Leverington Primary Academy has always liked a challenge. Rated as seriously weak in 1998, the school worked hard to transform itself and achieved an Outstanding Ofsted rating in 2010. They became an academy in April 2011. To help them embrace the freedom of their new status, they have used SIMS technology to support them in their new responsibilities.
There are numerous responsibilities that come with converting to an academy, and one main concern for Leverington was the new financial obligations. The academy’s financial team uses SIMS FMS, an ICAEW accredited system, to support them. Members of the team have found the way the system breaks the academy’s budget down into smaller, more manageable sections particularly helpful and they are able to produce end of year financial reports more easily.
The chance to move away from the national curriculum was a main attraction for the school. Rosie Simmonds, Headteacher explains the responsibility that comes with this freedom.
She says: “As we continue to make changes to the curriculum and purchase new resources, we are more closely under the spotlight than ever. It is important for everyone concerned – staff, governors, parents, government and local community – to see evidence of how these adjustments are having an impact on achievement throughout the year.”
The academy has found tracking pupil data is key to this. The academy can enter achievement, behaviour and attendance data directly into SIMS, which can then be monitored and analysed. This has helped staff make decisions about how to intervene and support both high achievers and pupils who are not performing as well.
With the help of SIMS, Leverington has also been able to deliver the regular, up-to-date information parents now expect of them.
Rosie said: “As information about a child’s attendance and achievement is already recorded via SIMS, we can easily respond to queries from parents relating to their child’s performance in school.”
Since converting to academy, Leverington has seen a direct impact on attainment with 96% of pupils achieving level 4 in English and maths in 2011.