AN INNOVATIVE secondary school in Rugby has been nominated for a national award for its use of technology to safeguard students during the pandemic.
Bilton School has been shortlisted in the Best Use of Technology category in the annual TES School Awards 2023 – which aim to recognise the best schools and most innovative approaches to education in the UK.
In 2020, the Lawford Lane school rolled out innovative student reporting technology in the form of a phone app called The Student Voice, to keep communication lines open with students during lockdowns.
Through a series of interactive maps, students were able to share worries about all aspects of their life via their smartphones, and rate how safe they felt at school, at home, and in the community.
The school was able to identify areas needing improvement, signpost helplines, encourage student engagement, and develop a safer community. It used the technology to make it easier for children to come forward, overcoming barriers and stigma in asking for help.
Headteacher Tim Chambers said: “We’re excited to showcase how reporting technology can be embraced successfully, ensuring the most vulnerable voices have the opportunity to be heard.
“We hope that, as new students enter the school year on year, using this platform will become second nature, overcoming barriers to communication with adults within the school.”
Stephen Willoughby from technology provider The Student Voice said: “Giving young people a way to communicate with adults in a way they feel comfortable with is essential in having a more preventative approach. We think a preventative safeguarding approach should be accessible to all schools.”
Bilton School’s safeguarding team will attend the award ceremony on June 23 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, where the winner – to be decided by a panel of expert judges from the industry – will be announced.