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Managing Social Distancing in Schools using the Bromcom MIS

Note: All pages below are subject to having relevant Roles and Permissions.

This guidance is to support schools of all types in using the Bromcom MIS to meet the Government’s guidance on maintaining social distancing in schools.  

Our overriding objective is to ensure that it is as easy as possible to manage your pupils’ attendance throughout this period, with minimal extra work for you now and in the future.

We will keep this page up to date as the DFE guidance evolves. Last Updated: 07/07/2020

1: Splitting Lunchtimes

Primary schools: As set out in scenario 4 you can use User Defined Flags to identify staggered start and end times, including break and lunchtimes.

Secondary schools: You need to create an additional period(s) to accommodate the split lunches – this means amending your Timetable, to ensure the Timetable Model aligns, and your period structure.

This timetable with the additional period(s) will then need to be applied to the MIS as normal.

Example changes to amend a five period structure day to split lunches:

Example e-Timetable structure to accommodate split lunches over five periods:

Current (old) StructureNew Structure

Timetable videos are here

Example MIS period structure to accommodate split lunches over five periods:

Current (old) StructureNew Structure
44a e.g. 7,8 and 9 have lunch, 10 and 11 in lessons
54b e.g. 10 and 11 have lunch; 7,8 and 9 in lessons

For more guidance, please see How To Amend a Period Structure guide.

2: Splitting classes into smaller groups

Withdrawal Groups: you can use withdrawal groups to create temporary, ad hoc groupings, which can last for as long as you need. Withdrawal Groups have the benefit of being able to add an end date, after which students will automatically be placed into their previous group, rather than having to manually add them back in. Please see the How to Create a Withdrawal Group Guide and Video.

Splitting Tutor Groups: create a new Tutor Group and allocate a staff member (which may include Teaching Assistants). Then transfer half of the students from the first class to the new class. Please see the Splitting Tutor Groups Video.

Splitting Classes: you can split classes into two to allow for class attendance in the curriculum module. However, bear in mind that with a larger school, the work to split the classes and allocate pupils can be substantial so you should only do this if you really need class (rather than AM/PM) attendance. Please see the Splitting Classes Video.

3: Secondary schools: ensuring that teachers are assigned to the same classes/groups for as long as possible  

Ensure you assign a teacher to the Tutor Groups, then that teacher will teach the Students all day except in the Specialist Subjects for example, English, Maths and Science.  The teachers of these specialist subjects can then go to the Tutor Group to teach when required. This will reduce traffic/movement around the school as the students are not moving only teachers.

4: Primary schools: staggering start and end dates, class times and break times using reporting groups 

You can create new groupings via reporting groups and user defined flags.  For example:

A primary school has two cohorts whose day will be staggered by half an hour, one starting at 0830 and another at 0900. To manage this through reporting groups you would:

1. Create two reporting groups, for example.

Report Group A for 0830 Starters

Report Group B for 0900 Starters

Then add the Students to the groups

2. Create a Flag based on the reporting Groups, for example

Report Group A (08:30 starters) has a Blue flag

Report Group B (09:00 starters) has a Purple flag

This will allow the various Teachers and support staff to identify their registration groups – from the list the teacher/staff will be able to identify which students are coming in at 0830 or 0900 via the coloured flags.

For secondary schools – creating temporary timetables

Some schools will be considering creating a temporary timetable structures to support social distancing. We will support any school who wishes to do this, however there are some considerations:

•Previous attendance data: the most significant consideration is class attendance which is attached to the period structure. If you import a new timetable part way through the year, this previous attendance data will be lost (class only, AM and PM is not affected)

•Additional work later on: creating temporary classes or temporary timetables invariably creates work later on to unpick the temporary structures, so while this might be unavoidable do consider the work needed in future to move away from the temporary structure.