ICT Services 4 Education


School ICT News Bulletin No. 186 - 10/07/2011

Published by Children’s Services

SIMS training for New school administration staff in September 2011

If your school will be appointing new secretaries and administration staff in September who will require SIMS training, please contact rachel.hudson@norfolk.gov.uk before the end of term with your schools training requirements.

Author: Rachel Hudson


The Norfolk Asset Manager Software application is designed to provide schools with a comprehensive electronic inventory of all assets including furniture held at the school.

Asset Managermaintains a full audit trail of equipment and calculates replacement and depreciation costs for all items included in the database. Asset Manager is approved by Norfolk Audit Services. It also enables schools to comply with Item 6 of the Financial Procedure Manual.

We have a handful of slots remaining for Summer 2011. If you require a quote for the service, please contact James Webb at ICT Shared Services on 0845 303 3003


  • Saves school time and effort of completing their on-site inventory
  • The software enables schools to easily provide reports for audits
  • Gives schools the ability to plan budgets for replacing assets
  • Automatically allows schools to monitor depreciation annually and monthly
  • Centralises information on annual health checks meeting H&S requirements
  • Schools can update easily, link and update Asset Manager following Refresh Programme
  • Allows schools to keep track of assets
    • Data on an assets is centralised saving time finding data from different sources i.e. Make, Model, Serial Number, Supplier, Order Numbers, Funding Sources, location
      • Reporting capabilities i.e. report by location, items, depreciation & replacement 
      • Easy to use icon based system
    • Instant recall of information when embarking on Capital, Refresh, Ofsted planning and Finance Audits.

School Comments

  • Fantastic Service and comprehensive user friendly training provided. – North Wootton Primary School
  • Hi James,
    Just wanted to say thank you for the training last week. I must admit that in the past Asset Manager has always been the last job on the pile! This is mainly because of my not being sure of what I was doing.  I feel more confident now that that whole place has had a new inventory and that I have had my training.  I talked to the rest of the staff at our weekly briefing session as to the importance of them keeping me up to date, and hope that with the correct systems in place this will become an enjoyable job instead of an onerous one!
  • Thanks again. – Ashleigh Infant & Nursery School
  • Very efficient gathering of information. Good comprehensive training. – Hemsby Primary School

For more information please visit the ICT Website which contains interactive pages within the manual.  http://ictsolutions.norfolk.gov.uk/topic.aspx?topic_id=187

If you wish further information on the software, already have Asset Manager and require assistance / re-fresh training or your inventory is out of date and you require a new one:

Please contact James Webb, Asset Manager on 0845 303 3003

Author: James Webb

Norfolk Cloud Educator Programme

Norfolk Teachers will have a growing number of tools available to them through the ‘Cloud’ over the coming years. There needs to be a clear pedagogical understanding about how these tools can be used to best enhance and support learning.

One of the main tools sets currently available is Google Apps For Education (GAFE). Google already offer online training to support these tools through their Google Apps Education Training Centre http://edutraining.googleapps.com/

On passing all six modules, teachers would gain Google Qualified Individual Status, ensuring a full understanding of the tools available. We hope to encourage up to 250 teachers to take advantage of this opportunity. On completion, teachers submitting a portfolio of evidence would be awarded Norfolk Cloud Supporter Accreditation, demonstrating their ability to support the use of GAFE within their own school.

Alongside this, a core group of 25 teachers will be invited to attend further courses provided by the Advisory Service on the pedagogical uses of GAFE. These teachers would be required to produce high quality learning and teaching resources to be shared across the county. On completion of these additional courses, teachers would be awarded Norfolk Cloud Expert Accreditation, demonstrating their ability to support the use of GAFE within their own school and clusters of schools.

Aim of the Programme:

  • To build on the work of the Norfolk Learning Content Networks
  • Produce 250 Google Sites providing high quality online educational resources for learners and teachers in Norfolk. These will be accessible through the county provided Google VLE Pages.
  • Enable up to 250 teachers to gain Google Qualified Individual Status and Norfolk Cloud
  • Supporter Accreditation to support work within their own schools
  • Enable a group of 25 teachers to gain Norfolk Cloud Expert Accreditation to support work within their own school and clusters of schools

What is involved in becoming a Norfolk Cloud Expert?

  • 25 teachers to become accredited Norfolk Cloud Experts
    • Gain Google Qualified Individual Status
    • Attend three training sessions:
      • Autumn Term 2011 – Monday 19th September 2011, Norwich PDC
      • Spring Term 2012 – Saturday 28th January 2012, Norwich PDC
      • Summer Term 2012 – Saturday 21st April 2012, Norwich PDC
    • Recruit up to 10 other teachers to undertake Google Qualified Individual Status – no more than two in your own school (primary) or four (secondary)
    • By the end of Summer Term 2012 produce and share 10 Google Sites to support learning and teaching within curriculum areas/themes

How will this be supported?

  • Each school with a Cloud Expert will receive £1000:
    • This money will be used for:
      • £480 for the three one day training sessions
      • Supply cover for the first training session
      • Further cover to enable the Cloud Expert to support schools in their cluster
  • Training sessions provided by a Google Certified Trainer
  • Cost for the Google Qualified Individual Tests will be provided

Please click on the link http://goo.gl/DRfQL and complete the form to register your interest in the Norfolk Cloud Educator Programme. Please register your interest by Friday 15th July 2011.

If you would like to discuss any of the details, please contact me by email on jill.duman@norfolk.gov.uk or by phone on 01603 307785.

Author: Jill Duman

SIMS Data Cleansing - Phone Numbers

Please note there is a change to the instruction on Data Cleansing of phone numbers pre your move to SIMS.

The data cleansing document is being amended and will be re issued on the website, however in order to try to reduce your workload this information is being shared here.

The data cleansing document currently states:

Telephone numbers

All telephone numbers for pupils, contacts and staff need to be in ‘00000 000000’ format – for example a mobile number recorded as 07123456789 needs to be edited to 07123 456789 in order for the first ‘0’ to be exported correctly.

This is no longer necessary.  During the conversion process:

  1. If a phone number has 10 digits with no gaps and does not start with a zero, the conversion will add a leading zero and generate a Warning.  This is to handle the fact that Excel strips off leading zeroes from numbers with no gaps or non numeric characters.
  2. If the number is too long (more than 20 characters) it will generate an Error and require the number to be shortened/corrected.

The Warnings and Errors are fed back to ICT Shared Services Migration team who should pass the information on to you.

In addition SIMS does not require area codes in telephone numbers – local numbers can be entered without, i.e. 123456.  There is no need to go through your data putting in area codes for local numbers.

Author: Carole Barwell

SIMS Project - Project Manager Change

When you return to school in September, Carole Barwell, the SIMS Implementation Project Manager will have moved on to pastures new. All future communications relating to the project, which you would have sent to Carole, should now be sent to Tanya Allen. Her email is tanya.allen@norfolk.gov.uk.

Author: Carole Barwell

SIMS support documentation

Please be advised that currently there is no active link to SIMS support.net on the Norfolk portal.

A comprehensive catalogue of SIMS support documentation is available in the documentation area on the home page of your SIMS database.

There are also SIMS support documents available from ICT Shared Services website www.ict.norfolk.gov.uk click on the Resources and Support tab and choose MIS or click on the following link: http://www.ict.norfolk.gov.uk/schoolmanagement/sims/default.aspx to access the SIMS support area.

Author: Rachel Hudson

Staff Contract Data in SIMS - Update

There is a requirement for schools to enter staff contract information in SIMS for the School Workforce census on 3rd November 2011. The LA have been researching with Capita SIMS the possibility of importing the contract data for the schools, however this is not possible in order to meet the November deadline.

Please be advised that staff contract data will need to be entered into SIMS for the school workforce census in November 2011. Please visit the ICT Shared Services Website: http://www.ict.norfolk.gov.uk or click on the following link http://www.ict.norfolk.gov.uk/page.aspx?id=592 to download the SIMS Quick Reference sheet for adding staff contracts in SIMS. The updated Quick Reference sheet is held in the SIMS FAQ’s area of the website and is titled ‘What part of the staff contract area in SIMS do I need to fill in’.

There is further SIMS training on School Census and School Workforce Census . Please visit the ICT Shared Services Website http://www.ict.norfolk.gov.uk and click on the Events and Training page for further information and to book a place.

Further SIMS Training dates

There are spaces available on the following dates:

SIMS School Census Primary

27th September @ Norwich PDC 9.30–12.30 and 13.00–15.30

28th September @ West Norfolk PDC 9.30–12.30 and 13.00–15.30

SIMS School Workforce Census

4th October 2011 @ Norwich PDC 9.30–12.00 and 13.00–15.30

13th October 2011 @ West Norfolk PDC 9.30–12.00 and 13.00–15.30

Author: Rachel Hudson

Google VLE Sign up


You will be aware from MI Sheet 68/11 that the centrally funded Norfolk County Council contract that enables your school to use the Netmedia Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will cease at the end of August 2011 and that it is not possible to renew the contract. The position in relation to VLE funding is set out in MI Sheet 33/11

Google VLE

ICT Shared Services is using Google Apps to provide simple to use, secure and supported VLE functionality for those primary and special schools who do not wish to use Fronter.

The Google VLE prototype has been piloted with 7 schools during June which ends this week with a pilot feedback workshop.


We will configure the VLE for each school wishing to use it during the summer break and commence the rollout of the Google VLE to schools from September 2011.

A number of schools will be selected as early adopters to ensure our support and implementation processes are correct.


Support during implementation will be provided by ICT Shared Services for those schools who request it.

Members of our Locality Teams (groups of ICT Shared Services' staff that focus on a particular geographical area or cluster of schools) will be trained in the Google VLE, so they are able to support schools to obtain greater benefits.

For advice and support on how to use Google with learning and teaching in the classroom please contact Jill Duman, Advisory Service at jill.duman@norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01603 307785.

ICT Shared Services will provide support, maintain corporate pages of external links and create how to guides and help pages.

ICT Shared Services will develop the service over time to include integrated applications including Espresso and will continue to work directly with Google to develop the service.


We are currently reviewing the contractual arrangements with Espresso and will advise you of the options for this as soon as possible.

Costs and Funding

The current product Netmedia and support is funded by grant monies until August 2011.

Google VLE for this financial year will be included as part of the Broadband contract and there will be no charge for the Google VLE until 1st April 2012 at which point we will move this service into the support contract for 2012.

Schools will have the option to "pick and mix" as follows:

  1. Support contract with VLE
  2. Support contract without VLE
  3. VLE only

We will clarify the costs of the VLE element for each option in September 2011.

Pricing will be transparent and will reflect the ICT Shared Services’ cost of delivery of the service only.

ICT Shared Services is also working with the Advisory Service to develop joint technical and business support options for Google which we will publish in September.

Author: Lynn Parvin