Starting in 1979 as a single school, Braeburn has grown to become the largest group of international schools in East Africa, with 16 co-educational international schools spread over 9 campuses.

We are dedicated to providing world-class teaching of the British National Curriculum and GCE A-Levels to over 3,600 pupils, and our schools actively value and celebrate diversity, nurturing personal growth by providing a friendly and supportive environment.

Largest group of international schools in East Africa
Established in 1979
3,600 pupils
650+ teachers
British National Curriculum

Looking for an MIS to streamline data management

We didn’t actually have a management information system before iSAMS. All our data was stored as physical copies or maintained in various Excel spreadsheets around the school, with no one central location. This became a bit of a logistical nightmare as to share information between the High School and Primary School, for example, we had to email Excel documents back and forth. This led to inaccurate data and processes that were very laborious and time-consuming; even processes like registration were very manual.

We needed something with more sophisticated functionality and features, and iSAMS offered us everything we were looking for.

Marcel Blackbeard – Group ICT Manager, Braeburn Schools Limited

Because of this, looking for something that provided a centralised location so we could manage all our core student information was essential. We wanted to be able to access things like parent/guardian contact details, attendance records and even academic information from a single place.

We spent some time browsing various local and UK-based suppliers, but local MIS providers weren’t very mature at the time and we needed something with more sophisticated functionality and features. So, we opted to look for UK suppliers, as they matched our curriculum very well and were fairly mature, with the enhanced features that many local systems didn’t offer.

We settled on iSAMS because, put simply, they offered us everything we were looking for. iSAMS meant that we had one core system through which we could amend and access all our data, streamlining and centralising core processes so our schools ran much more efficiently. They also placed a big emphasis on support, which was another key factor for us.

Our migration to iSAMS

Collating the information we had stored across numerous spreadsheets to funnel it all into a single MIS was never going to be a pleasant process, but iSAMS gave us very tailored and structured spreadsheets to support us with this.

Whilst this was a long process, because of the nature of our data storage, it was helpful in highlighting whether or not the information we had was accurate and if anything was disjointed. However, once our data was sorted it was very quick to import it into iSAMS and everything was accurate once the system was up and running.

Once our data was sorted it was very quick to import it into iSAMS’ software and they guided us step by step through the entire process, always being on-hand to help if we needed it.

Marcel Blackbeard – Group ICT Manager, Braeburn Schools Limited

We felt that the process as a whole was well-handled from iSAMS’ side, who guided us step by step through the entire process and were always on-hand to help if we needed it. It did take time to collate all our information, but this was always going to be the difficult bit.

Using the iSAMS system

From a technical perspective, having a centralised system that can be accessed anywhere, whether you’re in or outside of school, is not to be underrated. It’s really useful, both for my team and other staff members, that you only need a supported browser to access the system at home.

Having a centralised system that can be accessed anywhere, whether you’re in or outside of school, is not to be underrated

Marcel Blackbeard – Group ICT Manager, Braeburn Schools Limited

It’s also really positive to see that iSAMS isn’t a stagnant system. Their Technical Team is always on top of fixing any system bugs and making sure the system is continually updated as our requirements evolve and change. As an ICT Manager, this is really positive to see.

From a teaching perspective, iSAMS has been a big success particularly when considering the reporting side of things. In the past, our academic reports were shared on a local file server and were adapted for each student from a Word template before being copied into the shared file server. However, this inevitably resulted in some teachers replacing existing files on the file server, resulting in a loss of data and reports. Not only did iSAMS eliminate this problem, but they helped unify our formatting so all our academic reports are now consistent and accurate.

Senior Management have also been happy with our MIS since moving to iSAMS. This is predominantly because they can now log into a single system and see any student data and information they might need at any point during the academic year. This has really helped them in terms of forecasting and future planning.

What happens if something goes wrong?

Support was such a big factor for us when we were looking into MIS providers and we’ve been pleased to find that it’s something that iSAMS focuses on. The resulting technical support we receive from iSAMS is really very good, with most issues taking a matter of hours, or at the maximum a day, to resolve.

Having said that, we’re pleased to report that we haven’t encountered too many problems in the 6 years we’ve been using iSAMS. The majority of the time we just drop them an email and they’re very quick to respond and track down the source of the problem.

The technical support we receive from iSAMS is really very good, with most issues taking a matter of hours to resolve.

Marcel Blackbeard – Group ICT Manager, Braeburn Schools Limited

I know it can’t be easy with the volume of schools they look after around the world, and even with the 9 we have in Kenya, but iSAMS really do a fantastic job when it comes to offering us support and we’re very appreciative of all the work they do.

All in all…

iSAMS has been so useful across all 9 of our schools that we’re currently setting up our final school to start using iSAMS at the beginning of this academic year – so soon they’ll also be able to easily contact parents and make the most of the registration features.

We’ve just been very impressed with iSAMS’ ability to support us with everything from the academic side of school life to student and staff management; and even their technical support is really good.

Given that iSAMS continually push forward with their technology (e.g. their new User Interface and then improved authentication features), we’re excited to see what upcoming additions and improvements they’ll make to further enhance our user experience and the software’s functionality.