Gerry Richards – Director and Company Founder
Gerry qualified as a teacher of Economics, ICT and Business for the 11-19 age group in 1996. He commenced lecturing at Newcastle-under-Lyme College and soon progressed to become Programme Leader a year later. A series of management roles then followed, beginning with the co-ordination of tutorial provision, which ultimately led Gerry to become Head of Student Services. As tutorial manager Gerry was interested in measuring student progress, which led to him becoming involved in the development of the original Learner Achievement Tracker with the LSC in 2001 – a system which still exists in modified form to this day as the Level 3 Value Added system.
Having been appointed as a personal tutor from early on in his career, Gerry grew frustrated at the difficulty of accessing good quality information about students, especially during 1-1 meetings and progress reviews. Coupled with inefficiencies in internal communication (which was then paper-based), this often meant that issues were missed and interventions didn’t take place. As a result, 1-1 reviews were often inconsequential, problems were sometimes overlooked and opportunities to help students progress and perform better were missed. Attendance, retention and progression all undoubtedly suffered as a consequence of this.
Starting with an in-house system which was coded by the college’s MIS manager to Gerry’s design, things started to improve through the use of a shared data-base to track students’ marks. This led to an AoC action research project which drew attention to what the college was achieving. Finding that they couldn’t produce a commercial version of the system in-house, Gerry turned to a renowned FE software company and the deal was struck for the college to work with the software house to produce a student tracking system, which is now used by almost 200 colleges across the UK.
From 2011 to date Gerry has been fortunate to work across the UK in helping colleges get the best out of their systems, working across a range of areas:
- software systems analysis and design
- initial strategic discussions and implementation planning
- technical setup and data migration
- system configuration and matching systems to processes
- technical and report writer training
- staff end-user training
- data analysis and report writing
Feedback from staff attending Gerry’s training sessions:
“The group really enjoyed the day and have commented on your excellent approach. They said that your pace, pitch and adaptation were all second to none.”
“Thank you for the session which you led with such skill and insight. It was one of the best days of professional development I’ve ever attended.”
“A great session with fantastic knowledge gained.”
“One of the best training sessions I have attended. Gerry’s knowledge and passion were clear throughout.”