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MIS Systems Thread, Getting started in Technical; Hello everyone, I'm a new member and would like to ask a few questions and pick a few brains re ...
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    Getting started

    Hello everyone, I'm a new member and would like to ask a few questions and pick a few brains re finding training with the SIMS and CMIS systems.
    Currently a single unemployed mum looking to get back to work, i'm looking for something within a school or college, my
    background work history is office based, did go down the road of training as Classroom Assistant but unable to continue
    as it's going to take another two years to get to level 3 TA status, pressures on to find work know, so having to go back to what i know, unfortunately have know knowledge of working with schools computer systems. Have been looking
    on-line for training courses but they seem to be geared up for those already working in a school setting, if anyone can
    shed any light on how to gain access to any of these courses (SIMS or CMIS) without being in a school setting i'd
    appreciate it.

    Many thanks Lorraine

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    creese's Avatar
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    In regard to SIMS. There are no online courses and you cannot, legitimately, get the training manuals. You could try the local support team or LA who might squeeze you into some courses, or you may have to pay. We have in the past trained potential employees for free, if space allows.

  3. Thanks to creese from:

    Lorraine (7th September 2011)

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    Thanks Creese,
    Am i right in assuming you mean Local Authority when you said LA, i'll also look into what info i can get from the
    local support team.
    Just find it's a catch 22 situation, schools won't take you on a voluntary basis as you need a CRB check and there not
    willing to pay for it and the only way of getting experience is by doing voluntary work within a school setting. I suppose
    i'll just have to keep knocking doors until someone opens the right one and gives me a start... But thanks anyway.

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    creese's Avatar
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    Sorry, yes, Local Authority.

    It is difficult.

    Rules on CRBs have changed recently, I'm not entirely sure how much they have been relaxed for someone in your position.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    If you're working towards TA status, wont they fund a CRB? You may have to do it yourself to get a foot in the door.
    by the way.

    There is a lot to learn here, though it might not make sense. All (hopefully) SIMS related threads for 2011 have been tagged and you can filter the thread from the options at the bottom.

    It's worth asking the IT team at a school if they want a volunteer, even if it's after hours. So long as you are not in contact with kids and / or are escorted about the premises, you could be seen as a visitor to the school, and fit into the grey area where CRB isn't required. I'm sure @GrumbleDook will shoot me down with the legalities.

    If you ask around at schools, especially now at the start of term when it's busy, you may find someone that needs extra help, certainly primaries where they necessarily have SIMS staff. If you could prove you're competent, keen, and willing to learn and help them, you may get a foot in the door.

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    Lorraine (7th September 2011)

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    Hi Vikpaw, thanks for the welcome and your advise, i do have a current CRB certificate from the classroom assistant course i was on, it runs out this december (think they last for 3yrs then need renewing), i have had a break from the school i was volunteering in so not sure if it's still valid, i assumed CRB would be needed even if i had no contact with the children as i'd have access to all their relevant personal information, not sure though, i suppose it's worth having a word with the schools admin manager to see if they'd allow me to do some voluntary work within the office allowing me to train up on the data system they have be it SIMS or CMIS, your idea of doing out of hours is good unfortunately i have a 7yr old so thats a no no, but thanks anyway, it's like you said, it's a matter of just getting your foot in the door somewhere, even if it is only voluntary.

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    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorraine View Post
    It's a matter of just getting your foot in the door somewhere
    Yes but don't do it literally like the foreign lady who was almost demanding a cleaning job at the school I was visiting earlier, in what little English she had.

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    Oh dear, I'll try and remember to keep my feet and hands out the way, i'm desperate to find work within a school or college but far from stupid lol, i bet the poor women hobbled home OUCH !!

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    creese's Avatar
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    Anyone remember Yosser Hughes from Boy's from the blackstuff?



    How not to get a job.

    Seriously though... It's difficult to get trained without a job and difficult to get a job without training. There is no easy answer, hopefully you will have a sympathetic SIMS Support Team within easy reach with free space on a course, it's worth asking.

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    You need a new CRB for each position that you have. It seems a bit crazy but my girlfriend had to complete 4 for various jobs she had in the same school last year. Although I'm not sure how it is for people wanting to volunteer. I'm not sure you would be able to get it in SIMS or CMIS while vonunteering due to the data you would have access to. However as your history is office based you could offer your services in supporting some of the office/Admin staff and see if you could gain some experience in school environment. That would probably give you an insight into the depth of knowledge required for jobs you would be interested in.

    I've known a few people volunteer at schools and they have generally been quite good in so far that the school spent time in training people because they proved they were an asset to them. Also being in a school environment can help when other local jobs come up as everyone seems to know each other.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by penfold; 7th September 2011 at 04:34 PM.

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    Lorraine (7th September 2011)

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    At the moment, yes, you will need a fresh CRB to volunteer in a new school. Visiting a school for the purposes of a limited task (eg authors) has recently had clarifications but if you are going into a school on a regular basis then a CRB is needed. If you are looking at doing anything with the MIS (or other systems with information / files / data) then the school will definitely want that CRB, as well as possible references to make sure they cover themselves.

    Volunteers are welcome in schools and are a good thing. It might be that you could ask the Governors if they could support payment for your CRB in return for you volunteering for a set period ... I have seen it dne this way before. If you are not fixed on volunteering in a specific school then it might be worth you contacting your local Governor Services to see if they are aware of any schools needing volunteers.

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    Way back in yester-year I was in a full-time IT support job with nights, weekends and on-call... not great with 2 small children and when we could afford it, I gave up work for a while.

    I volunteered at my kids primary running the Library and then got paid as a Lunchtime Supervisor. Not much money, but the valuable CRB and a foot in the door. CRBs in Kent are done throough the LA (KCC) and are transferrable between KCC schools... unfortunately that means they're not transferrable to Academies which have to do their own CRB checks.

    Then came the day the network got a virus... Ofsted were due in 3 days later, the IT support guy who came in 1 day a week was ill and I admitted I knew what to do... I ended up on the school's payroll for IT duties. I've changed schools since.

    What I'm trying to say is that a small start can lead to much bigger opportunities and tere are always vacancies for Dinner ladies. schools have a very high turn-over of them!

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    If someone volunteered to work in my IT dept in return for all the LA provided SIMS courses I would jump at the chance.
    Write to as many school tech depts and head teachers as you can find in your local area!

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    I was thinking that if you could get a foot in the door, you would have access to SIMS manuals, videos, training etc. Without accessing the live data, though if as suggested you can get the right CRB you need there will be someone willing to snap you up.

    It might be worth asking the LA or the local SIMS support team too, as they may be looking for keen staff, or be willing to share some of their training documents, especially if you are volunteering with a school.

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