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MIS Systems Thread, SISRA Online in Technical; Originally Posted by MattMitchell far simpler than I find getting data into SIMS as a developer (SQL, C, C++, Perl, ...
  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMitchell View Post
    far simpler than I find getting data into SIMS as a developer (SQL, C, C++, Perl, PHP, a little PL-SQL, etc).
    Pity you're so far away Matt, we're recruiting at the moment!

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    ;-)

    It might be worth your while looking at becoming a SIMS partner - I know that if a SISRA add-on existed for SIMS, I'd probably be pushing for us to get it! It probably wouldn't be a huge stretch to implement, and with a bit of care you could have a common code base for a web and a SIMS version - just a thought...

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMitchell View Post
    ;-)

    It might be worth your while looking at becoming a SIMS partner - I know that if a SISRA add-on existed for SIMS, I'd probably be pushing for us to get it! It probably wouldn't be a huge stretch to implement, and with a bit of care you could have a common code base for a web and a SIMS version - just a thought...
    We do like our current 'one size fits all' use of Excel as a staging post for school data. It gives us plenty of flexibility; there always seems to be schools who don't have everything they need to report/analyse on SIMS (students studying out at college etc) - and also if we did this sort of thing for SIMS then our CMIS/Phoenix schools would also expect something similar.

    I'm not dismissing it, I see where you're coming from and it's something we'd perhaps look at in the future - but we'd have to study the return on investment
    Last edited by SISRAOnline; 8th July 2009 at 10:29 PM. Reason: If i said typos, would you believe me?

  4. #19

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Are all your staff (enhanced) CRB checked? (Something else to add\update)

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Are all your staff (enhanced) CRB checked? (Something else to add\update)
    All relevant staff have been CRB checked
    Last edited by SISRAOnline; 9th July 2009 at 01:56 PM. Reason: added a tongue pull, lol.

  6. #21

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SISRAOnline View Post
    All relevant staff have been CRB checked
    You have to get delivery drivers CRB checked, so I doubt that's not enough. Problem with the rules are there alot of grey areas and there are lot of people who follow them to the letter. I mean you have to get a CRB check per role per person, I mean whats the point of CRB checking a technican 4 times for each school they work in? It's going to come back the same!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    You have to get delivery drivers CRB checked, so I doubt that's not enough. Problem with the rules are there alot of grey areas and there are lot of people who follow them to the letter. I mean you have to get a CRB check per role per person, I mean whats the point of CRB checking a technican 4 times for each school they work in? It's going to come back the same!!
    LOL on the 4 check for 1 technician, it is madness what goes on!

    We have staff who do not have any kind of access to student data in any way and would never visit a school on our behalf. In fact, the cleaners here wouldn't even know how to switch the computers on, let alone log in and then launch Query Analyser and come up with an SQL query! . I'm pretty sure that even the grey areas do not include such people. The whole thing's madness though isn't it!

  8. #23

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SISRAOnline View Post
    LOL on the 4 check for 1 technician, it is madness what goes on!

    We have staff who do not have any kind of access to student data in any way and would never visit a school on our behalf. In fact, the cleaners here wouldn't even know how to switch the computers on, let alone log in and then launch Query Analyser and come up with an SQL query! . I'm pretty sure that even the grey areas do not include such people. The whole thing's madness though isn't it!
    No comment. It's the rules, we just follow them. They would need CRB checking, you never know, you could have some "bad" cleaner that might use your system out of hours. You'll be suprised how easy it is to get data from a "secure" company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    No comment. It's the rules, we just follow them. They would need CRB checking, you never know, you could have some "bad" cleaner that might use your system out of hours. You'll be suprised how easy it is to get data from a "secure" company.
    Nah, not having that Matt, lol. There is no way that we would force a person to get a CRB check for something they are actually unauthorised to do in the office. That's like saying "I don't trust you to just come in here and do your job that has absolutely nothing to do with kids at all in any way and also I think that you may at some point illegally force your way onto our servers and look at some data that would say something like 004040 Joe Bloggs, WBRI, FSM=Y, LAC=N, which you wouldn't know what to do with anyway."

    If you look at these two Category codes regarding CRB:

    Any office, employment or other work which is concerned with the establishment or operation of a database under section 12 of the Children Act 2004 , and which is of such a kind as to enable the holder of that office or employment, or the person engaged in that work, to have access to information included in the database.

    Any office, employment of other work which is of such a kind that the person is or may be permitted or required to be given access to a database under section 12 of Children Act 2004.

    Off the top of my head I think these are the categories that refer to us and both of them state that these people would be permitted access etc to the databases. At no point do they suggest that even users who are not allowed access should be included.

    There's covering all your bases and there's taking things way beyond the point of reality.

    Next it'll be that if someone walks past they need a CRB check as they may just at some point break in!

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    The point out the delivery driver was that they enter the school, walk into reception, then exit. Upon the route they are unescorted. Which is where the problem lays.

    Again, I can't comment on your company, but surely you would say, all staff have been CRB checked, if you feel the cleaner isn't important enough to be CRB, then fine. You run the risk of them being a convicted paedophile who has physical access to your servers (which removes a layer of security), then that's your [companies] decision.

    FYI
    Most high streets CRB check everyone, including any temp [3rd party] cleaning staff.

    Basically my point is, if your happy everyone who needs to be CRB checked is check, then fine, put all staff are CRB checked on your homepage, at least then we can all laugh when it's on BBC News that you've been hacked by a known crimnal\ paedophile
    (Joke)


    (You have no idea how idea how safe I was playing my Google search to find the correct spelling of paedophile lol)

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    (You have no idea how idea how safe I was playing my Google search to find the correct spelling of paedophile lol)
    Oh the irony of misspelling criminal next to it!

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  13. #27

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    Hahaha

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    When considering an off-site solution I would need to cover the following points to my satisfaction before recommending it for further assessment:

    - who has access to the data at the remote premises?

    - are the servers/storage in a shared server room, and if so which other companies staff have access to the server room?

    - are all staff properly vetted? (should cover evryone with access to server room)

    - how is the data secured during transmission, capture, processing and reporting?

    - how is the data backed up, how often and where are the backups held?

    - how quickly can it be restored and how can I prove this?

    - what if the internet connection at there end is lost...are we toast?

    - how can the results be warranted as accurate against my SIMS data given that no direct access to SIMS data is possible for comparisons?

    - what happens to the data if the provider goes bust/loses interest/gets taken over etc?

    - who owns the intellectual property if the firm goes bust – it there any escrow covering this?

    - can I obtain explicit permission from each data subject before I send their personal data to an off-site company? Can I justift the time required to get this permission?

    - why are they not a SIMS partner…if they can’t/won’t pay £5k to become one do I want to send them my sensitive data?

    - price per pupil per year (must be LOW)

    - length of contract (I avoid multi-year lock-ins as requirements change and suppliers should fight for my money!)

    As well as technical, DPA and data security issues, I would also look into any company that I was considering sending sensitive data to:

    - how many staff and their roles i.e. if the main techie leaves where does that leave us...stranded?

    - when was the company founded?

    - who are the directors?

    - what is their track record in this field?

    I’d much prefer a SIMS-based solution that leaves the data where it is and uses the capability we’ve already paid for, backed by a company like Capita that’s been trading for more than a year or two.

    One of the ex-Business Objects consultants I bumped into recently pointed me at this from CACI which may be more my style:

    CACI - Education

    He says he worked on it a few years ago and that it runs against SIMS data without the need for exporting data and all the issues that brings.

    Anyone used it???

    I also hear from the same fellow that there is a SIMS-based enhanced reporting capability about to be announced by some ex-BO bods.

    Competition is always healthy imho :-)

  15. #29
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    I have just been asked to look at this as well. Has anyone else got any comments on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    I have just been asked to look at this as well. Has anyone else got any comments on this?
    Chris, feel free to register for a free no obligation demonstration of SISRA via our website: SISRA ONLINE : WEB BASED EXAM RESULTS ANALYSIS : HOME - we won't bite, honest!

    The demonstration will give you a very good feel as to how easy the service is to use.

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