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SIMS Summer Upgrade

By 2nd July 2024No Comments

Dear Colleague,

This communication is aimed at the technical department in school, and we would therefore be grateful if you would please forward this information on as required. If you have no technical staff, please call the service desk for assistance.  Where School ICT complete the upgrade on your behalf, please see below for how this will work.

The Summer 2024 upgrade of SIMS, FMS and Discover is now available via SOLUS3 –PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY ESS THAT THIS COULD TAKE UP TO 30 MINUTES TO INSTALL – please plan your upgrades accordingly.

To see a list of the new features the release notes are available from our customer portal linked below:

https://my.schoolicts.co.uk/portal/kb?id=376

Primary Schools

The Summer 2024 upgrade of SIMS, FMS and Discover is now available.  This upgrade has some new features including:

  • The new 2-character Attendance Codes
  • Related Attendance Reporting Dictionary items
  • Autumn Census (incl. amended reports) – 03/10/24
  • SEN Need Type of DS (Downs Syndrome) now added
  • School Workforce Census – 07/11/24

Some schools will apply this in-house or via a third-party IT provider, please make the relevant person aware that this is now available.  If School ICT are responsible for your upgrade, we will be rolling this out by taking a phased approach over the coming weeks.  If you would like the upgrade applying on a specific date or day of the week, please let us know ASAP by replying to this email, or giving the help desk a call. If you are unsure about who does your upgrades, please contact our help desk for clarification.  Some schools may wish to have the update applied during the Summer break, for example.

To minimise disruption, the upgrade will be run on your SIMS database via SOLUS3 overnight.  Once the workstations are switched on the morning after the upgrade has been run, you should get a screen opening that tells you that your workstation has been upgraded.  If you don’t get this, and you see a SOLUS3 popup, you can click on the “Deploy Now” button:

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This will start the upgrade process immediately.  If you do not do this, it will wait 2 minutes before continuing automatically.  It is then a case of allowing the upgrade to run before opening SIMS/FMS, which should upgrade SIMS to 7.218 and FMS to 6.218.  Once the upgrade is complete, if you get an ‘incompatible database’ error when trying to access SIMS or FMS, please contact us so that we can investigate and resolve the issue to prevent this happening in future. For those schools that do their own upgrade we would recommend stopping any third-party app services that link to SIMS before running the upgrade as we have found that these can cause issues.

For any newly supported customers joining our service, if you have not already done so, please ensure that your school has informed ESS by email that School ICT Services are undertaking support on your behalf (this process is included in the welcome pack we provide to new customers).  This will ensure that we are able to deploy patches and upgrades to your establishment centrally through our online ESS management console.  If you are unsure whether you have done this, please call us and we can confirm that this has been done on your behalf (or not, as the case may be).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Secondary Schools

You are receiving this email as the designated central contact for your establishment.  This email is aimed at the technical department in school and we would therefore be grateful if you would please forward this email on as required.  If you have no technical staff please call the service desk for assistance.

We have authorised the Summer 2024 Upgrade via SOLUS3 for all Secondary Schools. We have attached the release notes which includes a number of new features including:

  • The new 2-character Attendance Codes
  • Related Attendance Reporting Dictionary items
  • Autumn Census (incl. amended reports) – 03/10/24
  • P16 – ‘T Level Transition’ changed to ‘T Level Foundation’
  • SEN Need Type of DS (Downs Syndrome) now added
  • School Workforce Census – 07/11/24
  • New Seating Plan Report in Exams

The software authorised:-

SIMS (Summer 2024) Full Release (7.218)

FMS (Summer 2024) Full Release (6.218)

SIMS Discover (2024 Summer)

The above list is available dependent upon the modules utilised by the school.

This is being released to your school’s Solus 3, if you cannot see the releases then please call the help desk.  For any newly supported customers joining our service please ensure that your school has informed ESS that School ICT Services is undertaking support on your behalf (this process is included in the welcome pack we provide to new customers).  This will ensure that we are able to deploy patches and upgrades to your establishment centrally through our online ESS management console.  If you are unsure if you have done this, please give us a call and we can confirm for you.

As usual, prior to performing any upgrade, please ensure that you have a successful back-up of your SIMS system.  We have found we receive a number of calls with issues where SIMS does not update or open on the SIMS server following an upgrade.  Please ensure that if you have any third-party apps that link to SIMS these services are stopped prior to running the upgrade to ensure that SIMS updates on the SIMS server.

The most successful upgrade deployments occur when all relevant workstations are left switched on but logged out of SIMS.  Ensuring that all users have logged out of SIMS prior to the upgrade taking place will help to reduce residual problems.  If upgrading overnight, please be aware that workstations that are switched off may fail.  If this occurs, please download the upgrade again and re-deploy.

If School ICT are undertaking the upgrade on behalf of the school, please call or email our help desk to arrange a convenient date and time, giving as much notice as possible to ensure we can meet any specific requirements.  We usually advise for this to be scheduled when your IT support are onsite.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.