The Essex Educational Visits Support Team procured the EVOLVE visits submission software in 2013, replacing the existing in-house internal software system.
The EVOLVE system has freed up a lot of manual auditing and recording. It has provided us a very effective tool to monitor schools’ compliance to our own monitoring needs.
EVOLVE was introduced to our schools in the Summer Term and EVC’s / Heads were invited to a series of training sessions to introduce the new system. The new submission process was well received and both schools and the LA saw the potential of a robust and flexible system to record, audit and monitor school visits. Our standard EVC training and update training has also included EVOLVE training so over a three year period all EVC’s should have had access to direct training on EVOLVE.
The Educational Visits Support Team has found EVOLVE easy to manage and introduced several bespoke elements to the submission forms to suit our own LA requirements. The support structure from EDUfocus has been brilliant with fixes and instruction swiftly resolving any technical issues. Schools have commented on the ease of producing the required information on the submission forms and are now reaping the rewards of their work, producing statistical analysis and reports from the data gathered from their submissions. More schools than ever are auditing all their visits on EVOLVE, including their local visits that do not require LA approval. EVOLVE has also allowed us to communicate directly with EVS’s, produce specific advice and guidance documents and web-links and access to the LA adopted OEAP National Guidance.
A single fully combined system which can be adapted to changing needs has transformed the way the Educational Visits Support Team works. The EVOLVE system has freed up a lot of manual auditing and recording. It has provided us a very effective tool to monitor schools’ compliance to our own monitoring needs.
Another benefit to the LA is that is a great feeling of confidence in the EVOLVE system and users of the system and administrators alike feel fully supported. There is the added advantage of neighbouring LA’s also using EVOLVE and with transference of staff from Hertfordshire / Suffolk / London boroughs into Essex Schools, there is the familiarisation of the EVOLVE Visits systems.
Overall, Essex CC has benefitted using EVOLVE to support schools and other educational establishments to fulfil legal requirements and supporting EVC’s with risk management, advice and guidance
As an Educational Visits Support Team, the administrative staff support schools and answer queries on EVOLVE to assist school staff who may be unfamiliar with the system to add information as and when required. The ‘person profiles’ really assist us to verify competence and experience and provide a formal monitoring / audit which is easy to verify.
Overall, Essex CC has benefitted using EVOLVE to support schools and other educational establishments to fulfil legal requirements and supporting EVC’s with risk management, advice and guidance. Essex Educational Visits Support Team would recommend the system to other employers as it suits all our needs as helps us to meet our employer H&S / Duty of Care responsibilities to our schools. This means visits are supported through a robust system enabling confidence in our approach to Educational off-site visits.
Educational Visits Officer
Written May 2015