At iAbacus, we’ve seen how hard schools are working to offer high quality remote education in very challenging conditions. We take our hats off to you.
And we want to help – so we’re offering you something for free.
If you’re not familiar with us, iAbacus helps schools and multi-academy trusts quickly and accurately evaluate what they do and create strategic plans to improve.
We’ve been working with schools and trusts to build a version of iAbacus that helps them evaluate remote education provision, either with the DfE framework or using criteria developed by the trusts themselves.
We have now made iAbacus absolutely free for schools and trusts to use for remote education provision.
This is not a 14-day trial nor a version with limited functionality. There are no strings attached. It is free and available to every school and trust that needs an effective and easy way to evaluate and improve remote learning provision.
It is our way of saying thank you.
iAbacus is very simple to use and it provides a huge amount of insight into what is happening across a school, or across all schools in a MAT.
For instance, Dan Thomas, CEO Learning for Life Partnership, told us: “I gave iAbacus to all the trust heads on Monday. Two days later they’re already sending back completed reports. It’s quick and easy to use, so it’s not an onerous task.
“It gets us to focus on what are we trying to achieve with online learning, rather than the mechanics. It turns the discussion around to whether we actually are being effective in what we’re delivering.”
How it works
iAbacus is based on an actual abacus, where sliding ‘beads’ are used to pinpoint the level of effectiveness. Schools make judgments on where they think they currently are, based on preloaded criteria. This could be the DfE criteria or the trust’s own criteria.
There are RAG rated statements they can use to help clarify their judgement. They can provide evidence if they wish, or add notes, to back up that judgement.
There is a very simple diagnostic process where they can look at helping and hindering factors that impact on the various aspects of remote education.
Finally there is a built in strategic planning process that can be used to define exactly what actions they are going to take, who is responsible for each, what success will look like, and a deadline if relevant.
Matt Freeston of the LEARNERs’ Trust told us: “We find the RAG rated criteria very useful. Because each area is broken down into lots of small criteria, it gives you a clear steer of what you need to look at. When you get to a statement that’s amber, that’s your next task.”
Reporting to stakeholders
All the information in the abacus can be turned into a clear and concise pdf report in a few clicks of a mouse. This can be share with colleagues, governors and trustees, and other schools.
Dan Thomas told us: “It’s taken me about an hour to knock together a report that shows how we’re doing across the trust and how we know. When we’re reporting back to trustees, we have all that evidence in one place.”
One of the really effective ways trusts are using it is to compare what is happening across schools. Once each school has reviewed its provision, you as a trust leader can easily overlay information from different schools for a full picture of where there is good practice you want to replicate.
It also gives an insight into where schools are struggling and you might need to review provision or put in additional resource.
For instance, Matt Freeston told us: “By overlaying information from all the schools in the trust, we identified that marking and feedback was an issue. We were doing it well, but the workload it created was huge. Once we pinpointed this, we were able to work together to find a solution.”
How to get iAbacus for free
To reiterate, in recognition of the herculean effort by teachers and schools, we are offering iAbacus free of charge to use for remote education provision. It’s our gift to you.
We will provide full support to help you get started, whether that’s through the web chat or on the phone. We’ll be here to help.
If you have any questions please do get in touch by phone or email. We’re happy to set up a Zoom meeting where we can go into it in more detail to get you up and running.
Telephone: 0115 9428914
Create your free account at www.iabacus.me using the licence code: REMOTE123
Please feel free to share this licence codes with colleagues and leaders at other schools.
For more information – visit this page.