There can only be one answer:-
- Online Reports in PDF format for AM7 and Profiles7 available to Parents Pupils and Staff.
- Report Card direct from Staff Class Register and available to Parents rtc
- Direct access to Beh/Ach Incidents from the Staff Class Registers etc etc
- and with the future in mind (Homework, Exams, Options etc etc)
- and with access for Staff, Pupils, Parents (maybe even Governors!?)
- Online Reports in PDF format for AM7 and Profiles7 available to Parents Pupils and Staff. - MCAS, Check!
- Report Card direct from Staff Class Register and available to Parents rtc - MCAS,Check!
- Direct access to Beh/Ach Incidents from the Staff Class Registers etc etc - MCAS and WebFolder, Check!
- and with the future in mind (Homework, Exams, Options etc etc) - Check (already in MCAS), check (next release of MCAS IIRC), check (also next release IIRC)
- and with access for Staff, Pupils, Parents (maybe even Governors!?) - Check, check, checkedy check.
Just keeping the playing field level.
Thanks for that John. Much as I expected.
Usual moral of the story - there is rarely ever one answer to a problem, and the marketplace always needs choice!! ;-)
I think you have to look carefully at the cost (total overall) and include training and development in that. We're going down the SLG route, but the time it's taken is ages, and it's going to cost us a bomb in the first 5 years, however, we'll end up with a full blown intranet/extranet, portal the works. We're building a car, but could have rented a decent vehicle for much less.
TWF can just be plugged in and working, require very little maintenance and is fully supported. SLG requires you (the school) to maintain a sharepoint server the related hardware, and the technological know-how to keep it up-to-date, running and secure. You have to consider more than just what you can use it for.
Also, as has been shown, when the feature set is the same or similar, you can look at how well something is done. The look and feel of TWF works off the bat, whereas SLG can do the same but it will take a lot of dev'ing, or paying someone to pretty it up.
The point i wanted to make, in response to your post was simply, i don't think you need to shy away from 3rd party apps. In fact they are very innovative and can do some really funky things.
A few years ago at BETT, i saw some amazing display boards, for putting in school foyer / staff room. They utilised Capita SLG webparts and some custom webparts + coding to pull data out of SIMS and create an Awesome display board for staff and visitors. Something you wouldn't dream of when you think of SLG and it's plain (my opinion) interface.
SLG can be hosted by the school, LA or Capita.
A school would host SLG if it wanted to develop Microsoft Learning Gateway as part of a holistic experience probably as a subsitutute for a VLE, document management system, its own web site and email system. Many LAs host SLG and that gives the advantage of shared infrastructure costs and of course parents only need one log in across the whole LA - it also gives the other advanatgaes. Capita can host SLG and do most of the management for you and this saves schools the infrastructure costs.
SLG can take on your school look and feel - I agree that our original web parts were "workman like" but things have come a long long way since then.
It seems that SLG is just sharepoint dressed up from Capita? I think the schools I have spoken to about Bromcom SD products have a much richer output. It also appears that SLG requires a lot more technical know how, not much use for a primary school with a limited budget.
The Bromcom SD products can report on the existing sims.net database. It seems that schools are like sheep they will follow the wrong route sometimes. Just because its Capita does not mean you are getting a quality product.
I am going to advise my contact to look at the Bromcom soloution and report back to this forum how fast they can have this up and running.
We are moving so slow in this country to provide school with a data information output in simple terms.
What many have not considered either is the effect of the BSF agreements which forces us into an extortionately expensive Hosted ICT Service for 5 years. Something that I tried to fight at the time. What happened to best value???
Unfortunately, I was a loan voice in the wilderness.
Fortunately, I have now been instrumental in helping our Hosting company in getting SLG fully functional, with the help of the Capita Support Staff!
(The contractors moved on-site just after Spring Bank and by September part of the school will be in the temporaray accommodation!)
Sivadam, Have you got behaviour events that show parents the teacher's name and lesson details? Because we can't get that to show even though it's recorded in SIMS. So we have 1000+ parents who were used to ePortal for 4 years who are now pretty cross that on our SLG replacement the behaviour events make no sense to them.
The other downside of SLG for us has been the need for active directory provisioning which, thanks to the input of our LA (CIA level security) and tardiness of our BSF supplier, and the SIMS insistence on only provisioning those with Parental Responsibility (so long grandma and aunty Flo!) has been a nightmare to administer. ePortal was just a website with a password. Dead easy to run. You could generate reports and mail merge to send out whole year group of users.
You are quite correct that Teacher Names and Lesson Details of the Incident do not appear on SLG. I believe that this is by design. If they were available then this school would hide this detail in the same way that we hide Comments, Action etc etc. What is showing on the Conduct Summary is a 'Summary'.
Should you wish extra fields to be added then lodge a CR! And before anybody says that these are not 'listened to' then please consult SupportNet re. the SLG Software Consultation meetings. These usually discuss CRs as part of their normal agenda. Hopefully, I will be attending one of the meetings! I'll even support your CR in advance of this - providing you ask that it is 'optional' i.e. can be hidden!
As for your reference to managed services - I share your frustrations. But should you really be giving access to pupil data to 'Auntie Flo? What about the data protection guidelines? Non-Parents who have PR can be provisioned for SLG, as far as I am aware! Anybody without PR should not be given access to pupil data!
(PS - the ''availlble available'' that you may see above is NOT was is typed into the post. I have even tried deleting one and there is only one instance of the word 'available' in the actual post! )
Last edited by Sivadam; 22nd June 2011 at 03:39 PM.
Just had a look: CR 1101-838092 26th January pretty much says it all and has 23 votes (now 25! :-) ) but hang on... that's 5 months ago.
Of course it must be configurable, but I have parents emailing me daily asking for event details. If a teacher says "no equipment" the parents don't know if it was gym shoes or a protractor. Which is useless. So they then phone / email the school. Which makes the web access a waste of time...
GeneralDreedle (28th June 2011)
Wow, old thread!
Just to add to the mix would PARS from TASC do a similar job?
Quackers (13th December 2013)
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