What’s New in Multiple Academy Trusts? The Benefits of Papercut
The growth in popularity of school academies in recent years has not been achieved without its controversies. While the Government may have had to do a U-turn on its proposal to move everyone to academy status, there’s no doubt that many are putting in the work to change.
A central part of this transformation in the education system has involved the setting up of Multiple Academy Trusts (MATs) which are charged with running or coordinating a number of schools in a particular area.
One challenge that MATs naturally have to face is how valuable resources are used. While individual schools and local authorities used to work together in this area, it’s now up to trusts to put in these policies and help their members put them into practice.
Finding ways to cut down the costs and in a more streamlined way has always been an issue for schools, no more so than in the area of printing provision. Creating an MFP policy across all academies within a trust makes sense on a number of levels, including helping to manage costs more effectively and reducing the amount of paperwork that is produced. Not only does this release valuable money for use in other areas for each school but it also allows institutions to operate in more sustainable ways.
One piece of software that is changing how many schools manage their individual printing processes is Papercut. It allows MATs to set print policies and enforce them across different schools to reduce costs and cut down on that all important carbon footprint. The fact that an organisation such as a MAT can use it across all its ‘outlets’ is a driver for a unified print policy that can have a real long-term impact.
Papercut also gives schools a lot more flexibility. It’s not just a question of pressing a button on a printer and waiting for a piece of paper to come out. Apps such as Web Print allows users to print from digital devices such as smart phones and tablets. This engagement also creates the opportunity to send documents to smart devices as well, rather than print out costly swathes of paper – saving on consumables while providing instant access to information for interested parties including pupils.
For MATs, software such as Papercut offers a more secure printing procedure. Authentication requirements can be introduced for printing certain types of information and can give print managers greater flexibility, allowing selected responsibilities for handling what is printed out on a regular basis. But the major benefit for MATs with Papercut is that print usage can be monitored, the results analysed and new policies introduced to streamline important areas such as administration.
Unifying processes such as printing across a number of academies is only a small part of the challenges that face many MATs. The good news is that the latest technology such as Papercut is helping to provide easy solutions and ensures that at least some processes are standardised across academies.