From education to employment

IRIS Software Group continues to spearhead EdTech innovation

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Supporting leaders to enhance the life chances of students

IRIS Software Group (IRIS), one of the UK’s largest educational software providers and ‘Company of the Year (more than £12m)’ winner at the Bett Awards 2023, is today unveiling significant market adoption of its education offerings. The expansion includes its flagship data warehousing product IRIS Central, designed to provide leaders with a single source of truth so they can improve the life chances of every student.  

IRIS has the broadest education software suite on the market, with 75% of Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) and more than 12,000 UK schools and academies – including half of the schools in England – now using its solutions. More than 4 million parents and guardians depend on IRIS’ parent engagement apps to connect with their child’s school, with 300 million messages delivered annually between schools and parents. 

Launched in May 2022, IRIS Central eliminates the need for manual data collection and transfer, saving educators up to 100 hours a week and enabling them to focus on providing quality education. Through access to powerful, up-to-date analytics, IRIS is directly facilitating better decisions for the good of students, staff, individual schools and MATs as a whole. With 100 school groups adopting IRIS Central since its launch, the real-time dashboards allow trends to be spotted more easily, so key decision makers can understand where they are seeing success and replicate this where needed. 

Testament to IRIS’ commitment to empowering education leaders, David Houghton, Chief Operating Officer at Kernow Learning Multi Academy Trust says,

“Last year, we were in a position where our data software wasn’t working. It didn’t consolidate trust-wide information from across our schools which meant colleagues were feeling the administrative burden of collating data and reporting on it.

“IRIS Central is an exciting, robust solution that is revolutionising our central trust databases. It ensures our leaders are empowered to spend more time on creating a better experience for our pupils. Critically, this cuts the time spent on administrative work and reduces the margin of error – minimising the energy put in and maximising output.” 

IRIS understands educators must be practically supported and empowered to focus on their core mission: teaching. To solve this critical issue, IRIS is focused on developing software solutions which consolidate data across multiple systems to provide valuable insights, enabling data-driven decision making and automating processes to alleviate the unnecessary time-drain staff currently face. 

One such solution is Every HR By IRIS, the fastest growing HR software for schools and trusts currently available in the market. With a focus on managing people rather than processes, Every HR streamlines various HR touch points for staff, including performance objectives, contractual changes, holidays, absence tracking and training. The software offers dedicated modules that cover every aspect of the HR journey, allowing schools and trusts to consolidate multiple systems into one and streamline data entry. Every HR has seen significant growth in the last two years, from 400 to over 2,000 institutions using the tool to support its employees, maximise performance and improve strategic decision-making.  

Simon Freeman, Managing Director of Education at IRIS comments,

“MAT CEOs and headteachers have never faced a tougher education landscape, from stretched budgets to increasing student absences and the ongoing talent and recruitment shortages. IRIS is dedicated to ensuring leaders have the software and solutions, such as IRIS Central and Every HR, to provide a single source of truth. This not only reduces admin burden, but creates intelligent insights to make better data-driven decisions for the good of everyone.” 

Looking ahead, IRIS has already started integrating Artificial Intelligence into its software to enhance its offerings’ capabilities further. It uses a ChatGPT letter which automates letter writing to parents, with teachers having final approval, to ensure the ‘human touch’ isn’t lost. For IRIS Central, in particular, the AI-driven data connections will bring parental engagement, compliance management, budgeting and further capabilities into a unified ecosystem. As a result, educators will be armed with even deeper insights and empowered to make data-driven decisions that positively impact student outcomes.  

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