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MIS Systems Thread, SLG... not impressed in Technical; grrr If you let staff use poor passwords, then you'll have issues with every system they use, regardless of whether ...
  1. #16
    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    If you let staff use poor passwords, then you'll have issues with every system they use, regardless of whether it is hosted externally or not.
    The sad part is we don't let them use poor passwords, we enforce complexity... it doesn't stop it being a crud password... even with cycling passwords 90 days, you get variations of the same password.

    I don't let staff eat over laptops but they still do it... point is, policies only do so much... taking the initiative and adding an extra layer of security isn't exactly a big ask and IMO something they should have considered - I'm sure they deal with enough teachers to understand why. Why risk the data?
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 25th March 2010 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #17

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    In terms of the OP request - will always depend on your local priorities/restrictions in terms of network setup/security concerns etc and whether you want something that just works straight off or something you have full control over and can tailor till the cows come in, but...

    in terms of solutions that will talk live into SIMS, if you want to host something in-house, I agree with mortstar - Insight seems a really nice simple implementation that looks like it will pretty well work straight out of the box and has (to me) one especially nice feature that "they say" allows the Word .xml report documents from the DocServer (Individual or Profiles) to be displayed as html on the fly. Looks like they only support in-house approach though. Big plus - its as "cheap as chips" compared to other solutions!

    If you want remotely hosted and maintained, Bromcom's MyChildAtSchool also have a live link to SIMS and puts SLG to shame in terms of how well the data is presented IMHO.

    These are personal impressions based on extended demonstration or hands-on to demo systems, not a live user, so take with a pinch of salt and make your own enquiries and judgements.

    Other systems are out there for "on-line reporting" but most I think are tied in to a vendors learning platform/VLE and I'm not sure whether any can be used in isolation.

  3. #18

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    Shame that you had a 'unfortunate' initial experience with the personnel concerned. We've been running SLG, hosted by our LA, and it has really helped engage parents.
    Teachers benefit too. It really helped us out during January when the school shut because of snow, and happened to coincide with spring report writing.
    I wouldn't let one bad (conversational) experience put you off.

  4. #19
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    It seems that the 'Watching Brief' I gave myself (as per thread: 'SIMS.net tabulated reg group report') has to be broken after a very short time in deed. Mind you - I did allude to responding to this sort of thread.

    Why are people basing their opinions of SLG on the 'demos' and second-hand conversations now that there are a goodly number of schools using SLG in a variety of different ways?

    We have been up and running for Staff & Parents via SLG virtually since SLG2 was released and I have no complaints about it whatsoever! Any issues that it may have origianlly had are being (or have been) addressed. The planned new look and feel for parents, coupled with the publishing of AM7 & Profiles Reports to .pdf format, together with the rest of the enhancements planned for the next few upgrades, will also greatly enhance the product. I advise anybody with doubts to: 'Get out there and see it in action at schools that are using it to it's full capacity.'.

    I had to introduce SLG without any specialised technical help in the school at the time, due to a long-term illness, and I ain't technically minded in any way, shape or form. There were few difficulties and Capita Support were extremely helpful with any that did occur - especially in getting our Broadband provider to open the correct ports for the correct IP Addresses etc. - something I failed in dismally!

    For me, the product is excellent and we now have many satisfied Staff and Parents using it. This satisfaction can only increase with the Upgrades due by Autumn 2010.

    I have had several schools visit us to see how SLG is setup - and I don't pretend that we are using it to it's full capacity. A couple of these schools have VLEs that also supposedly fulfill the Parental Engagement criteria, but are just not delivering what the VLEs promised. They saw from their visits here that SLG does meet these criteria right now and will be doing so to an even higher level by Autumn 2010!

    Last Friday we came out of Special Measures. I am not saying that this was due to SLG, but SLG has certainly played it's part - as have the many other procedures that we put into place, many of which were based on our SIMS procedures.

    (Having said my piece - back to my watching brief!)
    Last edited by Sivadam; 28th March 2010 at 05:01 PM.

  5. #20
    Cmd.exe's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Sivadam

    We've have had SLG for over 18 months and it has been great. It has been well received by parents, many of whom log on more than once a day to check lesson attendance and call us to correct errors in our data! Certainly it encourages dialogue between parents and the school, which i'm sure was the point in the first place.

    It's not perfect, but we've had very few problems and anything we've raised with Capita has been swiftly rectified.

    Even the staff here (who will happily moan about any platform) have to admit the functionality it offers them at home for report writing and marksheets, etc, is irreplaceable.

  6. #21

    timbo343's Avatar
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    Can I just add my thoughts on this...

    I went to a Capita Demo/Technical course on Wednesday in Manchester about this, it was FREE for sims customers and there was all sorts of different people with different job roles that attended and i must say that the course made everything ALOT clearer and we have decided to go down, well 85% decided to go down the hosted option and then we may look at hosting it ourselves in the future but that is a fairway in the future.

    As for the speed, the speed is only determinded by how fast your upload connection is as im sure that capita have a pretty good connection. Our is about 768K so i can see it been a bit slow but thats because our BT exchange is crap. I don't fancy looking after all the parent logins and possible kid logins. Plus capita said that their logon password are very complex and will ask each school in terms of preferred usernames and they will be soon be going to 2 factor authentication to access the data and yes, teachers accessing the data at home will have a different username and password t what they use at home, but they will have to deal with it at the mo.

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