November 2015: Phil Neal, managing director of Bedfordshire-based Capita SIMS, has been named winner of the Education Investor Award for outstanding contribution by an individual, at a ceremony that took place last night at The Brewery in London. The award recognises how Phil’s dedication to developing software that makes teachers’ working lives simpler has truly revolutionised how schools in the UK are run.
The SIMS management information system that Phil Neal helped develop was born out of his frustration with the endless routine tasks he faced during his time as a physics teacher, like writing reports or taking the register. Some 30 years later, Phil heads a company of more than 600 people and SIMS is the management information system used daily by 22,000 schools.
Phil Neal, managing director of Capita SIMS, says: “I am truly honoured to be recognised by the education sector in this way. Little did I know that the simple idea of computerising administration tasks in schools all those years ago would grow into an organisation serving so many teachers and support staff.
“This award represents the collective effort of every member of the Capita SIMS team – past and present. Together, we strive to develop tools that make teachers’ lives that little bit easier, so that they can focus on inspiring the next generation to fulfil their potential.”
As a sign of Phil’s passion, members of the education community have also recognised Phil’s remarkable achievements.
Stuart Lee, data manager at Sprowston Community High School, says: “If only more managing directors had the total understanding, commitment and enthusiasm for their product and sector as Phil Neal! There’s no doubt this has helped SIMS achieve what it has today.”
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, adds: “Phil is passionate about what he does because he understands schools. I meet regularly with him to talk about developments in education, and in my experience, Phil always listens intently to feedback and responds to it by doing his very best to ensure that SIMS meets evolving needs.”
Andy Parker, chief executive of Capita plc, says: “It’s absolutely right that Phil has been honoured with this much-deserved award. He is a fantastic ambassador for Capita, and his stewardship of Capita SIMS has secured its place at the forefront of the industry.”
The Education Investor Award for outstanding contribution celebrates the achievements of a true pioneer.
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About Capita SIMS:
Capita SIMS 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.