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Scomis News Update
 
scomis.org Scomis online
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Welcome to the October edition of our Scomis Newsletter.
 
We'd like to welcome staff at the following new schools who have joined Scomis in the last few months:
  • Dobwalls Community Primary School (South East Cornwall Multi Academy Regional Trust)
  • Trewidland Primary School (South East Cornwall Multi Academy Regional Trust)
  • Landulph Primary School (South East Cornwall Multi Academy Regional Trust)
  • Saltash Community School (South East Cornwall Multi Academy Regional Trust)
  • Falmouth School (The Roseland  Multi Academy Trust)
  • Pennoweth Primary School (The Crofty Multi Academy Trust)
  • Treloweth Primary School (The Crofty Multi Academy Trust)
  • Tredington Primary School (Gloucestershire Learning Alliance
  • Paignton Community and Sports College (Bay Education Trust)
  • Monkerton Community Primary School (Cornerstone Academy Trust)
  • Chilton Trinity School (Clevedon Learning Trust)
  • The Girl's Day School Trust and their schools
As a result we are delighted to let you know that we now have more than 750 customers across 32 local authority regions!
 
 
 
 
We are pleased to announce Scomis will be running the Examination Officers Conference again for 2020 albeit in a slightly different way!  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stringent social distancing rules that are now in place, we will be offering a virtual conference using Microsoft Teams Live.
 
In July we sent an email out to Examination Officers to gauge interest from colleagues in delivering the conference this way and, we are delighted to say we had 55 people respond with the thumbs up! 
 
The conference has always proved to be extremely popular and informative, delivering topical sessions and updates.  This year is no different.   The conference will be half a day with breaks in between each session, so you will have the opportunity to stretch your legs and grab a brew!
 
We are delighted to confirm attendance from:

Capita
OCR
WJEC
The Exams Office.
 
There will be no cost for the conference this year.

To book onto the conference please email scomis@devon.gov.uk using Examination Officers Conference 2020 as the subject title.

You will receive confirmation of your booking in the first instance, followed by joining instructions for Microsoft Teams Live and an agenda prior to the conference. 

We look forward to seeing you again and welcoming new Examination Officers!
 
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Post-16 Schools only
 
Capita have identified an issue with the Update from Exams in the Prior attainment panel, where if a student has a lower grade in Maths GCSE than English Lit/Lang, it matches the Maths grade to the English.  Please be advised Capita are working on a patch to fix the issue.
 
If you require assistance with updating manually please contact the Scomis Service Desk indicating 'Incorrect Maths grade when updating from the Prior attainment panel in Exams'.
 
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We are delighted to inform you that we are making improvements to our systems to further enhance your support experience and to protect your personal data even more.  One step is to replace our current Service Management tool with a new, world leading, cloud-based system which will be called MyScomis. Click here to find out more about what this will mean for you. 

If you use our hosted application service to access SIMS, you will on occasion see a prompt at log-on to validate your email address. We would be grateful if you could take this opportunity to update your contact information and indicate your marketing preferences.
 
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We are pleased to share the brilliant news that both George Cock and Heidi Miller have completed and passed their Apprenticeship, a Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration.

It has definitely been a journey especially over recent months and we are very proud of them. They will continue to excel in their permanent roles as Service Desk Analysts.
 
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The new Scomis Managed Reporting Service is a web-based solution which gathers data overnight and combines it into a ready to use dashboard for your academy group. The dashboards make it easy to understand the data, combining key performance measures and useful pupil demographic filters for a consolidated view. Being automated, your academy group will have data at their fingertips without having to put demands on your schools.

"The Managed Reporting Service has supported all of our Trust Leaders in analysing data quickly and efficiently.  It has allowed us to drill down, look at trends and identify groups where support is needed and ask further questions.  Preparing data to report to Trustees has been easier, with data being generated by the dashboard, rather than using a spreadsheet or calculator, which can be time consuming.  Having the ability to filter criteria, such as groups of schools, year groups, groups of children allows for a much deeper and reliable analysis."

Angela Jenkins, Director of Performance and Development, First Federation Trust

 
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"The dashboard has enabled us to review the data for all of our schools in one place, with the filter tool enabling us to drill down to groups of schools and specific groups of children. It saves us time, as we no longer need to spend time crunching numbers, we can focus on interrogating the data to identify next steps for improvement. This is an invaluable tool for reporting to SLTs, the Trust Board  and local governing bodies."
Helen Brown, Education & Standards Manager, Plymouth CAST

"Working in the HR department of a trust with 35 schools is challenging, especially when you have no easy way to collate information. The Scomis reporting dashboard has revolutionised the way we work. We can now get data at a touch of a button, no more sifting through spreadsheet after spreadsheet. Absence reporting, equality assessments and employee resourcing are just a few key tasks that are made easy by the dashboard."
Adelle Pope, HR Manager, Plymouth CAST

If you would like more information please click here, or contact your Scomis Account Manager.
 
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One of the four main areas on which OFSTED has been passing judgement since September 2019 is 'Behaviour and Attitudes.'  Moving away from academic judgements, this section focuses on students' approach to life at school and their learning, and the importance of this to their wellbeing.  Previously OFSTED had judged schools under a combined personal development, behaviour and welfare judgement.

In this article we explore this issue and suggest where schools might use SIMS to record evidence.
 
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The Hosted Applications Service User Management tools have been refreshed, with tighter integration with SIMS.net as well as adding a few new features.  The aim of the new tool is to replace all the previous shortcuts, with a single multi-function app.  The app will let you request new users, reset Passwords and enable or disable your user accounts.
 
We now have 2 different methods for requesting a Scomis User ID, there is a method that will create the account for you and give you the details onscreen – note that this only works for people who have been entered as employees of the school.  The older "Request" route is also available for temporary members of staff who may need access to your SIMS, this now removes people who are waiting to have their accounts approved by Scomis.
 
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We have an FAQ that will walk you through the tabs and features of the application. https://faq.scomis.org/kb26558/
 
 
We are delighted to inform you that we have developed some 'How To' videos which you can now access here. Examples of the key tasks that are covered by the videos include:
  • Logging into SIMS
  • Logging into FMS
  • Changing passwords
  • Allocating user shortcuts within SIMS
  • Requesting a new user for Scomis SIMS Application Service
and more...
 
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We would encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel as we will be publishing more videos in the future.
 
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We would encourage all of our customers to sign up to scomis.status.org so that you receive regular updates about the status of our services. 
 
We would also like to reassure you that whilst the hosted application service remains at amber, the platform is stable and accessible as normal. 

It will remain at amber whilst we continue to implement a temporary measure to lower the timeout from 30 minutes to 5 minutes when your session is in a disconnected state. This means that when you log on and minimise your hosted session to do other non-SIMs work, your hosted session will sit and wait in an idle state for 2 hours. After that time if you have not returned to the session, it will be disconnected and will wait in a disconnected state normally for 30 minutes during which time you can log in and continue working where you finished off.  If during that time, there is no activity the session will completely log off.  This has now been temporarily reduced to 5 minutes.

We are working hard behind the scenes so that we can return the service to its usual green status and will do so once we are confident that all customers can benefit from the full functionality of the service.
 
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We have been contacted by some of our customers who have received an important circular email from the DfE. This email highlights the increasing number of ransomware infections within the education sector and seeks to ensure you have a recovery plan in place. The text of this email can be seen here
 
The email asks MATs and schools to review their existing defences and take any necessary steps to protect their networks from cyber-attacks.
 
It advocates that you should ask your IT team or provider to confirm that: 
  • They are backing up the correct data for you
  • The backups are held offline
  • Restoring services or recovering data from the backup taken has been tested. 
We have a knowledge base article that provides assurance about the security and recoverability of data held within our Hosted Environment. This can be accessed from https://faq.scomis.org/kb17243/

 
In summary, this document provides details of our: -
  • ISO 27001 compliance and accreditation
  • Backup and recovery processes
  • GDPR compliance
  • Resilient connectivity (via our Hosted Connector)
  • External security assessment and penetration testing
  • Compliance with industry standards
  • Reacting to vulnerabilities
  • Account management tools
  • Data deletion and retention
  • Audit trails
  • Data sharing rules
  • Transit of encrypted data 

This detailed document is updated regularly as we are always investing in our infrastructure and ensuring that we have the best defences and security solutions embedded throughout our systems. This document is intended to provide assurance today and in the future.
 
If you require further information on your current services or moving to Hosted, please do not hesitate to contact us via the Service Desk.
 
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Given the limitations of running physical events in the ongoing situation we find ourselves in, and following consultation with our customers, we have decided to take a very different approach to our User Groups this term.
 
Instead of the normal half day events in venues around the country,  we will be offering a series of free of charge, virtual events over the 6 week period from early November until mid-December.
 
The series will comprise a number of short virtual events each week and will focus on topical subjects and challenges that our customers are currently looking to address.  It will also include some slightly longer sessions, hosted in conjunction with GeTech Education, showcasing the very best of Google for Education and the benefits it can bring to the classroom.  Whether you are new to Google for Education or already use it and want to go further there will be a session for you.
 
By taking this approach we aim to offer more flexibility and choice and to provide additional value to all of our customers as the series will be accessible nationally.  All of the events will be recorded so that they can be easily shared or accessed at a time to suit if you are unable to participate in the live sessions of your choice.
 
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Other important updates about the more general topics we usually cover at the User Groups, including our annual service report, will be made available proactively through account meetings, our email newsletters and on our web site.
 
We have an ambitious programme of virtual events planned, your invitation together with more information about the full schedule and how to book will be emailed to you before the October half term.
 
Hopefully at some point in the not too distant future, we will be able to bring our User Groups back out on the road as we really enjoy seeing you face to face but in the meantime we hope that these events will go some way to bridging that gap!
 
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Don't panic, Scomis is here to help!
How?

ScoLearn Digital Online Course – Producing the Workforce Census
The course will  guide you through the steps to preparing and producing the Workforce Census Return

Cost: £69.00
Create an account and book your course at https://scomis.learningpool.com/

Scomis Webinar – Find out the latest updates for the School Workforce Census and how to run a dummy census to check that your school's data is correct.
When: 22nd October 2020 2pm to 3pm (Don't worry if you can't join webinar at 2pm. Register your place and we'll send you the recording)             

Cost: £51 for schools with a Scomis SLA

Scomis Workforce Bulletinhttps://www.scomis.org/school-workforce-census-2020/
Published on the Scomis Website now, you can access links to all relevant documentation and information on the latest filesets, patches and validation errors https://faq.scomis.org/kb19259/

Cost: FREE
 
Don't forget to ensure you receive important bulletins and updates direct to your inbox sign up wherever you see this link on our website:
 
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Earlier in July we were delighted to support a free two-day online EdTech Festival organised by Cornerstone Trust's Broadclyst Community Primary School -  a DfE EdTech Demonstrator and Scomis customer.

The event was designed to support educators across the UK in bringing technology into every aspect of their professional development as the 'new normal' for the delivery of education emerges. It provided an opportunity to hear from industry experts and high profile speakers, whose perspectives on learning technology are set to shape the future of education.
Together we examined the challenges ahead and were able to query the shape of things to come.

 
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For those who were unable to attend, or who want to re-watch certain sessions, all of the footage is now available to watch free of charge on the link below.  You can even hear from our very own Michael Heard and Gary Henderson whose sessions about PowerBI, Hosting and Staff Workload can be found within the Business & Admin and Safeguarding & Wellbeing strands respectively.

We'd like to congratulate Jonathan Bishop and his team for delivering such an inspirational and thought-provoking event and to thank Jonathan for giving us permission to share the content with all of our customers – we hope you enjoy it!

Catch-Up Here.
 
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Don't forget to plan your Online Safety Events!
Need help in planning? Access the UK Safer Internet Centre's annual calendar.
Reminders include:
       
Anti-Bullying week - 16th to 20th November 2020
Safer Internet Day - 9th February 2021
Mental Health Awareness week -16th to 22nd May 2021
 
The calendar also includes links to free resources, education packs, self-assessment tools and much more! Access the calendar here
 
Stop Press!
Remember - if you need help 'The Professionals Online Safety Helpline' can support you with any online issues: Tel. 0344 3814772  or email: helpline@saferinternet.org.uk
 
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Your local authority will require Y2 Phonics Test data to be returned to them prior to submission to the DfE via COLLECT after the half-term break.
 
Scomis will publish Capita's guidance for recording the Y2 Phonics testing results as soon as it is available.

We strongly recommend Assessment Co-ordinators sign up to receive up to date Scomis Bulletins direct to their inbox. Simply sign up wherever you see this link on our website:
 
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Scomis delivers SIMS training courses via ScoLearn, our online digital learning service.

ScoLearn gives access to high quality flexible learning, giving customers the ability to learn any time, any place and at their own pace.

Whether you want to train new staff, upskill existing staff or refresh your knowledge of key SIMS modules and procedures, our ScoLearn digital learning platform is available for staff to access training from home or school.

Some of the many courses include:

  • Attendance, Personnel, SEN and SIMS for New Users
  • Producing the School Census
  • Dinner Money
  • Managing communications using InTouch 
 
 

With ScoLearn digital you can get the information you need when and where you need it. It allows for a varied learning pace and you can revisit content as many times as you like. ScoLearn also provides certification upon completion of courses.

 
 
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For more information, a list of courses and access to a free "try before you buy" course, visit https://scomis.learningpool.com/. More courses will be added based on customer feedback and demand.

Get in contact with us on 01392 385300 or email scomis@devon.gov.uk and quote reference  Scomis Newsletter

 
 
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How do I manage my users accounts if I need to disable or suspend their access to SIMS?
 
 
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The process to suspend or disable user accounts is in two parts and needs to be undertaken by an appropriate person with SIMS System Management and Hosted Applications User Management permissions.

Firstly the user's SIMS system manager account needs to be marked as inactive, after which their Hosted Applications account needs to be marked as disabled or suspended. Both of these actions are reversible should the member of staff return to school following a period of extended absence via an email to scomis@devon.gov.uk.

Please see our FAQ for further information.
 
 
 
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scomis@devon.gov.uk
 
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  Scomis, Great Moor House,
Bittern Road, Sowton,
Exeter, EX2 7NL
 
This message was sent to Austin.M.Robison@devon.gov.uk by Scomis. Follow this link to .