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July Newsletter – The lastest SIMS news and updates from School ICT

By 6th July 2020 July 7th, 2020 No Comments

As we approach the end of the Summer Term, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe summer break.

This term has certainly been unique, and we would like to thank you for your continued support.

For those that have not yet had the chance, don't forget there's a range of School ICT webinars, videos and guidance notes for you to view via the Customer Portal, please take a look at these newly available resources.

Reminder – End of Year procedures

A reminder that the new academic year can now be set up ready for September. Guidance and webinars on how to do this are available on the Customer Portal via Knowledge base/Categories/End of Year and Knowledgebase/Categories/Webinars. https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/

Exam Results and SIMS Summer release 2020

Results Available to Centres: –

  • – Wednesday 12th August 2020 – GCE, FSMQ Extended Project
  • – Wednesday 19th August 2020 – GCSE, ELC Foundation and Higher Projects

As you will be aware, summer 2020 examinations were cancelled due to serious infection concerns relating to the Covid-19 outbreak. Centres were asked to send estimated grades instead. We are expecting the provision and download of results to remain the same as in previous years and we’re sure you’ll be preparing to ensure a successful results day. In order to help with this, we have created some resources, these are available to download from the Knowledgebase on our Customer Portal. https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/  If you do not have a login please contact the Helpdesk on: 0345 2226802 or email: helpdesk@schoolicts.co.uk

 Provision of Additional Reports in SIMS Exams – Sims Summer Release 2020

  • – Tools | Examinations | Candidate Statement of Results Report
  • – Tools | Examinations | Certification Broadsheet Report

The Candidate Statement of Results and the Certification Broadsheet reports will be accessible from Exams in SIMS as well as in Exams Organiser from the Summer release.

The versions of these reports display a more comprehensive grade description. The following short videos from Capita outline the new functionality.

SIMS Summer 2020 Product Update Exams Candidate Statement of Results

https://capita-cs.s3.amazonaws.com/web/dyk/S7-SIMS-Summer-2020-Product-Update-Exams-Candidate-Statement-of-Results.mp4

SIMS Summer 2020 Product Update Exams Broadsheet

https://capita-cs.s3.amazonaws.com/web/dyk/S7-SIMS-Summer2020-Product+Update-Exams-Broadsheet.mp4

Capita have also produced a Results Day Survival Kit which can be downloaded via the link below:

http://simspublications.com/913728/assets/mgresultsdaysurvivalkit.pdf

  • – JCQ Restricted release information link below:

https://jcq.org.uk/exams-office/results-and-certification/release-of-resultsjune-2020/

  • – We have scheduled some online training courses to assist with Managing Exam Results Days. If these are of interest to you then please follow the link below: –

https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/online-training/

Sending Exam Results Securely to Students via InTouch

Did you know that you can email exam results to students securely using SIMS InTouch? Please click on the below link for full details: –

Sending Exam Results using InTouch

Microsoft Office Specialist

Did you know that School ICT is an official Microsoft Testing Centre for the Office Specialist exams?

The training is all online and can be studied at your own pace over the period of a year.

If you would be interested in training and gaining a Microsoft qualification in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook or Access, then please contact Helen in the SIMS Team on: 0345 222 6802 (Option 1)

Congratulations to Andy Sykes on passing all his Microsoft exams to become our first Microsoft Office Specialist Master Trainer!

SIMS Primary – The next generation of SIMS

SIMS Primary is Capita’s cloud-based version of SIMS, allowing access to SIMS from any device with an internet connection, currently only available for Primary schools but there is a secondary version in development.

Although not yet fully released, we are offering interested schools the ability to pilot the new version alongside your existing SIMS!

For more information and to see a demo please log into our customer portal (my.schoolicts.co.uk) and navigate to Webinars, once there, scroll to the bottom and you will see a webinar recording on SIMS Primary. If you do not have portal access, please let us know and we can get you setup.

To discuss SIMS Primary in more detail or to gain access to our customer portal please contact the Helpdesk.

New Academic Year Reminder

Just a reminder that the New Academic Year and Promotion must be completed before schools reopen in September.

Further guidance on this process can be downloaded from the Customer Portal via Knowledgebase/Categories/End of Year where you can also access webinar recordings on setting up your new year for both Primary and Secondary phases. If you need any assistance with these procedures, please contact the Helpdesk on 0345 2226802.

Course Manager

As the end of the 2019 / 2020 academic year approaches and new timetables are applied in SIMS, it is important not to forget to do some housekeeping in Course Manager. 

Making sure that it’s tidy, (and correct), before the new timetable takes effect in September will pay dividends and if you are a secondary school with a sixth form, save hours of work when administering the October census.

Here are our top tips: –

  • Check that each course has the correct level assigned by your timetabler. 
  • That it has the correct QN attached.
  • That it is linked to the exam award and has planned hours attached (for sixth form courses). 
  • Check for any yellow boxes.
  • Most importantly, run the “update course memberships” routine.

If you need any help, please give the Helpdesk a call but don’t forget to log in to our customer portal and access the knowledge base as it has videos and articles that can help with this task!

Autumn School Census 01/10/2020

The Main Changes to School Census Autumn 2020: – 

  • – Attendance Data collected in the census will be removed when uploaded into COLLECT
  • – Exclusions – these will be collected for the whole of academic year 2019/20 – 01/09/19 to 31/07/2020
  • – All permanent and fixed term exclusions will be collected
  • – Free school meal eligibility will be collected for the period from 17/01/20 until 01/10/20

Leavers

The SIMS application will continue to include any leaver that has an attendance and/or exclusions date to report, but will also include any other leaver with a DOB between 01/09/2003 and the 31/08/2015 (inclusive), who has a DOL between 01/01/2020 and 31/07/2020 (inclusive) and is not a boarder on the census reference date.

By adding this extra requirement to the specification, the DfE has ensured that they will receive data on pupils who left the school in the spring term, e.g. leavers in the spring term who would have been included in School Census Summer 2020 because of attendance in the spring term, if that census had gone ahead.

  • – As you probably know, the first time you use Tools | Statutory Return Tools | Update Post Looked After Arrangements after applying a SIMS 7 release it will allow the date entered for the previous release to be pulled through. So, once the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2020 is applied a school will be able to pull through the data entered for the SIMS 7 Spring Release 2020.

Unfortunately, this means that schools who did not apply the SIMS 7 Spring Release 2020*1 before applying the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2020 will find that there is nothing to be pulled through.  If this situation occurs, any relevant data entered for previous releases will need to be re-entered.  If this may be an issue, we advise applying the SIMS 7 Spring Release 2020 and updating PLAA as necessary before applying the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2020.

Latest Webinars

We still have a couple of webinars remaining before the end of term which can be booked via our website: –

  • Dinner Money 7 Year End Setup on the 10th July
  • How to Avoid Common Mistakes on the 15th July

We’ll also be holding Best Practice in SIMS webinars for both Primary and Secondary schools in the Autumn term, you can register your interest through the events page on our website: –

https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/latest-events/

School ICT Resourcing

Sign up to our SOS List!

Our SOS list is a monthly newsletter for those emergency staff issues, providing a definitive group of admin staff ready to ‘Support Our Schools’. Sign-up below via the School ICT Resourcing website, you never know when you might need it! 

https://www.schoolictresourcing.co.uk/sos-list/

We are currently recruiting for a variety of roles. If you have knowledge of SIMS and / or previous experience of working in a school environment we’d love to hear from you! The opportunities we have need varying levels of expertise from simple reception duties through to more complex Finance administration and even care takers.

We offer flexible working hours in term time only with both part-time and full-time options, excellent rates of pay and holiday pay. If you would like to talk to us about these roles or any other non-teaching opportunities then please contact us.

Visit: http://www.schoolictresourcing.co.uk, e-mail: helen.goddard@schoolictresourcing.co.uk  or call Helen on: 0345 222 6802 – option 3 for further information.

Online SIMS Training...

Last few places available!
There are a few remaining opportunities for online training before the end of term, places can be booked directly through our website:
https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/online-training/

  • Analysing Exams Results – Thursday 9th & Friday 10th July
  • Managing Results Day – Monday 13th & Tuesday 14th July
  • Analysing Exam Results – Thursday 16th & Friday 17th July

Each course will be run by two SIMS consultants to ensure you get the most out of the course. Courses follow the same format as classroom style courses and you will receive the same training notes electronically and a recording of the course will be available for 1 week after the course to refer back to.

NEW!! Please click here for our Autumn term training schedule. In response to customer feedback, with 93% of customers stating they would be more likely to attend an online course, we have taken the decision to provide all training via remote means for the foreseeable future. We shall of course be reviewing and providing updates on a regular basis.

InVentry - the number one visitor management and sign in solution

As a premium re-seller, we held our second round of InVentry webinars last month which were suitable for those already using InVentry and those that wanted to find out more about how InVentry could be of benefit. 

  •  – Existing InVentry users – Are you getting the most out of your investment?
  •  – New to InVentry – What’s it all about?

If you missed these sessions but would be interested in finding out more about InVentry please contact us on: 0345 222 6802 or email: marketing@schoolicts.co.uk

We're hiring!

We are recruiting for a new MIS Consultant to join the School ICT team.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a suitably qualified, highly motivated and experienced SIMS specialist to join our Capita Accredited, hardworking and highly regarded support team.

School ICT is one of the largest, independent providers of SIMS support in the country. We currently offer support and consultancy services to over 800 Local Authority, Academy and Free Schools throughout the UK. It is our aim to help schools get maximum use from their SIMS system and candidates must be pro-active in developing the use of this software within schools.

We encourage applications from experienced High School or Primary School SIMS users wanting to utilise their skills in a different environment along with people in existing support teams.

The successful applicant will have excellent communication skills and be able to deliver high quality support to our customers, across a range of SIMS specialisms, via our service desk as well as delivering training and consultancy services. There is also an expectation that applicants are prepared to travel to deliver on-site training and consultancy to our customers, therefore a full UK driving licence with access to your own vehicle is essential.

The successful applicant will be able to work from home or from our head office in Leeds dependant on your location.  Additional training and support is available to successful applicants if required.

This is a full time or term time only post.

In return, the company offers:

  • Competitive Salary £24,000 – £30,000 depending on experience. (Pro-rata for term time candidates)
  • 30 day annual holiday entitlement plus bank holidays (For full time post)
  • Private Healthcare
  • Death in Service Benefit
  • Pension Scheme
  • Base: Home or from our Leeds office

To apply for this role, please send your CV and a covering letter to: clare.barnett@schoolicts.co.uk

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