I am privileged in my role to be able to spend a lot of time visiting schools, talking to our Independent school users and listening to what they have to say. As an ex Deputy Head, visiting schools and talking to staff is something I get a lot out of and really enjoy. I never tire of hearing about the changes they are facing, the challenges they are seeking to overcome and how they use SIMS to help. Plus, I have been lucky enough to travel to some amazing schools in some stunning settings!
When someone asks me about SIMS and what it is, I always start by explaining a bit about its history. Most people are astonished to learn that SIMS is the original MIS and that it was created over 30 years ago by Phil Neal, a teacher at Lea Manor High School. Bedfordshire County Council then developed the original product further and rolled it out to other schools in 1984.
It only became SIMS in 1988 actually, the year George Michael had 4 number ones with the likes of Phil Collins, Bon Jovi and Rick Astley (for those old enough to remember!). It also comes as a surprise to a lot of schools that the original exclusively independent school systems, Mentor and Dolphin were incorporated into SIMS in the mid 2000’s.
In terms of expertise and longevity you really can’t beat SIMS and we’ve invested millions of pounds each year in developing our MIS and continue to invest in, research and develop it so it meets the needs of schools today and tomorrow. This is why no other solution delivers the depth, richness and usability of SIMS Independent and no other solution can claim to.
SIMS has come a long way over the years and the SIMS of today is still leading the way.
SIMS is a pupil performance solution. An efficiency-finding solution. A change-making solution. SIMS supports the delivery of school management efficiency through the use of IT. It helps teachers and school leadership teams make informed, intelligent decisions that can have a real impact on raising achievement. With SIMS you have actionable intelligence from across the whole school right when you need it, where you need it and how you need it, allowing you more clarity, more control and more impact. You know, and do not need to guess what is happening in your school. ‘Finger-in-the-wind’ judgements become a thing of the past.
SIMS brings together and engages your students, staff and parents to ensure your school is successful, future-ready and future-proof.
Last year I visited Leicester Grammar School, a top HMC school, (http://www.leicestergrammar.org.uk/) to see how SIMS supports their comprehensive parental reporting solution and I also visited colleagues at Reeds Independent School ( http://www.reeds.surrey.sch.uk/) where I saw possibly the best student tracking and analysis system I have ever seen in SIMS. Susie Lacey from Reeds and the phenomenal work she’s done with their data is now a finalist for the i25 Awards which is testimony to the really great things you can achieve with SIMS.
Wondering if SIMS is for you?
If you are not using data to drive school improvement and management efficiency as much as you would like to, all systems can appear attractive, and often very similar in terms of what they do. However, when you’ve got the basics up and running and want to go further, SIMS comes into its own. No other MIS provider can match the depth or breadth of SIMS functionality to give you access to the capabilities you need to really get to grips with effective school leadership.
You might consider all MIS providers “good enough” and choose your system on this basis – that any solution will basically do what you need it to, and not look too closely “under the hood”. However, one thing I have learned over many years of visiting and working with Independent Schools is that no-one accepts “good enough” when it comes to student outcomes and the education they provide, and nor should they. So why do the same with your MIS?
If you’re thinking of changing your school MIS and you’d like to find out more about us and what we can do for your school please get in touch today.
We’d love to hear from you!
SIMS Independent – why compromise?