New English School Kuwait choose iSAMS and save 500 staff hours each year
In August 2012, New English School Kuwait pressed the ‘go live’ button on iSAMS and have subsequently seen a vast range of benefits including time savings, value for money and complete buy in from all staff.
The school, founded in 1969, was the first private, co-educational day school in Kuwait to offer a British style curriculum from Kindergarten to A level, and serves pupils from over 50 nationalities.
The international search for an MIS
Richard Marchant is Deputy Head Teacher at the school, responsible for CPD, assessment, and development and learning. One of his recent tasks has been to find and implement a new MIS. “Staff were unable to do their jobs to their maximum potential with the solution we had previously,” says Richard, “effective reporting and personalising learning was just not possible.”
Richard set out in search of an MIS that was fit for purpose for the school. He carried out research including reading the forums on EduGeek.net, a British-based online peer support community and information portal for IT professionals. There he found positive feedback for iSAMS and decided to get in touch with the iSAMS team straight away.
Within weeks a senior member of the iSAMS team went to visit Richard in Kuwait to give a presentation and provide a demo package for the staff to trial. Following this, in May 2012 the agreement with iSAMS was signed. “We haven’t looked back since,” says Richard.
Reaction and rollout
A member of the iSAMS training team then paid the school a visit and spent four days there supporting the teaching staff and importing the school data into iSAMS. According to Richard “it was a simple process”.
The staff at the school have all responded positively to the change. After just two hours training each, which included an hour with Richard and an hour with the iSAMS team member, they were able to use the MIS and have found it easy. Richard also runs voluntary workshops for staff who would like to find out more about iSAMS.
“Everything we want to do, we can do”
Richard and the team at the school also wanted to import data from InCAS, MiDYIS, YeLLIS and AlIS tools created by the University of Durham in the UK, allowing baseline comparison of pupil ability. iSAMS were able to do this and now all teachers can see and analyse this data in minutes.
“Everything we want to do we can do now with iSAMS,” enthuses Richard, “and we can easily capture and drill down to the data we need about each child.”
The previous solution at the school had been installed in 2002 and although had proved effective at the time, had been unable to meet requirements as time passed and as teaching methods advanced. “Essentially it was a data storage facility and we found that we were unable to extract year on year data for example,” says Richard. With the ever growing trend for personalising learning Richard knew he needed the data to work harder for the school, in particular to identify and support those students whose achievement is satisfactory but not to their full potential.
With iSAMS, teachers are now able to view and export the data they need for personalising learning on a number of levels, including by pupil, by teaching department and year on year. This allows them to personalise teaching for individual pupils which the school was unable to do previously.
Richard is evidently very satisfied with the decision he made to choose iSAMS as the school MIS. He lists the main benefits of iSAMS as being:
- Fantastic reliability: the school has experienced just one outage since 2012 which lasted for twenty minutes and was quickly resolved over the telephone
- Time savings: Richard believes that 500 staff hours have been saved each year on registration alone
- Value for money: Richard says iSAMS is “definitely worth the money we spent”
- Parent communication: the school saves time and money when communicating with parents through iSAMS
- Going paperless: The school plans to go paperless in 2014 which they would have been unable to do without iSAMS
- A modular approach: The ability to add modules as and when they are needed is a big benefit to the school
- Support and User Voice: Richard believes the support and expertise from iSAMS is first rate and also contributes to the User Voice area of the iSAMS website
“We now have everything we need including the Parent & Pupil Portals, My Network Space and Activities Manager which we recently added,” says Richard. He finds the most useful modules to be Registration Manager, Reward & Conduct, Mark Books and Tracking Manager.
New English School Kuwait recommends iSAMS
“I would say buy iSAMS,” advocates Richard. “I would recommend it highly for independent and international schools. I can’t think of an MIS system that would do a better job.”
In particular the school is delighted with the way iSAMS has turned reporting around by streamlining data, and the ease of use in day-to-day management of the school. “We can now provide a better education for our pupils,” Richard concludes.
I can’t think of an MIS system that would do a better job