About Xpressions

How secure is the Xpressions app?

In short; it’s highly secure, just like your bank or other apps used for sensitive information. Information sent to your app is scrambled and can only be read by a system with a valid set of credentials to unscramble that data. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure your login details remain confidential. If you believe your password is compromised, you should change it straight away.

Tell me more

The Xpressions  app shares the same underlying structure as the award-winning service that allows teachers and support staff in schools to access student data on the move – Emerge for Schools by Groupcall.

Emerge for Schools is an app which enables schools to have an up-to-the-minute copy of their MIS data instantly and securely available in the palm of their hand. Emerge is installed on approximately 10,000 devices throughout the UK. It is the solution for users to access information whenever and wherever it is needed, such as an emergency where the school system may be down or access to the school is restricted, thus ensuring staff and student safety is paramount at all times.

Emerge comprises of two elements or ‘pieces’ of software. The Emerge sevice software (the app) and the Emerge server software installed in the school or in a local authority. This is the same as the Xpressions app.

The data from the device is wirelessly synchronised with the school’s MIS and Emerge Server software ensures that the data is always up-to-date, whether it be in a classroom, at home, or any situation where access to school data is needed. The attendance data is updated on a regular basis.

All data is secured in motion using industry-standard encryption. Emerge-enabled devices use industry standard AES-128 bit encryption to secure data at the user and device level.

Your data’s point of origin remains in the controlling system – i.e. the school system. Data is cached in Emerge for an agreed time period – this may vary for the different sets of information. If the Emerge app is not accessed for a set period of time (the default is 5 days), the encrypted data is inaccessible until the user provides valid login details.

A ‘Use of Data’ policy is provided for schools to ensure that, as data controllers, they have the ability to share data, and that they consider there to be appropriate measures in place, ensuring that the data is held securely and confidentially. The document, available to schools, sets out how Groupcall supports these objectives. Groupcall and its suppliers will be acting as ‘data processors’ as defined by the 1998 Data Protection Act. Groupcall has taken all reasonable measures to ensure the safety and security of the personal information and continues to review these measures on an on-going basis.

 

If you have any questions about the security of Xpressions, you should speak to your school in the first instance. They can then contact the Data Processors if necessary and can provide more information to you as required.

I’d like more information about how Xpressions works, who do I contact?

The Xpressions app and service is provided by Groupcall Limited. You can contact their sales team here. Please note however that Groupcall are unable to offer any support or information relating to a specific school, user or child.

Why do I have to enter a PIN to open the app?

There are few things are more important these days than security, especially when it comes to sensitive information about your children.

If your device is lost or stolen, you need to keep that information out of someone else’s hands. Xpressions features industry standard security measures similar to those used on mobile banking and therefore has an additional security layer by requiring a PIN to use it when re-opening it from your device.

Your device doesn’t even have to be stolen for the data in Xpressions to be susceptible to being compromised. Children, although often unable to do enact the associated measures themselves, have similar rights to data protection as adults and so protecting Xpressions with a PIN prevents other family members such as older siblings accessing their sensitive data (perhaps about behaviour incidents or confidential messages).

Getting Started

Can I use Xpressions on my Android phone/tablet/media player?

Yes.

A wide range of devices have been tested with the Xpressions app on Android/Google devices, but as there is a constantly changing landscape of devices running Android, it would be impossible to provide a totally comprehensive list.

The minimum requirements therefore to run Emerge on an Android are:

  • Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Android Device with Wi-Fi
  • Internet Access (from device)
  • 10MB Memory2

 

Can I use Xpressions on my Apple iPhone/tablet/media player?

Yes.

Any Apple device capable of running Apple iOS 7.0 or higher will run Emerge.

Can I use Xpressions on my Laptop or Desktop computer?

Not at present.

We have designed the Xpressions service to be accessible easily and quickly so that parents can see the latest information on their children as well as it being easy to look at as a family. We have therefore focused our efforts on mobile devices to bring this service to you. If we get a lot of demand for the service on more platforms we will look at adding them; why not let your school know if you believe you have a strong case for an alternative way of accessing the service?

Can I use Xpressions on my Windows phone/tablet/media player?

Unfortunately not at present.

I’m being asked for a password but I have not set one and I am not able to use the ‘Forgot Password’ button. What is wrong?

If you have entered your email address into Xpressions and are immediately asked for a password, but do not have one (or cannot remember what it might be) it is most likely that Xpressions does not recognise the email address as being a valid one from the school with which you are associated.

You may also have clicked the ‘Forgot Password’ button and been told that there are “No password recovery methods  for this login”. This is also indicative of the email address being unknown to Xpressions/your school.

Any school that uses Xpressions has some software that securely synchronises parental information to a protected cloud database.

  • This cloud database contains email addresses and phone numbers (copied from a local database in the school) along with names and associated children.
  • When you ‘login’ to Xpressions, you are not creating an account as such, but you are confirming you are an authorised person.
  • This prevents anyone signing up for an account who is not legitimately allowed to access a child’s information.
    • As the school has to ‘allow’ the email address in to the database in the first place, only sanctioned data is included.
    • This is for safeguarding and protection of children and their data.

To rectify this issue, and access your child(ren)’s information simply speak to your school’s office and confirm/update the email address and mobile number they hold for you. Please note, it may take 24-48 hours for any updates to be entered and to synchronise due to the way school’s admin processes operate. If you need access quicker than this, the school has the ability to expedite a request for data synchronisation to take place in a more timely manner.

If you have children from multiple schools that also use Xpressions, be sure to confirm/update the information with each one so that you can see information from all schools.

Where does the information in the Xpressions app come from?

MIS2Every school has a software system called a Management Information System (MIS) which stores information about students. It contains personal details, contacts, attendance, assessments, examinations as well as attributes such as behaviour and attitude.

You can think of this like a giant electronic filing cabinet with ‘records’ for each child. In these records you will find everything you might have found in an old paper folder such as a child’s school report or a note about being sent to see the headmaster as well as a sheet of paper with your contact information on.

You will likely be aware that at least once a year you will be asked to check and update the information the school holds in this electronic filing cabinet. It is essential that these are correct at all times in case the school needs to contact parents in an emergency.

Now the school is using Xpressions, the data they hold is not only used for emergency contact, it is used to a) allow you to sign in to use the Xpressions app and b) verify you are who the school think you are.

Please remember that if you change any contact details it is essential you notify the school so they can update their records. Xpressions uses contact details stored in the school MIS only so if you have not told the school office, your details may be incorrect. You should check that the details they hold are correct if you have changed your phone number or email address recently or since the annual check the school carry out. Each school will have a process you may need to follow or a form to fill out in order to do this; please speak to your school office to find out what is needed.

Why does the App need so many Permissions on my phone/tablet to run?

Android_AppPermissions

To operate, Xpressions needs to save data on your device; when you first run the app, you may be asked for this permission by your device.

Each platform that the app runs on manages access to this local storage in its own unique way.

Xpressions will never read information from your local storage – you cannot (nor will the app) send documents or photos to the school (or any other Xpressions user/device etc).

Android

Requires you to give explicit permission for any app you install to access your media storage.

Although the Android permissions box mentions Photos, the app does NOT gain any access to your photos or other personal items stored on your device.

iOS

Allows storage access automatically during installation for any app you install.

Windows

Requires you to give explicit permission for any app you install to access your media storage.

 

 

Can another person have their own login details to access my/our children’s information?

Your personal login shows you details of children (and their schools) for which you have parental responsibility (PR) as legally granted and recorded in the school system. Schools have a legal and statutory requirement not to breach confidentiality by ensuring information about children is only displayed to people with parental responsibility. Xpressions supports this.

  • The Xpressions app only shows those people that have current parental responsibility for a child. This is a legal requirement.
  • Anyone who has PR will be allowed to see the child(ren) and will have the option to setup their own account/login details.
    • This means that several people in a family could have Xpressions accounts. This could be across a split or separated family where the adults do not live together. The key is the school system having PR marked against a contact.
  • We do not recommend shared logins are used.
  • Anyone who does not have PR, such as a grandparent or other family member, will not be able to have a login of their own, however you can show them information on your device when you are with them if you would like to.
  • Anyone who may at one time have had PR, which has now been rescinded, will not be able to see the children for which they once had access.
    • If, for example, the child’s father had PR and signed up for an account and then later had PR rescinded by a court, their login to Xpressions would still work, however they would not see the child for which PR has been removed. This may mean they see a blank app once logged in.
    • In the case of a change to PR, you should make sure the school are advised so that the school filing system can be updated.
  • In all cases, the school system must reflect the current arrangements for parental responsibility to ensure that Xpressions has access to the correct information and access rights.
Can I use my login on multiple devices?

Yes. Simply download the app to any supported devices and login!

You should make sure you can control access to any devices on which you install the app; make sure you balance convenience with security and logout of any devices that you don’t use regularly.

I have an account across multiple schools; who do I contact regarding an issue with my account?

If your issue relates to a specific child you should speak to the school at which that child is enrolled. Any information relating to a specific child is controlled by the system at their school.

However, any of the schools associated with your account can help. Just speak to the school office and explain your issue. If necessary they have access to a support line where they can go for advice. If one school is unable to help, you could always try another; just make sure you explain clearly what the problem is!

I have forgotten my password; how do I reset it?

You don’t need a password to sign in to the app, you can use your email address and phone number with a one time code each time you sign in if you wish. However if you previously set a password and have since forgotten it, you can reset it using the steps below.

To recover your password you will need access to the mobile phone registered with the school.

From within the Xpressions appXpressions_ForgotPwd_all;

  1. Enter your email address.
  2. Click on ‘Forgotten Password’.
  3. Enter your mobile number
  4. A code will be sent to the phone you entered above.
    • If you entered a phone number not linked to your email address in the school you will see an error message.
    • Be sure to enter the same mobile number as the school has on file for you.
    • Xpressions_ForgotPwd_wrongnumber

  5. Enter the code.
  6. Enter your new password once and then a second time to confirm it.
  7. Set a passcode to secure the app. You will be automatically logged in and able to use the app again.

From a web browser (such as on a computer or tablet);

IDaaS_ForgotPwd

  1. Go to https://login.groupcall.com.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. Click on ‘Forgotten Password’.
  4. Enter your mobile number
  5. A code will be sent to the phone you entered above.
    • If you entered a phone number not linked to your email address in the school you will see an error message.
    • Be sure to enter the same mobile number as the school has on file for you.
    • IDaaS_ForgotPwd_WrongNumber

  6. Enter the code.
  7. Enter your new password once and then a second time to confirm it.
I have more than one child – can I have a single login?
  • If your children are all at the same school then you will see them all automatically under the same login. Click here to troubleshoot.
  • If your children are at different schools that subscribe to Xpressions, you will see them automatically as long as your email address and phone number are recorded as being the same in all schools.
    • Ensure you update your contact details if they change at all connected schools. See this FAQ for more information.
I’ve changed my email address/phone number; what should I do?

If you change your contact details you should update the school as soon as possible. Until you do this, the Xpressions app will not know about the changes and you may therefore be unable to access the app or receive messages.

Be sure to advise all schools that use Xpressions so that there is no conflict between them causing interruptions to your Xpressions account and associated information.

What happens to my Xpressions account when 1 or all my children leave school?

The visibility of children in your account will depend on a number of factors once they have left school.

  • Within 24 hours of the school marking a child as no longer enrolled with them in their filing system, that child will disappear from your Xpressions app/account.
    • If your app/device is offline the child will remain visible until you logout or go back online.
  • If you have other children in the same school, you will still see the school information. If your last or only child in a particular school has left, you will still be able to login, but you will not see any icons (such as calendar etc).

Your account will remain enabled until you ask the school to delete it. This means that if, for example, your child leaves primary school and goes to a secondary school that also subscribe to Xpressions, your child will re-appear in your account.

Student Information – Attendance

What is the expected attendance percentage for primary/secondary school children?

Expected attendance is the same for both primary and secondary pupils. Whilst individual circumstances maybe considered as special cases, 95% attendance and above is considered a standard that all children should achieve.

Here’s some more detailed guidance;Attendance Picture

97% and above: Excellent

95% – 97%: Good

90% – 95%: Fair

85% – 90%: Worrying

85% (86% in Wales) and below: Poor – action required

Why are there some gaps in lesson attendance?

Not all schools/teachers take lesson attendance all of the time.

Can you explain more?
Lesson Attendance is the taking of a register at the start of each lesson and recording who is in attendance for that period or lesson.

Session Attendance is the taking of a register once in the morning and once again in the afternoon to record which students were in school that morning or afternoon.

Not all schools take Lesson attendance all the time. They do take Session attendance however as this is a mandatory requirement for government reporting.

Only using both types of attendance recording gives a true picture of a child’s attendance at school, particularly the older a child gets. A student may be in the school building and have attended morning registration, but that does not necessarily mean they have found their way to the maths classroom!

It is likely that the school subscribing to Xpressions want to track attendance patterns and enlist the help of parents and advise them of any non-attending students, so there should be few occasions when there are gaps. These could be due to a cover teacher (for example when the main teacher is ill) not having access to the school registration system or any other factors to do with the administration of registers.

If you have ongoing concerns about regular gaps in the attendance data you should talk to the school.

Why is there so much fuss about attendance and punctuality?

Detailed research has shown that:

  • Children with over 90% attendance at school are more likely to gain five or more A to C GSCEs or equivalent qualifications.
  • Children with less than 85% attendance at school are unlikely to gain five A to C GCSEs or any qualifications.

Being frequently late for school adds up to lost learning:

  • Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year.
  • Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year.
  • Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year.

Did you know that children who do not attend school regularly are more likely to:-

  • Fall behind in their school work.
  • Find it difficult to make and keep friends.
  • Be unhappy at school.
  • Misbehave to hide that they are finding the work difficult.

Two-Way Messaging

Can I attach files to messages I send from Xpressions?

The only type of message that supports attachments is email. Sending an email to the school from the Xpressions app is the same as sending an email directly from any other email app.

Can I send messages to the school(s)?

Phone_Broadcast and Open with ReplyYes! There are several ways you can contact your school.

If the school have sent you a message that requires a reply, you can send one right from the timeline as soon as you receive it, or at a later date if you need to. Please note that the option to reply will only be available if the school have requested a reply, such as in the case of an absence message as shown to the right.

To send a reply, simply;

  1. Tap the box that says “Write a reply…”
  2. Type the message you want to send.
  3. Press return on the keyboard to send your message.

If the school have sent a message that is for information only, you won’t be able to reply to that message – this helps save the schools’ time.

If you want to send the school a message you can text or email them using your tablet or phone as normal.

 

 

 

Is there any charge to me if I send messages to school from inside Xpressions?

There are 2 types of message you can send from the app to the school; ‘Email’ and ‘Reply to an Xpression’.

Sending either type of message is free, however it does require the device to have an active Internet connection. In the case of email you to have a valid email account configured on the device.

An Internet connection may be chargeable by your mobile provider or Internet Service Provider. This is the same for anything you may send from your device, regardless of whether it originates from Xpressions or not.

Using the App

Can I still use Xpressions outside the UK? For example if my work sometimes takes me abroad or when I am on holiday.

Xpressions relies on an active Internet connection to get data from your school. Wherever you have access to the Internet, you have access to the information in the Xpressions app.

You should be aware however that any Internet access that is not included in your mobile data allowance can be chargeable by your mobile provider. This includes roaming on networks outside the UK. You can often find free Wi-Fi in hotels and bars.

How quickly is information passed from the school to the Xpressions app?

The information in the Xpressions app is not ‘live’; it is however updated regularly.

How regularly depends on the type of information being accessed;

    • Attendance data.
      • Updated hourly.
    • Student names/registration group/house etc.
      • Updated nightly.
    • Parent contact information.
      • Updated nightly.

Internet access is required on the device running the app for the information updates to be received.

I can’t see all of my children in the app. What should I do?
  • Only children in a school that subscribes to Xpressions will show in your app. If you have children in different schools, they may not show.
  • If all your children are in the same Xpressions subscribed school then it is possible that the school filing system does not have you linked as the parent of multiple children correctly. You will need to speak to the school.
  • If you do not have legal parental responsibility for all your children then the school cannot show you any children for which you do not have PR.
I don’t speak English. Nie mówię po angielsku. ਮੈਨੂੰ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਗੱਲ ਨਾ ਕਰਦੇ. میں انگریزی نہیں بولتے.

English is my second language, is it possible to change the language in the app to my native language?

Not at present, however this is something we may offer one day. Ask your school if you need help with this.

Angielski to mój drugi język, czy to możliwe, aby zmienić język w aplikacji do mojego ojczystego języka?

Nie w chwili obecnej, ale to jest coś, możemy zaoferować jeden dzień. Zwrócić się do szkoły, jeśli potrzebujesz pomocy z tym.

ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ, ਮੇਰਾ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਹੈ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਮੇਰੇ ਮੂਲ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਨੂੰ ਅਨੁਪ੍ਰਯੋਗ ਵਿੱਚ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਨੂੰ ਤਬਦੀਲ ਕਰਨਾ ਸੰਭਵ ਹੈ?

ਮੌਜੂਦ ‘ਤੇ, ਪਰ ਇਸ ਨੂੰ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਇੱਕ ਦਿਨ ਦੀ ਪੇਸ਼ਕਸ਼ ਕਰ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ ਕਿ ਕੁਝ ਹੈ ਨਹੀ. ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਇਸ ਨਾਲ ਮਦਦ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ, ਜੇਕਰ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਸਕੂਲ ਨੂੰ ਪੁੱਛੋ.

ریزی، میری دوسری زبان ہے کہ یہ میری آ کے لئے اپلی کیشن میں زبان تبدیل کرنے کے لئے ممکن ہے؟

موجودہ وقت میں، تاہم یہ ہم ایک دن پیش کر سکتے ہیں کچھ نہیں ہے. تم اس کے ساتھ مدد کی ضرورت ہے تو آپ کے اسکول سے پوچھو

I’d rather not use my mobile network to download data to Xpressions, is it possible to set it to only sync when linked to a Wi-Fi connection?

Whilst Xpressions uses very little data, depending on your device you may be able to restrict it’s use to Wi-Fi only.

This can be done from your device settings for an Apple device running iOS 7+;

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app.
  2. Tap ‘Cellular’.
  3. Scroll down to the list of apps.
  4. Turn the slider to off (grey) for Xpressions.
  5. The app is now blocked from using your 3G/4G connection.

Other iOS versions may differ. There are many resources available online to assist you.

For Android devices you will need to install a third party app to allow you to achieve this. There are many resources available online to assist you with this.

The school are sending me messages but I keep missing them. What is happening?

When a message is sent to you it will appear in the Xpressions Timeline. Whether or not you receive a notification alerting you that a message has been received will depend on your device.

Apple iOS Devices

You can configure the behaviour of notifications on Apple devices. The below indicates the best way to ensure you never miss a message, however you may wish to alter this to suit your own circumstances

Open your device’s settings;

  1. Open the ‘Notifications’ section.
  2. Scroll to find the Xpressions app.
  3. Ensure ‘Allow Notifications’ is on.
  4. Set ‘Show in Notification Center’ to at least 1 or greater.
  5. Ensure ‘Badge App Icon’ is on.
  6. Ensure ‘Show on Lock Screen’ is on.
  7. Set ‘Alert Style When Unlocked’ to ‘Alerts’

This Apple page has more information if you need it.

Android Devices

It’s not possible to configure the behaviour of notifications on Android devices directly. You may be able to get a third party app that does allow this however.

By default Android devices will display an icon in the top left corner indicating there is a message waiting for you. From here you can open the Xpressions app and read the message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is some information in the Xpressions app which concerns me – who do I contact to discuss this?

You need to speak to the school from which the information originates.

There is some information in the Xpressions app which is not correct – who do I contact to discuss this?

You need to speak to the school from which the information originates.

What should I do if I lose a device which has the Xpressions app on it?

Before you lose a device… 

The Xpressions app can be secured with a PIN code that is independent of any other codes set on the device. We recommend you set one when you initially login. This can be done at a later date by clicking the padlock icon in the upper right corner of the Xpressions app home screen and entering a 4 digit code.

Apple and Google both provide services that are designed to either help you find a lost device or remotely erase it should it be lost irretrievably. There are also third party solutions available. More information is available by searching the Internet for ‘lost smartphone’ etc.

  • Apple’s “Find My iPhone” service is built in to every Apple device that supports the Xpressions app – you can find out about it here along with information on how to enable it and activate it should you lose your device.
  • Google’s “Android Device Manager” is available on the majority of devices that supports the Xpressions app – you can find out about it here along with information on how to enable it and activate it should you lose your device.

If a device has already been lost… 

  1. You should change your Xpressions password.
    • For information on how to do that click here. The link above will take you straight to the login page where you can change your password.
  2. You should make use of any Apple or Android service with which you are registered that can locate or erase the data held on your device.
    • Login to the Apple service here using your iCloud/iTunes username and password.
    • Login to the Google service here using your Google username and password.
  3. If you are unable to do the above and you are still concerned about the data on a lost device, you can speak to your school who can disable your account. This can take some time to become effective on the lost device and so should only be used as a last resort.
Why can’t I see lesson attendance/assessment/behaviour for all of my children?
  • Not all schools take Lesson attendance all the time.
    • Lesson Attendance is the taking of a register at the start of each lesson and recording who is in attendance for that period or lesson.
    • Session Attendance is the taking of a register once in the morning and once again in the afternoon to record which students were in school that morning or afternoon.
    • All schools take Session attendance because this is a mandatory requirement for government reporting.
  • Some schools may choose not to make assessment/behaviour/achievements visible to parents all the time.
  • Your child may not have any recent assessment/behaviour/achievements records – the Xpressions app only shows recent information so as to control the size of data and prevent information from becoming too large to store.

If in doubt, you should talk to your school.

Why do I have to enter a PIN to open the app?

There are few things are more important these days than security, especially when it comes to sensitive information about your children.

If your device is lost or stolen, you need to keep that information out of someone else’s hands. Xpressions features industry standard security measures similar to those used on mobile banking and therefore has an additional security layer by requiring a PIN to use it when re-opening it from your device.

Your device doesn’t even have to be stolen for the data in Xpressions to be susceptible to being compromised. Children, although often unable to do enact the associated measures themselves, have similar rights to data protection as adults and so protecting Xpressions with a PIN prevents other family members such as older siblings accessing their sensitive data (perhaps about behaviour incidents or confidential messages).