No-code tools have uses across many industries, but perhaps none are as timely as in education — a sector where staff are weighed down by massive workloads and outdated admin processes.
Given these burdensome practices, it’s perhaps no surprise that an Ofsted report last year revealed that 71% of senior leaders in the UK worked more than 51 hours a week; that’s 12 hours over the national average of 37.5 hours per week. This overtime often consists of manually completing administrative tasks, rather than working on more valuable duties such as lesson or curriculum planning.
This article not only looks at some of the problems facing the sector, but will also explain how no-code platforms can offer a useful solution by automating core office processes.
The role of educational staff is infamously associated with paperwork. Piles of homework to be marked, reams of new starter forms to be completed — even down to the registers that keep a record of attendance.
With these methods comes a myriad of challenges. Not only are paper copies particularly liable to human error, but they also quickly become outdated when edits and amendments are made, all of which leads to a breakdown of communication between departments.
The silos that build up around departments is evidence of the disruption that these processes cause. With no single source of truth, teams become isolated and productivity decreases.
The past year has pushed these challenges to a boiling point, with research by the Teacher Wellbeing Index showing that 84% of teachers report feeling either very or somewhat stressed. 21% of those surveyed attributed this stress to navigating technology from home, signalling toward the ill-suited nature of current edtech operations.
However, to say there’s no escaping these outdated methods would be inaccurate. No-code tools offer a solution that is effective, customisable and, perhaps most importantly, accessible to all — coding experience or not.
On one level, this means that school’s don’t need to outsource talent, which will save them valuable time and resources. With a little training, staff members can create an application that effectively automates a work process.
Whether it’s swapping paper documents for a pupil grading system or spreadsheets for a student onboarding database, the benefits here are significant.
What’s more is that by utilising existing educational staff to build these applications, there will be a more intimate understanding of the challenges that colleagues are dealing with. When your main developer is someone who’s seen the issues first-hand, the chances are that they’re going to be able to create something that more directly addresses the problem.
So how does it work exactly? Automation technology allows users to repeatedly complete mundane tasks on a regular, daily basis. By leveraging this technology, education staff look to decrease the amount of manual processes that they have to complete and, subsequently, improve productivity in the long run.
No-code extends this benefit by enabling you, the developer, to create sophisticated applications without ever needing to write any code.
Gridfox is a no-code platform that enables users to build exactly those types of applications. Here we’ll showcase just a couple of great features that will enable you to begin improving your processes across school teams and departments.
Right from the point of creation, users will benefit from Gridfox’s wide selection of Templates, which offers such relevant options as an applicant tracker, new starter database and tasks manager.
So whether you need to refine your onboarding process or simply keep a track of day-to-day office tasks, Gridfox can provide the foundations for stronger working operations.
And if you’re looking for something a bit more bespoke, Gridfox can support that too. With our enterprise package, you can take your application to the next level of customisation, with custom branding, subdomain and 3rd party integration, as well as many other great features.
As staff begin building their projects, they’ll benefit from using Gridfox’s Table builder to extract visually dynamic relationships from their data. You can define the data that you want to store and configure the relationships that each table has with one another.
For example, if you were creating a student grading system, you may have a table for students and another table for assessments.
Fields add another layer of information to your tables by describing what items you would like to store. Take our example; in your table for students, you may include year group, form group and their target grade.
Keep on track by setting up workflows, to ensure you’re always up-to-date with the latest developments in your projects. These are key to automating those time-consuming manual processes and receiving real-time notifications on updates that are important to you.
This could be a change in the status of a candidate’s application during recruitment or a project task being assigned to a staff member.
Combining information and forming relationships with your data is particularly important when trying to overcome those departmental silos that we mentioned earlier. With full visibility over the data that you want to see, users can actively collaborate and uphold communication between teams and departments.
And you can rest assured that your projects are securely backed up with Gridfox. We secure your data with Azure against unanticipated incidents like hardware failures or network/power outages, with backups providing data recovery. In addition, Azure uses TLS encryption to secure data in transit.
The overarching benefits of this transition from manual to automated processes offers a wealth of long-term benefits, namely, that teachers and departments will become more productive.
Equipped with no-code tools, departments will be able to increase visibility across documents, which serves to improve communication and ensure that collaboration.
Most importantly; enabling users to create sophisticated applications without the need for prior coding experience means that staff can begin improving operations quickly and teachers can refocus on what really matters to them — teaching.
Want to find out more? Get started with Gridfox free here.