Schools are often seen as conservative in their adoption of new process and ideas, but if there is one habit that schools around the world need to kick in 2015 it’s their significant paper consumption.
Even with all the modern ICT tools deployed in schools today staff and students will still use paper for some tasks, but there are significant savings in both time and cost available to schools that transition their paper-based processes to online tools.
For example each year tens of millions of parents sign hundreds of millions of paper forms on behalf of their children or relatives. It’s a labour intensive, unreliable and inefficient process – and there are clear advantages in considering electronic alternatives.
Here are four major benefits for your school to eliminate the paper chase in 2015 as part of the Workload Challenge
Apart from the obvious expense of purchasing paper plus photocopier and printer consumables, most of the time schools don’t realize the hidden costs associated with staff administrators and teachers managing paper trails.
Transitioning paper forms to an online system makes a great deal of sense.
Document retention policies often require schools to archive their paper forms for a considerable number of years – we’ve heard of some schools whose legal advisors have told them to keep their paper forms indefinitely. Over time storage can become a real cost burden, to ensure the paper forms are held securely and safely.
Not only are online forms quicker to fill out and easier to read, staff will can keep them on record without having to worry about damaged or lost forms – with the ParentPaperwork system the data remains available at the click of a mouse for as long as the school decides.
And of course any cost savings can be redirected into teaching time and resources.
Sending out paper forms such as permission slips is extremely time consuming for administrators and teachers. Creating, approving and copying the forms can involve hundreds of pieces of paper and many hours of work. Then there’s all the stress and hassle that follows when students forget or are late to bring back their forms, causing headaches for the teachers, principals and administrators.
The last thing teachers need is to waste time standing in front of a photocopier, stuff forms into students’ school bags and chasing parents.
ParentPaperwork lets teachers send out their forms with a click of a button. The forms are delivered directly to parents via email, and are tracked and delivery errors noted, so school staff have confidence forms have reached the parents. Parents are even automatically sent reminders if they are overdue submitting their forms.
Staff can log into ParentPaperwork at any time to view real time reporting about which parents have responded and submitted their forms. Then all the relevant data can be exported into a single spreadsheet file – no more carrying bundles of paper forms on field trips and excursions.
Saving the environment
There are many great opportunities for schools to adopt environmentally friendly practices, and saving paper is a positive way to contribute to ensuring our kids can look forward to a healthy planet for many decades to come.
A school with 2,000 students could be using 80,000 pieces of paper a year just to send forms home to parents – that’s around ten trees a year that need to be sacrificed just so parents can give permission for their children to attend a sports carnival or other school activity! Using online forms will save those trees and set a positive example to students.
Schools can sign up for a free 30 day trial at www.ParentPaperwork.com