A SIMS MIS: should I stay, or should I go?

School leaders
By Tom Kershaw | 26th August 2022 | 3 min read

Last week Education Software Solutions (ESS) updated its contract break clause.

Schools and trusts now have a second opportunity to switch their MIS away from SIMS if they weren’t ready to do so earlier this year.

What does the new break clause mean?

The new break clause now has three options based on schools’ current positions, offering extensions ranging from 4 to 12 months.

While those who weren’t ready to move at the start of the year have another opportunity to do so, they must communicate their intentions to ESS by either the end of September or mid-October, depending on which category they fall into.

Recommendations for those looking to switch providers

Schools and MATs are faced with the tough task of determining whether they stay or go.

While it may seem daunting, this could be viewed positively as an opportunity to get much more out of your Management Information System (MIS).

For those thinking of switching, considering the following could help:

Find a software vendor that can do more than just MIS

As many schools/MATs use SIMS and FMS in unison, switching may require not only a new MIS but also a financial management system.

While this may initially seem like another level of complexity and a barrier to switching, finding a provider that also offers both an MIS and finance system will ease the transition greatly.

Additionally, staff retention, development and attraction are crucial aspects of running a school, so making sure you have modern HR, payroll and recruitment tools can make a real difference to staff experience and to operating costs.

More content: follow the link for further guidance on moving your MIS to a new vendor.

Don’t let data deter you

From speaking with schools and MATs, we understand that there are concerns regarding moving data, but don’t let it be a deterrent.

You can simplify the migration process by mapping out and cleaning your data.

Some suppliers, such as IRIS, have Project Managers who can also guide you through the data migration process, simplifying the task significantly.

Customer story: Successful trusts of tomorrow need full and fast access to data today

Read here

Don’t find a supplier, find a partner!

The prospect of moving MIS can seem like a gargantuan task – it won’t be if you find the right provider.

When assessing and speaking to potential alternatives, drill into what the implementation process will look like and the level of support available.

Some providers use proven change management methodologies, such as agile waterfall, ensuring each implementation is flexible and tailored to the school’s needs and broken down into phases to ensure a smooth transition.

Out with the old

Change has become a constant in schools and trusts over the past couple of years.

There will always be individuals or groups who are nervous or resistant to it, but in the end, change is good and is often the only route to growth and prosperity for all.

For those thinking about switching, we’ve created a guide that details all aspects of implementing a new MIS.

From what the step-by-step process for changing looks like to key considerations, this complimentary guide offers an all-in-one resource.

Download the guide here.