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MIS Systems Thread, Is SIMS free from the LA? I don't think so in Technical; When I meet people from other schools some of them think that their SIMS software is supplied free by the ...
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    Is SIMS free from the LA? I don't think so

    When I meet people from other schools some of them think that their SIMS software is supplied free by the LA. Not my understanding at all - the LA allocates funds to our school so that we can choose which MIS software to buy and also gives us funds to maintain it. Are some schools out there not getting the whole story??

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    There is a lot of confusion about ICT and IT funding for schools. Information on the various grants is available via Becta, but with the caveat that your LA may choose to control the funding, top slicing the money before it gets to your school.

    This can give the impression that you are getting certain things for free, but in reality you are still paying for it. This is usually done for things like RBC connectivity, Learning Platform procurement, funding ICT services such as creation of learning resources to be given to *all* schools, or to fund various projects such as Computers for Pupils.

    How this is decided varies from LA to LA, but there is usually a group of Heads, Governors and Education Services staff that ratify the decisions ... so schools still have a strong say in the matter.

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    Round here, the local authority gives us a grant equal to the amount we would spend on SIMS, then makes us do exactly that. So there are six million pieces of paper yet no money actually changes hands at all lol

    Their excuse is that they have to be seen to be giving us the money, even though they just have it straight back again.

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    Here, the money is taken before we get the budget. This includes SIMS licenses and support - and it certainly isn't cheap.

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    Unhappy support contracts

    I'm not sure about how the funding from the LA works exactly (who is?), but we pay for the support contract for SIMs from our own funds whether they are given to us for that specific purpose or not i wouldn't know.

    My LA is northamptonshire, and we pay "Capita .ICT" (note the all important 'dot') for support, part of this includes around £1600 as a contribution towards the SIMs licence fee.

    The other parts of the fees we pay are for the level of support. For third line, which means they will remotely access our machines, without charging extra, we paid around £6k last year not sure what it is this year, but no doubt more.

    The bottom line is that whoever pays for SIMs, its ultimately us who pay for it with all the hassle it causes us!

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