This time of year is a busy one for everyone connected with SIMS, as we look to finish off any work before the summer and make sure that we’re doing everything we can to support schools during this crucial period.
With that in mind, it’s time for us to keep everyone up to date with the work we’ve been carrying out recently to update SIMS and add in new functionality.
Delivering change requests
In recent weeks and months our development teams have been grafting away to make updates in response to over 20 individual change requests.
We regularly receive excellent feedback from our customers in regards to specific tools, views and fields that would help make life better, so it’s great for us to be able to put these into action and provide updates that you have been asking for.
This spring, those change requests included a fairly wide spread of functions, creating new fields and reports in addition to adding functionality.
For instance, we’ve created a number of new fields in the student list reports and some fairly detailed changes to staff performance which affect the way appraisals are handled.
For more details on the changes included in the spring release, SIMS customers can log in to My Account and visit this page dedicated to the full list of change requests: https://myaccount.capita-cs.co.uk/Notifications/CR-Spring-2018-SIMS/
For demonstrations of those change requests, you can also check out a series of videos from our product manager, Paul Featherstone, elsewhere on our blog.
As you can imagine, we regularly receive many requests for changes to satisfy the needs of our customers. By delivering such a large number in one release, we’re proud to demonstrate that we’re listening to our users and putting into action functionality that helps them get what they want from SIMS.
GDPR looms large on the horizon
As I write this, the changes to the data protection laws, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), are now just a matter of weeks away from coming into force.
Complying with the new regulations will undoubtedly be high on the priority list for schools this spring, so we’ve produced a number of pieces of content helping show how SIMS can help.
You can take a look at a quick digest of the GDPR content we’ve created so far via this page, including information on the SIMS Parent Lite app, our tool for capturing data safely and securely, which is included within your SIMS annual entitlement fee. You can read our blog to find out how to get set for the arrival of GDPR with the SIMS Parent Lite app.
Alternatively, check out our video on the ways that SIMS can help your school comply with GDPR or read our guest blog from OSMIS Education’s Darren Rose on what schools need to know about GDPR.
Existing customers of SIMS can stay on top of our latest updates on GPDR by logging on to My Account and either visiting the dedicated GDPR Hot Topic page or the list of GDPR frequently asked questions.
Parental engagement on the agenda
We’ve also made a number of changes to our products outside core SIMS as we move towards a fully integrated and holistic solution for parental engagement in schools.
SIMS Agora has received a couple of significant updates, gaining integrations with SIMS Dinner Money and SIMS ID. The greater connection with SIMS Dinner Money now means that parents have the ability to pre-order meals, making this essential task much smoother. The integration with SIMS ID, meanwhile, is part of the preparation work for the arrival of single sign-on, improving accessibility across all our engagement products.
And speaking of integrations, we’ve now included the functionality of SIMS Activities within the SIMS Parent app, creating a smoother process for managing extra-curricular activities and keeping parents informed accordingly. You can read more about this integration in product manager David Simpson’s blog or you can take a look at this video for guidance.
We’re constantly looking to make SIMS the best it can be for our customers, so we’re always keen to hear about improvements that you’d like to see implemented. If you’ve got any ideas about how to make SIMS work better for your school, please post any comments below or in the My Account Support forums.