Evolve has completely changed the way in which Cheltenham Ladies’ College manages its trips and offsite activities; it has not only improved our administration but also the quality and accessibility of information about a trip once it is taking place. Through working with the Evolve Team we now have produced a single location for all trip information and all staff access.
Staff save time in planning their trip; for example they no longer have to access our management information system to collect medical information or to obtain the contact details of parents. There is no need to email other staff with the arrangements or create time-consuming spreadsheets, word documents or PDFs. We are able to verify, through Evolve, that our parents have been told about a trip or request specific consent if the trip is residential.
Evolve holds all the information pertaining to the trip; from the name of the first aider to the itinerary; house staff can view and make any additional arrangements such as a late supper. The trip leader no longer has to liaise with the finance department on billing – all of this, and much more, has been incorporated into Evolve.
For the Leadership Team the level of detail that is required in the planning process is greater and, with the increased visibility of the organisational process, the trip can be approved with confidence at an earlier stage.
Evolve has also enabled us to generate valuable data that has enabled us to track the number and type of trips that pupils and staff have been involved in. The Curriculum Director can then monitor what lessons have been missed and the cover required, thus informing us of the cumulative effect that trips have on curriculum lessons. This information has then been invaluable in assessing future trip requests.
Evolve was put in place for the start of the new academic year in September 2015. For a number of staff this caused difficulties, due to the need to change the way in which they managed trips. Staff training was required and a briefing session was held at the start of the year with subsequent drop in sessions put in place. Additional support has included one to one sessions fielding queries by email or telephone. This change affected all sectors of College - academic, support and boarding staff.
As issues have arisen we have adjusted our questions; for example, setting relevant questions around visas requests or rearranging the layout so that information can to be grouped. The Transport Manager has also uploaded a list of staff authorised to drive a minibus for College.
As staff have become more familiar with the system we have introduced more documents into the Resources Section of Evolve and adopted much of the National Guidance produced by the OEAP (Outdoor Education Advisers Panel). This allows us to keep up to date quickly and effectively as the national guidance is a tab within Evolve.
Evolve provides a process which gives the College, Leadership Team, staff and pupils a proven but flexible system with which to plan, resource, manage and to fulfil the educational objectives and outcomes of any trip.
Written Feb 2016