Strathallan School is an Independent Boarding and Day School, whose mission to provide outstanding education for all stands true to its original foundation over 100 years ago
Each individual, no matter their passion or interest, is supported and inspired to shine during their time at school. Our pupils excel academically, compete in sports at national and international levels, succeed in scholastic championships and play as part of nationwide orchestras and ensembles.
Independent Boarding and Day School in Scotland
Established in 1913
Looking for an all-in-one system
We began looking for a new MIS several years ago as our previous management information system (MIS) was being retired. Based on our research, we narrowed it down to a choice between iSAMS and one other supplier. Both teams came to speak to various school representatives and we eventually decided on iSAMS.
iSAMS being web-based is a big bonus, so we can log into it wherever and whenever we need to. Being able to use iSAMS remotely is still something many of our staff members often take advantage of.
Adam Streatfeild-James, Director of Studies
There were many reasons for this, the main one being that we wanted something that could do everything: one system that could do as much as possible. This included things like online reporting, their handy Admissions module, communicating with parents, tracking features and more – everything that you need to run a school really.
Beyond this, the fact that iSAMS was web-based was a big bonus, so we could log into it wherever and whenever we needed to. Being able to use iSAMS remotely is still something that many of our teachers and staff members often take advantage of.
Looking back, the Installs Team at iSAMS was really very good. They took the files collected from our old system and sent them back to us in a series of Excel spreadsheets to review.
It took a long time to trail through the data – not because the process was difficult, but just because we had a lot of tidying up to do based on the way our previous MIS had been used. Nevertheless, it was ultimately very successful and we were able to accurately move information from our old system across to iSAMS.
Ultimately the migration process was hugely successful, and we were able to accurately move information from our old system across to iSAMS.
Using the iSAMS system
For me personally, I work with iSAMS far too much and too intensively to have a preference over particular areas that I like using most. However, over the years we have completed an awful lot of custom reports which go down very well with staff members. People who’ve never seen iSAMS before will arrive at the school and think it’s fantastic.
Reporting from the database and reporting on students are features that are used particularly often, with us generating between 20 and 25 report cycles per year on various elements. This means that I’m thoroughly familiar with the reporting functionality in iSAMS and I think it works really well in terms of how flexible it is and what you can do. Plus, the end product that parents and teachers see is polished, professional and very impressive.
I also use iSAMS any time I need to write to parents, often using the email templates available so you can get the right salutation and child’s name each time. Not having to build templates from scratch each year is also incredibly useful as a time-saving exercise and is very important for us, as it’s something the School Office uses an awful lot.
For our teaching staff, not only does the remote access come into play an awful lot as something that’s incredibly useful, but the iTeacher App has also been getting very popular. Giving our teachers the flexibility to do things like take the register and view student information on their phones went down very well and is being used more and more.
The reporting functionality in iSAMS works really well in terms of how flexible it is and what you can do. The end product that parents and teachers see is very impressive.
What happens if something goes wrong?
iSAMS’ support has been pretty good at adapting and evolving over time, as they have a much higher number of schools now than they used to. When we were one of their early schools, I used to ring them up and get through immediately most of the time. Even now, despite looking after more schools, they’re still fairly prompt at getting back to you and sorting things out quickly.
As iSAMS has grown, their Support process has evolved to keep up with the number of schools they’re now looking after. I’ve always found them prompt at getting back to you and they fix any issues quite quickly.
Adam Streatfeild-James, Director of Studies
All in all…
You can’t run a school without an MIS and without iSAMS we’d have had to go with a system that wasn’t web-based and didn’t offer us all of the features we were looking for that our staff enjoy today. Overall, iSAMS saves us a lot of time by making communication a lot easier and important information more widely available to the people who need it.