Heron Way Primary School replaced radios with teamSOS
Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College
Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College significantly reduced their low-level disruption and improved response times by implementing teamSOS.
Blessed Edward is a Catholic secondary comprehensive school Based on a small site in Worcester, located in a mixed population area.
Paul Edmunds is the Assistant Headteacher responsible for curriculum, assessment and data within the school and was the project lead for implementing teamSOS across the college.
The school was using an old antiquated system to respond when help was needed in the classroom:
- Staff sent an email to an automated system that converted the message into a text delivered to the on-call mobile phone
- Information in the text was scant, only providing a room number with no context around the request or even the teacher’s name making it difficult for the on-call team to triage.
- The mobile phone did not work very well due to poor signal and patchy coverage. It had to be passed around the on-call team when they were on duty which caused additional issues of having to search for the next member of staff to hand the phone over and there were even times when the phone got lost.
- Having a single mobile phone meant that only one person was able to respond to a call at any one time.
- On-call staff would also have to carry a clip board and complete the details of each incident on a piece of paper. This piece of paper was handed into the school office for typing up into the detention and behaviour logs
- The requesting member of staff would not know if their request had been seen and if help was on its way which quite often resulted in sending a student out of class as a runner to request help at Reception. On occasions, it took more than fifteen minutes for the help to arrive.
NEW SYSTEM EVALUATION
Paul realised that things had to change. He reviewed a number of alternatives but decided to trial teamSOS, as the modern automated solution looked the most suitable for speeding up response times whilst driving efficiencies and, most importantly, supporting staff.
“Incidents are automatically triaged giving the on-call team information on who is requesting help, the location and nature of incident. Having two responders on-call at the same time, means they can now see when each other is dealing with an incident”
Introducing teamSOS to the staff was very easy. In just a couple of clicks staff could raise that important call for help from any device and in any location. Staff could see the response and that help was on its way.
teamSOS timeline reduced the workload in the school whilst improving accuracy and efficiency. The teamSOS evidence log and automated reporting took care of the previously time-consuming task of On-Call staff hand recording incidents and subsequent data entry by Administrators.
STAFF SUPPORT AND CONFIDENCE
As Paul commented, “the best thing about teamSOS is that it gives staff confidence. When something happens in the classroom, they know someone will turn up in minutes which we never had before. Our staff feel fully supported, allowing them to exercise their own discipline and if a student does not agree with them they know help is only minutes away and that someone will back them up”.
After finding teamSOS in a Google search and initiating a quick trial period, teamSOS was implemented across the school enabling staff to make help requests quickly and effectively which dramatically improved response times
• On-call teams are notified directly with full information of the requester name, location, and reason for the request.
• teamSOS allows for full triaging of incidents as they appear.
• Staff have full visibility of their request for help, who is responding and when help will arrive making them feel fully supported.
• The teamSOS solution was easy to deploy and easy for staff to use
• teamSOS allows responders to provide best practice, advice, and guidance during an incident before attending the scene.
• The timeline provides an audit trail as the event unfolds and this has reduced the workload for administration staff as well and the on-call team. It has removed data entry tasks and paper-based recording. The school now has an accurate digital evidence log saved securely on a server and available as a report whenever it is required.
• Supply teachers use a generic teamSOS log in, enabling them to easily call for help and get guidance in an unfamiliar environment, ensuring they feel supported and know what to do. This ensures a consistent approach is followed across the school.
Paul says “Start by keeping things simple with on-call incidents, adding additional features when teamSOS is fully embedded. Have a clear, defined call out system listing who is on call. Ensure all staff are aware of how to log in properly and regularly checking teamSOS notifications is switched to on. The advice for responders is to ensure they have their mobile devices with them when attending meetings so they can respond to incidents as they arise.”
THE NEXT STEPS
The next steps for Blessed Edward Oldcombe Catholic College are to review the other features of teamSOS with a view to potentially expanding its use and utilising the Announcements functionality for lockdown and evacuation scenarios.
“Our low level disruption has significantly reduced as students know that someone will arrive within minutes”
The school’s advice for other schools considering teamSOS
Paul continues to say “We would definitely recommend teamSOS to other schools. We think the system is very simplistic to use and gives staff confidence knowing that the on-call team will be on hand in minutes. We have seen how teamSOS has dramatically reduced our response times and provides us with a much improved on-call incident management solution, so we would highly recommend it”.
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“We have seen how teamSOS has dramatically reduced our response times and provides us with a much improved on-call incident management solution, so we would highly recommend it”.