09 November, 2015 · 2 minutes to read
Creating Parent Accounts for your VLE from Sims, Facility CMIS or other MIS
A question which comes up frequently is how shall we create parent accounts for our VLE or parental engagement system? This discussion is relevant whichever VLE / parental engagement system you are using and whatever your MIS.
There's 2 main ways of creating parental access accounts:
Option 2 initially is harder, because to be blunt, the quality of the contact information in any MIS is generally pretty bad. This ranges from missing information which needs be used in creating the account name, to parents being in the system multiple times.
The reasons for this include:
So a parental access account per student initially looks very appealing. However, there are several immediate problems with it:
Point 4 gives rise to an further important consideration. Your parental accounts need constant maintenance, you can't just create them once and forget about them. You need to monitor the contacts to see if anyone has had their parental access removed or has had a court order raised against them. This needs to be done automatically or pro-actively and not just when someone mentions it to you. Their rights to see the student's information needs to get removed immediately.
So in my opinion you need to create an account per parental contact in your MIS from the get go.
Once you have created your accounts what do you do with them? Well presumably the SLT has a vision for what they are going to be used for or there's really no point going down this road. As part of this vision they should have considered about how to distribute the credentials. You could just send them home in a letter, but that's insecure and not really engaging the parents with what they can do with them. The best ideas that I have seen about this is inviting the parents and their children to sessions at the school where the school explains what they are trying to achieve, how the parents and pupils can best make use of this information and does a quick training session on how to use the parental engagement tools. They are then given their credentials at the session and should know pretty much exactly what they can do and how they can engage with the school.
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Richard started SalamanderSoft in 2007 after a successful career as a software developer. Wanting to start his own company and with experience in integrating school systems he set out to build the best integration system for schools and to exceed customer expectations. He starting out on his own, doing all the coding, support and sales until finally the growing number of customers meant he needed to start growing the team. He is still heavily involved in coding the core Integration Suite product.