Our most frequently asked questions
Q. Why have you decided to build SIMS Primary now?
A. The time is right. We have considered offering a web-based MIS for several years, but it is only recently that the technology and infrastructure is available to support it. The very latest browser technology can provide schools with the same level of functionality and responsiveness as a client-server MIS. The provision of much more robust access to the internet in most areas ensures almost 100% availability of the software.
Q. When will I be able to buy SIMS Primary?
A. SIMS Primary is currently is an early adoption phase and we're working closely with local authorities to be able to roll it out to schools. Please contact your local authority or support unit for further information.
Q. We're a secondary or an independent school what about us?
A. We have already delivered the first of the new solutions for secondary schools with the release in October 2017 of our SIMS Options solution, this also works with SIMS7 so is available to all secondary customers now. Examinations, Staff Cover and Timetabling are already in development and we look forward to releasing these solutions over the course of 2019. For preparatory and junior schools we hope to be able to make a version available in the near future as these schools require less functionality than independent senior schools. For the latter type of schools we will be developing new versions of Cover, Timetabling, Examinations and Fees Billing, which means that the availability of a new solution for this type of school will begin to emerge in early to mid-2019.
Q.Our school is a special school what about us?
A. SIMS Primary already has SEN functionality. Please contact your support unit for further information.
Q. We are a MAT and have both primary and secondary schools in our trust. What options are available to us?
A. MATs with a mixed economy of primary and secondary schools may begin to move their primary schools to SIMS Primary on release and leave their secondary schools on SIMS 7 until the cloud version for secondary schools is released. We are also currently in a beta phase of testing a reporting solution that will enable MATs to report on a mixed economy of schools.
Q. Will SIMS Primary do everything that SIMS currently does?
A. At the top level, all the functional areas in SIMS have been replicated in SIMS Primary - e.g. Assessment, Behaviour/Achievement, Attendance, SEN, and Statutory Returns etc. However, we want SIMS Primary to improve on SIMS rather than simply replicating what the system does now. As a result, we have been consulting with users on the SIMS Primary pilot programme on the detail of which features of SIMS they find invaluable, which they no longer use and also what additional functions they would like to see. It is possible that some of the least used features from SIMS may not be available in SIMS Primary but there will also be numerous new features that SIMS does not currently offer.
Q. If all the student data is held offsite will it be secure?
A. The security of data is generally improved with the move to a hosted solution as there is no longer a need for sensitive information to leave the system as secure access to SIMS Primary will be possible from any computer. The responsibility for backing up and storing back up disks safely is managed centrally and therefore more robust procedures can be followed – including, for most schools, much improved physical security. More detail of the security, data protection, privacy and hosting approaches are available on request.
Q. What about partner products? How will they work with SIMS Primary?
A. We are committed to our partner programme as we know many of the products our partners supply are crucial tools for our customers. We are continuing to work with our third party suppliers to ensure their products will be compatible with SIMS Primary. If you have a specific third party you'd like more information on, please direct your question about their SIMS Primary readiness to them.
Q. Can I see a demonstration of SIMS Primary?
A. Please contact your local authority or support unit to see SIMS Primary in action. Alternatively, you can sign up to hear more about SIMS Primary below, where you'll receive short demonstration videos of SIMS Primary.