Supporting the update to Primary

The SIMs Primary adoption is currently via a growing pilot program; and is a process of learning – for both Capita and customers. As a result, there is an ongoing process looking at how documentation is provided and updated. One of the key parts of the program is suitability checking – not everyone is suitable to enter yet. Key in this process are Support Units, who can help to identify and engage with potential early adopters – and arrange their update with Capita. Continue reading

SIMS Annual Conference 2017 – from the top

The event opened with a welcome from a new face – Brenda Morris, who recently joined, and has responsibility for the reorganised Education Software business. As part of this, she was keen to give us a background to herself and where Capita ESS fits inside the bigger Capita Group business. Brenda told us she is a “software person”, with experience of leading businesses from on premises systems to new solutions in the cloud. Her role is dedicated to the transition, and key to that is her experience to be able to deliver Sims 8. We also met at a new venue – Hinkley Island Conference Centre. The hot weather also joined us – as the event fell nicely in the June mini heat wave.

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In conversation with…

Hello readers, welcome to another blog post in the “in conversation with” series, this time with CEO of The Shine Trust Clare Gilhooly.

After being involved with the Let Teachers Shine competition for a number of years, it was great to get the opportunity to have an in depth conversation with Clare about the process – and what she thinks it does for the Teaching profession.

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Partnerships for Assessment

With the countdown to BETT 2017 in its last days – its not surprising there has been a flurry of activity and announcements. Regular readers won’t be surprised that I have been following the changes in the Assessment landscape; and as part of that – there is some interesting news to report. When the new SIMS Assessment was launched, the initial release concentrated on the Primary sector, and was well received. You may remember mentions of Learning Ladders back then. At the start of the month, a technical partnership between Capita SIMS and Learning Ladders was announced – but what does this actually mean for Schools? For head teachers, it means that primary schools are going to be able to measure pupils’ progress without levels easily and then analyse that data within the SIMS management information system. This very important, as it will give the tools schools need to be able to compare the progress of their pupils against similar schools nationally; making those statistics relevant. Schools are getting more data savy – and this ability to compare will help bring the confidence that decisions made on the ground are improving outcomes for pupils; as well as highlighting areas where more work is required.


Learning Ladders allows the freedom to easily personalise the curriculum to support an individual school’s assessment policy. What makes this solution different is that it was developed for schools by schools. The system is designed to be intuitive, using ‘Ladders’. Once information has been entered into Learning Ladders against the individual ‘Ladder Rungs’ it is automatically imported into SIMS which 22,000 schools already use. The approach is designed to support formative assessment within the classroom and aims to involve the whole school community in a conversation about learning. This automatic import saves time and gives senior leadership teams an accurate benchmark of progress.


Phil Neal, a director at Capita SIMS, says: “In this post-levels world, it is more important than ever for senior leadership teams to identify any gaps in learning. We are pleased to be working with Learning Ladders as it is providing many primary schools with an easy to use solution to developing their curriculum and assessing pupils.”


Matthew Koster-Marcon, managing director of Learning Ladders, says: “Now that schools have the freedom to develop a curriculum tailored to the particular needs of their pupils, it follows that they need a solution that can simply analyse the overall progress of an individual, group or an entire class. Our partnership with SIMS equips schools across the country with all the curriculum management skills that they need.”

Im sure this partnership will continue to reap rewards for SIMS users; and it will be interested to follow with Rachael Marshman (Product Manager – SIMS Assessment) – the impact this is having.