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MIS Systems Thread, LA pressure to go with SLG in Technical; ...
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    LA pressure to go with SLG

    We have been looking for parent on line reporting / VLE. The LA is pressurising us to go for SIMS Learning Gateway. However, most of the staff agrees with me that SIMS LG isn’t as user friendly and certainly too complex for parents use in comparison to the other systems we have seen. But it wouldn’t make sense to pay for a different system when the LA will be clawing back our funds centrally for SLG. Has anyone elses school experienced anything similar to what we are facing with our LA??

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Really?

    SLG isn't too bad IMO - especially once its been skinned and made to look a bit more friendly - it is based on sharepoint after all.

    Have they got a test enviroment you can play with before making the jump

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    dsm
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    Hi Ami,

    Which LEA are you in? Ours is similar. They should, in my opinion, be impartial but unfortunately they have developed their own collaboration portal - not a VLE. When schools approach the LEA for advice, they are directed to the LEA's offering.

    Regards

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    Well we are a school that has opted out of SIMS Support by the LA to get direct support via Capita. We have opted into a 3 year deal with Capita having using SLG for the past year since SLG2 was released!
    The LA is now currently looking at providing a hosted SLG Service - partly as a result of our experiences!
    I think the system is good and getting better with each upgrade!

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    we use Fronter for VLE and have SLG in the process of being deployed to parents. SLG seems OK. We have it internally hosted and are now using Sharepoint for our Intranet. With SLG we got a tool called ADP which we're now using to automate the creation of user ids from SIMs by our admin staff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Well we are a school that has opted out of SIMS Support by the LA to get direct support via Capita. We have opted into a 3 year deal with Capita having using SLG for the past year since SLG2 was released!
    The LA is now currently looking at providing a hosted SLG Service - partly as a result of our experiences!
    I think the system is good and getting better with each upgrade!
    Why did you opt-out? Surely getting the license from your LA would be cheaper, even after you get top up support from Capita?

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    The LA can only recommend what VLE you choose and can not force you as a school. We didn't go with the LA solution and setup our own sharepoint install with SIMS web parts. A lot of schools we originally went with the LA solution are now pulling out 2 years into the scheme.

    As you have mentioned - the LA will no doubt top slice a percentage of your harnessing technology money, but its more better to have a system you are comfortable with then to have to put up with something that in your heart and head you didn't really want!

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    Matt,

    The difference in costs is negligible. I was fed up with my Support cases bouncing back and forth via the LA Support team, Capita Support and the school. I was regularly getting back standard answers and routines that I had run before logging a case. The LA has had no expertise in Nova, which I have used since it's DOS days. We had to buy into Lesson Monitor as an extra which meant we had direct Support from Capita for that particular module anyway. We were the first in the city to go for SLG and then obviously had direct support for that. At the time we were one of the Field Trial schools for Cover7 and so that was also supported directly. It seemed stupid to have two different points of reference for different parts of the system - especially when I have more expertise in most areas than existed within the LA Support Team (no offence meant in that statement).
    Not wishing to sound big-headed, but the expertise I possess meant that I was getting little or no support whatsoever from the LA Team as Cases I usually log are Software faults/errors that I understand better than most and which, invariable, lead to patches being developed for the school, as well as other schools that also experience the same faults. I am deeply involved with UAT Testing for the SIMS software, regulary attend SIMS Software Update meetings and workshops arranged by Capita and wanted to apply for the SIMS Schools Partnership Award, which has since been awarded to the school.

    The direct support I have received from Capita has been nothing short of excellent. I assume that this is partly due to the fact that I understand the system so thoroughly and any case I log is done so thoroughly, including all the steps I have taken to resolve the particular issue and any workrounds that I have been able to produce. Some of my workrounds have actually become official KBs for the software. Anybody using SupportNet ought to be aware of who I am via my avatar and my contribution there is testamy to my expertise.

    I have a good working relationship with the LA and withdrawing from LA Support in no way reflects the service that they provide to other schools in the city. Indeed, the LA have recommended to other schools that they come and see how we do things for certain aspects of SIMS. And, as outlined above, reps from the LA visited us in the Summer Holiday to investigate SLG and how we have set up the system for use with Staff & Parents. I have no doubt that we will be consulted further if the LA progress towards an LA Hosted service for SLG.
    Last edited by Sivadam; 6th November 2009 at 09:53 PM.

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