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MIS Systems Thread, Does anybody know of an MIS Consultant/Project Mnager in Technical; Hi All, I work at a special needs school and we are reviewing our MIS. We use SIMS at the ...
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    SiobhanH's Avatar
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    Does anybody know of an MIS Consultant/Project Mnager

    Hi All,

    I work at a special needs school and we are reviewing our MIS. We use SIMS at the moment but aren't happy with what it can do. We've had a SIMS Consultant in to go through the system and see if it can do what we want it but it can't. Therefore we're looking for other options. I've seen iSAMS & Progresso demoed (they are coming in to do demo's for Senior Managers in a couple of weeks) but l'd really like to find a consultant who could go through our needs objectively and point us in the right direction and perhaps provide project management for the process. Can anybody help and/or suggest a system I should investigate??

    Many Thanks

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    It depends exactly what you want the MIS to do. We use SIMS, alongside Bsquared Connecting Steps and CASPA- the last 2 are used mainly for the assessment part.

    Special School in Kent.

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiobhanH View Post
    Hi All,

    I work at a special needs school and we are reviewing our MIS. We use SIMS at the moment but aren't happy with what it can do. We've had a SIMS Consultant in to go through the system and see if it can do what we want it but it can't. Therefore we're looking for other options. I've seen iSAMS & Progresso demoed (they are coming in to do demo's for Senior Managers in a couple of weeks) but l'd really like to find a consultant who could go through our needs objectively and point us in the right direction and perhaps provide project management for the process. Can anybody help and/or suggest a system I should investigate??

    Many Thanks
    What exactly cant it do?

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    SiobhanH's Avatar
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    We are also using Bsquared as SIMS is to unwieldy to deal with the small breakdowns within P levels and NC levels that we need. We are aware it can be set up in Assessment Manager but don't believe its worth the time and effort when there is software that can do it better. We have a long list of needs I'm afraid hence wanting a consultant to help us.

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    You do need to be aware that in most special schools that is the way it is done- there is no MIS that will do everything a special school wants and everything a main stream school wants. And as companies can make alot more money from licensing to mainstream schools they tend to go that direction.

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    SiobhanH (18th March 2013)

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    There are some specific areas within SIMS which won't work for us. For example we need a running record of communication with parents, health workers, internal and external agencies, local authority's, social workers etc. Although there is a communication log it will only work on contacts that have already been added to SIMS and in addition they need to be added to the Family/Home area. So not only is the log clunky to use, it also isn't able to do what is needed. (this has been verified by CAPITA that it won't work). Assessment Manager doesn't work particularly well with the sort of data we need to input - 25 character limit on data - plus we need to break down all levels to very small sub sections. P1 needs to be broken into numerous sub sections as our students make such small progress, hence we use BSquared. SIMS is great for mainstream schools but isn't very flexible for anything outside of that. As we already have SIMS we would be happier if it could do what we want it to as it would save a lot of time, money and effort rather than having to find something else!

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    look into CASPA for the attainment side-- small steps and fits in well for the durham p scale project- if you are part of that.

    As for noting things i know it sounds silly, we still use paper based records in their IEP files. You can put notes in CASPA but we tend to note in it only things that relate to assessment.

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    SiobhanH's Avatar
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    We also use a lot of paper at the moment but are finding it's not what we need as we have duplicate information accross avrious teams. I hoping the browser based systems may better suited to our requirements.

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    Not sure, what is better?

    Didn't know anything about the desktop.ini, what is the situation with this?

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    Have you tried looking at the list of MIS providers as suggested by the DfE who are on the IMLS framework? I'd suggest that may be a good place to start.

    Good luck!

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    Hi Siobhan, Did you have any luck finding any suitable MIS Consultants?

    I am due to join a Special Needs School/College over the next couple of weeks and they currently have Pearson E1 but need to reassess their requirements to select another solution (their needs have changed over time and, like yourself, we want to avoid having to integrate too many applications).

    They have inherited a solution which was purchased purely for the college, but the current school users aren't convinced that this solution will meet their needs.

    They are up against time as e1 will cease being supported in September 2014 and, in an ideal world, would prefer to run the old and new system side by side to compare data integrity for at least one submission before switching to the new solution.

    I would appreciate hearing about your experience if you can spare the time. Thanks in advance

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    Hi,
    I didn't find a consultant and ended up doing all the research myself. We got various companies in to do demos to see what they could offer and after an initial round took it to a short list of systems. In the end we went with iSAMS as it seemed to be the most flexible system on the market and had very good feedback from the schools we spoke to that had changed to them. We are part way through the implementation of the system now and so far have been pleased with the support and guidance we've had from iSAMS.
    I hope this helps?

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    1066girl (29th November 2013), vikpaw (5th November 2013)

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    Good luck Siobhan with iSAMS, I am sure it will suit your specific needs very well!

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    SiobhanH (15th November 2013)

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    Thanks for coming back so quickly Siobhan, I am glad to hear you are progressing. I will have to take a look at iSAMS once I have the requirements specification completed. Thanks

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