Education Software Solutions (ESS), the leading provider of digital solutions for schools, is this week inviting schools that previously engaged with ESS via their local authorities to sign up directly with ESS, a move that ensures schools can access exciting new Next Gen features within ESS’ market-leading MIS solution, SIMS.
SIMS Next Gen will see ESS invest up to £40 million in SIMS and FMS over the next three years. As a result of this investment, schools that sign up directly with ESS will be able to enjoy the enhanced cloud-based functionality of SIMS Next Gen for a token £1 per annum.
Mark Brant, CEO of ParentPay, said, “We are pleased to offer those schools that previously engaged with us via their local authority the chance to sign up with us directly so that they can access SIMS Next Gen, with the enhanced functionality and powerful data insights this will offer. The move to direct contracts will also allow schools greater freedom to tailor SIMS to their specific needs.”
As part of the SIMS Next Gen programme, ESS is also undertaking a major customer listening exercise, with several hundred users currently participating in pilot programmes to help shape the future of SIMS.
Mark Brant added, “In mid-December the Department for Education advised SIMS Direct customers to proceed as they ordinarily would, in signing up to our new three-year SIMS direct agreement. With this week’s opening of the ESS Gateway, LA maintained schools can also now sign up for a new three-year direct agreement, and to encourage them to do so, for a limited period, we are offering to include a 6-month break clause in these new agreements. In the interests of equity this option will also be made available to all customers entering into new three-year annual entitlement agreements, including those who have already done so.”
SIMS Next Gen will start to be rolled out during 2022, with new components deployed as native cloud-based applications that sit alongside existing SIMS features, allowing SIMS users to adopt these features at their own pace and without disruption or data loss. Schools that previously contracted via their local authorities will receive an email from ESS inviting them to confirm acceptance of a new agreement via the ESS online Gateway by 31st March 2022, and to notify us by 20th February 2022 if they wish to have the option of a six-month break clause. Schools wishing to register their interest in taking part in a pilot to help shape the future of SIMS can do so using this link.