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MIS Systems Thread, Moving from IT support to Informations Systems Management in Technical; Hi all Very long time no-see. I've been out of the school IT support business for over a year now, ...
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    SheldonCooper's Avatar
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    Moving from IT support to Informations Systems Management

    Hi all

    Very long time no-see.

    I've been out of the school IT support business for over a year now, but an opportunity has arisen to go back in as an Information Systems Manager.

    I could use some advice...

    Are there any ISM's on here who would be prepared to answer a few questions via PM?

    Thanks in anticipation.

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    SheldonCooper's Avatar
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    BTW, this is an alternate account on here. I was quite active previously with a different username but I want to keep this on the QT as far as possible.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    I was an IS Manager equivalent for 4 years, happy to share.

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    Sort of where both hats both Network Management and also involved in and line manage MIS or ISM department.

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    SheldonCooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    I was an IS Manager equivalent for 4 years, happy to share.

    Sort of where both hats both Network Management and also involved in and line manage MIS or ISM department.
    Thank you both for the replies.

    I've been a sysadmin/IT support helpdesk/some MIS involvement (mainly SIMS). The role I'm contemplating is pure IS management and what I need is an overview of what you think I'll be expected to do. The job description is very woolly and fluffy, no substance.

    It seems not much of a task to occupy a full working week on the face of it so there's obviously a lot about the role that I'm unaware of.

    Any chance of your point of view on the role in general?

    Many thanks.

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    I don't think you can tell from a "job title". I would expect it to be all about making sure that the school is doing everything possible to ensure that every child meets their full potential. That's all about spotting trends and getting the SLT to act on the information.

    The type of thing I have seen work well is introducing behaviour monitoring- getting rid of paper records that take days to act upon when the child has completely forgotten what the issue was. Ensuring that the behaviour policy is being acted upon i.e. 3x as many positive as negative points. Seeing which staff are way off etc.

    Then there is the more obvious assessment target setting to make sure that children will achieve their full potential and ensuring that they attend on time. I was speaking to Sprowston School last week who have reduced lateness by 70% - all done through their MIS.

    Ofsted is so interested in data now that SLT need to take this area very seriously. Here's a link to a paper we wrote with ASCL to help SLT:http://bit.ly/ZHJQLB (sorry I can't get a link directly to the paper click on the link a few lines down the screen)
    Last edited by PhilNeal; 12th December 2012 at 09:19 PM.

  7. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    Steven_Cleaver (13th December 2012)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    @SheldonCooper i dont have anything to add but i think your username rocks!

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    PhilNeal - That's an incredibly useful link, thank you very much.

    I hadn't really considered the possibility of the role being one involving using the data, the job description, such as it is, makes it seem like a sysadmin role but only dealing with MIS. We'll see.

    FN-GM - Thank you :-)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Well congrats, back.
    Happy to share.
    There's plenty to keep you occupied, from training users, to exploring new modules, changing work flow of current processes, making sure all users take advantage of everything the MIS can do and beyond, into analysing the data making it available. I do things like export data and make it available on the intranet. Import data from external sources.
    Dabble in timetabling.
    As well as testing updates, and upgrading.
    Sometimes a tiny little problem will fill up an entire day, just troubleshooting and trying to recreate what caused it, and then finding the fix or liaising with support.
    It is pretty woolly and will be what you make of it. The important thing is to identify what they want out of the system. Where they want to go. Do you want reports sent home electronically, do they want behaviour recorded on to iPads along the corridor on the fly.
    As soon as it taps into a VLE and all the fun that brings, you'll be asking for an assistant / data processor, plus someone else to manage the other areas!

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    GREED's Avatar
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    As much as I would like to agree with @PhilNeal and would love that to be the role you'll be walking into, I think you'll find it to actually be about the management of the information systems rather than data and data use policies and management. I have never seen (and I have been in lots of schools now!) data managers being able to act upon the information they have. At best they can be asked to provide evidence to support SLT policy making and changes.

    I'm not saying this is the case, just that I have not come across that yet. I should be, but rarely is!

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    I think you make things happen!

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I like teh advice here: Could SIMS be working harder for you? | capita-sims.co.uk especially point 2, about having them in SLT meetings.

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    I sort of agree with PhilNeal and Greed but it depends on the school and what they expect I have seen someone in another school just do the Data Analysis and reporting a few days a week, but then a Deputy Head at another establishment responsible for and involved in Assesment, Exams and Timetabling as well as intervention and Manage a whole department and set strategies so it really tends to vary and in most cases start as one job but develop over time into other areas.
    ISM or MIS Manager can be a completely different role in different schools as has been said by a few people anything from some or all of the below;

    Management of or actually do

    Managing assessment and progress data and Analysis of this data so exams and internal progress data and providing analysis of this to SLT and Staff.
    Management of user permissions etc on the schools MIS permissions.
    Census returns.

    Management of Attendance and Behaviour Data and Analysis of this data and provide this to SLT and Staff.
    CTF’s new students and students leaving.

    Time tabling.

    Running and maintaining the Exams system.

    Target setting so setting student and Departmental targets as regards expected progress (although may qualify as strategic.

    Maintaining data in other systems VLE or Parental Portal or making sure this data is automatically linked into these systems.

    Training of Staff to use the Analysis Data or the MIS and other systems.

    Strategic

    Advise SLT of specific school, year or department issues based on data Analysis.

    Use Assessment, Attendance and Behaviour data to advise intervention strategies and analyse the success of these intervention strategies.

    Advise SLT on Target setting strategies.

    Key Skills

    Communication, Communication and Communication.

    Good Excel Skills as I haven’t seen an MIS or data Analysis system yet where you could get everything analysed the way you want in the right format, so you need to be able to extract and manipulate this.

    Good Maths and Analysis skills help hopefully the system does the majority of these for you but to quickly look at some analysis see that something isn’t quite right and then dig a little deeper helps.

    Common sense if you can’t achieve something in a certain way don’t keep using the same method try to get what you.

    To be honest this is only a start but you get the drift.

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    My current job description as an ISM:

    Information Systems Manager

    Band 5 – Points 35-43

    MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES OF JOB:

    To develop and maintain the whole school ICT Infrastructure.
    To manage and develop SIMS and the Teacher and Parent Portals
    To develop the school’s use of e-learning and ‘Cloud’ technology.
    To lead and coordinate the work and professional development of the ICT support team.
    To lead and coordinate the work and professional development of SIMS admin team including the Data Manager, Examinations Officer and the Office/Academic Manager.

    MAIN ACTIVITIES:

    Promote and manage the effective use of SIMS
    Monitor the implementation of SIMS and its usage, feeding back findings to inform planning and system improvements
    Coordinate the work of and provide support to, staff with responsibility for aspects of SIMS; academic management, assessment, attendance, census, examinations, finance, reporting, timetable
    Be the primary contact with Capita, including Capita Support, keeping licenses up to date and being responsible for upgrades
    Working with the Network Manager manage and optimise the network infrastructure
    Line Manage the Network Manager including the day to day operation of the school network
    Develop and manage a ‘service desk’
    Provide support to users of the administration network e.g. timetable, exam results collation and analysis, assessment, finance, attendance and school census
    Manage the work of the Data Manager to ensure the assessment tracking and reporting processes and procedures operate effectively
    Manage the work of the Exams Officer to ensure the effective administration of all school exams.
    Manage the work of the Office/Academic Manager and those admin staff who have responsibilities for data entry and analysis using SIMS.
    Develop the school’s use of e-learning and coordinate the implementation and use of the VLEs alongside the Bromcom Teacher and Parent Portals
    Organise the provision of technical advice to key staff in maximising the efficiency of Information Management
    Contribute to the annual improvement plan for ICT
    Provide technical advice to partner schools
    Attend training courses and also identify training needs of the ICT support team
    Coordinate and deliver SIMS specific and other ICT training where necessary for teaching and non teaching staff
    Control and implement the school’s security policies in respect of all soft/hardware
    Oversee and monitor the school’s e-safety and acceptable use policy
    Manage an annual ICT budget in relation to the school’s information systems and network, including both relevant hardware and software
    Coordinate the work of external consultants and contractors working on the ICT infrastructure.

    The above duties may be varied after consultation to meet the changing needs of the school
    at the reasonable discretion of the Headteacher.

    Issued: November 2012

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    wow @winng - that's a really broad scope. More like overall what i would think of as IT manager, rather than an just info systems / data manager type role. I take it you're responsible for purchase/install/maintenance on client PCs too.?

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