The top-performing HMC independent Leicester Grammar School is based in Great Glen, South Leicestershire and attended by pupils aged 11-18. Headmaster, Christopher King wanted an easy way for staff to monitor the academic progress of pupils but there was a growing frustration with the school's existing management information system (MIS) as it struggled to keep up.
"We were limited in how we were able to track the academic progress of our pupils." Christopher King explains. "What's more, the information staff needed quick access to - such as details relating to children with special educational needs, for example - was available in our old system, but we had to go hunting for it. We needed an MIS that was more comprehensive and intuitive to use".
"With SIMS, staff find it extremely easy to identify which children have special educational needs, for example, and have a clear picture of what level of support is required in the classroom.
A class teacher can pull up the register, see a flag by a child's name and simply click through to all the salient information. So, if a child has dyslexia, the teacher can easily see all the relevant information needed to support them, such as details of whether the child needs to be provided with a larger font or a particular coloured background to participate fully in reading tasks during lessons. This was one area of our provision that impressed the inspection team in our recent ISI inspection."
As headmaster, Christopher finds the information available in SIMS so indispensable, he keeps it open on his desk all day.
"Before I would only log on to our database if I had to, as it wasn't easy to find the information I needed. Now, SIMS is open permanently when I'm in the office. I can find all the essential information I need very quickly and simply.
"SIMS is a workhorse for our school - it frees staff from unnecessary administration and releases time that can be focussed on getting more important things done.
I am particularly pleased with the dialogue that has opened up too. There is a real relationship being built between the school and the SIMS Independent team and a pathway in place to accommodate the areas of the system we want to develop further."