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. Following close work with a range of pilot schools throughout 2017, our current plans are to release SIMS Primary to primary schools in early 2018.
Q. We're a secondary or an independent school what about us?
A. For preparatory and junior schools we hope to be able to make a version available in later on in 2018. . For secondary and senior independent 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 2019.
Q.Our school is a special school what about us?
A. Special schools will be able to use SIMS Primary from early 2019.
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. They may prefer to wait until both primary and secondary school versions are available before moving to the new software although there is no obvious benefit in doing this.
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. For this reason, we are consulting with our partners so they can make the necessary adjustments to their products and ensure they will be compatible with SIMS Primary when it becomes available. Partners can connect their product to SIMS Primary via a suite of APIs. We will provide further detail in due course in relation to the range of products that are compatible with SIMS Primary.
Q. Can I see a demonstration of SIMS Primary?
A. We will be launching SIMS Primary at Bett 2018 where we will be demonstrating the software on our stand.