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24th June 2008: Stafford Collegiate will today announce that they have successfully overcome one of the most logistically difficult challenges of the new diplomas by sharing real-time pupil achievement and attendance information amongst its seven member schools.

The announcement comes at a time when many schools are preparing for the launch of the diplomas and a wider post-14 curriculum from September 2008. With the diplomas, pupils will often be required to attend more than one school or college to study. Institutions will therefore need to share pupil information so that the base school can keep on top of their pupils’ attendance and achievement.

Stafford Collegiate, whose different education centres have combined their curriculum to offer over 2,000 different courses to students, are using Capita’s SIMS Partnership Xchange to successfully share data between the schools’ management information systems. They will announce their achievement to an audience of nearly 400 local authority staff at Capita’s SIMS conference, which is taking place at Keele University today.

Phil Cumming, Head of Stafford Collegiate, who will share the news said: “We have over 2,000 qualifications which are already being studied outside a student’s base school at some point during the school week. We needed to find a way to monitor in real-time whether our students were attending their courses and what progress they were making. SIMS Partnership Xchange is helping us achieve this ahead of the diplomas being introduced in September.

“To support our students effectively we need to make timely interventions. You need accurate, immediate and up-to-date information to see if anything is going wrong or if students are on course to succeed. This data is of crucial importance to the partnership’s success.”

Using SIMS Partnership Xchange, the Collegiate has completed their reports to parents entirely paper-free, using the information held on the system, thereby successfully reducing the amount of administration teachers undertake.

Phil Neal, Director of SIMS for Capita, said: “SIMS Partnership Xchange allows schools who wish to offer their students wider curriculum choices though school partnerships, to share attendance, assessment, behaviour and other data from all institutions pupils attend so they can remain on top of their conduct and achievement on a constant basis.

“Using SIMS Partnership Xchange a pupil’s base school can know within an hour if a child turned up as expected to a lesson off-site or if they behaved poorly whilst away from their home school and need to be followed-up. This is extremely important for the under 16s group where a school has a legally binding, loco parentis duty of care during school hours.”

In addition, schools will be able to share standard pupil information with partner institutions such as name, contact address and details of any special educational needs easily. Any changes to a child’s record need only be made once and will be reflected in all partner institutions where a student is engaged in learning, reducing the administrative burden of maintaining student data across multiple institutions and improving reporting. Security measures ensure that schools and teachers in the partnership will only have access to the pupil record if the student attends their school or class, maintaining confidentiality.

The Stafford Collegiate is one of three school partnerships that have piloted SIMS Partnership Xchange throughout the academic year 2007/2008. SIMS Partnership Xchange will be available to all schools from September 2008 from Capita.

ENDS

Ref: CAP369
Words: 552
Date: 24 June

Capita contact:

Graham Cooper, Head of Marketing, Capita, Franklin Court, Priory Business Park, Cardington, Bedford, MK44 3JZ. Tel: 01234 838 080 Email graham.cooper@capita.co.uk
Website: www.sims.co.uk

Press contact:

Catherine Lane, Catherine Lane PR, Floor, 145-157 St John Street, London, EC1V 4PY. Tel: 07092 864 764. Mobile: 07813 978 133 Email: catherine@catherinelane.com

About Capita:

Capita is the leading supplier of information systems to the education sector, providing a range of software and services to schools and local authorities to help raise standards and reduce administration. Capita’s SIMS is the most popular management information system for schools and is used every day by more than 22,000 educational establishments in the UK.

www.sims.co.uk

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