Synoptic Software’s Chief Marketing Officer Marcus Cronan was a guest panellist at the Westminster Education Forum to discuss ‘The future design of learning spaces in the context of COVID-19 and adapting social distancing in schools’.

Over the upcoming winter, the major challenge facing schools will be staying open whilst we endure the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19.  For too many schools, the prospect of one teacher being ill means a whole school closed.  With now over 3000 cases in the UK every day, there is a significant risk.  While we agree that investment in physical school infrastructure is important to resolving this challenge, but to ensure schools can adapt to Covid-19 restrictions, we need to upgrade digital infrastructure as well to ensure the safety of all staff, pupils and parents. For instance, many schools, particularly those in cities, will face acute challenges around space and ensuring social distancing rules for hundreds of children can be a challenge.  At Synoptic Software we understand that there is a need to make sure that we are giving school leaders the tools to manage the system as it exists, in the best possible way.  Through the use of new digital technologies, we can achieve this helping schools to manage infection risk and provide them with the tools to stay open

That is why our mission at Synoptic Software is to help schools to return to normal, whilst continuing to manage the risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring they can continue to operate in a safe and manageable way. Through listening to the concerns of school leaders, we have worked with them to identify a way of managing this risk.

The Synoptic reactivate, our mobile app-based system, helps school leaders to manage Covid risk within groups, ensure that they are tested in real-time, and enable organisations to react to and effectively plan for Covid-19 risk in real time.  This works by enabling a contact management system which links schools into the test and trace policy and provides a privacy first system of securely alerting contacts on the reactivate app. The reactivate software empowers schools to manage the virus safely and trigger rapid micro lockdowns of social bubbles as needed. As a school leader, this means you can safely open your school knowing that they are meeting their obligations to staff, pupils and parents to keep them safe, since there is a system in place to rapidly contact those at risk of being infected and will therefore contain the spread of the virus.

Synoptic Software are already trialling the reactivate system with schools in Cambridgeshire and are working closely with the Lab testing networks to ensure we can scale this offer at pace, across the country.

What comes next? 

At Synoptic Software, it is our commitment is to work closely with schools to embed our reactivate software and to ensure it evolves to meet the developing needs of the education sector. Synoptic Software will be publishing in real-time anonymised data from our reactivate pilot sites which can help demonstrate to schools what works, how they can manage covid risk and demonstrates the value in a digital approach to managing the outbreak.