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Spring 2023 upgrade of SIMS, FMS and Discover

By 20th March 2023No Comments

Dear Colleague,

The Spring 2023 upgrade of SIMS, FMS and Discover is now available via SOLUS3. This upgrade contains a number of highly requested new features including:

  • Bulk update Pre-admissions for data such as EAL, Ethnicity, First Language.
  • Login enhancements for additional packages, such as Exams, Options 5, Nova T-6.

To see a list of the new features the release notes are available from our customer portal linked below:
https://schoolicts.halopsa.com/article?entity=articles&text=&id=376

For schools where we do the upgrade, if you have specific requirements we have created a form for you to let us know how we can improve and make your SIMS upgrade run more smoothly, with your preferred day: – https://forms.office.com/r/W3LU1GSfJw

Primary Schools
Some schools will apply this in-house or via a third-party IT provider, please make the relevant person aware this is now available upon request.

If School ICT is 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 helpdesk a call.

If you are unsure about who does your upgrade, please contact our helpdesk 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 workstations are switched on, the morning after the upgrade has been run, you will see a SOLUS3 popup. You can click on the “Deploy Now” button and 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 7.202 and FMS to 6.202. 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 these we have found 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 or not, please call us and we can confirm for you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Secondary Schools

We highly recommend this is applied ahead of the results download days to ensure this is as smooth as possible. 
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.

The software authorised:-

  • SIMS (Spring 2023) Full Release (7.210)
  • FMS (Spring 2023) Full Release (6.210)
  • SIMS Discover (2023 Spring)

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

If you cannot see the releases then please call the helpdesk. For any new 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.

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 if you have done this please call us and we can confirm for you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If School ICT are undertaking the upgrade on behalf of the school, please call or email our helpdesk 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.

Should you have any queries relating to any of the above, please contact the School ICT helpdesk on: 0345 222 6802 – option 1 or e-mail: helpdesk@schoolicts.co.uk.

Kind regards,

School ICT Services.