Aylesbury Grammar School is an outstanding school with a reputation for achievement and learning.

Our vision is to provide an exceptional education for our students, rich in opportunities within an inspiring and supportive environment, developing the character of our young men in preparation for their future. Our aim is to ‘Respect & Aspire’

State-Funded ‘Outstanding’ School
Established in 1598
80 Teachers
1200+ Students

We initially began looking for a new MIS when our previous contract was ending.

We knew we were looking for an internet-based solution that was reliable, user-friendly and contained all the aspects that a state secondary school such as ours would expect in an MIS – and at a reasonable cost. Whilst our supplier at that time was offering a web-based solution, unfortunately, it had some major flaws.

Searching for a reliable web-based MIS...

“We thought we’d have to make some compromises with iSAMS, since there were then very few state schools using their system… However, it has proved to be reliable and teachers like it. It allows us to manage all the data and processes we need, with minimal change to current procedures” said, Data & Exams Manager, Chris King

Moving to iSAMS

Once we’d decided to go with iSAMS, the next challenge was the migration of our data. We expected some difficulty with this, as we were migrating from a smaller MIS company and we were one of the first few state schools to migrate to iSAMS.

Whilst the process initially looked quite daunting, I was able to export the data from our old MIS by spreadsheet and copy it across into a spreadsheet iSAMS sent us. Telephone conversations with iSAMS’ Installs Team were also available to add clarity where needed.

The onboarding process

We originally wanted the test data loaded over the Summer for testing in September, but we actually had this ready by the end of the Spring term, and soon our key staff were being trained in-house by iSAMS. The training was excellent and helped us set up all the configurations of the modules. Key stakeholders participated for the core training, meaning I could then train all staff over the following term.

The free webinars are also so useful to support with this. It meant we were fully prepared to use iSAMS ahead of our original schedule. Overall, the migration was easier than anticipated; only a very small amount of data needed “tweaking” and our feedback on how to improve the process for schools following us was always well received.

“The in-house training was excellent and helped us set up all the configurations of the modules, so I could then train all our staff over the following term”.

Data & Exams Manager, Chris King

Using the iSAMS system

We thought we’d have had to make some compromises with whichever MIS we selected. This included iSAMS as, at that time, there were very few state schools using their software. However, the system has proven to be reliable and the teachers like it.

With iSAMS we’re able to manage all the data and processes we need for a school this type and size, and with minimal change to our current procedures.

We used most of the modules straight away and they’re being improved all the time, as well as new modules being introduced when needed. For example, we were delighted to be involved in assisting with the School Workforce Census project, ensuring all key features were available to run and submit annual statutory reports. Conversations with iSAMS’ Business Analysts were always very constructive and effective, and we appreciated how open the team was to suggestions regarding potential enhancements.

“Since introducing iSAMS, data management has been far easier for all our staff members, including lesson by lesson registration. The ease of use has been appreciated by teachers and the iStudent app is used by most of our students”

Features to support everyday use

When it comes to the features we find the most helpful, it would have to be the apps iSAMS offer. As a school, the Registration Manager module is used every lesson and many teachers use the iTeacher App to do this even when they’re on the playing fields. Most of our students also use the iStudent App everyday to see important notices, view timetables, and more, which is extremely useful for them.

Support from iSAMS

The iSAMS system updates at least once a week; these contain a mixture of new features and enhancements, as well as fixes to the inevitable bugs/errors that occur with the ongoing development of any system. Whenever I do need to contact the Service Desk, they’re always helpful and usually sort the problem out there and then. If the problem does have to go to a higher level, I always get a response.

“Whenever I contact the help desk they’re always helpful and usually sort the problem out there and then. The training iSAMS offer is also excellent and the free webinars are so useful”.

Data & Exams Manager, Chris King

Overall the introduction of iSAMS has meant that data management has been far easier for all our staff members.

The ease of lesson by lesson registration and general use of the system has been greatly appreciated by our teachers. We look forward to seeing what iSAMS will continue to offer our school in the future.