ICT Services 4 Education


School ICT News Bulletin No. 171 - 10/12/2010

Published by Children’s Services

ICT SERVICES FOR SCHOOLS PROJECT Invitation to School Workshops No 2.


Thank you to all schools’ staff who attended the School Workshops held in November to discuss the ICT requirements specific to Norfolk’s schools – a summary of key messages from attendees at these workshops can be found at: http://www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk/page_87.cfm

Thank you too for your responses to the School ICT Requirements’ Questionnaire. We were pleased to receive a total of 945 questionnaire responses from over 200 schools – a summary of those responses will be available at the above website from early January 2011.

We have arranged a second series of School Workshops to take place in January 2011 to obtain your views on the draft ICT Service Design for Schools. This document will be based on the detailed feedback you gave at the November workshops and in the Questionnaire. Please attend one of the workshops (each workshop will cover the same topics) and take the opportunity to walk through and comment on the proposed service design.

As before, the workshops are suitable for:

  • Head Teachers
  • Staff involved in leadership and management of ICT
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff

The dates/venues are:

  • 26th January 2011 at West Norfolk Professional Development Centre, Kilhams Way, Kings Lynn, PE30 2HU
  • 27th January 2011 at South Green Park Enterprise Centre, Mattishall, Dereham, NR20 3JY
  • 28th January 2011 at Norwich City Football Club, Carrow Road, Norwich

Lunch will be provided from 1.00pm and the workshops will start at 2.00pm and finish at 4.00pm. To book a place on a workshop please e-mail ICT Business Support with your preferred date and any dietary requirements.

  1. Background – Brief Recap

Members wish to see the integrated ICT Service in place by April 2011.  The rationale for this was outlined in the Fair Funding Consultationdocument.

We want to establish world class ICT for Norfolk Learners and we need robust and secure ICT services and support to enable the highest possible learning outcomes.   It remains our ambition to achieve the aims agreed in the e-learning strategy and to continue to work with schools in line with the principles set out in that document

For further information on the Project, please visit http://www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk/page_87.cfm



Karen O’Kane                                        Paul Fisher                                                             John Leigh

Head of ICT Services                           Assistant Director,                                                 ICT Business Partner

                                                                 Business and Compliance,

                                                                 Children’s Services

Author: Jo North

SIMS Roadshows update

SIMS Roadshows update

It was great to see over 500 school colleagues at the Children’s Services’ SIMS Roadshows over the last three weeks. We hope you found the event informative in explaining the project and for some of you to see SIMS for the first time.

As Keith Bostrom said our aim was to set minds at ease and explain the training programme and data migration that will take place, to ensure you are up and running in the use of SIMS immediately following your training.

The following link provides a reminder of the demonstration Ruth Walker showed you of SIMS: Follow up to Sims Roadshows

But key messages that people found to be important about SIMS are:

  • Allows you to customise your home page to give you the information you need at your fingertips
  • The separate views for looking at a pupil record either as a summary or a more traditional view for data input.
  • Allows you to change attendance years easily to look at attendance patterns across more than one academic year, the same functionality exists in Assessment
  • The flexibility of reports using word templates and a library of over 200 standard reports.
  • Uses Quick letter for those letters that need to be sent to Parents quickly usually at the end of the school day
  • The ease with which Dinner Money is automatically populated from the attendance record
  • The Norfolk Tracker and One 2 One Marksheets are being built into SIMS Assessment for you to use from day one
  • Tracking Grids based on the National Strategies ISP Project
  • Assessment using the Raise on line filters and allowing you to create different filters that are relevant and important to your school
  • IEP writer embedded within the SIMS Software again making access to IEP across the school simpler

We are grateful to colleagues from schools who took time out to present at some of the sessions on their experiences with SIMS - Rosie Simmonds, Head Teacher at Leverington Primary, Val Cameron, Head Teacher at Park Lane Primary and Kate Atkins, Assistant Head and James Wright, Chair of Governors at St. Nicholas Priory Junior School.

What happens next?

Pilot schools Migrating in January

Planning is in the final stages to implement the first pilot schools to SIMS  early in January 2011. The table below details the courses starting in January and February together with the number of schools on these courses.

Course Name

Month training starts

Number of Schools

Technical Pilot 1



Technical Pilot 2



Early Adopter 1



Early Adopter 2






PRU Pilot



Phase 1-35

March onwards

10 schools per phase

Over 120 schools have volunteered to be Early Adopters, twenty of these schools will be allocated places on the two Early Adopter courses, whilst the remainder will be allocated places on the early phases of the main roll out.

Specific dates for Secondary School courses have not yet been allocated.  Roll out will be discussed further with these schools at the Secondary Roadshows.

The Project Team are currently sourcing venues and will then allocate schools to courses.  Names of those schools on the Pilot and Early Adopter courses will be issued shortly with the remainder being issued in January. Full details will be posted on the ICT Solutions website when available.

ICT Solutions are also completing the support arrangements, as well as setting up User Groups for the Spring Term, for those schools that will have moved to SIMS.

Signing up to SIMS

In previous MI sheets the best value benefits of the new contract have been stated and therefore it would be assumed schools would  be moving to SIMS unless they notified the Project Manager that they wished to be excluded.   Now that you have had the chance to see the product and can make a more informed decision about your choice of Management Information System, Headteachers are asked to confirm to ictsolsprojectsupport@norfolk.gov.uk by 17th December 2010 your decision to be part of the project rollout to Capita SIMS.

Data Cleansing

There are some data cleansing checks that need to be carried out before moving from e1 to SIMS.  A document is being produced which gives detailed advice on procedures and links to additional help on the ICT Solutions website.  The documentation will be sent directly to the pilot schools initially.  The guidance may change once we know more about how e1 data will migrate to a SIMS datafile.

Data Migration – Breaking news!

Since the roadshows Capita have confirmed additional data conversion activities. These items are listed on the web link Follow up to Sims Roadshows for your information.

Author: Lynn Parvin

ICT in Schools 2011 Conference - Advance Notice

The Seventh ICT in Schools Conference will be held on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th March 2011

Aspiration – Collaboration – Inspiration
Making the most of technologies for Learning

Venue: John Innes Conference Centre

The 2011 Norfolk ICT Conference will deliver a programme designed to inspire schools to collaborate and build high aspirations for their learners and demonstrate how to make the most of the technologies schools already have.

The free one day conference programme will be repeated on both conference days and will be of interest to Head Teachers, Teachers, ICT Co-ordinators, Network Managers from both primary and high schools.

Further details of the programme will be published in the coming weeks, in the mean time; we have commenced taking early bookings. To secure a place on your preferred attendance day email judy.houghton@norfolk.gov.ukconfirming which of the two days you wish to attend.

Author: Judy Houghton

Google Mail is replacing RM Easymail – Rollout Week Twelve

The Google Project has delivered all of the Google accounts ahead of schedule. As of today, ICT Solutions have set up 136,000Google accounts. All schools in scope now have Google Accounts. Reports show that over 15,000 accounts have been actively used the last 3 months, this figure is increasing every week.

Any questions?

This is the beginning of an exciting development and we hope your school soon begins to enjoy the benefits of using Google Mail.

Author: Kerry Henry