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Andrew Smith Tony Speakman
Object Marketing FileMaker Northern Europe
Tel: 020 8762 9292 Tel: 01628 534100



… Blackpool Sixth Form College To Demonstrate Use Of FileMaker on Stand O40…

LONDON, UK – December 3rd, 2004 - The complete FileMaker 7 product family will be showcased for the first time at the BETT show from 12-15 January 2005 on Stand 040. FileMaker Pro 7 is the number one selling easy-to-use database software for educators and administrators. It’s used in more than 10,000 schools worldwide to effortlessly manage students, staff, equipment and more – on Mac and PC, from desktop to Web. The award winning FileMaker Pro 7, Developer, Mobile, Server and Server Advanced will all feature at the show.

Tony Speakman, General Manager for Northern Europe comments: ”Now more than ever schools need to organise data and to be productive instantly and with as little administration input as possible. FileMaker Pro 7 comes with a new set of educational starter solutions so it is possible to make school records, libraries and reports in minutes rather than days. FileMaker dramatically reduces administration by avoiding duplicate data entry and time consuming file searches.”

Speakman continues: “The new economic climate is driving growing numbers of educational establishments to investigate the use of tools such as FileMaker in order to accomplish objectives faster and better – and most importantly, for less money. The IT suppliers that are most likely to help the education sector are those that can support ICT advisors and IT Managers in managing the complexity of the current economic and political climate. In these kinds of situation, demand for projects to become more cost effective and met within tighter deadlines becomes paramount. Ultimately, low total cost of ownership (TCO) is just as important in the education sector as in the corporate world.”

Earlier this year FileMaker launched two web sites devoted to highlighting the wide number of FileMaker solutions available for the UK education sector. Speakman explains: “We felt that this sector would be well served by web sites dedicated to demonstrating how FileMaker has already made a huge impact on the efficiency to all types of educational establishment. By providing clear and concise information about the breadth of solutions available and how other schools, colleges and universities have benefited from FileMaker, we feel we can help everyone in this vital sector, from students to teachers and administrative staff. We look forward to continuing to deliver the easiest to use and most economical database solutions for the education sector for both Mac and PC.”

Located at and, these sites also contain a number of new case studies showing how educational establishments of all types and sizes have benefited from deploying FileMaker.

As an example, Croxteth Community Comprehensive School, a medium-sized, co-educational school situated on the outskirts of Liverpool, has improved pupil attendance, reduced the workload involved in managing supply cover, and generally improved its entire approach to information management through the deployment of FileMaker.

According to Andy Marsh, ICT Applications Manager at Croxteth: “There is an ever increasing demand on schools to analyse and evaluate data in a meaningful context. However, the mountain of data that the school generated wasn’t necessarily used to best effect. We were often ending up with duplication of data across the school. We really needed to improve the quality and usefulness of documents produced and the way we used data. And we also required a bespoke solution that could be customised to fit our needs. Staff also needed to access data without needing to go through a third party to get it, such as phoning the central office for a student’s telephone number. More specifically, we needed to roll out electronic registration across the school and provide the staff with a powerful tool to combat lateness, spot truancy, record attendance, automate letter sending and trigger phone calls to parents of absent students.”

Continues Marsh: “In the end, our decision was quite simple. FileMaker Pro met all of our criteria. Staff now have data at their fingertips and can access it from anywhere in the school. Student attendance is also easily tracked and truancy is quickly spotted. Cost and time has been saved by centralising the printing and sending of absence letters. Staff can see the benefits of using the system and have been very quick to learn it. It has helped us enormously with managing supply cover. We’ve reduced the workload of our cover manager by half because FileMaker automatically shows him free staff available for cover from the FileMaker timetable module and inserts group, room and teacher info ready for display in the staffroom. Also, it could be argued we now have a competitive advantage over the pupils in that we know precisely if they are in and which sessions they have (or have not!) attended. For the future, we are planning to expand the system to include other modules such a
s instant SMS text sending to parents, subject testing, assessment, report writing and lesson planning. We will also be looking at publishing data on the web using FileMaker Unlimited as well as enabling access through PDA's. Longer term, we are exploring expanding the solution to local primary schools and perhaps even throughout other LEA schools.”

Blackpool Sixth Form College runs its entire management information system on FileMaker and will be on hand at the show to demonstrate its use of the software. Attendees can learn more, including how the college uses a ‘hole in the wall terminals for students to keep up to date.

FileMaker allows Blackpool Sixth Form College to handle all aspects of student and staff records, course details, timetables and examination results.

It has developed “hole in the wall” style terminals that allow students to gain access to relevant information stored in FileMaker wherever they are on campus.

Since its doors opened in 1971, Blackpool Sixth Form College has gone from strength to strength and now has over a thousand full-time A-level and GCSE students aged between 16 and 19. Subjects studied include Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, English, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Law, Mathematics, Media and Film Studies, and Sociology.

The College also runs vocational courses in Shorthand and Word and Text Processing as well a number of evening classes aimed at adult students. It also offers students a huge and diverse range of recreational activities which is unmatched by any other sixth form in the country. In 2003-04, about seventy activities are available including over thirty sports teams.

According to Alan Lloyd, Assistant Principal, Information Systems at Blackpool Sixth Form College: “We have around 1300 full time students and have used FileMaker to run our entire management information system for many years. More recently, we have added a complete tutor management system, written in FileMaker, which we call Alliance. Around 100 tutors are using laptops with FileMaker-based Alliance Client software that can be used to register students, send messages, record marks, handle progress reviews and send disciplinary referrals if required. The client software can be used both on and offline. It automatically synchronises data to the main Alliance Server. Messages can either be read out by tutors or students can go to “hole in the wall” style terminals which we call Viewpoints. These Viewpoints use a barcode reader and flat touch-screens. A Viewpoint screen can be used by a student to read messages, view registers, look at examination results or check personal detai
ls. A member of staff can also use them to “clock” in and out of College. Another FileMaker–based application, called Alliance Central, is used to print staff and student ID cards, analyse attendance, generate reports, and record known absences. Finally, we also have 300 Computing and ICT students using FileMaker for their A level and AS level course work”

Concludes Lloyd: “FileMaker is changing the way we work in College and has been a resounding success with all the staff that use it. The only losers are students who miss lessons – there is no hiding place with Alliance!”

About FileMaker

FileMaker is a leader in workgroup databases and workgroup information solutions. Unlike complex database software, the FileMaker intuitive interface empowers knowledge workers to create and share rich solutions. The award-winning FileMaker line of database software provides relational power, instant and custom Web publishing and legendary ease-of-use. FileMaker, Inc. is the database software subsidiary of Apple Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).

For information on where to purchase FileMaker products please call:

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©2004 FileMaker, Inc. All rights reserved. FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.

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