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Webinar week is coming!

W/C 22nd April is our next Best Practice in MIS Webinar Week!  All webinars are FREE and you can sign up for as many sessions as you wish through the hyperlinks in the schedule which you can find here and the full schedule line up here.

Autumn Census Returns - Information for Post 16 Secondary Schools from the EFSA

There are new policies for Core Maths Premium and also for English and Maths Funding for 2024-25 as well as increased rates for Disadvantage and Advanced Maths premium.

To meet the condition of funding, achieving L2 qualification in both English and Maths,  from the academic year 2024 to 2025 students must study eligible Maths and English qualifications for a minimum number of hours per week.

Please see the guidance for full details.

ESFA Update further education: 14 February 2024 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

GOV.UK Notify Service

GOV.UK provide a free service to Central Government, Local Authorities and the NHS, which allows texts, emails and letters to be sent for free, so this means that state-funded schools have access to the service and can send up to 10,000 texts for free along with unlimited emails!

You can read more about the service here: https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/

We’ve also created a handy helpsheet, SICTS customers can view in the customer portal via this link: https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/kb?btn=46&text=notify&entity=articles&id=806  and TIO customers can access via this link: https://portal.turniton.co.uk

 

New nursery arrangements

Current Provision: 15 hours entitlement for all 3 and 4 year olds.

  • April 2024 – Working parents of two-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of free childcare.
  • Sept 2024 – 15 hours provision will be extended down to the age of nine months for working parents.
  • Sept 2025 – This will be extended to 30 hours.  Same criteria – working parents and children from age 9 months up to starting school.
  • The staggered approach will give childminders and nurseries time to prepare for the changes, ensuring there are enough places ready to meet demand.

Like the existing offer, depending on your provider, these hours can be used over 38 weeks of the year (during school term time), or up to 52 weeks if you use fewer than your total hours per week.

Definition of ‘Working Parents

Working parents who individually earn more than £8,670 (from April 2023) but less than £100,000 per year are eligible.

If you’re in a couple, the rules apply to both of you, so you must both earn at least £8,670 and neither one of you can earn more than £100,000.

There’s more information available on the exact criteria on the Childcare Choices website, for example if you work irregular hours.

Do all Nurseries Provide Places for 30 Hours free funding?

Schools and childcare providers do not have to offer the additional 15 hours.  It is not the law or compulsory to do this.  They do not have to offer anything over and above the current 15 hours entitlement for all 3 & 4 year olds.

Funding Rates

Funding rates per child paid from September 2023 increased from an average of £5.29 to £5.62 for three and four-year-olds, and from an average of £6.00 to £7.95 for two-year-olds.

All local authorities will have started to receive their share of £289m in funding in January 2024 to support their delivery of the programme, with parents expected to see an expansion in the availability of wraparound care from September 2024.  This funding will enable schools to test different ways to increase their wraparound options, including working with local private providers or partnering with other schools.  It will be rolled out in September 2024, and we expect that by September 2026, all parents will be able to access wraparound care, either from their school or other provider.

Parents can also get up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year) for each child to help with the cost of childcare, or up to £1,000 every three months (up to £4,000 a year) if a child is disabled, with Tax-Free Childcare. You can find out more about the scheme on Gov.uk.

More info here: Free childcare: How we are tackling the cost of childcare – The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)

CTF's for Secondary schools

Once Secondary School places for September are announced, the schools will want to start collecting info on the pupils who will be coming to them and may ask the Primary Schools to send CTFs.

This is absolutely fine to do, with the only note being that the Attendance data in the file will obviously only be up to the date of the CTF,  so it’s probably a good idea to send one when the Secondary schools ask (which will have the info they want at this point), and then another at the end of the school year which will include the Attendance up to the date of leaving.

Just a Reminder of the New Pupil Premium Rates for 2024-25

The pupil premium rates for the 2024 to 2025 financial year, starting on 1 April 2024 are:
Pupil eligibility criteria Amount of funding for each primary-aged pupil per year Amount of funding for each secondary-aged pupil per year Funding is paid to
Pupils who are eligible for free school meals, or have been eligible in the past 6 years (including eligible children of families with no recourse to public funds) £1480 £1050 School
Pupils who have been adopted from care or have left care £2570 £2570 School
Children who are looked after by the local authority £2570 £2570 Local authority
Service Children £340 £340 School
From 1 April 2023, pupil premium eligibility for pupils who have been adopted from care or have left care will include children adopted from outside of England and Wales.

Service Pupil Premium

The Service Pupil Premium for 2024-25 will be £340 per eligible pupil.  Eligible pupils are those who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces, including pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full-time reserve service – this includes pupils with a parent who is in the armed forces of another nation and is stationed in England.
  • registered as a ‘service child’ on any school census in the past 6 years.
  • one of their parents died while serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme.

This funding is primarily to enable schools to offer pastoral support and help mitigate the negative impact of family mobility or parental deployment. It can also be used to help improve the academic progress of eligible pupils if the school deems this to be a priority.

More info on all aspects of Pupil Premium can be found here: Pupil premium: overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

FSM eligibility update

Just a reminder that the end date for protections is still March 2025.

This means that a pupil who was FSM eligible on 1 April 2018, or who has become eligible under the benefits/low-earnings criteria since then, will continue to receive free meals, even if their household income exceeds the eligibility threshold, up until March 2025 and then until the end of their phase of education.

Guidance on FSM can be found via this link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/63d92829d3bf7f251e968cdb/Free_school_meals.pdf

Vacancy

Role: Virtual Data Manager

Due to continued growth an exciting opportunity has arisen for a suitably qualified, highly motivated, and experienced School Data Manager to join our Virtual Data Manager Team.

School ICT, part of the turn IT on group is one of the largest, independent providers of MIS and data services in the country. We currently offer support and consultancy services to over 2,000 schools on a national basis.

The role involves carrying out the tasks of a data manager virtually via a secure remote connection for allocated schools across the MIS and third-party analysis programs. The successful application will:

  • Be a secondary specialist with either SIMS, Brocmom, or Arbor, and in particular assessment experience within the MIS.
  • Experience with third-party analysis tools such as SISRA, 4Matrix, Go4Schools, etc.
  • Competent in the use of Microsoft Office e.g., Excel and Word.
  • Be able to work to time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Have a good understanding of the data manager role in a school including awareness of DfE requirements.
  • Be experienced at writing ad hoc reports.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Be able to work independently on their allocated schools as well as part of a team.

In return, the company offers:

  • Competitive Salary, depending on experience.
  • 30-day annual holiday entitlement plus bank holidays
  • Private Healthcare
  • Death in Service Benefit

Additional training and support are available to successful applicants if required.

The successful applicant will have the option to work from home, hybrid, or from our offices in Leeds/Oxford.

For further information or to apply for this role please visit: www.schoolicts.co.uk/vacancies

How to contact us

School ICT customers:

turn IT on customers:

Our customer portals allow you to: –

  • Log and track support tickets
  • Watch previously recorded webinars
  • Search the Knowledge base for guidance and information
  • Keep up to date with the latest MIS news and updates
  • Access remote support

Nursery children year groups

Many schools will be looking to set their new academic year up soon, along with relevant Pre-Admission groups for applicants.  If you have a nursery intake in January and again at Easter (where children have just turned 3), these children will be N1, not N2.  Whilst children can be taught in a different year group that may be more appropriate for them, year group is dictated by their date of birth.  This doesn’t stop the year groups being mixed together for registers, etc., but each year group should be clearly identified.

So, for the current academic year (2023/24), these are the date ranges for N1 and N2:

General 1

And for the next academic year (2024/25), these are the date ranges for N1 and N2:

General 2

If you need help with this, or you are unsure, please call us and we will be happy to help.  

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SIMS Next Gen

We would like to provide an update regarding ESS’s newly developed SIMS Software named Next Gen.

To provide you with more information about this software, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions.

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What is SIMS Next Gen?

SIMS NextGen is a new Cloud Based SIMS Interface, which is accessible from your web browser.

Next Gen is designed to simplify and improve school management. There is no migration process for Next Gen as it synchronises with your existing SIMS database. SIMS Next Gen can be used alongside your existing SIMS system. Meaning schools can utilise aspects such as the ability for teachers to take a register from any device as well as keeping the functionality of SIMS 7.

Is there a cost for SIMS Next Gen?

No, there is no cost for using Next Gen, this is included in your existing SIMS Licence.

What is SIMS ID and do I need it?

In order to log into SIMS Next Gen Schools will need a SIMS ID logon. Some schools may already have one if they use SIMS Connected or some of the SIMS Online products. SIMS ID is a single sign-on login that lets you access all your cloud-based SIMS products with one login. This means you can easily access these services from any device you use. User permissions can be managed with ease and all accounts are created automatically from the data in SIMS. You can set up permissions for both new and existing users to ensure that they have the correct access levels across different systems. Users can also manage and reset their passwords, which can save valuable time for your technical staff.

SIMS ID may have already been set up for your school, if you are unsure whether this has been done, please get in touch via the helpdesk.

What is available in Next Gen and when will there be new releases?

SIMS Next Gen has lots of great features and is regularly updated. Currently, the system’s features include teachers being able to take the register and access markbooks for recording assessments.

For support staff and SLT, the features include accessing staff records and their timetable student details including PP, FSM and contact details. Further to this staff can use custom groups and log exclusions and suspensions on the new interface. For more information about these features, you can find them here.

There are new features regularly being added, which include things such as Seating Plans, Fire Registers and Teachers Homepages, which are coming Next Term. For more details on these features, please visit this link here.

If you would like to see what Next Gen looks like, you can find some videos here or please contact the helpdesk to arrange a demo.

How do I prepare for the Next Gen program?

Several steps need to be taken to become Next Gen ready. You can find information about these steps by clicking on the provided link.

We will be contacting your school’s main contact via email over the coming weeks to initiate the process and get you started.  Our goal is to have those schools interested in Next Gen set up by early May.  If you would like to start this process straight away, please contact the helpdesk in the usual way. However, if you do not want to proceed with this process at this time, please let us know by reply so that we can record your decision.

Can I still use my current SIMS 7 system, or do I have to use SIMS Next Gen?

Yes, at present there is no obligation to move to Next Gen, you can still use your current SIMS system.

I’ve heard about SIMS Connected but is this the same as Next Gen?

SIMS Connected and Next Gen are both cloud-based products but are separate. SIMS Connected is the existing SIMS 7 in the cloud, whereas the Next Gen is a new interface, which syncs with your current data. If you have SIMS Connected, you can also access SIMS Next Gen.

What is SIMS Connected?

SIMS Connected provides browser based access to the entire suite of SIMS 7 products anytime, anywhere. It is a complete replica of your onsite SIMS 7 database and can be accessed via a web browser.

Please see the following link for more information about SIMS Next Gen https://customer.support-ess.com/csm?sys_kb_id=3e774a311b9442d0455842a7b04bcb9c&id=kb_article_view&sysparm_rank=14&sysparm_tsqueryId=3a8e8e441b640610408d8557d34bcbd2

Entries disappearing in exam marksheets

When in an Exams Marksheet, if you enter data and click Save, you may find that the Entries or Results will disappear in columns.  This is a Windows issue and not a SIMS issue.

Even though it looks like the Entries or Results have disappeared, they are still in the database, it is just a visual issue. You can confirm this by either going into the Candidate record in Focus | Candidates | Internal, and in the Candidate record, go to the Entries tab and the Entries will still show. Or, you can confirm this by going into SIMS and creating an Assessment Marksheet with the Exam Entry Aspects.

There is a fix for this which is a Windows fix as it is not a SIMS issue. Please see below the link to the site where this can be downloaded. If the link no longer works, please search for MSSQL Cumulative Update 24:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/download/details.aspx?id=100809

Attendance analysis reports

These wonderful reports are available to customers of both School ICT Services and turn IT on.

They can be found on both portals via these links:

School ICT:      https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/portal/kb?btn=46&id=139

turn IT on:       https://www.turniton.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/How-Do-I-Run-an-Attendance-Analysis-Report.pdf

Sims 2

To install:-

  1. Download the attached file below.
  2. In SIMS go to Reports > Import
  3. Click Open, select the file you have just saved, click open.
  4. Click Import
  5. Click Close

To run:-

  1. In SIMS go to Reports > Run Report
  2. Go to Focus > Student
  3. Find the report you are wanting eg. “Attendance Analysis 22/23”, double click it
  4. You will be prompted by 4 fields:-
    1. Effective date – this is the date used for group memberships, eg. who was FSM. If running for the whole year, we recommend leaving this as the default (January Census).If running for a short date range, we recommend this matches your end date.
    2. Attendance date range (x2) – these are used to set the date range for the attendance analysis. Dates must fall within the academic year the report was designed for to give accurate analysis. Both date ranges must match.
    3. On roll during – this sets the date range that a student must have been on roll for them to be included. This would normally match the Attendance date range above.
  5. Click Ok

New items in 7.216 - SIMS 7 Combined Release Notes

New items in 7.216 –  SIMS – SIMS 7 Combined Release Notes (service-now.com)

Notable items:

  • Bulk Delete Applications: Tools > Housekeeping > Delete Admission Applications.  Admission Officers can Bulk Delete all Application data for an Applicant, including any linked Prospective Pupil record. Linked Enquirer records can also be deleted, only if one Prospective Pupil record exists.

📌  NOTE: Bulk deletions cannot be undone. It is recommended that this is run outside of school hours.

  • Summer Census Return – English Schools

Key Dates NEW
Applicable to schools in England

Census Date: 16/05/2024

Attendance collected from 01/01/2024 to 31/03/2024

Exclusions collected from 01/08/2023 to 31/03/2024

Alternative Provision Placements collected from 18/01/2024 to 16/05/2024

Funding and Monitoring collected from 01/08/2023 to 16/05/2024

Learner Support collected from 01/08/2023 to 16/05/2024

Free School Meals collected from 19/01/2024 to 16/05/2024

Early Years – Eligibility Code UPDATE
Applicable to Early years only
Routines | Statutory Returns Tools | Update Early Years
Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census

The 30-Hour Code which is issued to parents when they have successfully applied for the Early Years funding has been changed to Eligibility Code. This Eligibility code is now also applicable for 2 year-olds who have applied for Expanded Hours.

Early Years – Expanded Funded hour NEW
Applicable to Early years only
Routines | Statutory Returns Tools | Update Early Years
Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census

From April 2024, working parents of 2-year-olds will be able to access 15 hours of free childcare per week (over 38 weeks a year) from the term after their child’s birthday. A new column has been added to the Census Returns for pupils aged 2 at 31/03/2024 and if they have an eligibility code. Expanded Funded Hours do not apply to 3 or 4-year-olds.

2 year old basis for funding NEW
Applicable to Early years only
Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census

2 year old basis for funding information can now be recorded for the Summer School Census.

  • Attendance Collection 2024 (Welsh Schools)

Applicable to schools in Wales
Routines | Statutory Returns | Attendance Collection

Primary Schools

  • Collection Dates
    • Annual Attendance data: collection period 01/09/2023 to 22/07/2024
    • Data is only collected for pupils aged five and over at 31/08/2023
  • Term Dates
    • Term 1 Autumn: 01/09/2023 to 22/12/2023
    • Term 2 Spring: 08/01/2024 to 22/03/2024
    • Term 3 Summer: 08/04/2024 to 22/07/2024

Secondary Schools

  • Collection Dates
    • Annual Attendance data: collection period 01/09/2023 to 24/05/2024
    • Data is only collected for students aged 15 or under at 31/08/2023
  • Term Dates
    • Term 1 Autumn: 01/09/2023 to 22/12/2023
    • Term 2 Spring: 08/01/2024 to 22/03/2024
    • Term 3 Summer: 08/04/2024 to 24/05/2024

Attendance Detail Reports UPDATE
Applicable to schools in Wales
Routines | Statutory Returns | Attendance Collection

The ‘Gender’ column now displays ‘Sex’ in the Report column header.

 

Inviting Student or Parents to Options Online and Creating an account to online services using a third-party application

Creating an account to access SIMS Online Services and signing into an Online Service

School ICT Helpsheet (Ref:HS0160)

Introduction

This guide is for anyone who receives an invitation from their school to use a SIMS Online Service.

It will take you through the step by step of creating an account either through SIMS ID or a third party provider eg facebook/Google/Twitter./Apple ID. You will use this account every time to you sign into a SIMS online service.

Online Services:-

  • SIMS Activities
  • SIMS Admin Portal
  • SIMS Engagement Portal
  • Options Online
  • SIMS Parent
  • SIMS Parent App Lite
  • SIMS Students

Once you have created your account, you can use it to access other SIMS Online Services although you will still need to complete the registration for the new service.

The steps are the same whether you decide to set up your account using SIMS ID or a Third Party.

Sims 3

Staff can see all their SIMS Online Services using this account.

Parents can see all their children at the school using this account.

Parents who have more than one child at a school using Online Services will only have to register once at that school. Once registered, all students at that school will be visible.

Parents who have children at different schools that also use Online Services will need to register for each school and will only every be able to view one school at a time.

The examples below are based on setting up a SIMS Parent account, but the process is the same for all SIMS Online Services.

Step by Step Actions to Set up an account using a Third Party

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Sims 5

Sims 6

Sims 7

Step by Step Actions to Set up an account using SIMS ID   

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Sims 9

Sims 10

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Once the registration process is complete, users can sign in via the following URLs.

For Parents

https://www.sims-parent.co.uk or via the SIMS Parent app*

For Students

https://www.sims-student.co.uk or via the SIMS Student app*

For Options Online https://www.sims-options.co.uk

For Schools

* The apps are available for iOS and Android devices via the Play Store or iTunes

Step by Step Actions to sign into a SIMS Online Service

  1. Select the appropriate URL for the Online Service you want to access
  1. Click the Icon for the provider that you registered with.

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3. Enter your username and password, then click the sign in

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All SIMS Online Services have a Help button linked to the support portal.

 

Capita One B2B - Decommissioning

The patch released to decommission B2B is in preparation for when schools have successfully transitioned to supplying their Local Authority with data via the Wonde Integration service.  Capita One and Wonde are undertaking a carefully planned migration process to support schools in transitioning from B2B to Wonde as the method to provide data to their LA.

The patch should not be run until your school has been moved to Wonde and advised that this has been successful.

If you have any questions on this matter, you should contact your Local Authority team who will be able to advise you on the process and the timings for the transition to Wonde.

FMS Spring Release (CFR)

For further details of all the new features in the spring upgrade, please find the SIMS FMS 6.216 2024 Spring Release Note

https://customer.support-ess.com/csm?id=kb_article_view&sys_kb_id=9919c29e97800290a4b17e371153af71

FMS Pop Up – Please log a ticket if this appears when it shouldn’t

As FMS users are aware, if you haven’t used FMS for over a week, you will get a pop-up when you log in, stating this and asking if this is correct, and asking you to check and confirm the server date and time:

Sims 14 fms pop up – please log a ticket if this appears when it shouldnt

Obviously, in some instances, this message will occur naturally and correctly, e.g., after a school holiday or if you have other FMS budgets, such as School Fund, Extended Services, Family of Schools, etc., the message may well be genuine on these, as they wouldn’t be used on a daily basis.

However, we have recently had some schools who are getting this pop-up within the one-week window (so the day after logging into FMS, or a couple of days after).

If this occurs in school, we recommend that no one logs into FMS and a ticket should be raised to the helpdesk in the usual manner by way of phone or email.

FMS Transaction Backup

As we head (or feels like ‘hurtle’ towards the end of the financial year!), it’s good practice to carry out an FMS data backup prior to running certain Year end procedures.  This can be done via Tools | FMS transactions backup.

This is useful for such procedures as:

  • Creation of the New Financial year.
  • First and subsequent Preliminary Closedowns.
  • Final Closedown

This will carry out a backup of FMS data at that point in time and when finished will give you a message stating the file path and name of the backup. Please bear in mind this is a location on the SIMS FMS server and not the local workstation.

Please note:  When initiating the FMS transactions backup, this will facilitate a full FMS backup of all modules regardless of the modules being used.  All of FMS includes:

  • Accounts Payable
  • Personnel Salary Projections
  • Equipment Register Module
  • Accounts Receivable Module

However, there is function to “cherry pick” which modules or data are being backed up.

If, in the need of a restore, as mentioned above, a database restore will restore all data to a previous state based on the date of the backup file.

You can run this backup procedure at any point during the year, such as before and after month end activity, e.g., when carrying out Auto reconciliation, Salary input, Manual reconciliation, Bank Statement reconciliation, etc.

If in doubt, please contact your local support unit:

School ICT customers:

Contact: 0345 222 6802 Option 1, helpdesk@schoolicts.co.uk

Portal: https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/

turn IT on customers:

Contact: 01865 597620 Option 2, mis.support@turniton.co.uk

Portal: https://portal.turniton.co.uk

FMS AR Module – Statements

For those schools who use the Accounts Receivable Module in FMS, can we remind you that you do need to run Debtor Statements regularly to keep them up to date and only showing current items (you can print to PDF and then delete the file if you don’t want to print hard copies).   This would normally be a monthly routine but can be run at any time.  However please be aware that every time you run the statements, it will update what is shown within the statement.

To do this go to Report | Statements | Statement Run | By Debtor.  This will show debtors with a statement to be printed (f this hasn’t been done for a while, there will be a LOT!!):

Sims 15 fms ar module – statements

Select the statements you want to print using the Choose or Choose All button, to move them to the bottom half of the screen (if you have a lot, it may be better to do it in smaller batches).  If you have zero balances showing, check the receipt and ensure that it is matched.

Sims 16 fms ar module – statements 2

Click on Print and you will get a list of the statements which have printed:

Sims 17 fms ar module – statements 3

You can now close this window if you’re printing to PDF.  If you’re printing hard copies, check that they have printed okay, and if any of them haven’t, you can move the relevant statement to the ‘Printing Failed’ column and reprint from there.

Should you ever need to reprint a statement you can do this via Report | Statements | Reprint Statement:

Sims 18 fms ar module – statements 4

Choose the Debtor you want a reprint for and click on the spyglass next to the Statement field, and this will give you a list of the previous statements:

Sims 19 fms ar module – statements 5

Select the statement number you want and click on Print.

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ArborFest 2024 - Come and say hello!

School ICT is once again proud sponsors of ArborFest which is taking place this year in Brimingham at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and is set to be bigger and better than ever.  ArborFest is free for all schools and MATs and tickets are always in high demand.  Please visit our stand and say hello to Kellie our Head of MIS Services and Ruth MIS Team Leader for both School ICT and turn IT on if you are attending, we will have a few treats and are running a competition to Win a Free training course!

Competition time

Tickets are still available for the event. There are two types of tickets: In-Person Tickets and Live Stream Tickets:

In person tickets for School Staff:  Please come and say hello at the School ICT Stand ! These tickets are for schools using Arbor as their MIS. We think SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and Office Staff will get the most from Arbor’s programme, there are also In-Person Tickets for MAT Central Teams: These tickets are for MAT Leaders. Arbor are inviting both MATs using Arbor, and those who aren’t, to join us at our special MAT Stage

Live Stream Tickets: These tickets are for schools, MATs who can’t make the live event. These tickets will give you access to watch the live stream of Arbor’s Main Stage

There are limited tickets available so get yours now by clicking on this link https://www.arborfest.arbor-education.com/tickets and don’t miss out!

How many tickets can I register for?

You can register for up to two tickets for your school or MAT Central Office if you’d like to join in-person. If you’re joining the livestream only, multiple people from your school or MAT can get a ticket.

Arbor Admin Access

Arbor Admin Access – School ICT and turn IT on can now offer our schools additional support, at no extra cost and as part of your SLA with the MIS Support Partner Arbor Admin Access.

What benefit does this functionality bring to you?

With your permission School ICT / turn IT on can carry out Arbor Admin functionality for your school on your Arbor MIS. This would mean that we would be able to diagnose and resolve a selection of common issues and perform common data refreshes for example, refreshing course calendar entries, populating missing payment accounts and access audit logs.

This ability would negate the need to escalate these tasks to Arbor Support and result in quicker support resolutions. If you haven’t had the email and feel you should have, please call School ICT on 0845 222 6802 or email helpdesk@schoolicts.co.uk  and for turn IT on customers call 01865 597620 (opt.2) or email mis.support@turniton.co.uk

Latest Arbor Updates

SAMpeople and Arbor Integration:  SAMpeople includes everything you need to manage your staff effectively. With Arbor’s joint integration, staff data will flow instantly from SAMpeople to Arbor. Further details on setting up the integration are available here: SAMpeople and Arbor integration

Exams: Arbor now include exams costing from the basedata. You can now report on fees and more easily manage your budgets, for more information click here: Exam fees and costs reporting

Exam Seating: The exam seating plan printouts have the Exam Seating Plan on the top left and Arbor have removed the exam room name from the middle of the printout.

Census Returns: If the previous census started generating over an hour ago but hasn’t yet completed, you can now regenerate.

Prior Attainment: When filling in the GCSE Attainment for Funding page, use the new Leavers tab to fill out prior attainment more easily for last year’s students: Prior attainment

Custom Report Cards: There is a new Print Preview button in the text editor in Custom Report Cards. This means you don’t have to add student groups to Report cards and have them show on the Portals to be able to see a preview! Top Tip: This is not available in tables, such as for Assessment comments.

Assessment: Due to the introduction of SUM assessment, Arbor no longer support custom assessment periods for stranded assessments so have removed this functionality.

Full details of the updates above and all other Abor updates can be view in the: Arbor Change Log

Did you know?

Arby: Arby is Arbor’s in-MIS help bot filled with Top Tips and FAQs. From onboarding to New School Year Setup, Arby can help you get to grips with using Arbor

You can find Arby in the bottom left of your Arbor site at key points in the year, if you have opted in.

Arbor 2

Just click on Arby to open it up and click the icon in the top left to expand the view. You’ll see different sections for each step.

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Top Tip: We recommend duplicating your tabs to work through Arby and action the steps side by side.

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When an Arby has steps to complete in order, once each step is viewed, there’ll be a tick in the circle.

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Here is an example of one of the parts. You can click through the slides, access more information using Arbor’s links, or close using the X.

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More information on using Arby can be found in this article: Using Arby

Ask Arbor: Ask Arbor is your collaborator and assistant in Arbor, powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI. It is built seamlessly into Arbor MIS and is designed to turn your words into actions.

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Need to draft an end-of-term letter to parents and guardians this morning? Ask Arbor can help.

Looking to create a student report? Ask Arbor can help with that too.

Ask Arbor is designed to reduce busy work, make it simpler to get the data you need, and bring ideas to life. All of which should give you back your time for more strategic work, more time spent making use of your data, and more time with students and staff.

Permission:

School: General Admin: Administer – Access the menu to switch Ask Arbor on and off

School: Ask Arbor: View – this gives users access to using the individual Ask Arbor features

School: Ask Arbor: Administer – this gives users access to further Ask Arbor settings, but is not required to use the current Ask Arbor features

Switching on Ask Arbor: By default, Ask Arbor is switched off. To switch this on, go to System>Ask Arbor Settings.

Top Tip: You’ll only see this menu item if you have the School: General Admin: Administer permission.

Click in the Settings tab.

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In the slide over, select Enabled.

We recommend you click the link in the slide over to read Arbor’s Data Protection Policy.

We also recommend that staff who use Ask Arbor have also read this policy. Once this has been done, tick the boxes and click Save Changes.

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On the Users tab, you’ll be able to see who has access to use Ask Arbor based on the permissions they have been assigned. Top Tip: All users will need to log out and log back in to gain access to Ask Arbor.

Once Ask Arbor is switched on you will be ready to use its functionality in Arbor helping you create reports and saving you time composing emails.

For more guidance on using Ask Arbor, please refer to the guidance here: Using Ask Arbor

Exams

Exams Arby is Live!  As of the 1st February Arby will now appear on all exams pages for users who have previously opted in to seeing the Exams Arby. Arby is designed to support users with the exam entries and scheduling process in Arbor whilst also allowing users to search the entire help centre for articles via the knowledge centre tab.

  • A results focused version will hopefully go live in the Summer term. Exams Arby will remain for users opted in until the end of March.
  • Exam fees and costs reporting: Fee information comes from the O basedata file. This is brought automatically into Arbor so you can set up exams. This feature does not include collecting or paying costs for Exam Fees, integrations with payment gateways or financial institutions.

Seeing and editing amounts for EDI exams: Go to School > Examinations > Qualification Offering and select the award. Click the Qualification Offering button. Click into the Exam Fees tab. You’ll see one line per series. Click on the fees to update them.

Arbor 10 exams

Seeing and editing amounts for Non-EDI exams: Go to School > Examinations > Non-EDI and select the award. Scroll down to the Exam Fees section and click on the fee to update if needed.

Arbor 11 exams

Top Tips: Some basedata may not include the fee information so the field will be blank. It isn’t possible to reset the amount, so you’ll need to amend the amount. If you are unsure what the amount is, please contact the Awarding Organisation.

Reporting on fees: To report on the fees, go to Students > Examinations > Entries > Exam Fees. Use the filters to select the academic year, awarding organisation and series if needed.

You’ll see each award as a separate row in the report, including award and series details, fee, number of entries for internal and external candidates and a total cost. You can see an overall sum in the bottom right.

Arbor 12 exams

More detailed information on Exam fees can be found here.

Free Arbor Webinars

Past webinars:

  • Applicants, Admissions, Offers & Appeals for Secondaries – Click here.
  • For all past webinar recordings – Click here.

Upcoming webinars:

  • Applicant data collection (Thursday 14th March, 11:00-11:45) – Sign up here.
  • Offers day for Primaries (Wednesday 20th March, 10:00-10:45 – Sign up here.
  • Nursery Applicants (Monday 15th April, 11:00-11:45) – Sign up here.
  • DfE Assessment Data (Wednesday 24th April, 15:00-15:45) – Sign up here.

Staff cover improvements - A request for feedback

Arbor are currently in the research phase for Cover improvements, kicking off with better visibility into staff workload. To make this happen, Arbor would like to hear about your typical day arranging cover, what factors you consider when comparing staff and the signs that guide your choice for cover.

Please take a moment to fill out this form? This will help Arbor get a clearer picture of your process. Arbor may reach out to you based on your submission. Have your say in the way Arbor’s cover functionality is developed.

  • For more information on this and to see Arbor’s full development roadmap, click here.

Communication logs in Arbor

We are often asked about Communications Logs and what shows where in Arbor.  There is a useful Help Centre article that covers this, which is available by following this link: ttps://support.arbor-education.com/hc/en-us/articles/9359671520157-Which-communications-show-in-the-different-Communication-Logs-#h_01HK83AZJV0FJ5TBTE1SSF5HZ6

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Contact us - how can I get in touch with ScholarPack?

The easiest place to find information is to jump into the Help Centre’s step-by-step instructions (including searchable Census error codes and queries).

You don’t need to be signed in.

See how to get the most out of the Help Centre here: How to use the ScholarPack Help Centre

How to favourite a report

If you go to the report via Reporting > Reports on the report you require you will see a small star in the top right hand corner, simply click onto this to mark the report as a favourite report:

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Scholarpack 1 how to favourite a report

Students aren't showing on reports

Students > Group Updater – changing the student attribute to hidden pupil.  If any students say True, this will mean they will be hidden from reports and the census.  You can amend this data in this area.

If you have checked this and it seems to be okay, check whether you are reporting on data for last year.

Data on ScholarPack is stored against the student, reflecting their current year and form, rather than the one they were in at that time.

In order to see data entered against a set of students from a previous year, make sure to select the year and/or form group they are in now – for example if a student was in year 6 last year when the data was entered, you would need to select year 7 in the selection as that is their current year group.

Staff details report

Go to Reporting > Reports > Staff > Details.

What does the report display?

This report will list all staff along with their date of birth, any disabilities, ethnicity, role, contract renewal date, email, home and mobile phone numbers.

How do I order, remove and filter data

This report produces a table displaying columns relating to the report title. All column details can be ordered; simply click on the column title. To remove a column, use the bin icon in the column header. You can also show any Inactive (former) Staff members by selecting the option. They will appear in RED in the report.

You can individually select the staff whose details you wish to appear in the document by ticking the box in the far right-hand column of the table. Alternatively, click on “check all” at the top of the column to put information about all staff into your document (or “Uncheck All” to remove them all in order to select a few).

How do I export this data?

To download and save this report, click on the yellow arrow at the top right of the page, or print directly using the print icon.

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What's new

Student Portal – Detentions – Show Detentions on Student Portal Timetable

Config > Student Portal > Behaviour

A new Detentions option is now available in Behaviour Module Settings. If the Enable Behaviour option is checked, the Enable Detentions option is then enabled. If selected, My Timetable in the Student Portal displays any single or multiple detentions scheduled for a student.

Options - Set a timetable pattern as final

Modules > Options > Options Reports > Timetable Patterns

Users can now set a Timetable Pattern as final by selecting the radio button for that pattern and clicking Set as Final.

Bromcom 1 options set a timetable pattern as final

Where 100% student assignment is not achieved in the selected pattern, users will be asked if they want to continue, click Proceed.

Bromcom 2 options set a timetable pattern as final

A Final badge is displayed next to the pattern. To remove Final status, users should select the pattern where Final is already set, and click Remove Final.

Note: A pattern should only be Set as Final once all Students have been assigned and the user is satisfied this will be the final pattern. Where set ups need to be combined to produce the final pattern, future development will also provide a single cohort to this end.

Bromcom 3 options set a timetable pattern as final

Note: Development is underway for this this feature to be used with Bromcom’s Web Timetable models, web reporting, and assigning Students automatically to the Options classes.

Exam seating

Now that you have completed your entries and sent them to the exam boards, it is time to start organising the actual exams. Here are a few things which might be useful.

Reports > Examinations > Basedata Outline Timetable will give you an overview of date, time and number of candidates for each exam paper, so that you can start thinking about how many rooms and invigilators you may need for each session. This report is also useful to tick off exam papers as they are delivered to your school.

If you choose to use candidate cards throughout the season, rather than labels for each exam, you could start preparing them now via Reports > Examinations > Candidate Labels.

You can check for clashes using these two reports:

  • Reports > Examinations > Basedata Clash Identification to see which exams are clashing and how many candidates are affected
  • Reports > Examinations > Clash Control Report to highlight the candidates who have a clash and for which dates/papers

Check and update the exam rooms layout via Config > Examination > Exam Rooms.

  • Make any changes to entries or tiers and send amendment files via A2C.

Once all the entries are finalised, you are ready to seat your exams via Modules > Examination > Seating Organisation.

Finance - Changes to Invoices and Credit Notes that relate to VAT

Modules > Finance > Accounts Payable > Invoices & Credit Notes

Finance users with the appropriate permissions can now create VAT Only Invoices & Credit Notes for the following (permission will need to be given to the relevant roles):

  • Non Order Invoices
  • Sundry Invoices
  • Credit Notes

When adding an Invoice Item select the VAT Code that has a rate greater than zero and set the Net Amount (£) for the Item to zero.

Bromcom 4 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

Users can then double click on the VAT Invoice Row to edit the VAT Net Amount (£).

Bromcom 5 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

In Adjust VAT Total popup, users can now edit the VAT Amount (£) and Save.

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This will result in a VAT only Invoice or Credit Note.

Bromcom 7 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

Config > Setup > Roles and Permissions > Finance

The VAT only Invoices and Credit Notes option will have to be enabled from the Finance module for the appropriate roles.

Bromcom 8 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

Modules > Finance > Accounts Receivable > Invoices & Credit Notes

Finance users with the appropriate permissions can now raise zero value Invoices & Credit Notes which can be Posted and Print/Dispatched.

Note: This process will not generate a zero value Journal.

Bromcom 9 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

Modules > Finance > Accounts Receivable > Invoices & Credit Notes

Finance users will now be able to edit the VAT amount on AR Invoices & Credit Notes.

When adding an Invoice Item and selecting a VAT Code that has a rate greater than zero, users can edit the VAT Amount (£). Hovering over the blue i icon will tell the user the value of the original VAT Amount (£).

Note: The VAT Amount (£) must be less than the Net Value (£).

Bromcom 10 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

Config > Setup > Roles and Permissions > Finance

The Raise zero value Customer Invoices options will have to be enabled from the Finance module for the appropriate roles.

Bromcom 11 finance changes to invoices credit notes that relate to vat

Finance - Audit reason required to cancel Invoices and Credit Notes

Modules > Finance > Accounts Payable > Invoices & Credit Notes

Bromcom 12 finance audit reason required to cancel invoices credit notes

When cancelling all types of Accounts Payable Invoices & Credit Notes, the button will now be labelled Cancel (previously Cancel/Credit).

Bromcom 13 finance audit reason required to cancel invoices credit notes

When clicking on Cancel a Confirmation popup will appear which requires the user to provide a mandatory audit Reason before clicking on Yes to confirm the cancellation.

Note: This supports multiple cancellations of the same type.

Modules > Finance > Accounts Receivable > Invoices & Credit Notes

When cancelling Accounts Receivable Invoices & Credit Notes a Confirmation popup will appear which requires the user to provide a mandatory audit Reason before clicking on Yes to confirm the cancellation.

Note: When multiple invoices/credit notes are selected to be cancelled, it will list them comma separated.

Bromcom 14 finance audit reason required to cancel invoices credit notes

MAT Finance - Journal Import from Excel, CSV and Txt

MAT Finance – Journal Import from Excel, CSV and Txt

Finance > New Entry > Journal

Users can now Import journal details from saved CSV, Excel, and Txt files into the Journal page (except for Cashbook Journals).

Bromcom 15 mat finance journal import from excel csv and txt

Clicking on Import will launch the Import Journal popup where users can select one of the following options:

  • Select the File Type followed by Template to download a template example.

Bromcom 16 mat finance journal import from excel csv and txt

Example of a blank Excel template format:

Bromcom 17 mat finance journal import from excel csv and txt

  • Select the File Type followed by Choose File to import a single file. The file must be in the same format as the template. The video shows an example of importing blank Debit Value and Credit Value cells, and an example of importing a file with a credit value.

Note: Debit Value and Credit Value must be a positive value to avoid errors.

Note: If errors are found in the imported file (empty cells, Cost Centre or Ledger Code not recognised, Cost Centre and Ledger Code not linked, negative Debit or Credit Values):

  • The system will leave these fields blank.
  • If a Ledger Code and Cost Centre are imported that are not linked – the Cost Centre will be added but the Ledger Code will be blank. User will need to correct the Cost Centre Ledger Link before proceeding.
  • Where blank cells are found:
    • The blank cell will be highlighted red.
    • The user can edit the row and manually amend the cells.
    • Users will not be able to “Save Draft” or “Post” the document without removing all the errors.
  • Importing a Journal will always overwrite existing information in the Journal lines.

Finance - Accounts Receivable Write Off Configuration

Config > Finance > AR Configuration

A new panel labelled Write Off has been introduced which will contain details of the Cost Centre, Ledger Code and Fund to use for writing off Bad Debt. This is in preparation for Finance users being able to Write Off bad debt in a future release.

Note: Users will be able to enter the information once, and it will be used for every financial year.

Bromcom 18 finance accounts receivable write off configuration

Web Wednesdays

Don’t forget to check out Web Wednesdays for top tips on a variety of topics.

Please go to the Bromcom Community website and sign in.

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Useful bits and bobs

Please find below some links to pages which may be useful, including setting up your New Academic Year, Year End tasks and processes (including admissions and transfers), along with the Integris Roadmap, which shows what’s being worked on now, what they’ll be looking at next and what’s a little bit further down the line in terms of development:

Year End/Year Start FAQ – Year End/Year Start FAQ (integris-education.com)

Admissions, Transfers and New Year/Year End Help – Admissions, Transfers and Year End (integris-education.com)

Integris Roadmap – Integris Roadmap (integris-education.com)

Status page

You can access the status page for Integris via this link: Integris Education Status (integris-education.com)

This shows the operational status of Integris and allows you to subscribe to any notifications of new, updated and resolved incidents:

Integris 1

Latest release notes

You can access the Release Notes for the Integris Latest Release via this link:  v4.6 (integris-education.com) which includes:

Statutory Updates

  • Spring School Census 2024
  • Product Updates
  • Unlock own account from student/staff record locks
  • School arranged alternative provision in ad-hoc reporting
  • Information pop-up for adding new schools
  • Update to Behaviour Statistical Overview Report
  • London Mayor’s FSM

Training

Just a reminder that all Integris training is run on demand. Please contact 01865 597620 Option 2 for more details.

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Upcoming Training Courses

We have a comprehensive schedule of online ‘live’ SIMS training courses, along with Distance Learning courses, to help you develop your knowledge of SIMS and Arbor, therefore helping you to get the most out of your MIS (Management Information System).

Booking is now open.  Please visit https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/course-list/ to see the full list of courses, or you can click on:

Course Name  Date More details via this link:
SIMS Data Cleansing Tuesday 5th March (One Hour Session) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/sims-data-cleansing/
Arbor Standard Reporting Tuesday 5th March (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-standard-reporting-half-day/
SIMS Academic Management – Maintaining Student Classes and Timetables Tuesday 5th March (Full Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/managing-student-classes-timetables-online/
FMS Year End Wednesday 6th March (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/fms-year-end/
SIMS Cover Thursday 7th March (Full Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/cover-online/

SIMS Administrator – New Office User (Secondary)

 

Tuesday 12th March (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/new-office-user-secondary-online/
Arbor New Office User Wednesday 13th March (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-new-office-user-primary/
SIMS Personnel Thursday 14th March (Full Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/personnel-online/
SIMS Data Cleansing Thursday 14th March (One Hour Session) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/sims-data-cleansing/
Arbor Payments and Meals Friday 15th March (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-finance-half-day/

SIMS Administrator – Intermediate Office User (Secondary)

 

Tuesday 19th March (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/new-office-user-primary-online-902/
SIMS Curriculum Management Using Nova-T (4 Day Course)

Wednesday 20th March (Full Day)

Thursday 21st March (Full Day)

Wednesday 27th March (Full Day)

Thursday 28th March (Full Day)

https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/nova-t-online/
SIMS Data Cleansing Monday 25th March (One Hour Session) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/sims-data-cleansing/
SIMS Exams Organiser (2 Day Course)

Tuesday 16th April (Full Day)

Wednesday 17th April (Full Day)

https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/exams-organiser-online/

 

FMS Basic – Central Schools (These are schools who are maintained by their local authority, and the LA pay their bills on the schools’ behalf) Wednesday 17th April (Half Day)

https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/fms-basic-online-536/

 

Arbor Attendance Wednesday 17th April (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-attendance/
Arbor Parental Engagement and Communications Thursday 18th April (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-parental-engagement-and-communications-half-day/
SIMS An Administrators Guide to Nova Friday 19th April (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/admin-guide-maintaining-the-timetable-online/
Arbor Examinations

Friday 19th April (Half Day)

 

https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/arbor-examinations/
SIMS Monitoring Attendance Wednesday 24th April (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/monitoring-attendance-primary-online/

SIMS Administrator – New Office User (Primary)

 

Monday 29th April (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/new-office-user-primary-online/
SIMS Primary Summer Census Tuesday 30th April (Half Day) https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/events/summer-census-primary-online/
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helloData Webinar

To find out how helloHellodataData can help you get the most out of your MIS with Assessment Tracking and PowerBI Reporting register for their FREE webinars here: –

Assessment Tracking – Thousands of schools and trusts want to use their MIS (RM Integris, SIMS) for entering assessment data but are frustrated that it either isn’t flexible enough, or the standard analytics are not comprehensive or easy to use.

Data Entry Using Your MIS – helloData can provide a choice of ready-made data entry marksheets or work with you to construct something unique for your needs within the MIS (or use the markbooks you already have).

Power BI Analytics – Interactive and insightful PowerBI reports for schools and trusts, using the data direct from your MIS. Reports include:
  • Trusts, whole school, groups and individual
  • National data included
  • Trend and cohort analysis
  • EYFS through to Y6
  • Core and foundation subjects
  • Extensive group analysis
  • Attainment and progress

Time and Cost-Effective – Saving you hours of time in number crunching, and considerable money on purchasing alternative solutions. All with the added bonus that you can fully utilise the MIS you already have.

For further information please contact: marketing@schoolicts.co.uk or learn more at www.hello-Data.co.uk

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Are you in need of non-teaching staff?

Working alongside School ICT, School ICT Resourcing place both permanent and temporary specialist support staff into schools.

Candidates are available from a days placement through to a whole school year. All candidates have completed the safer school recruitment process, and have enhanced DBS clearance.

For further information please call: 0113 372 0039 or visit: www.schoolictresourcing.co.uk

Are you due to retire? If yourself or any colleagues are retiring soon, and would consider working on a temporary or ad-hoc basis, please contact Helen who would love the opportunity to speak with you about the potential of adding you to our candidate list.

Virtual Data Management Service

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NEW – Virtual Data Management service (VDM)

When maintaining your schools data is not possible, our Virtual Data Management team enables you to maintain, enhance or completely outsource your schools data management, ensuring best practice and continuity of your schools data, at all times. Whether it be a one off to support with a particular time of year such as census or exams, for a short to medium term period like maternity or sickness cover, or if you’re perhaps struggling to recruit – to fully outsource your schools Data Management, we can provide a solution.

“School ICTs Virtual Data Manager service has provided our school with high-quality day-to-day management of core school student data, support to staff and data analysis.

They have seamlessly completed our School census but have ensured that school admin staff understand their role in the maintenance of student data.

The SLT, teaching and support staff are so impressed with the service being delivered and the advanced level of knowledge and expertise that it brings.

Nothing is too much trouble and our VDM has sorted out many of the issues that we had in our MIS that no one else could previously resolve!

The knowledge that the VDM has of our MIS and all its functionality is seriously impressive along with their knowledge of DFE/ESFA rules, regulations and policy changes.

It is like having a Data Manager in the office next door but just online, they respond promptly to emails, request for reports/data and are happy to arrange phone calls or Teams meetings as required.

I can highly recommend the service – give it a try!

Rachel Mowbray – King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth.

For further information on this new service from School ICT, please visit: Virtual Data Management or call: 0345 222 6802 – option 3 or e-mail: enquiries@schoolicts.co.uk.

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