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Electronic Forms Improve Processes for Private Schools

Laura Bulmer Author: Laura Bulmer   |    On: Tuesday Jan 23, 2024

Electronic forms, also known as digital forms, are an extremely efficient way of capturing data accurately, saving time for the individual when completing them and for the organisation processing the information they contain. 

Paper forms, and even some poorly made electronic forms can require the user to repeatedly provide the same information causing frustration and wasting time.  Similarly for the organisation gathering the data, paper forms may be incomplete and create high volumes of manual work, resulting in errors and yet more wasted time.

While the focus of this blog is about how electronic forms improve processes for private schools, it should be noted the same ideas can be applied across any industry. 

What is an Electronic Form?

Digital FormsAn electronic form is a digital or online form used to capture and validate data which is then easily submitted and processed.  Electronic forms replace paper forms as a better way to quickly and more accurately capture information. 

An electronic form can be simply placed on a company website and / or easily sent to a recipient, unlike a paper form that has to be posted or filled out on-site.  Completed forms can be returned quickly and the information managed faster, improving processes.

The accuracy of data entering an organisation is improved as mandatory fields can be applied to an electronic form to ensure the required information is provided.  An electronic form also has the ability to integrate with existing internal systems to streamline a process further.

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How Private Schools are using Electronic Forms

Private schools face the same processing issues as any other school when it comes to compliance and maintaining efficiency.  They face the unenviable challenge of compliantly processing high volumes of forms containing sensitive data, without killing their ability to be efficient.

When private schools also have boarders, there is whole host of further document related processes that must be strictly implemented and managed. Critically, when schools have both day and boarding students, their systems must be able to determine which processes need to be assigned to which students.

Electronic forms in boarding schools serve various purposes which include streamlining processes, enhancing overall efficiency and reducing admin hours.  Some key use cases for electronic forms in private schools include:

The Student Admissions Process

Prospective students and their parents or guardians can fill out application forms online, providing necessary details and uploading any supporting documents.

When students study abroad, much of the communication has to be done online and electronic forms ensure a smooth onboarding process and that no required information is missed. 

Registration Formselectronic application form

Once accepted into the school, students can easily submit registration forms electronically, whether it's for a sports team or a social event.  This expedites any enrolment process, removes paper and manual work and provides students with a quicker response about what activities they've been accepted for.

Emergency Contact and Medical Information

Parents can submit health information and emergency contact details via an electronic form ensuring that the school has up-to-date information in cases of emergency.  When electronic forms are coupled with a document management system, these documents are digitally stored making information easily accessible.

A dedicated document management system also comes with high levels of security and access restrictions to ensure sensitive and private information is not misplaced or available to unauthorised personnel.

Permission Slips and Consent Forms

Boarding schools must still complete risk assessments and gain parental permission in the same way as day schools and electronic forms makes this straightforward.  Adding in digital signature software also ensures legally binding signatures can be received alongside the consent form.digital signatures

Field Trips

Instead of paper forms being sent home to be signed, electronic forms can be used for parents to grant permission for their children to participate in school outings or field trips.

Participation in Activities

Parents can easily provide consent for their children to engage in extracurricular activities through electronic forms.

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Parental Responsibility

Boarding schools with over-seas students must each have a person with a local address to act as a guardian for them when returning home is not feasible.  It’s imperative that this is properly documented and recorded accurately, something that can be made easier with an electronic form.

Feedback and Survey Forms

Electronic forms can streamline the scheduling process for parent-teacher conferences by allowing parents to select preferred time slots online.

Electronic forms can also be used to gather feedback from parents, students, and staff regarding various aspects of the school, academics, and extracurricular activities.

Absence Requests

Parents can submit absence requests digitally via an electronic form, providing reasons for student absences as well as provide any necessary supporting documentation.

Grading and Progress Reports

Teachers can input grades and comments digitally, and parents can access and review their child's academic progress online.

Tuition and Fees

Parents can make electronic payments for tuition, fees, and other expenses through secure online portals.  They can also receive email notifications with receipts etc.

With a document management system in place, all documents are securely stored so if a parent requests their previous statements, the school can easily provide this.

Discipline and Incident Reports

Teachers and staff can submit electronic incident forms, detailing any disciplinary actions taken and providing a comprehensive record.  Documenting this electronically can be done quickly after the incident ensuring the report is more accurate.

WorkflowOnce submitted, these forms can trigger a document workflow to kick in which ensures the next steps in the process are taken and that the relevant staff members are notified.

By incorporating electronic forms into their key processes, private schools can enhance communication, reduce administrative burdens, and create a more streamlined and organised environment.

Electronic forms also contribute towards sustainability goals by reducing the need for paper-based documentation along with any printing or postage.

To understand more about electronic forms, receive a demo or look at  process optimisation in your organisation, get in touch.

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