We currently have IEP Writer to allow staff to generate Individual Education Plans for students.
IEP Writer was bought out by Capita and they have since stopped developing it with no intention to develop it further.
What I am after is a piece of IEP software that allows staff to generate IEPs and that 'talks' to SIMS so that the IEPs can be saved against students records in SIMS.
Obviously we could create IEPs in Word and then attach them to students records in SIMS but we want something a bit smarter than that.
I remember a few years ago a school purchased IEP Writer v3 which was very expensive considering what it does. As far as I am aware, there's a module you can purchase which works directly with Sims.
The IEP version 3 of the software can be used as a stand alone piece of software or can be used within sims.
When i say within, i mean it can be opened from within sims where certain details are pulled from the SIMS database and populate fields in IEP writer.
The IEP can then be written and then saved back to sims and will appear in an IEP panel in the SEN area.
The IEP module needs to be purchased and you get the CD and a licence activator (to reveal the IEP panel and configuration areas)
Hope this helps.
As I understood it, IEP Writer extracted the data from SIMS and created a link to the software from within SIMS as you say. However, IEP Writer does not write back to SIMS, it simply saves the IEPs as Word files on a network share. Is this correct?
I'd started writing a reply then spotted SteveB had hit the nail on the head.
I knew Capita bought out IEP writer, we had to purchase it direct from Capita.
I don't think development has stopped (although if it is developed as fast as the replacement for the archaic system manager you might be waiting a while for any changes :p)
AFAIK it does what they need it to do in the SEN department, but they are not the best users for actually reporting problems!
Also you get a choice of licensing options (1 user, 5 users or site from memory), we had the usual line "we only need it on one computer, it will only be accessed by [our SEN coordinator]". Despite our warnings they insisted on 1 licence, I'm sure you can guess the next request we had about it when another member of staff saw it in action...
You can click New from SIMS that will open up IEP Writer.
Originally Posted by dsm
You Then complete the IEP whihc can be printed, filed, saved as word
Then you go File | Return and the file is uploaded to SIMS and stored in Panel 8 under IEP.
This can then be viewed by anyone on a SIMS system that also has IEP installed.
How are people finding IEPWriter? I'm having a look at our SEN stuff as part of the whole "let's do everything with SIMS ad unify data management" plan, so I'd be interested to hear if people find it productive/unproductive/whatever.
As far as the licensing side goes, I personally would push for a site licence; if you want to offer inclusive provision to pupils, you need all classroom teachers to be aware of things for good lesson planning and personalised education (IMnsHO!).
I actually went and asked the SEN Coordinator here about it after reading this thread, she said that she is very happy with it. I fortunately don't have to worry too much about it as its not the kind of tool I use.
One possible problem I could see with having access to this type of data in every classroom is if a member of staff looks at information when they shouldn't (i.e. when the projector is turned on and not "frozen" and SIMS/IEP data is displayed on a whiteboard in front of a whole class) - worth considering when any training is given out.
The whiteboard thing is a big issue. Making best use of SEN information means using it to inform classroom practice and lesson planning, which means making it easily accessible to teaching staff. I think training and making people aware of the issues is the best way of countering the problem of sensitive information appearing on the whiteboard: how do you make sure that it never happens?
Also one thing to note apparently senco is starting to move away from IEPs so I am told so we are running old IEP Writer until it dies vrs paying for something that won't be used in future.
We train staff to put a lesson starter on the board and then "freeze" the projector before doing the register in SIMS. Currently they do not have access to IEP writer from the classroom so we don't worry about that aspect, but I do have some concerns that some sensitive data is being displayed on boards in front of kids.
Basically there is only so much you can do and often the only way you can spot a problem is if you happen to be in (or passing) a classroom when something like that happens. I do put a note in the staff handbook and cover it in all training sessions for new staff so hopefully we're covered pretty well.
If anyone has any other tips for getting this message across it would be great to hear them!
Thanks for the comment Russ - that is news to me as it was our senco who wanted IEP writer. Do you know if that is your particular senco who is moving away from IEP or is this a trend that is likely to affect lots of people?
Given IEPs are being superceeded by Provision Maps, does anyone know of any software that supports this and ideally links to SIMS?
I get the feeling I could write a report in SIMS that will populate an IEP template and just save as a linked doc (and save a pile of money)?
Look at Blue Hills Software.
Capita are surrently looking at updating this particular part of SIMS i.e. a replacement for IEP Writer to be incorporated (I believe) into the new reporting procedures.
Thanks for that. BlueHills Provision Map Writer is ticking lots of boxes for us but can't write back to SIMS in a more intelligent way than manually linking a document (as far as I can see). If we want to encourage teachers to get all their info on pupils from the MIS then ideally it would populate SIMS SEN fields for needs, provisions, reviews etc.
IEPwriter populates some basic details from SIMS, allows teachers to customise the report template, offers suggestions of targets etc and saves as an IEP linked document in SIMS. There are no management tools and its not going to support this move towards 'provision mapping'.
There seems to be demand for an IEP tool that can write back to SEN fields in the MIS like ‘Review’ and has management features that a SENCO can use to keep track which teachers are up to date with termly IEPs or report on the resources they need to provide/cost to meet IEP targets. I dont think its included in PARS, I'll ask TASC if they plan to offer anything like this - they seem to be the only 3rd party that have developed stuff that truely integrates with SIMS in terms of database reads and writes.