Thinking of moving MIS?
If you’re thinking about changing your MIS, please speak to us! With years of experience helping schools move their MIS we can use our specialist knowledge and support to guide you through the change and ensure you’re choosing the right MIS for your establishment.
We ran a webinar in October 2021 on Key considerations for moving MIS which can be accessed via our customer portal: – https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/ Search via Knowledge base/ Categories/Events/ Webinar Week – Moving MIS Considerations October 2021.
If you have any questions or would like some guidance or advice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0345 222 6802. We currently support SIMS, Arbor and ScholarPack.
SIMS Census – Summer 2022 New features included in the Spring Upgrade
IMPORTANT: Update on Completing Funding and Monitoring; please see information regarding updates in the link below: –
Admissions – Save time and paper by managing applications in your MIS
As the admission season approaches, we thought a reminder on how both SIMS and Arbor assist with handling data for applicants would be useful: –
SIMS – Use a pre-admission group to create applications and update pupil details before admitting when they arrive in school. This allows you to contact parents and set up class lists prior to arrival. Help sheets on how to do this can be found on the customer portal https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/ Knowledgebase/Categories/Admissions. There is also a webinar recording available on ‘Managing New Students’ which may be useful to watch too.
Full guidance on how to manage applicants in Arbor can be found in the following links:-
The DfE now require schools to report on the number of students self-isolating due to returning from abroad. Arbor have added a count of X05 to the count of X09. X05 has also been added to the overall figures.
Bulk Edit Attendance Marks:
Columns on the attendance Bulk Edit Marks Advanced page, are no longer arbitrarily numbered but represent the actual time of the events. Marks no longer align left, so you may see two columns with the same times or gaps where some students are enrolled in a time slot, but others are not. This makes it easier to see what marks were taken, when, and for which students.
No need to wait until the New School Year Setup area opens to start collecting data for your applicants, as guardians of applicants can now log into the Parent Portal and Arbor App.
- Add your applicants to Arbor following this link https://support.arbor-education.com/hc/en-us/articles/204075862-Add-Applicants-New-and-existing-students-via-ATF-import-spreadsheet-or-manually
- Switch on Applicant parents’ login from your Parent Portal Settings page
- Send out login details and track usage from the Parent Portal Usage page
- Save on form printing costs and hours of admin time!
‘Restrict Attendance Marks’ becomes obsolete when using the Attendance: Administer All Students permission.
This is due to the system seeing that the user needing to complete more than a register, the permission usually included in the Business Roles for the admin team.
As a workaround you could include the staff member onto the timetabled slot for that lesson to allow them to take the register and see it on their calendar in Arbor.
When using the restrict attendance marks in Take Register settings (to only allow anyone with the permission of Students: Attendance: Administer My Students, to add Present, Late & Absent – No Reason, to the register), this becomes obsolete for those with the permission of Students: Attendance: Administer All Students, as this sees them as having higher permissions and requiring doing more than attendance. However, with regards to planned absences, if you switch on Prevent Absences from being overwritten, then no permission will allow staff to edit the absence mark from within a register, they will need to edit it from within the absence directly.
To avoid providing staff with this permission, that you may wish for them to have restricted marks, you can add them onto the timetabled slot for that lesson to allow them to take the register.
Please do check the link below to look at more of the latest updates:
Upcoming SIMS Upgrade - New features
As you may have seen on the SIMS7 Product & Release KB, ESS set an ambitious target to implement a number of changes that customers had raised to improve the reporting in SIMS. The spring release is going to be the first ‘customer centred’ release which has items included that have been formulated directly from the feedback given by customers through the new engagement channels. Some of the highlights include: –
- New date of birth filters on the School Report
- 4 changes in the List Report area
- Over 65 new fields in the Design Report areas (incl Conduct, School Details, Staff Cover, Room Cover & Service Children Concerns)
Please see an extract from the ESS blog on these new features below: –
School Report Date of Birth Filters
This was a really interesting piece of work to complete on the school report as it was an item we had fed back to us a number of times through different engagements, such as the annual conference and user groups, alongside the idea’s portal. The main driver for this was to be able to constrain the cohort used in the school report to only include learners of statutory age.
Whilst initially the ask was for a ‘Year group filter’ once we engaged with customers in development refinement it transpired the job to be done was slightly different. Working directly with customers allowed us to maximise our productivity and understanding so that the new filters do exactly what is needed of them (including a bright bold red filter notification at the top of the report output for reference).
4 Changes in the List Reports
The list reports are the quick, drag and drop data style reports, perfect for teachers or other users that need some quick data without defining outputs and huge amounts of filtering. That is why we targeted a few changes that users had asked for to simplify the data output when brought onto the canvas. Previously items like Contact, Parental Consent and Dietary Needs were pulled onto the report and had all the text in one cell for each learner – far from ideal if you wanted to sort to see a particular value such as if a learner has consent for a school trip! For that reason, we have now split these data items into individual fields so you can get directly to the information you need. While in the area we’ve also introduced the User Defined Groups of a learner so you can now filter on those groups and easily identify the required people.
Over 65 new data fields in the Design Reports!
So, this was a bigger bit of work for the team and one of which they particularly enjoyed sinking their teeth into. Where SIMS has been built and developed further over the years there were areas of data that were either not particularly easy to report on or simply not possible to.
Changes within Conduct mean that following the same date cycles available on the Homepage Widget it is now possible to report a flightpath of conduct points over the academic year for a pupil with ease. Previously this was a more complex process involving reporting out each individual behaviour or achievement incident as a separate report row and summarising the total over a defined period of time.
We also decided whilst in the mindset of Design Report to tackle the concept of Cover. Discussing this with the team it was very apparent that there was a multitude of different angles that this could cover, so referring to our users we were able to prioritise and deliver new fields for the Staff Cover and Room Cover concepts.
ESS are referring to this year as being the ‘Year of the User’ as they are continuing implementing change requests over the coming releases.
Just a reminder that you can now vote or make suggestions on features in SIMS via the ESS SIMS Product and Feedback Portal – sign up or vote via https://ess-sims.ideas.aha.io/portal_session/new
Upcoming SIMS Training
Take a look at our Distance Learning courses, our e-learning platform of SIMS training courses which can be studied at your own pace, at a time to suit you: https://learning.schoolicts.co.uk/courses
Below are our upcoming SIMS ‘live’ Online Training courses for March:
- 10th March 2022 – Personnel
- 16th March 2022 – Secondary New Office User
- 17th & 18th March 2022 – Assessment Essential Skills
- 22nd March 2022 – Cover
- 23rd March 2022 – Attendance Primary
- 24th & 25th March 2022 – Analysing Assessment Dats for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4
You can see the full list of Online and Distance learning courses available here: https://www.schoolicts.co.uk/online-training/
SIMS and Power BI
Using Power BI reporting, Power Genie is a data analysis tool for both individual school and trust level that allows you to: –
- Bring data from multiple sources together in one dashboard, connecting your data to gain deeper insights to help you to make informed decisions
- Create dashboards in minutes without the need to run complex reports, saving you time
- Easily drill down into pupil level data
- Gain key insights into pupil level data, as well as school level data, all in one place
- MAT dashboards allow you to monitor and compare performance across your whole trust
- Access from anywhere with internet connection – without the need to log into SIMS
If you missed our webinar on this new product, it is now available to watch on the customer portal https://my.schoolicts.co.uk via Knowledgebase /Categories/Webinars/ Power Genie with SIMS Webinar or for more information or to make a purchase take a look at the Power Genie website: –
Datto licences - expire 1st April!
Quick reminder – Datto Licences
If you have a Datto licence with School ICT this will expire on the 1st April, you should have received previous communication regarding this but if you’ve not already done so, please contact us ASAP to ensure you don’t lose your remote access to SIMS: firstname.lastname@example.org
School ICT Resourcing can fulfil all your temporary or permanent recruitment of non-teaching staff
School ICT Resourcing can source temporary or permanent non-teaching staff for your school. Whether short term or for a longer period, we can work with you to find a suitable placement.
If yourself or any colleagues are retiring soon, but 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.
For further information please call: 01132878020 or visit: https://www.schoolictresourcing.co.uk/