If you have a technical question, check whether the answer is in our
Technical & Security Policy

RECOMMENDATIONS

WHO RECOMMENDS EARWIG?

Earwig is used in more than 200 schools and any one of these would be happy to discuss with you their experience with the Earwig facilities. If you would like to talk to one just let us know and we’ll set up a call for you.

In addition to our users, there are several highly regarded educational software evaluators or resellers who recommend Earwig and partner with us to offer the Earwig package to schools.
The video explains why.

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The Educational App Store is the ‘Which? Magazine’ for educational apps. It has given Earwig its highest rating – five stars. To read the review Click here

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RM Education is the largest reseller of software to schools in the UK. They recommend Earwig and provide it through their Unify portal.

ThinkIT are consultants dedicated to providing consultancy for schools to make their IT systems as efficient as possible. They recommend only a limited number of rigorously tested software applications. Earwig is one of them.

Costs

WHAT DOES EARWIG COST?

There is an annual licence fee for the software, and a setup and training charge in the first year. However, the savings that you will make in terms of printing, network costs and staff time should more than offset this. In addition, the school gets 25% of the value of all the sales of images and system upgrades paid for by parents.

The details, including a cost and savings calculator, can be found in our COSTS page.

ANY OTHER COSTS?

No.

Using Earwig

HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO MANAGE EARWIG ONCE IT IS SET UP?

One of the beauties of Earwig is that it requires almost no management ‘overhead’. It ensures that all the pupil and staff information is always up to date by synchronising with your school database every night and everything else runs automatically once you or your staff have created a record.

Earwig also requires no network management time either. It resides in a specially sealed off portion of the “cloud”. So no local server, security, storage, backup or maintenance for ICT people to worry about. An additional benefit is that your server is no longer clogged up with images and video files.
Earwig was set up specifically to save staff time across the school. Here’s how it does this for each element of the organisation.

Teachers and TAs
Big reductions in the time taken to create, manage and present teaching evidence.

Heads
Easier and quicker to review class, teacher, subject and individual pupil progress.

School Administrators
Very little time required at setup because almost all the data required by Earwig to function properly is extracted from the school database automatically and updated every day. It does require some time to check the initial data and fill any gaps (e.g. members of the Saturday Club or other groups not supported by the school database). Thereafter, no overhead.

Bursars
Image sales are all automated, so no management time dealing with photos, payments etc. One report gives sales and commission due. All you need to do is send us the bill.

ICT /Network Managers
If you don’t already have Groupcall Xporter loaded, we will provide it for you. Thereafter, whether you use SIMS, Scholarpack, iSAMS or any other school database provider you give us the necessary login/permissions to synchronise data and you are free and clear. No more time spent clearing you network of all those digital images and videos!

WILL EARWIG ALLOW TRACKING OF PUPIL PREMIUM. SEN, EAL, LOOKED AFTER AND OTHER PARTICULAR GROUPS OF CHILDREN?

Yes. The School Earwig Administrator can indicate with a tickbox those children who are under any of the above schemes scheme and this is then flagged in the Pupil List.
Earwig is particularly useful for Pupil Premium children and those with SEN. These pupils are often best tracked by a mix of metrics , not always written academic work, so a visual record of attitude, achievement, social skills can be extremely useful for the teacher and case worker. Some teachers will also log whiteboard / video as part of the timeline.

DOES EARWIG NEED TO GAIN PERMISSION FROM PARENTS TO PHOTOGRAPH OR VIDEO PUPILS

As with any image based education tool, Child Protection is built in. The system is a Closed User Group – not available to those outside the school staff and invited parents. New Earwig parents are sent an email (and a leaflet, via the school) explaining the facility and telling them how to opt out if they wish.
If a parent or guardian objects to their child participating externally in the Earwig process that child is flagged so that all records made for that child are automatically marked as ‘Internal’ and are therefore not available to share with parents.

All images remain the property of the school at all times.

Without Earwig, teachers and others are tempted to use internet photo sites or social media to disseminate images of school activities. So Earwig actually improves the Child Protection situation in most schools.
Earwig automatically wipes photos from phones and other devices after they have been put on the system. No more images on handheld devices or laptops leaving the school. This is a massive improvement on pupil safety.

WHAT ABOUT FAMILIES WHO DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS AT HOME?

Internet access to view images can be from any internet browser (with passwords etc). Hard copies of images can also be purchased. However, although some parent may not have internet access, few don’t have phones. Earwig records and timelines can easily be viewed on a phone.

CAN INDIVIDUAL TIMELINES FOLLOW A PUPIL FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL AND BE AVAILABLE TO KEEP AT THE END OF THEIR SCHOOL CAREER?

Because school database and structures are all different, it would be impossible to provide a smooth transition from schools to school. However, parents can pay a small sum (£5 per year) to keep the timeline active after the child has left a school and grown-up Earwig pupils can reactivate old timelines for a fee.
In addition, at the end of every school year we offer an Annual Compendium of all the images and video taken during that year. These are provided on an Earwig Memory Card and sold in a presentation case providing a wonderful and permanent record of each school life.

WILL PUPILS BE ABLE TO ADD TO THEIR OWN TIMELINE?

At the Primary School level, children can use school devices to take photos (or video) of their own work or that of groups, which are automatically uploaded to the school Image Bank. Here the teacher or TA can annotate these and turn the images into records which will feature on timelines in the usual way. Or they can delete the images if they are not suitable.

At the Secondary level, pupils can be ‘upgraded’ by teachers to ‘Student’ status. As Students they can not only take the images but annotate these into records which will feature on their (only their) timeline. These can, of course, be moderated/edited by staff as necessary, but it means that older children can add to their school Earwig record in their own particular style.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE ALL CHILDREN ARE REPRESENTED NOT JUST THE VISIBLE OR SUCCESSFUL ONES?

Teachers can see at a glance how many records there for a particular period in each child’s timeline, and can flick from timeline to timeline to see the detail and determine which children more attention in future. This is particularly important in Nurseries and Primary schools where reticent children can fail to get the help they need in a particular area.

With the Assessment Module each child is tracked automatically and the information presented graphically to teaching staff in relation to every assessment objective, to ensure that no child is left out.

Getting Setup with earwig

CAN WE TRIAL EARWIG FIRST?

As it’s a completely new way of working, your school staff will need some training on how to get the most out of the system. So Earwig insist on providing your staff with a two hour training period.. We also set up an automatic sync with your school’s database so all of your pupil data is always up to date. Because of these costs, it is not feasible to provide Earwig on a trial basis. However you can integrate Earwig slowly, starting with just one class. As the benefits become clear, you can then request training for the rest of your teaching staff.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A DEMO AND WHO NEEDS TO BE THERE?

One of our agents will come to your school and explain how Earwig will work in your school. He or she will demonstrate the software.

We do need a decision maker to be at the demo, be that the Headteacher or the deputy Head. If you have an ICT or network manager it would also be beneficial if they can also attend the demo. Any other staff enthusiastic about using Earwig are also welcome of course!

Assessment

WHAT ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORKS DOES EARWIG INCLUDE?

We are adding new plans and systems all the time. The full list can be found here. If you don’t see the one you use, contact us. We’re probably about to load it.

HOW DO I ATTACH EVIDENCE TO INDIVIDUAL ASSESSMENT IN EARWIG?

When you capture the evidence, and tag a pupil, the relevant assessment plan statements appear. Tag the one(s) you want and the evidence is then attached. When you make an assessment against this criterion the evidence records are available in the form of a mini-timeline. More here.

CAN I TRACK ASSESSMENTS OVER TIME?

Yes you can. Cancel that expensive tracking software system.

WHAT ABOUT ANALYTICS AND REPORTING?

Analyse your assessment data by gender, pupil type, class, year group, subject over time. Benchmark it against other framework users nationally. Produce elegant reports by class of for individuals with a few clicks.

Technical and Security Questions

HOW DO YOU ENSURE THE DATA IS SECURE?

The system is ‘closed’ and secure, with access by approved login only. Within this, each individual school account operates within a virtual partition.

In transit the data is encrypted using SSL and standard 128bit encryption.

Full backup every 2 hours for 12 hours.

Access controls include individual logins with password protection.

Logins offering limited access are provided only to people authorised by the relevant school.

Earwig Customer Service monitor all activity.

All Earwig personnel hold current DBS certificates.

HOW MUCH DATA REPLICATION DO YOU APPLY AND AT WHAT LEVEL OF PROCESSING RESILIENCE?

2 x 120GB SSD (RAID 1) 2 x 1TB SATA (RAID 1) Mirrored Hard Drives
Software RAID 1 – For increased resilience

WHAT ARE YOUR POLICIES ON DATA PROTECTION?

See our Privacy Policy here and our Child Protection Policy here.

WHERE DO YOU STORE THE DATA?

The Earwig servers are managed by Fasthosts in Gloucester. All data is held onshore, using dedicated servers. www.fasthosts.co.uk.

WHAT IS THE POLICY RE DATA RETENTION?

Data retention – Earwig hold the data ad infinitum. Customer data is archived once an organisation or individual ceases to be a customer or an approved user of an Earwig account. This data may be accessed on payment and on production of proof of identity.

WHAT IS THE POLICY FOR REMOVAL OF USER ACCOUNTS?

User accounts – The school Earwig Administrator can archive accounts but cannot remove them.
Incorrect data can be corrected at any time by the school Earwig Administrator or, where data is synchronised with school databases, by correcting it in the relevant database. Individual records can be amended by any Staff member until the relevant child leaves the school, when these are frozen.

HOW IS ACTIVITY IN OUR ACCOUNT MONITORED, DOCUMENTED AND REPORTED?

The Earwig Administrator has access to the number of visits by parents and the date of the last visit. Also, image sales logs and reports. Otherwise, activity logs are only available to Earwig staff, but can be provided if necessary. Earwig staff also monitor activity for unusual patterns.

WHAT IF I NEED MORE CAPACITY?

We provide unlimited capacity. You don’t need any at all.

HOW DO I RECOVER MY DATA IF I DECIDE TO TERMINATE THE CONTRACT?

Schools can download images and videos from the Earwig system at any time up to the contract termination – and after that, for a fee.

WHAT IS THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT AND SERVICE LEVELS IF WE NEED SUPPORT?

First line Technical Support is available by calling 0333 6666 166 during office hours.

CAN I SEE THE EARWIG SCHOOLS CONTRACT?

The contract between each school and Earwig is defined in the Earwig Terms and Conditions for Schools page on the Earwig website.

Parent Questions

IS MY EARWIG ACCOUNT SECURE?

Any website dealing with images of children must be paranoid about Child Protection, and we are. That’s why each school Earwig account is a separate secure environment. Data is encrypted and each parent login must be approved by the school. Even then, each parent can only see images which relate directly to their child.

Earwig is actually the safest of all image management tools for schools because, whenever anyone takes a photo or video through the Earwig App, the image is uploaded to the (secure) school Image Bank and immediately deleted from the device used to take the image. So no chance of images being left on devices which leave the school.

For more on security, scroll down to the next section.

HOW MUCH WILL MY EARWIG ACCOUNT COST ME?

The basic Earwig Parent account is free for you for the period that your child is at an Earwig school. This gives you access to your child’s timeline for the previous twelve months, the ability to comment on activities or events recorded in their timeline and the facility to buy downloads or prints of your child’s photos or videos.

You can also upgrade to Earwig Parent Plus which provides you with Gallery to store and view your images and videos, free downloads of any or all of your images or videos and an overview of all you child’s records while at the school.

HOW CAN I SEE MY CHILDREN’S EARWIG IMAGES AND RECORDS?

When your Earwig account is authorised by the school you will receive an email which will give you your login and password. Go to the Earwig WEBSITE, log in and you will see your child’s timeline and image page.

OUR SCHOOL IS GETTING EARWIG BUT I DON’T WANT MY CHILD INVOLVED – CAN I OPT OUT?

You can opt to ensure that your child’s image does not appear to you or any other parents. Just inform the school who will ensure that all records involving that child are available only to school staff.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THERE ARE NEW RECORDS IN MY CHILD’S TIMELINE?

Every two weeks we do a sweep of new records and, if there are any in your child’s account you will get an email notification of this.

HOW DO I PRINT OFF MY CHILD’S TIMELINE?

It is not possible to print off the whole timeline, Justas it is not possible to print a Facebook timeline. However, you can purchase photos and video to download, just click into the timeline record and click on the photo or video. You can also purchase a compendium of all of your favourite photos at the end of the school year. Look out for the email offering compendiums towards the end of summer term.
Parent Plus holders can download any image or video, any time.

CAN MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS SEE MY CHILD’S TIMELINE?

Certainly. Simple give them your login and they can see exactly what you see. Be careful with whom you share your login though, it’s important you only give it to someone you trust.

CAN I SEND IMAGES TO FAMILY?

Yes. You can either give them your login and they can view your child’s timeline just as you can. Or you can buy the digital photos, video, printed photos, framed photos or even the compendium as gifts. Just put their address in the shipping section of your order, add your message and it’ll be sent directly to them.

CAN I CONTACT TEACHERS THROUGH EARWIG?

You can comment on individual records. These comments will be seen by the relevant teacher.

HOW DO I SEE OTHER PUPILS’ TIMELINES?

Earwig takes safeguarding extremely seriously and therefore only a child’s parents, guardians and those the parents entrust with their login can see that child’s timeline.