Using technology to help get back to school safely

After a year of schools opening and closing, on Monday 22nd February the UK government announced that schools, colleges and universities can finally reopen to all students from Monday 8th March. While many students and teachers will be excited to get back to school, it’s understandable that there will be a few that may feel anxious about the return, including some parents of those students.

To provide confidence and help with positivity, it’s going to be so important that your education site feels like a safe place, and technology is the perfect enabler for that. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the past 12 months, it’s the power that technology has to make processes simpler and safer in all aspects of life, especially in business and education. The use of tech in schools, colleges and universities was already on the rise but if you hadn’t already embraced technology in your education site, the last twelve months has driven us to do so.

Having a visitor management system can help to keep everyone on site safe, creating a seamless visitor and staff sign in experience and an easy process for keeping up-to-date attendance records. Within the Sign In App community, a few of our education sites have reached out to us to share how our visitor management and staff sign in solution has helped them to reopen safely - see below - and so today we wanted to share how we could also help your staff and pupils get back to school safely.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown we have made use of the contactless signing in process. The whole service acts as a track and trace tool in support of social distancing and contact tracing measures too.”

- Exeter College

“Love the app and think it’s one of the best things we’ve brought into use at the University. Great before COVID, impossible to imagine not having it during COVID.”

- Green Templeton College

Below are some of the features within Sign In App that your education site could utilise to help get back to school safely like others in our education community.

Health and safety messages/policies

When it comes to health and safety, a lot of new regulations and procedures have been introduced over the last year, and often these were changing regularly. Sign In App enables you to easily update your health and safety messages/policies that you present during the sign in process, and these can also be customised to each visitor group type you have set up. You can also make your health and safety messages as engaging as possible, by making use of videos, images or PDFs.

Your online portal makes keeping records of signed policies/agreements easy. A PDF will automatically be saved along with their details and you can access and download these whenever you need to.

Health questions

As health and safety has quickly become even more important, so has the need to ask health questions when people are signing in on site. Sign In App streamlines the health screening process, allowing you to utilise custom fields to present questions when visitors and staff sign in; this feature can be used across iPad sign in, contactless sign in and Companion app.

As with health and safety messages, questions can also be customised to each visitor group type. You could also use the feature to check in on your staff members when they sign out to see if they had a good day, which would be great for employee wellbeing.

Rejected sign ins

Now the unfriendly nature of rejecting a sign in isn’t our usual style, but during the last 12 months we recognised the need for having full control over exactly who is allowed on site, and this can be particularly important for education sites. That’s why we introduced our rejected sign ins feature. If a visitor responds to a question in a particular way that would make it unsafe for them to continue further onto your site, a bespoke message can be displayed to tell them what to do next.

Contactless sign in

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs, you’ll be quite familiar with contactless sign in by now. Contactless sign in is something that has quickly become the go-to for visitor management and staff sign in as increased demand for touch-free technology appeared overnight in the early stages of the pandemic. We offer a variety of different contactless sign in options that you could implement in your education site, including Sign In App Tap which allows staff to use their door access cards/fobs to sign in. Find out more here.

Sign In App can be tailored to your site’s requirements. If you’d like to find out more about how Sign In App can streamline the visitor management and staff sign in process in your education site and help your staff and pupils get back to school safely, get in touch with the team. You can find all the ways to contact us here.