Technology Counter School Management Software Buyer's Guide
School Management Software
Schools and educational institutions around the world have to perform a plethora of management and administrative activities to offer an effective academic experience to students. To students and parents, schools are just the learning and educational institutions that provide quality education to children. However, it isn’t just about teaching, taking exams, and promoting students to a higher standard. There is more to schools than what we know.
Let’s understand the meaning, purpose, benefits, and uses of this advanced management solution for educational institutions.
What is School Management Software?
Simply put, school management software is designed to automate the hectic manual management activities performed in schools. It automates the administrative tasks and streamlines the regular management activities. This one platform has everything a school needs to track students’ academic performance while managing the day-to-day management work.
School ERP software is the cloud-based system. They are compatible with third-party solutions and apps. The best part is that these systems are customizable. It can be tailored according to your specific requirements. In today's fast-paced world, school management systems have become a necessity. You cannot leave all the manual management work to your staff. First of all, it is nearly impossible for a bunch of people to manage day-to-day school activities.
The more employees you hire for school management, the more labor expenses you will incur every year. So, why not embrace a cheaper yet effective management solution? As mentioned above, the school management isn't about exams and promotion only. You will have to manage the co-curricular activities, daily attendance, fees submission, students’ and teachers’ timetable, payroll, school bus management, scholarship, and exams. A high-quality and comprehensive academic management system can help streamline all these regular administrative operations.
Common Capabilities of School ERP Software
Gone are the days when administrative tasks were the most challenging part of school management. In today’s internet-driven world, you only need to install comprehensive school ERP software to automate these management tasks and save your time and money. It enables teachers and the staff to monitor students' and teachers' progress, syllabus, timetable, exams, and students' performance in the co-curricular activities, and other information manually. Here we’ve mentioned the features or common capabilities of the school management software.
This software can record student’s information efficiently. This includes their attendance, grades, assignments, test results, discipline, and overall performance. You can easily access the details of any student of any standard using this solution. You can also record student’s personal information i.e. their parents, siblings, address, phone numbers, religion, age, and more.
In order to access this information, you can use the student’s smart cards. This will let you gather any information you want about any student.
It is difficult for parents to track their child’s academic performance. Just visiting the school to collect results will not tell parents about the overall performance of their child.
Schools can allow parents to access a specific module of the online school management software to monitor their child's progress throughout the year. Now, parents can know what their child does at school. You don't have to call each parent to inform them about the parent-teachers meeting. Likewise, the parents do not even need to visit the school to collect your child's report cards every month. With the school ERP software, the teachers can update these reports in each student's profile.
Parents can even talk to teachers through the software for smoother management. This makes it easier for parents to know if their child is performing and behaving well.
In addition to students, a quality school ERP solution tracks teachers' activities. The principal and staff can access the teacher's reports from this cloud-based management solution.
Not only does it help the management group to monitor teachers’ performance, but it is a great tool for teachers. They can access their timetable, syllabus for different classes, classroom activities, and student’s performance. The attendance is recorded digitally and the same database can be sent to parents to inform them about the number of days their child attended school.
Attendance and Timetable
The class teacher is responsible for recording the student's attendance every day. Depending on the number of students in each class, the teacher may have to spend a small amount of time every day for attendance.
Many schools still follow the pen-paper attendance system. The teachers are supposed to record the daily attendance on a file. Not only is it a time-consuming task, but the paper-based attendance system can result in manual errors.
This attendance management system allows teachers to record their attendance digitally. It not only saves you time but reduces the risk of manual errors. The software also helps teachers to apply for leaves, record their attendance, and access timetables.
Students have to complete monthly assignments. Likewise, teachers have to check these projects and give students grades according to their creativity. Additionally, the teachers are supposed to take monthly assessments or class tests to test students' knowledge and their progress.
This online assessment software helps the teacher prepare the assessment questions for different classes efficiently. You can even select questions for students according to their past performance. Once you have checked the assignments and assessments, you can upload the results digitally. You can also forward the results to each student's parents.
As much as report cards are important, they can be super hectic and time-consuming for teachers. Preparing report cards for each student is a challenging activity. One of the best features of this software is generating automated report cards. The student’s database is pre-recorded in the solution.
So, all you need to do is collect information about their performance, results, attendance, and discipline to generate report cards.
Fee Tracking and Admission
Collecting fees, passing the entry in financial books, and preparing invoices are the tasks that need a professional accountant and a quality school management solution. Fortunately, the school management software comes equipped with the fee tracking module that allows you to collect and track online payments easily.
The software also enables parents to pay their child's school fees online. Another use of the software is in admission management. The school staff has to save the admission files of each student. With an effective system, you can complete the admission process online and save the students' database on one platform. The software is capable of recording the registration details of the regular students as well as new admissions in a systematic format.
Homework and Projects
Now, assigning a project and daily homework is going to be a hassle-free process for teachers. With the school management solution, the teachers can update the homework and assignments on the software. They can also update the homework whenever they want. So, even if you forget to assign homework to students at school, you can use this software to send regular assignments.
You can also mention the deadline of the project. Students can collect information about their daily homework from the school ERP solution. This will also be helpful for students who couldn’t attend school.
Payroll and HR
Schools not only have to record students' progress and identity information, but they also have to distribute payments to the teachers and staff working for the institution. This may include the cleaners, teachers, accountants, principal, vice-principal, librarian, and other staff members.
Most schools pay teachers' salaries according to their attendance. They will be paid full if they attend school every day. Likewise, some part of their salary will be deducted if they take leaves. The school management solution features the HR and payroll module that helps schools pay teachers' salaries according to their performance and attendance. It automatically deducts tax, time-off, and benefits from the final payment.
Issuing a book from the school is the second most challenging task after attendance. Libraries are filled with a plethora of books. Students have to check each book to find the one that fits their requirements. Once they have found their favorite book, they will have to stand in the long queue to get it issued. It is also difficult for the librarian to record each book they have issued to students.
They have to mention the date the students are supposed to return these books to the library. What if the student never returns the book? Or, what if they keep it for longer than the submission deadline? The advanced school library software can help teachers keep the record of the books they have issued to students. They can record this information with the students' names, class, the submission deadline. The school library software is also useful for students as they don’t have to search for their favorite book from the piles of books and novels in the library.
Who Uses the School Management System?
This Software is used by schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. Both government and private schools install the school ERP software to automate a plethora of management activities. It can record information about students, teachers, parents, school staff, and other members associated with the institution.
It can reduce the workload of the school staff by automating all types of management and administrative tasks. From student's and teachers' attendance records to tracking fees and payments, this single platform can handle everything.
The best part is that it can be used by students and parents as well. You can update the student's progress reports and exam results on the software and share it with their parents in simple clicks. Schools can also grant software access to parents and teachers. It facilitates seamless communication between teachers and parents. Additionally, the software can calculate the compensation for school staff.
Why Do You Need School Software?
The famous educational institutions have already installed the school software and have found it effective and a reliable way to perform day-to-day administrative activities. There is no denying the school management system is a multi-functional platform with different modules. It not only helps the management team, but an effective solution can simplify the regular workflow and help parents track their child’s performance smoothly.
Let’s have a look at the few important reasons why every school needs to integrate this cloud-based school management software.
Easy way to Record Attendance
We have already mentioned the attendance and timetable module of this ERP software. It doesn’t only digitalize the attendance management, but it enables teachers to create attendance reports class-wise, gender-wise, and according to other variables.
One interesting part about this module is that it has the SMS function that alerts the parents if their child is absent. So, students will not even think about bunking school. Moreover, the pen-paper attendance system is so outdated. It can lead to manual errors.
No need to call parents to inform them about their child's performance. You can send a notification to the parents through emails or the software application. It facilitates seamless and smooth communication between parents and teachers.
The software has the record of each student and their parents. So, you don’t have to ask students to share their parents’ numbers or their address. The pre-recorded information in the software can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
Easy to Use
The clear and user-friendly interface makes the school software a straightforward system. The vendor will provide you with a quick demo and thorough training to help you understand each module and its uses.
You can even allow parents to access certain modules of the software. This especially helps them track their child's progress, their attendance, the total pending fees, and other details. Children can use the software to send their leave applications, view the timetable, check and complete homework, and other assignments. This also helps parents to check the regular assignments their child is supposed to complete.
Efficient Staff Management
Distributing payments to your staff is another challenging task for school, especially if you deduct the day-off salary. An effective ERP school solution allows teachers to record attendance. You can track the number of days they attended school and pay them accordingly.
Calculating the total compensation you owe to the teachers and staff is no longer a difficult task with the software for school management. The system calculates the total payment based on the total leaves, current tax regulations in your state, benefits, etc. The best part is that you can send the salary in one click. Nowadays, everybody accepts bank payments. A direct deposit is a convenient mode of payment for both schools and teachers.
Some schools also sell additional products such as school uniforms, books, and other supplies. Most school management solutions feature an inventory management module that keeps track of your inventory. The software automatically detects the items that need to be replenished. The software generates a purchase order for these items and forwards it to the vendors. It is especially important for schools that have canteens.
Compatible with All Devices
Gone are the days when schools had to invest in the on-premises campus management system. Today, the cloud-based school management solution is compatible with almost all screens and devices. You can access the software anytime and anywhere you want. All you need is a reliable internet connection and smartphone. Submit your login credentials and get access to the system.
All educational institutions have some similar functions. For instance, each school takes attendance, conducts parent-teachers meetings, and distributes report cards. But, each school operates in a different way. One of the best qualities of this software is that it is open to customization. The solution doesn't work on a one-size-fits-all approach. You get to choose the types of the module you would like to integrate into the software. In fact, some vendors charge the monthly fee according to the modules you choose. You can customize this software according to your management operations.
Some vendors are ready to add small tweaks to the solution to customize it for schools. Each module can be customized. Moreover, the principal can choose the members they would like to use the software.
Significant space in schools is used to store papers, files, and different documents. This includes the students' admission files, their records, attendance registers, and other documents. So, why not save some space and time on paperwork? Not only is it tedious, but you can lose or misplace the important files.
It is, therefore, important to digitize your school management. A quality school management solution helps you embrace a paperless campus. You can save important data and student or teacher details in a secure and systematic form.
Personalized Learning Experience
The advanced technology has opened up several learning and teaching opportunities for educational institutions. You don't have to rely on those outdated teaching methods that barely work. The online school management software not only helps you automate the administrative tasks, but it personalized learning and teaching experiences for students and teachers.
The teachers only need a smartphone and internet to run performance analysis. They can update new assignments and check students’ report cards in simple clicks. They can even upload study materials, previous years’ question papers, sample questions, assignments, vacation projects, and other educational resources easily. Similarly, students can access the software from the comfort of their home. Even if they did not attend the lecture for some reason, they will know what homework each teacher has assigned to them.
Another interesting quality of the learning management software is its versatility. The solution is compatible with different mobile apps and third-party software. Though the software for school management comes loaded with all the necessary modules, you have the option to integrate the solution to other apps for smoother management.
For instance, you can integrate the fee and payment module of the school software with accounting and bookkeeping solutions. This will save your time on duplicating entries in different solutions manually. All expenses and incomes of your school will automatically be updated into the digital accounting books.
Market Trends for School Management Software
The education sector has seen several trends and changes over the past few years. From the old-school learning technique to smart classrooms, it seems like the education sector is growing.
This software has witnessed remarkable changes. For example, it offers multiple modules that help with management, learning, communication, payment, and reports. It also enables students and teachers to connect with other schools.
Here we’ve mentioned a few important trends in the school management system for 2020. Let’s have a look:
Even kids know how to operate smartphones. While mobiles have certain side-effects, studies have proven the benefits of digital learning for kids. The visual learning experience is far better and interesting for children than the blackboard and pen-paper system. Earlier, the on-premises online school management software was only compatible with laptops and PCs. And, it wasn’t accessible to parents and children.
Today, the developers have started to launch mobile-friendly automated school management solutions that are compatible with small screens. So, children can access the learning modules to collect study materials.
Integration with New Software
Some schools already have the finance, accounting, inventory management, and other management software installed on the campus. Keeping this factor in mind, the developers launch a school management solution that can be integrated with third-party software seamlessly. This way schools do not need to replace the existing automated solutions.
They need to follow simple steps to integrate the software for school management with other apps and online solutions for smoother and smarter management.
Immediate Notifications through Mails
Another trend in this system is instant notification. The system doesn't only streamline the management operations for schools, but it facilitates a smooth interaction between parents and teachers. Parents do not have to call teachers or pay a visit to the school to collect their child's progress report.
The report cards and the results of the assessments and annual exams are updates on the school software. Parents can collect their child’s report cards by logging into the school ERP software. Teachers may also send the reports through mails.
The software developers have started to pay attention to the students' learning experience. That’s the reason why they keep on adding interesting learning features to the school software. One such advanced feature is interactive learning.
As the name suggests, this module comes loaded with some advanced and exciting learning tools such as subject-related games, educational blogs, video tutorials, social media tools, and discussions at online forums. These tools help improve the student’s learning experience. If they face any difficulty in any subject, they can watch videos or read the subject-related blogs to clear all doubts.
Likewise, this feature is incredibly beneficial for kids. They love to play games. So, what could be a better way to teach them than some exciting games?
As more and more students enroll in schools, it gets difficult for teachers and staff to record their registration details and handle a large amount of data efficiently. Schools aren’t only supposed to handle student’s data, but they have to manage the teachers and staff database too.
The software for school management has multiple modules that offer smooth data management. These systems are capable of handling a large volume of data efficiently.
Most schools, colleges, and universities have embraced the cloud-based software application for easier access. It is extremely convenient and easily accessible. You don't need to be present at the campus to be able to use the school software. With the cloud-based application, the data and software modules can be accessed from anywhere.
All that the users need is login details, a smartphone or PC, and a stable internet connection. You can generate reports, update information, assign tasks, or interact with students and their parents from the comfort of your home.
School management software features the fee and payment module that allows parents to submit the monthly or yearly fee through direct deposit. You don't need to visit the school and wait in line to pay fees.
You can transfer your child’s fee through net banking, credit or debit card transfers, and e-wallets. This one-click payment system can save you plenty of time.
Choosing the Best School Management System Vendor
With a market full of some of the best school management software vendors, the decision of choosing the best software for your campus gets a little overwhelming. Schools need to research the trusted vendors that are ready to offer premium school administration software at a competitive price. You will also need to consider other factors such as training, modules, customer support, and other built-in features.
Let’s have a look at some important tips for choosing the best school management software vendor:
This software is a long-term investment. You may not want to get stuck with a poor quality system that is hard to operate. So, make sure you research the vendor and consider their market experience before buying the software.
Do not just buy the first software you find on the internet. Discuss the idea with your colleagues and other educational institutions and check the experience of the vendor before making a decision.
You need to look for an automated school management solution that can be customized according to your specific requirements. The last thing you want is to disturb the current workflow and adjust your management operations according to the school software just because the solution you have purchased is not agile and customizable.
Customer Support Service
Every business wants to install a quality and reliable ERP solution. Schools are no exception. In fact, it is extremely important for schools to purchase a system that’s easy to operate. After all, parents, children, and the school staff are going to use it.
It is also important to purchase it from a vendor that is ready to offer the best customer support service. No matter how reliable the software is, it still has some technical features that might be a little hard for your staff and students. So, the vendor must provide proper training. Moreover, the service provider will implement, integrate, upgrade, and customize the school ERP software for you. That's the part of their service. So, do not settle for anything less. Discuss the services they are willing to offer before you purchase the solution.
You don’t want to seal the deal with the vendor only to discover that you have to implement and integrate the solution on your own. In the same way, some vendors charge an additional fee for implementation or customization. So, make sure you discuss these terms beforehand.
Do Some Research
As mentioned above, this software isn’t one of those cheap and casual investments. You are probably going to use the software for years. That being said, it is important to research the vendor, software, and current users. Check the vendor’s website and note all the features and modules integrated into the software.
Check other similar options and compare the price as well as features of different ERP solutions. The more you research, the higher the chances you will land the best software.
You get what you pay for. The more modules you want in the school ERP software, the higher the price you have to pay. Just because the software is available for a cheap price doesn’t mean it is a perfect option for your school. Check and compare the prices of different school management software and choose the one that fits your budget.
Types of Buyers and Which School Management System will Fit their Requirements
Managing the administrative activities and monitoring each student's progress is not easy for the school staff. In addition to being a time-consuming task, school management activities are super challenging. That's why most schools have already embraced school management software. But, which online school management system is the best for your campus?
As mentioned before, not all schools have the same management process. So, the software you choose should mainly depend on the following factors
The modules and features it supports
The pricing strategy
If you have a limited budget, you will have to look for the software that features the necessary modules and is available at a reasonable price. If the quality of the software is your main concern, then you have multiple options. Note all the management activities you would like to automate. Choose the software that has all the modules that will help you automate the mundane school management activities.
For schools with a large campus and a large number of students enrolling every year, a customizable and mobile-compatible ERP solution is a must. It must have a payroll system & leave, attendance, scholarship, admission and fees, finance, exam, SMS & email, library, profile, transport, website, inventory, and e-learning modules for efficient management.