Princethorpe College in Rugby has chosen Capita’s SIMS Curriculum Management suite to make it easier for the Curriculum Co-ordinator to manage the school’s complex timetabling and cover demands.
The new system was selected following trials of several other curriculum management tools available on the market. SIMS will dramatically cut the time it takes for the college to create timetables, arrange teacher cover, organise events and create internal examination timetables for its 820 pupils.
Dr Michael Tideswell, Curriculum Co-ordinator at Princethorpe College, said: “Like many schools in the independent sector, we offer a broad range of academic and extra-curricular activities, so managing timetables and arranging teacher cover at the college can be an incredibly complicated undertaking. We chose SIMS because it is so easy to use and we could find no other product on the market that enables us to manage these processes so quickly and simply.
“We find the SIMS timetable construction package excellent. The logical sequence from curriculum diagram to finished timetable is easy to follow, the screens are intuitive and clear to read and the ease and flexibility with which one can combine human input with computer processing power is a joy. The tool enables us to produce an efficient and effective timetable much faster than we could before.”
The task of arranging teacher cover for the college has also been transformed by SIMS. There are typically around 10% of teaching staff not following their regular timetable on any given day due to additional responsibilities such as school trips, training or even sickness.
Using SIMS, the staff member responsible for arranging lesson cover can see a clear picture of the college timetable and the system will automatically identify those staff who can provide lesson cover, whether it is for that day or several weeks in advance of a teacher’s absence.
Dr Michael Tideswell said, “We can allocate a member of staff with particular skills to a lesson for a Year 5 or Year 6 Taster Day, cover that member of staff’s class and if necessary, re-room the class to make way for the Taster lesson – all in the space of a few mouse clicks. The system also enables us to manage agency or part-time staff and others contributing to lesson cover effectively.”
Julie Booth, head of independent schools at Capita SIMS, said: “Schools need to be able to offer a broad range of options for study and a wide variety of opportunities that their pupils can engage in outside of the classroom. It’s what parents expect. The additional burden this can place on managing the school timetable should not be underestimated and we are thrilled that Princethorpe has picked the SIMS Curriculum Management solution to help it meet the expectations of parents and ensure the task of timetabling is simpler to manage.”
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Issue date: 01 May 2012
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