What’s new for SIMS Independent customers this spring?

By Wayne Reynolds

From giving teachers quicker access to Programme of Study assessments, to making it easier for your staff to enjoy a plate of ratatouille with your pupils at lunchtime, we have some useful new developments in store for independent and international schools as part of the SIMS spring release (version 7.174).

Best of all, many of these enhancements have been specifically requested by independent and international school customers so you can be confident that they’ll be both useful and relevant in helping you make the most of SIMS in your school.

I’ve selected a few of the spring developments that I think you’ll particularly welcome:

  • Quicker access for teachers to groups in Programme of Study assessments
    In our recent software releases we’ve added a range of new features into the Programme of Study assessment tracking grid, including the ability to customise statements and grade sets. Building on this functionality, this spring we’ve added the ability to save the selected group, enabling teachers to default to the same group every time they go into the tracking or analysis screens.
  • Understand where additional support is having an impact
    Whether it’s a Year 8 pupil slipping behind with maths, or a design technology scholarship pupil approaching an important assessment deadline, if you allocate extra resources you need to know these are having an impact. Released this spring, SIMS Interventions is a new solution that enables you to identity students who may need extra help, and record and track what’s working best for them, all from information stored in SIMS.
  • Making it easier to record Tier 4 information for the Home Office
    We’ve made it easier for you to record nationality information from the Tier 4 details link in the links panel, instead of having to record this separately in the nationality area. This includes the recording of basic information, such as place of birth, and details such as multiple and historical visas and records of confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS). You can also access a summary of the reports being sent to the Home Office.
  • Enable staff to enjoy the delicious lunches at your school
    One of the most common requests we’ve received from schools is to develop our payment software Agora, to make it possible for staff to pay for their lunches using one of our partner cashless caterers.  We’ve made this possible with the latest SIMS release, enabling you to open out the choice of school lunches to your staff team.
  • Enhanced security in Fees Billing
    We’ve added a facility in Fees Billing to strengthen the security of your financial documents which we know is particularly important when it comes to emailing this information to parents. With the spring release, you can now add a password to bills, statements and receipts - this then requires the bill payer to enter the agreed password before being able to view the document.
  • Helping you to meet the regulations on Children Missing in Education
    To support the new Children Missing in Education legislation, we’ve added the expected start date for the destination school to the school history. There’s also an updated admissions register report so that you can easily collate this information.

You can find a full list of the enhancements in our release note on MyAccount  - I’d love to know what you think of these and whether there’s a particular update that you think your school will make the most use of.

To discuss how you use SIMS, including how you can make the most of SIMS throughout your school, please contact the SIMS Independent and International team

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