Next Generation SIMS – SIMS Assessment Manager Blog

Posts in this series
  1. Next Generation SIMS - SIMS Assessment Manager Blog
  2. Capita SIMS announces a major refresh to their award-winning software for schools | Capita SIMS

Capita are developing the new version of the school database that is currently installed in 20,000 schools across England and Wales. Not before time perhaps – Sims hasn’t changed much in the past 10 years – during which it has been patched, debugged and repaired countless times. So SIMS is currently being re-build and re-designed, which is exactly what Phil Neal, the original creator of SIMS thirty years ago and now in charge of the development of the new version, wants:

“In redeveloping the MIS, I wanted a solution that would win over the hearts and minds of teachers. The goal was to ensure teachers would enjoy using the software, no matter what task they had to perform,” says Phil.

“I went back to basics and looked at every task a teacher or school leader had to carry out in school and what information would help them complete these tasks easily. I then went about designing these features into the software so teachers would not need to spend time pulling data out of systems. Instead, SIMS will present teachers automatically with what they need to know about their pupils, and heads will instantly be able to access all they need to know about their school without having to go looking for it. My aim is to help schools have all the information they need to improve pupil outcomes.”

via Next Generation SIMS – SIMS Assessment Manager Blog.

I remember SIMS from the good old “Blue Screen” DOS days; Okay, maybe not “Good Old Days”, but affection – this could be something amazing days. Granted when they moved to a Windows GUI it through me a bit, but it has potential; Then came SIMS 7, the almost browser look, one single sheet of a screen that had everything on it (Talking about STAR here, you know – pupil stuff).

I’ll agree with the write up above – it hasn’t changed in years, but then it is familiar yet not very satisfying. I’m looking forward to what SIMS 8 can offer, let alone how it will look, it might even be an assault on the senses going by all the coloured boxes, however, time will tell.

On another note it looks to me as though SIMS will be turned into “SIMS as a Service” if it moved purely to the cloud; something that I’m not immediately keen on; I do like having my data sat on my servers. There is an inherent responsibility there, something that I think will diminish (as a viewpoint) over time with it all being in the cloud. It will become someone else problem to maintain/backup and restore (assuming they check their backups and not just the logs).

I suppose I’ll also say good bye to Authenticated “Trusted” logins linked to Active Directory; here comes another set of usernames and passwords to remember!

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