compass MIS has all the back-end school requirements covered such as communications, payments and attendance to ensure the school runs seamlessly.
I left the classroom because I wanted to be somewhere I could help other educators excel; and I think I’m in the perfect place to do so here at Compass.
At Compass, we understand how stressful examination periods can be, not only for the candidates sitting exams, but also for the Exams officers and senior leadership staff who organise and supervise them. The impact of exam stress is not limited to students alone; it affects the well-being of teachers as well. In fact, studies conducted in the UK indicate that during exam periods, 45% of teachers reported experiencing high levels of stress (according to a survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, ATL).With this in mind, we’ve designed our exams module to make exam time much simpler.Read Story
So if innovation is not exactly gushing forth from SIMS, where do we look for it? Well, I took on an advisory role at Compass, the Australian HQ-ed MIS, two years ago precisely because I was keen to see more new thinking in this space. And now that their first English schools have gone live it seems like a great time to catch up with UK General Manager Pete Collison to find out more about the identity they’re carving out for themselves. Here’s a rundown of our conversation.Read Story
Here at Compass, we are delighted to launch our brand new, integrated data visualisation tool for schools: Pulse. We know as schools you are swamped with unproductive tasks that burn through your precious time, with endless reports, exports, OfSted documentation writing impact statements and reporting back in Local authority meetings. So we got to work making sure the data you collect already can be easily repurposed and transformed into intuitive reports and data visualisations (graphs, pie charts etc.) for all your needs, and no additional workload.Read Story