Originally created in 2009 by Ben Dunford, we're extremely proud of what we have created and how far we have come. Below is a brief history of how epraise came to be what it is today.
2021 - Joining Firefly
This year we joined the team at Firefly. This has meant we are now able to offer around-the-clock support and have started work on some extremely exciting projects, including "Firefly on Teams" which includes many great features from Epraise including our Seating Plans. We're very excited about what the coming months hold for our schools.
2020 - Home-learning
In 2020, we focussed on helping schools deal with the COVID-19 crisis. We responded by prioritising the implementation of further tools to support home learning and improve home-school communication. We also extended our Forms features (now free as part of Messenger) and made it possible for schools to send home student reports via the new Documents feature. We have lots more changes planned over the coming months and will continue to support our schools during these uncertain times. We were also delighted to welcome web developer Matt D and customer support specialist Robin to the team.
2019 - Mobile applications
In 2019 we spent the majority of our time working on our mobile applications, bringing new features and capabilities to them and making them more effective for teachers, students and parents. The apps now feature push notifications, full details on points, demerits and interventions, new profiles, a new menu and school information. Our marketing specialist Kelsey joined the team in June and our apprentice developer Matt joined us in October.
2018 - Messenger and attendance
In 2018 we released our messenger feature. This allows parents, teachers and students to communicate more effectively on an individual and group level. We've also released an updated SIMS writeback feature, that allows you to take attendance registers within epraise, meaning teachers no longer have to switch between different platforms in a lesson. Our support specialist Tracey joined us in August.
2017 - Parents' evenings and interventions
In 2017 we continued to expand on our parental communication options, including a new parents' evenings feature that should make arranging and analysing parents' evenings much simpler. We also released our interventions feature, that makes managing support and sanctions applied to students much easier than existing school platforms. Our developer James joined the team in September.
2016 - Homework and activities
In 2016 we launched our hugely popular homework feature, allowing teachers, students and parents to manage homework in a much simpler, easier and quicker way. We released a new Android app to complement our iOS app that we're constantly adding new features to. We were also really excited to introduce our new Get Involved feature, where students can sign up to take part in clubs and activities within school. Our sales and support representative Charlotte joined us in April.
2015 - Going mobile
In 2015 we spent a long time making our site much more mobile friendly, and we released a simple iOS app. We redesigned all of our badges and images and added or updated over 150 features. In January, we attended the BETT show and were shortlisted for the ICT Tools for Learning and Teaching award. We also launched a new sister site in collaboration with a couple of local schools, www.eparents.co.uk, designed to support parent-teacher communication. Our programmer Chris joined us in April.
2014 - The big rebuild
2014 is the year that epraise went beyond just being a rewards system, to a system capable of helping teachers organise their class. Through tools such as the marksheet and classnotes for setting homework, epraise is now way ahead of the competition. We also spent a lot of time on rebranding and redesigning epraise to make it easier to use and much better looking, with the help of Louise who started working for epraise in January.
2013 - Integration options
In 2013 new features such as the MIS Link, LDAP logins, activities, classroom tools, seating plans, FSM/G&T/SEN analysis, student photos and much more were added. By the end of the year 75 schools were using epraise. Ben won the Express and Echo's award for 'Young Entrepreneur of the Year'.
2012 - Growing quickly
In 2012, the focus moved towards teachers adding points directly into the system. Milestones, accolades, certificates and reports were all added along with many other great features. 2012 was also the first year that epraise attended the BETT show as part of 'Innovation Alley', where it was very well received. By the end of the year, around 35 schools were using epraise.
2011 - Innovative features
During 2011, several important features were added, including the live stream, achievements and milestones which were quite unique compared to anything else available at the time. By the end of 2011, 6 schools were using epraise.
2010 - A new business
In September 2010, three schools started using epraise to help motivate their students. It was a very basic system where students claimed their own points using unique codes and then were able to purchase prizes from a shop that the schools ran. During this year, APIs, student profiles, draws and charitable donations were added to make the system much more appealing to schools.
2009 - A bright idea
When awarding commendations to students Ben realised that his school was wasting a lot of resources on a paper based reward system, which was only motivating the younger students and having no impact on the older students whatsoever. He decided he could come up with something better and after some discussion and trials, epraise was born.
2007 - Becoming a teacher
After learning what it means to be a teacher, Ben went to teach at a large secondary school in Devon. During this time, he worked with South West Teacher Training on their website and created the 'portal', revolutionising the way that trainees evidenced their lessons by putting everything online. 10 years on and South West Teacher Training still use the systems developed during this time.