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Many people shy away from databases as they can take a bit of time to get the hang of. I think that they are an invaluable tool for teachers, but I wouldn't bother using them with students in my class - they are far too complex and Excel usually does the same job.

Good uses for databases are student voice questionnaires (see the Gifted and Talented questionnaire) and budget management systems. The best place to start is to buy a good book on Access. This programme comes with Microsoft Office, so most computers have it loaded already.

Here's an example of a budget management database and user guide that I created for the budget holders in my school to use. There is also a user manual to help you to get the hang of it. Please feel free to customise it for use in your own school.