SIMS beyond the School Office

As schools look for ways to save money and make the best use of their resources, one of the decisions that senior leaders may look to weigh up is whether to extend SIMS beyond the confines of the school office.  Being able to access SIMS functionality from the classroom or from beyond the school gates can have a significant impact on your key data processes and puts data into the hand of those that need it, when they need it most.  For example, class attendance and dinner registers can be recorded at source with 1st day absence and catering reports available within an instant of the register being taken.

Broadening access to SIMS will also help to maximise the long term investment your school has made in your MIS system.  Cashable and non-cashable savings can be made in respect of staff time, flexible working, reducing your hardware infrastructure and potentially removing the need for alternative software solutions such as assessment trackers or behaviour monitoring tools.

What are the Options?
Extending SIMS can be achieved in a variety of ways, the choice will come down to your own requirements, the costs associated, and any offsetting savings and efficiencies. Whatever your choice, the MIS Team are always here to advise, manage and support you through any change, and as a subscriber to our annual SLA you won’t pay us a penny extra.

Click any section below to learn more
Single Network

Option 1 : A single school network

Primary schools within Gateshead have traditionally operated on two discreet networks, Admin and Curriculum.  Due to the Public Services Network restrictions placed on the Admin side of the network, it has never been possible to simply access SIMS from the curriculum through traditional server/client connectivity.  However, over the last few years, a number of schools, either driven by the academisation process or simply through a need for greater efficiency, have switched to a single school network and installed SIMS across their school.

On a single school network, SIMS can be deployed seamlessly to any Windows PC or laptop, and secure, role based access provided to staff using their personal network login for immediate authentication.

Key points:

  • SIMS will operate on almost any device running Windows 7 or later, so there should be no significant costs in respect of updating your existing PC hardware.
  • Subject to specification, SIMS can be installed to your existing curriculum server saving £££’s.
  • No migration charges.  SIMS is transferred to your curriculum network at no extra cost *
  • Unlimited users. Expand the number of SIMS users at no additional charge.
  • No admin network means that corporate email and Agresso would be accessed via remote key fob.
  • Single network allows greater file and data sharing.
  • Access is limited to devices within school, although VPN technology could be used to open up external access.
Cloud Hosting

Option 2 : Cloud Hosting
With 85% of UK organisations using cloud-based services within the next two years, it’s no surprise that many schools are making the move too.  Many of you will already be familiar with the cloud within schools, you’re most likely using it every day for online payments, school to home communications and Office 365.

Moving SIMS to the cloud means you can access your data online from any web browser on any device with an internet connection. With your MIS data no longer stored on hardware within your school, but fully protected within a secure data centre, you can access SIMS at any time.

Key Points

  • Save on hardware and support by removing the need for a dedicated SIMS server and costly SQL licencing.
  • SIMS updates, upgrades and backups are processed automatically, reducing the cost of server support and offsite backup.
  • Hosting costs apply.
  • No changes required to existing network infrastructure.
  • Improve work/life balance with flexible, anywhere, anytime secure access.
  • Access from any device with a web browser.
  • Ensure staff understand how to protect data when working online or offsite.
  • Decent internet connectivity required (min 2Mbps)
SIMS Teacher App

Option 3 : SIMS Teacher App
Teachers never have enough time. With the curriculum to cover, skills to teach, reports to write and meetings to attend, the demands are endless, both in and outside the classroom.  As a result of this, the notion of teachers being confined to the classroom has long since changed and it is as important as ever to ensure teachers have access to the data they need when they need it.

The SIMS Teacher app for iOS and Windows mobile devices makes everyday classroom tasks simple without taking attention away from your class or your teaching.

Using a simple, intuitive interface, you can view and input data in real time across a range of class based activities from any location with or without an internet connection.

  • Access important pupil data.
  • Effortlessly record attendance data for every pupil, even on the playing field.
  • Quickly access assessment marksheets and enter grades and comments.
  • Connect to the IWB to let pupils register their daily meal choices.
  • Award achievement or behaviour points.

 

Key Points

  • No change to network infrastructure required.
  • Utilises existing iPad or Windows tablet devices.
  • Fully managed and secure.
  • Anywhere, anytime access to key pupil data with Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G.
  • Real-time read-write synchronisation with SIMS.
  • Offline access.
  • Subscription charges apply

Read our SIMS Teacher app article to find out more