How to use Office 365 as your new free VLE in 3 easy steps

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A significant reason for the lack of full adoption of Office 365 by schools is due to the need to maintain isolated systems(e.g. MIS, Active Directory, and Office 365). This duplicated, and at times manual effort, results in a continuing lack of efficiency, accuracy and security.

In an already busy school environment, the need to maintain yet another system in Office 365, together with a learning curve of the new technology, typically results in a general lack of enthusiasm for full adoption by key decision makers and influencers.


By using the data that a school already has in their Management Information System “MIS” and automating this data with Office 365, a school can significantly increase efficiency, accuracy and security. By removing the administration burden, schools are then able to focus on maximising the use of Office 365 as a Teaching and Learning tool.

Once synced with a school’s MIS, a number of the Office 365 modules can then be fully automated, including email distribution lists, calendar timetables, SharePoint groups, Office 365 Groups and Class Structures.

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Email – Email distribution lists will always be accurate, whether its to all teachers, all students, year groups or classes.

Timetables – Ensure full transparency by automatically displaying individual timetables for staff and students in their Office 365 calendar.

Homework – Create and manage assignments and homework in Office 365 and instantly create and distribute Office documents.

Parents – Communicate with parents using a dedicated Office 365 Parent Portal providing secure access to student assignments and other key data.

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Office 365 Groups


  • Office 365 Groups connect Users, Content and Conversations across Office 365, providing an integrated experience that links together file storage, calendar event management and email conversations.
  • By linking to their MIS, schools can utilise the powerful collaboration tools of Office 365 Groups at class level, without worrying about user access and security.
    • Files – Storage using a dedicated document library connected to the group.
    • Calendar – Helps track all group events in one place, visible to everyone in the group.
    • Conversations – Easily start a new conversation with group members or reply inline to an existing conversation.

OneNote Class Notebooks


  • OneNote Class Notebooks have a personal workspace for every student, a content library for hand-outs, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities.
  • Linking to an MIS allows instant creation using the school’s class structure, together with easy menu access.
  • Organise lesson plans and course content in your own digital notebook.
  • Use its powerful search to find what you’re looking for, even text in pictures or handwriting.
  • Your OneNote Class Notebooks can be viewed from any device, online or offline.

Share Resources


  • Take advantage of the 1TB OneDrive storage per user to store and share documents, access them from any device, and co-author in real time.
  • Post homework assignments, collect and provide feedback on student papers, and work on documents on the go, from all devices.
  • Instantly create and distribute Office documents to student OneDrive’s and pre-populate with student data.
  • See student document activity and identify progress.
  • Utilise subject sites for central resource storage and collaborative access.

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How to use Office 365 as your new Free VLE in 3 easy steps

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