This is probably something for local authority teams, rather than individual schools, but I thought it worth a mention to everybody because there may be some schools who are interested in using this for their own monitoring - especially in federations, where information sharing across institutions allows for greater integration and communication.
There are a number of product launch events coming up in the next few months. They may not be as high profile as the two "big" ones - Halo 3 this week and Windows Server 2008 next year - but in terms of more immediate value to you, then the Performance Point Server 2007 launch, in two weeks' time should be of interest.
There's an ugly term, Business Intelligence (or BI), used to describe the ability to draw together different strands of information from around an institution, and present and analyse it in real-time. It means, in a local authority, that you can create a single picture of attendance, attainment and exclusions, alongside key financial targets across the whole authority data set, and then map that against your wider CYPP targets.
Although the launch event is aimed at the commercial sector, this struck me as a good opportunity for senior managers in local authorities too to get an insight into both the product and its uses to create information from data, carry out organisational analyses and produce scorecards. In addition to a keynote from Robert Kaplan, there's also presentations from businesses that use Business Intelligence systems to drive more informed decision making, such as Unilever.
The Launch takes place on the 16th of October in London, aimed at a senior managers, and will include a presentation from Professor Robert Kaplan