Written by Jose Carlos Lopez and published in Administrator, (1005 times)
School Leaders and Principals... Are you thinking about implementing a school management system (SMS)? Do you want to know what an SMS actually is? Unsure of how to select the right one for your school? Find out here.
Choosing the right school management software for your school is crucial. It shouldn't be a choice based on what the other schools in your area are using, or what they prefer to use. It should be a decision made based on your school as every school is different with variants in student numbers, teacher resources etc.
There's no doubt there are many SMS' in the market - so what do they do?
A school management system is designed to facilitate paperless operations and administration across your school. School software varies, however those that are most effective will include the following at its core; student academic history, roll-call marking, attendance reporting, resource and curriculum planning, payment management (trips, excursions, scholarships etc).
Most suppliers are now providing cloud-based solutions, rather than opting for installing server-based systems which require heavy set up. Cloud-based solutions allow for easy connectivity across the school and also allows access outside of school. For example, students can access their timetable at home through an app.
As the market of SMS' develop and the education industry matures, the addition of modules such as Family apps and attendance kiosks are becoming more prevalent.
With this much competition there's no doubt it becomes a task to select the right one for your school - so how do you pick the right one?
- 1. Ensure the supplier has all the modules you require. There's nothing worse than getting into a system and finding out it doesn't have all the key areas you need - make sure they demonstrate them to you.
- 2. Ensure the supplier can develop the features you potentially need. Everyone has a wish list and suppliers are careful to develop only what is required, but if they can demonstrate or discuss future developments, it shows growth.
- 3. Get details on timeframes. Question how long it will take to implement the system and integrate with any internal systems you currently use. For Cloud-based software, it shouldn't take more than a week at max.
- 4. Price - it's the big question. Any premium quality software will not charge you an extortionate amount. Each supplier varies, so it is definitely key to shop around - after all, their module offerings will be similar.
So there's no right answer, but it does involve analysis and researching extensively. This process can take anything from 6 months to 18 months, and suppliers will understand this. Select the solution which will benefit you the most across everything from modules, to customer service, to implementation time.
If you need advice or assistance in choosing the right supplier to you, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you!