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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS and independent schools in Technical; Hi, Im interested in seeing what SIMS usage is like in the independent sector. Specifically: - Do you use it ...
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    shutdownplease's Avatar
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    Question SIMS and independent schools

    Hi,

    Im interested in seeing what SIMS usage is like in the independent sector.

    Specifically:
    - Do you use it - if not why not and what do you use?
    - Who uses it at your school (Just SMT or do all teachers have access)?
    - Does it suit your needs in the school (ie are there too many features or is it all being used appropriately)

    other questions may crop up depending on the responses!

    thanks
    brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by shutdownplease View Post
    I'm interested in seeing what SIMS usage is like in the independent sector.
    As little as possible. We seem to be trundling along okay at the moment. I plan to move SIMS to its own dedicated Terminal Services machine, which should resolve all those fiddly configuration problems. It's mostly just used by SMT and office staff at the moment, mainly because not many other people currently have a PC.

    --
    David Hicks

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    We use it for attendance so all teachers have access to it, our secetarys are using it more and more(although one of them pretty much does as little as possible)

    We also use it for our 3 weekly marks and Fee's management. I had been looking into using it for behaviour management but it seems to be easier to use sharepoint/infopath forms for it all.

    We're also using NovaT6 for timetabling... the only thing thats bugging us at the moment is the way we can't register pupils in sets in the afternoon via the dashboard without purchasing lesson monitor(a minor niggle but annoying).

    Overall Sims has enough features in some ways but is lacking in others.

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    We use it and thanks to a semi-senior staff member we have a dedicated Sims person, all be it for 12 hours a week.

    Last year we paid Sims to do our timetabling, this year she did it and has now started doing the assessment stuff and reports.

    I would like us to use it more but the £££ is just stupid for what we need. Thining maybe profiles and attendance next but the quotes we got were too high.

    Not everyone has access in their classrooms so its more of an issue for us.

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    Sims

    we use it with all staff using it (some more than others)
    we have junior school using Attendance and sectaries using it for everything from reports to looking up phone numbers.Sims coordinator uses nova T also and assessment manager. Started scanning in old paper records to DMS (document mamagement server) and attaching to childrens records. If only the updates didn't break things and the helpdesk could actually help you it would be OK

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    Quote Originally Posted by imiddleton25 View Post
    the helpdesk could actually help you it would be OK
    The help desk is perfectly helpfull. You just have to patiently explain that the solution they sent has only a passing resemblance to the problem you logged becuase it contains some similar words. Then ask to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about (they do exist but they lurk in the background).

    Back on topic we use SIMS though it's mostly used by our admin staff. We use Admissions, Nova T4, Assessment Manager for writting reports (Don't say anything that makes me cry as it is).

    We have never really had anyone "in charge" of the databse as a whole. We have just had a new Director of Studies and I've raised the issue of database usage. We need to stop using assessment manager for reports and start using profiles (which is hopefully in the pipeline) and we are moving to nova T6 next year.

    Currently we only scratch the surface of the databse with SIMS and it does things we already do. I have just started to push for more usage of SIMS. I suspect that none of our teacher know how to use the reporting engine and we don't use half the features we have (or could have).

    I don't know how it is with other schools but I fear we suffer from the "SIMS dosn't do exaclty what we do so it's rubbish and we won't use it" attitude. When we should look at what SIMS does do, what we do and mesh the two together.

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    shutdownplease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    As little as possible. We seem to be trundling along okay at the moment. I plan to move SIMS to its own dedicated Terminal Services machine, which should resolve all those fiddly configuration problems. It's mostly just used by SMT and office staff at the moment, mainly because not many other people currently have a PC.

    --
    David Hicks
    when you move it to a terminal services machine would that be the point at which a wider rollout would be intended?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamman960 View Post
    We also use it for our 3 weekly marks and Fee's management. I had been looking into using it for behaviour management but it seems to be easier to use sharepoint/infopath forms for it all.
    ah - so teachers at your school are inputting weekly data into it. thats good to know as im trying to convince SMT that it is useful for that

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    many thanks to all of your responses so far - although this is anecdotal it has certainly helped me a lot in framing my own proposals for SMT

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    I know i dont fit into this but we are an independent school who dont use SIMS. We use PASS from WCBS – Information Management for Schools. Cant fault it so far after 5 years.

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