York High School on Document Security
We recently spoke to York High School to find out about their new strategy for managing pupil records securely in line with BS10008. They told us that it has delivered a host of other unexpected benefits including liberated storage space and speedier retrieval of documents.
York High School is the city’s newest secondary school with approximately 800 pupils. Arena’s software for electronic document management, mstore, is used to manage pupil records and the school is getting on so well with it that plans are now underway to roll the system out to its finance and human resources teams too.
Creating a ‘less paper office’ - Paper to pixels
Schools are legally required to keep specified document types for varying periods of time. Rules surrounding security of sensitive files mean that, if dealing with paper, filing and retrieval of documents can be very time consuming and archives can take up valuable storage space. These issues can be overcome by converting paper documents to electronic files and, as long as BS10008 is adhered to, those files retain the legal admissibility of their paper counterparts.
Pastoral Administrator, Sarah Buglass, told us; “the main reason we bought mstore was to make our documents more secure. We have to be really careful with safeguarding rules, managing who can access what and how long we keep documents for. mstore is much more secure than paper files locked in a room, it’s quicker to find documents too and has made my job easier.
“We had a special storage room for our paper pupil records. They were locked in cabinets and filed in alphabetical order - it could take a long time to find things. We have put all of those records into mstore and knocked down the wall where the storage room used to be which has given us lots more office space.
Security and audit trails
“Only me and one other person can scan and index documents into the system and our admin manager is the only person who can delete documents. It’s highly unlikely that we will lose a document once it’s saved. Only a small number of authorised people can access documents so there is no chance of anyone wandering off with something they shouldn’t have. The system also keeps a record of all activity so we know how and who is viewing, sharing and updating documents.
Document retention and crisis recovery
Whilst schools are legally obliged to keep some documents, they are also required to securely destroy them once the end of the retention period is reached.
“mstore is set up to alert us when documents reach their retention deadlines so we can’t keep them for longer than we’re allowed to. This means we don’t have to worry about archiving and shredding everything by hand and we have saved the time and cost associated with that. Our records would also be safe if we had a fire because they are all backed up on a server so we could recover them if we needed to.
Improved efficiency and productivity
Schools dealing with paper could have a mountain to climb in terms of finding all the relevant documents in preparation for an unexpected event such as a court case. A system such as mstore addresses this issue by linking documents by terms of common reference, and making them easily searchable.
“Documents are easy and quick to find because we can search mstore using various terms like pupil names or document types. The task of scanning and indexing our archive into the system was fast and simple and now I take a new stack of documents to the scanner at the end of each day.
“The training from Arena was really good and we’ve only had a few problems with the system since it was installed. These were resolved on the same day we reported them and we’ve had no bad service so we’re really pleased. I’d be happy to recommend Arena.”