An innovative software package which could, its designers claim, revolutionise the way in which housemasters and housemistresses manage their boarding houses has been unveiled. Developed by two housemasters, the new software is designed to maximise the time invested in pastoral care by reducing the hours traditionally spent on the administration tasks associated with safeguarding a large group of pupils.
Badger is the name of the software developed by Andrew Day and Nick Rendall, who are both housemasters at King Edward’s Witley, an independent boarding and day school in Surrey for boys and girls aged 11-18.
The software, which can be run on both Apple or PC devices, represents a bespoke solution for house staff looking to reduce the number of hours spent dealing with the paperwork, emails, telephone calls and staff notices that come with their role. The duo that created the software claim that installing the programme (which is customised to accommodate the requirements of an individual school) can result in hours of time saved in the school day.
Andrew and Nick have spent three years developing Badger and the software has been trialed in the majority of houses at King Edward’s over the last two and half years. It has also been trialed at Bedales School since February. “King Edward’s Witley has a long-standing tradition for its unrivalled commitment to pastoral care,” says Andrew. “When Nick and I first started as housemasters at the school back in September 2012 we became acutely aware of how much of our time was taken up with the administration that goes hand in hand with assuming responsibility for up to 55 pupils in our care. Whilst this is undoubtedly essential to ensure the children’s continued wellbeing and personal development, not to mention critical to maintaining the important regular dialogue with parents and supporting staff, we wanted to create a means to enable King Edward’s Witley to continue to lead the field in the delivery of a pupil centred pastoral service implicit to the role of a housemaster or housemistress – and to be less of a slave to the ‘filing cabinet’.
“Nick and I have invested a considerable amount of time developing and fine-tuning the Badger concept outside school hours and as part of our continuous professional development. We now have a unique cross platform product that enables house staff to deal quickly and efficiently with a range of data/information requests pertaining to all the (day and boarding) pupils allocated to their house. The system also represents a valuable monitoring tool, and enables house staff to easily create a profile which illustrates the progress of a pupil over a given period of time. The feedback we have received to date has been overwhelmingly positive and we now look forward to rolling out the product to schools across the UK.”
Badger software was launched at the Conference on Boarding: Thriving in a Changing World hosted by Bedales Schools. Andrew and Nick have set up a company, Meadow House Systems Ltd, with a support team to enable the roll out of the software.