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!
Most recently, I heard that one of the arguments so beloved of our competitors is that “SIMS is a state school product”.
So, in this blog I would like to go some way to quelling this misconception!
In a nutshell, 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.
Q: But wasn’t it designed for state schools?
Yes. SIMS was originally created for state schools and originally is key here. We’ve been supporting schools with their data management for over 30 years now and so that was a long time ago!
The SIMS Independent you’re using today has come a long way since then.
Q: So, is it still primarily a state school product?
No. And to answer this question, it is important to make clear that for all the important qualities that make independent schools distinct, 80% of what guides pupil attainment, management control and governance is common across education in both State and Independent schools, and I have seen schools in both sectors use the software brilliantly.
Last week 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 last month I 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. I have other visits to SIMS Independent schools on the horizon and I’m looking forward to hearing how they use SIMS to support them in running their schools and delivering for their students and parents.
What’s more, we invest millions of pounds each year in developing this 80% and we continue to invest in, research and develop SIMS so it meets the needs of schools today and tomorrow.
Q: So, what about the other 20%?
Well, put simply, that 20% has been developed exclusively for Independent schools to ensure that the SIMS Independent MIS supports, meets and continues to meet all your unique requirements. This is why no other solution delivers the depth, richness and usability of SIMS Independent and no other solution can claim to.
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?