Where would we submit this feedback?
The 'Funding for Independent Schools' magazine are putting together an MIS systems - primarily those commonly used by Independent Schools.
It may be worth putting your views on the different systems that you have experience on if they decide to use this forum as a resource.
Suggest items such as cost, features, maintenance, support, compatibility, system requirements and how the various users perceive it etc.
Just because something is commonly used or a market leader doesn't make it good or not a headache to administer.
Where would we submit this feedback?
I would post them here. Then Funding magazine can pick them up from here and they are also visible for others to use to make an informed decision.
You may find this link interesting. The newsletter talks about funding ICT in prep schools.
Disclaimer: There's an article about ScholarPack but that's not why I'm posting it. Honest
We're so far in the dark ages with MIS that we may as well have quill pens. I'd love to know what other smaller indpendents are using.
We are small independent, about 400 pupils; using SchoolBase; I have done a bit of "due diligence" and I'm pretty convinced we are using the right system. PM me if you want detail
Would appreciate the OP linking to finished article when done - what's the timeframe?
Funding magazine have been made aware of this thread but whether they will act is another matter entirely.
I have only read the magazine as a paper edition. I don't know if there is an online version. It is largely a marketing magazine so It would be good if there could be some real world perspective that was available to counter the marketing guff.
My personal opinion is that many independent schools are relatively small, but the requirements for IT systems and support needed to run the MIS systems are often an overlooked yet significant additional expense.
The administrative staff can be easily wooed by nice features but the cost from the it budget to support this can be a huge cost. We got caught out by the new staff portal. Nice on paper but totally omitted from the product coatings was the cost of the SQL server license.
I'm the editor of Funding for Independent Schools magazine. We are running a survey on MIS systems in our next edition published in April. Questionnaires have been sent out to suppliers to provide comparative information on their software so that schools can compare relative functionality and tools. It would be great if edugeek site users could provide some (non-libellous!) observations about their own MISs.
Funding for Independent Schools is read by bursars and heads at independent schools in the UK, so is not an IT-specific publication. It covers strategic and financial issues.
Many thanks for your help!
Being as we were asked............................!
SIMS is excellent! It (or it's partners) covers virtually every aspect of School Administration and underpins Teaching & Learning. Support for the software, direct from Capita, is nothing short of first class!
As most on here will say tho' - I am biased!
Now over to the rest of you to praise the product you use. I hope that nobody attacks SIMS as a result of this post because then I will have to argue the point. It would be nice if the positives of all systems could be solely addressed, for a change!
Last edited by Sivadam; 22nd February 2011 at 12:31 PM.
We're a small(~360 pupil) prep/preprep running Sims.net & previously Hebron. We make use of the Assessments, Fees Billing, NovaT, Profiles, Attendance and Admissions modules of Sims with great success. We had many initial teething problems and find that sometimes things aren't as intuitive as we'd like but on the whole its been accepted by both Office and Teaching staff.
Edit - I believe we are paying around £8k/yr for this along with FMS/Earnie32
Last edited by Jamman960; 22nd February 2011 at 02:54 PM. Reason: adding costings
Since the magazine is about funding, could you let us know how much you are paying for that? We know a small independent that was quoted £5k for 80 pupils - that was the cheapest they could find.
Well, while I take a more objective view than Sivadam, I will say that while SIMS is my only experience of an education MIS, there is virtually nothing the schools I have and do work with, need that SIMS does not supply, either out of the box or with the minor of tweaks.
My role often is to ensure that schools are getting the most out of their purchase of (SIMS) their MIS, ensuring that as much of the school administration and recording is managed through such a system. I cannot say how well this does against other providers as I have no experience of them. Pricing is always a contentious issue when SIMS is mentioned, and so I'll leave that well alone, as will I on the subject of the ongoing argument about the integration of it's various modules, which is one of the best features SIMS has: Everything works, together.
Support direct is always excellent (bypassing comments about LEAs! School who has just moved to Capita direct support was 5 versions behind when I went in...) and their roadmap for improvement and new features is generally quite exciting!
Of course, general staff will have varying opinions on its complexity, usefulness etc, and again this is where it is important to not only manage expectations, but also to work with the staff at all levels to get them on board with how it can help in their daily lives (at work), encouraging them to make it useful. Sorry, off topic sort of there.
Is this magazine available to view online anywhere?
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