News that one of the best-known schools MIS on the market has a doubtful future could arguably not have come at a worse time.

As schools begin to return to normality after weathering the storm of Covid-19, they could be forgiven for thinking that replacing their MIS is an extra headache they really don't need. In reality, though, the news that Capita is trying to offload their ESS business, including the SIMS packages that are so widely used, makes that a distinct possibility.

Add to that the rumour that Arbor and Scholarpack owners The Key are looking at an autumn merger involving a private equity refinancing deal and things start to look very interesting indeed.

In reality, then, this may be exactly the right time to start looking for a more flexible, responsive, user-friendly cloud-based system that better reflects the realities of the modern school and takes advantage of an industry shake-up which has already seen Juniper acquire Pupil Asset.

While many schools have been wedded to Capita's management information system (SIMS) for many years, not least because the package was rolled out by local education authorities who felt it was the "safest" option, there is no doubt that it has begun to show its age.

Now that Capita is looking for a buyer for the product, which comes with a price tag many analysts feel is unrealistic, its days may well be numbered. At best it will need a major overhaul by a new owner; at worst it will become unsupported and potentially unreliable.

What can we do?

Schools can avoid this by talking to Accordio about the many alternative systems on the market, all designed to cope with the way schools and Academy Trusts work today.  These systems are sophisticated, adaptable, cloud-based and user-friendly.

Your school may also have signed up for a package that include a financial management systems as well as MIS - and many authorities, including Kent County Council, use Capita for both.

It makes sense, then, for schools that are considering moving their MIS to the cloud to look also at the FMS options out there, with PS Financials, SAGE and Bromcom amongst the clear frontrunners.

If your current system isn't able to:

  • Import copies of supplier invoices and customer purchase orders
  • reconcile bank statements imported directly from your bank account
  • allow all members of staff to submit an electronic purchase requisition
  • create a tiered structure for the authorisation of purchase orders, invoices, credit notes and payments
  • link to the school bank account and make payments via BACS

then you need to talk to Accordio about how much easier - and uncluttered by paper -  life would be if it could.

One of the best known schools MIS on the market has a doubtful future

Schools have shown themselves resilient to change in the way they have dealt with the Covid-19 challenge. They have seen the benefits of cloud-based systems that can be accessed quickly and easily and have emerged from lockdown determined to move forward.

If continuing that journey means moving to an MIS and FMS that's fit for purpose - and remember, staying with SIMS simply may not be an option for much longer - then now is the ideal time to check out what alternatives are out there.

For a free, no-obligation chat to Accordio about your school's future, simply make an appointment today.

UPDATE: you may also want to read our follow-up article following the recent announcement of the cancellation of SIMS 8