Please forward to relevant colleagues
We wanted to make schools aware of a change being implemented to SIMS & FMS from the Spring 2022 release, due to the changes in licensing. An email has been sent by ESS to advise that a new license checker will appear in SIMS to ensure schools have the correct license agreement in place to receive updates to the software. An eligibility key will be sent to customers around the 28th/29th March which MUST be saved. This key will potentially need entering into SIMS & FMS. Please ensure that the URL used to carry out the license check is unblocked by your IT department (see below FAQ for URL). There is a quick guide available on our customer portal (my.schoolicts.co.uk) showing how the check will look. Please see below a copy of the communication sent to schools from ESS along with related FAQ.
Copy of the ESS communication sent to schools
The Spring 2022 release of SIMS and FMS has moved to the 4 April to support the release of our SIMS Next Generation programme. As part of this release for the first time we will be checking that customers are eligible to use the software updates included in the release. We call this an eligibility check.
The eligibility check ensures that SIMS and FMS software updates can only be used by schools who have or had an annual entitlement agreement that was current at the time the software update was released.
The eligibility check should be invisible to most customers who have a valid agreement with ESS and will be performed automatically and in the background. However, in some cases users may be prompted to enter a unique eligibility key, which ESS will supply by email to all customers with current agreements in advance of the release. If for any reason a school mislays this eligibility key, the school can request a replacement using a simple form. Details of how to do this will be displayed by the software if a school is required to enter an eligibility key.
If a customer does not have a current annual entitlement agreement, then to obtain an eligibility key the school will need to accept ESS’ annual entitlement agreement terms. They can do this either via our online web contracting portal or by paying our annual entitlement service invoice.
If a customer accepts the terms through ESS’ web portal it will take roughly 2 business days to register the school’s new agreement and for the eligibility key email to be sent.
If a customer accepts our terms by paying our invoice it can take up to 10 business days to process the payment, register the school’s new agreement and for the eligibility key email to be sent.
SIMS customers without current annual entitlement agreements will not be able to access or use the Census menu option in SIMS, since this has been updated as part of the Spring 2022 release and FMS customers without current annual entitlement agreements will be unable to access the CFR menu options, which has also been updated in the Spring 2022 release. All other menu items will function normally.
Local authority maintained schools who have relied on their local authority SIMS or FMS licence to allow them to use ESS software should be aware that in many cases these licences have now expired. If this is the case, the school will only be entitled to use SIMS or FMS if the school has accepted ESS’ annual entitlement agreement terms, which include a new licence, or have purchased a new SIMS and/or FMS licence from ESS.
The eligibility check has been designed to be as automated and invisible as possible. We will also shortly be providing a full set of documentation, including guides, FAQs and a “how-to” video to explain how the process will work and help with any issues.
If you are unsure if you have a license in place or have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the helpdesk.