Just read this thread through. Interesting the number of people who are apparently happy to come up with 'workarounds' to get round the failings of the MIS. Okay if you were paying 150 quid a year, you might expect to have to do that. But these systems are very expensive; I could buy a decent car for what some schools are paying annually for their MIS. Would I be happy to pay £20k for a car, only to find that it did not do left turns and I had to ‘workaround’ that by doing three right turns? I think not. Of course there is the argument "well, what's the alternative?". Good point, SIMS, CMIS, E1, Integris are all very expensive and all have their own drawbacks, so you might as well stick with what you know, workarounds an all, is the reasoning. Sometimes you just get so used to a way of working that you don’t question it.
Or, you could go for an OS solution. With all respect to Scholarpack, OS MIS solutions don't really offer a viable alternative at the moment. Simply hard coding a GUI onto a database, for example, does not produce a solution flexible enough for the changing and varied demands of schools. Plus there is the worry about lack of support, documentation and training etc associated with OS solutions.
What is clear is that things cannot go on as they are. I don't think schools are any longer willing to be relieved of large sums of money for inadequate software and service. I agree with GeneralDreedle's sentiments: