St Andrew’s Primary School is one of 350 schools in Norfolk moving to SIMS. Jeni Barnacle, one of the school’s two headteachers, explains why they made the switch.
“We are a small primary school with only 64 pupils. 55% of our children have special educational needs and 30% are entitled to free school meals. Most of our parents have no experience of further or higher education. Our Ofsted inspection in May 2011 highlighted low attainment of pupils and was the limiting factor to us receiving a Satisfactory grade.”
Jeni explains how she knew SIMS could make a difference: “I was reluctant to switch MIS as we had systems working well within the office. But when I saw Rosie Simmonds, Headteacher from Leverington Primary Academy, speak at a SIMS presentation, I was inspired and knew SIMS could make a real difference to our school. We didn’t want SIMS to be office-led as our previous MIS system had been, as the potential was never fully explored. We wanted it to be a MIS tool used by all staff. We wouldn’t have changed if we didn’t think it was worth it.”
“We currently keep detailed records about each child, known as individual formatives, and include their progress, a log of communications with parents and pupil behaviour all on the shared area in Word or Excel format. These are brilliant and impressed Ofsted but aren’t accessible outside of school. We needed something everyone could access. We can see that SIMS can replace the formatives - we can even add historical ones as linked documents to the child’s record.”
“At one glance, we have everything we need on one page and attendance has already improved. At parents’ evening, teachers had SIMS running in their classrooms to show parents information on their child’s progress.”
“We knew in 2008 our data needed to be more accessible for Ofsted - we are always a vulnerable school in their eyes, due to our attainment. SIMS fits with what we need to move our school forward. Our data is so important and has to be there for us to achieve a Good grade. The whole system enables us to have a global picture of each individual child in our school at our fingertips.”
Read more case studies from schools who have moved to SIMS: