MGM PinPoint™ automatically links school absence records to smartphones and mapping services to identify and locate missing or truant students.
The app was launched by School SMS pioneer MGM Wireless (ASX:MWR) at Sydney's Methodist Ladies College (MLC). MGM Pinpoint will be available for free download from the iTunes App Store and Android Marketplace from June 3.
Currently over 1,000 schools use an MGM SMS solution for attendance management; all parents and guardians of students attending these schools will have instant access to the free app, which is usable within school hours.
The service is initiated automatically by the school’s roll-marking system if a student is missing and no explanation has been provided from home, linking the parent’s phone to an app preinstalled on the student’s phone.
MGM PinPoint™ interrogates school attendance records as soon as new data is available; sends a text message instantly to the parents of that student; and provides a secure link to a Google Map showing where the student is at that moment, only during school hours. Parents can also use Google’s Street View feature to see the student’s location in 360-degree street level imagery.
MGM CEO Mark Fortunatow said MGM Pinpoint™ was a major breakthrough in the management of student safety, attendance and welfare.
“When a student doesn’t turn up for school, there could be any number of reasons, but it is the school’s duty and responsibility to inform the parent as soon as possible,” Mr Fortunatow said.
“Once informed, the parent needs to take action to protect their child and inform the school. MGM PinPoint™ gives schools an unmatched ability to meet their duty of care responsibilities for student welfare and provides parents with considerable comfort in the knowledge that they can locate their child quickly.”
Mr Fortunatow said that MGM’s SMS solutions support the four vital areas of best practice in school attendance management: roll-marking, communication, analysis and followup.
“The issue with current approaches has been that too much time may elapse between an absence and taking action. Whether the student has not attended because of a social distraction, a bullying incident or something even more sinister, parents need to know that their children are safely at school during school hours.”
Mr Fortunatow cited several examples when MGM solutions had prevented harm and even saved a life. In a high-profile severe bullying incident in WA, MGM systems quickly identified the perpetrators. In another incident, a NSW mother received an absence message only to discover her son unconscious in his room following a seizure.
“MGM PinPoint™ is a fully automated service that can alert parents and schools to potential safety and security issues and drive a rapid response to missing students,” Mr Fortunatow said.
“It is our most significant innovation since we launched messageyou™, the first SMS text messaging service for schools, more than a decade ago.
“This is a leap forward for schools in meeting parent and community expectations regarding student welfare.”
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