St Ralph Sherwin Multi Academy Trust

Becky Hill talks us through rolling out Insight across a Trust of 20 primary schools.

The Saint Ralph Sherwin CMAT was formed in September 2018. As a new Trust, we had no systems/reports/templates to work with – absolutely everything was brand new.  I had worked for many years as a Data Manager within a school environment, but becoming the Data Manager for a Trust was a whole new experience with a huge learning curve. I hadn’t realised just how much information the Trust would need to collate, analyse and report on.

Our original idea was to allow schools to continue using the systems they already had in place for pupil tracking and analysis. After the first few months however it become obvious that with 20 primary schools, spread across 5 counties, we would need some sort of system to pull all the school’s data together into a central place. Reduction of workload was also a priority. At the time, we were asking schools to complete summary reports three times a year. The data analysis in these was often very time consuming.

Choosing a Tracking Solution

I had been following James Pembroke and his blogs for quite a while, so when I heard about Insight I thought it might be able to help. I was increasingly being asked to summarise the performance of the primary schools in our CMAT. Although I could report on KPIs in each individual school, I didn’t have anything that would give me a Trust overview. I began to research Insight and other systems on the market to try to find a solution.

Trials and Trust setup

In the meantime, some of our schools had been doing their own research into Insight and had begun to talk about it amongst themselves. Two of our schools signed up for a 60-day free trial and were excited about how easy Insight was to use and how quick and simple it was to initially set up. When two further schools decided to sign up for a trial, I thought I would have another look at it for the whole Trust.

I really liked what I saw and invited Insight to demonstrate their system at our next Headteacher meeting. Nev demonstrated the ease of data entry and the range of reporting tools available.

Following this meeting we made the decision to roll Insight out across all the schools in our Trust. The setup has been straightforward and painless to get going. For example, even though some of our schools had current subscriptions, others were at the end of the 60-day free trial and some had just begun – all very messy for our finance team. Insight were able to sort all of this out so that all of our schools’ annual subscriptions start and end at the same time.

The move and Mosaic reports

Once the Trust had made the decision to move everyone over to Insight, we planned various training sessions. Insight were happy to deliver these to our senior leaders and teaching staff. Schools have then set up the majority of their accounts themselves with little involvement from me. Insight have also supported our schools to put in historical data from spreadsheets or their previous tracking systems.

Insight now enables us to have everything in one place. I now have a Trust overview on the MAT dashboard and access to all our individual schools’ data. In the near future, Headteachers will not have to provide data reports at set assessment points as the information is readily available on Insight for me centrally. We are beginning to build Mosaic reports (Trust wide) and I am a huge fan of the Progress Matrix report that allows us to compare FFT benchmarks to current assessment data or outcomes.

Insight sells itself!

It really is a worry when moving tracking providers, but our move was easy! 

Some tracking systems are over complicated, whereas Insight is intuitive and gives you everything you need. You can use it from Foundation stage to the end of KS2. The built-in reports are easy to navigate, and it is straightforward to build and save your own.

Insight really does sell itself and has already made my role as Data Manager for the Trust so much easier!