Teacher-led innovation at its best

Free Flow Info (FFI) is a new and transformative school improvement tool which enables schools to develop meaningful, manageable and sustainable Parental Engagement. Developed and refined through 6 years of school-based action research, FFI replaces traditional, time-consuming practice, and the more recent data-rich methods of reporting to parents with a new approach that enables parents, regardless of their social and educational backgrounds, to have a positive impact on their children’s achievement, whilst reducing workload for teachers.

Engagement in Education is delighted that its FFI development has been referenced by the Department for Education in its recently published Teacher Workload Reduction Toolkit (July 2018) as a means of reducing teacher workload whilst improving pupil achievement through effective Parental Engagement. EiE is proud to contribute this solution to such an important issue in modern education.

FFI is an example of teacher-led innovation at its best; developed over 6 years of school-based action-research informed by feedback from school leaders, teachers, parents and pupils, Free Flow Info introduces a new concept in "reporting to parents" that finally provides schools with a pragmatic solution they need to capitalise on the benefits associated with Parental Engagement. It is a whole-school implementation that brings the notion of "reporting to parents" into the 21st Century, by replacing the traditional annual written report to parents and data-driven termly performance updates within a framework that ensures that schools meet the statutory requirements associated with the annual report to parents. FFI uses a bespoke web platform to provide parents with a steady, but not overwhelming, flow of information harvested from the work teachers and their pupils are already doing as part of their daily practice - providing a huge workload saving for teachers and school staff and a greater clarity of understanding to parents. FFI is the only reporting methodology designed to enable the all-important regular, positive, at-home conversations between parent and child that provide the intrinsic motivation around which Parental Engagement draws its impact.

The FFI uploads enable the ‘regular at home, positive conversations’ that research tells us make a real difference to pupil achievement and attainment. Although the majority of uploads will show pupil activity, stimulus material or where appropriate, pupil work with written feedback, the digital technology enables the use of video to illustrate pupil performance in practical and performance work. Parents tell us that FFI improves their understanding of what their children are doing in school, what they’re doing well, and what their next steps in learning are. FFI enables parents to understand their child’s progress in the context of individual pieces of work and importantly, provides them with simple information they feel confident in using to talk to their children at home.

FFI is delivered by a secure, online web platform that can be accessed by up to two Parents/Carers and three Supporters (grandparents, aunts and uncles or siblings) who are nominated by the parent/carer with legal responsibility for the child. FFI also allows parents to share evidence of their child's learning outside school (such as sporting and artistic endeavour, youth organisations or cultural groups) with their child's teachers by uploading their own photos and short videos.

FFI provides a continuous and permanent record of different aspects of a child's education that can be used to aid transition between schools and classes. It is also the ideal tool for recording competencies and demonstrating skills. Our bespoke web platform has been developed to support the delivery of an additional 15 effective learning and management strategies that school leaders have identified and reported as being enabled by FFI methodology, making FFI a simple yet effective school improvement tool.

Additional effective teaching and management strategies enabled by FFI

At national, regional and commercial policy formation level we offer: 

  • briefings based on a deep insight into our exploration into existing, highly regarded academic research into the benefits of Parental Engagement, coupled with guidance on what schools need to do to deliver a pragmatic answer to the meaningful, manageable and sustainable Parental Engagement, that has escaped the education profession for so long
  • deeply considered guidance that enables an effective implementation strategy without increasing teacher workload or the financial cost of reporting to parents, and how national institutions and organisations can respond to enable this
  • keynote speeches that inspire educationalists by providing challenge through thought, coupled with solutions that work

At school and MAT level we offer: 

  • pre-purchase information about FFI demonstrating the benefits for school leaders, teachers, parents and pupils, available in leaflet form or online
  • an initial full day training by FFI team members 
  • all manuals, training materials and resources for use within the school
  • access to support and guidance from Champion Schools and Associates 
  • access to and full use of the bespoke FFI web platform
  • secure storage and management of all uploads over a pupil’s school career including change of school at all transition points
  • all future updates