Managing admissions at your school is no mean feat - especially as you face increasing pressure to meet successive governments’ objectives and reasonable criteria, which you must bear in mind when attracting and selecting new students.
Not only do you have to juggle masses of data in a relatively short space of time, but with an influx of applications sent in through a variety of different forums, managing school admissions can quickly turn into a paperwork nightmare. It’s no surprise then, that we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the popularity of online, paperless admissions in schools around the world.
So, why move online?
There are many benefits to moving the management of your school’s admissions online, but here are our top five:
- Go paperless and cut costs
- Save yourself time and space
- Improve security
- Identify a clear paper trail - without the paper
- Go green
Go paperless and cut costs
It’s estimated that schools in the UK use around one million sheets of paper per year, which equates to an annual cost of £60,000 on printing and photocopying. At a time when budgets are under strain and every penny counts, this is a hugely valuable sum that could be much better spent elsewhere.
When the University of Cambridge started an initiative to print less, their savings on printer cartridges alone amounted to a substantial £10,000 – £12,000; so just imagine how much your school could save even by simply reducing printing. Considering the vast amount of paper involved in admissions processes, moving this online would result in big savings on paper and printing costs.
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Save yourself time and space
Working with paper is hugely time-consuming, as it’s harder to organise, involves more labour-intensive processes and makes it more difficult to find key information when you need it. With a paperless, online solution you can save hours each month that would otherwise have been spent looking for and replacing files.
It’s not just time you’ll save, but also valuable storage space. Bulky files of paper can take up significant amounts of space, with numerous file cabinets, boxes and storage units eating into office and classroom space. Transporting admissions processes and paperwork to cloud-based software like iSAMS, where you can store millions of easily accessible documents, means that you can then use this space for other things.
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The new GDPR regulations introduced in the EU in May 2018 have put data protection at the forefront of the concerns of every organisation and school. Whilst working with paper may initially seem secure enough, it’s actually much harder to keep track of important and confidential documents stored on paper.
Many people will have access to filing cabinets in an office, which could be fairly easy to break into even if they’re locked, and there’s relatively little to prevent staff members from accidentally taking documents out of the office. With the advanced security technology now available, you can not only control who accesses what documents by setting permissions, but you can also see when they were last viewed and who by. With encryptions and two-factor authentication, it’s also harder than ever for people outside of your organisation to access your confidential files.
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Identify a clear paper trail - without the paper
With all your admissions documents stored online, you can view who accessed which documents and what changes were made, including a clear record of previous document versions. This also leaves room for greater efficiency, where you can receive applications as soon as they come through from prospective parents and avoid internal duplication of work by seeing any changes instantaneously, as soon as they’re made.
Not only this but electronic documents are easily backed up and stored offsite in the cloud. This means that if there’s a disaster, such as a fire or a flood, they can quickly be recovered. Filing and storing things on the cloud also greatly minimizes the risk of losing or misplacing a digital document, ensuring that you can always track and access significant information whenever you need it.
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Eco-friendly awareness is on the rise and everyone has their part to play when it comes to embracing sustainability and working towards a greener planet. The average secondary school student produces 22kg of waste per year, most of which is generated from paper and card, and the Admissions Department will generally account for a large percentage of a school’s paper use. By embracing paperless processes, you’ll therefore be able to significantly reduce your waste and support your school in achieving more sustainable ways of working.
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Take control of your admissions with iSAMS
At iSAMS, we want to help your school to make the most of the benefits you get from a truly paperless admissions process. If you'd like to see our Admissions solution in action, please watch a short demo.