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The View from SIMS Next Gen

Read the latest update from SIMS Next Gen’s Head of Product, Holly Westall

Read the latest update from SIMS Next Gen’s Head of Product, Holly Westall


In the last Schools Week piece, I sketched out some developments in the roll-out of SIMS Next Gen. Our new technology is shaping the future of MIS – and I’ve got more to share before schools take a well-deserved summer break!

Our team’s been hard at work developing Pupil Contacts functionality and has already learnt a lot from the ongoing pilot. We’ve already received really positive feedback around the ability to use Pupil Contacts on a mobile device, making it accessible and beneficial for activities that happen outside the school building.

The team’s now dedicated to moulding enhancements around the insight and feedback that they’ve received – ensuring Next Gen is as feature-rich and useful as possible. Changes have actually already been made, including improved search functionality to support more flexible inputs, otherwise known as ‘fuzzy’ search, and design improvements to make it easier to move around the various features.

There’s more in the works to ensure Pupil Contacts is ready for use by all Primary Schools, such making the parental responsibility of each contact more visible and the inclusion of additional data on which contact(s) the pupil lives with, plus optimising for use on tablet screens.

Something we don’t do is stand still – and I’m pleased to report that another slice of SIMS Next Gen is nearly ready to go into pilot. It comes from the Assessment team, which has been busy creating a progress tracker for reading, writing, and maths. Currently focused on primary school students, these core subjects are of the highest importance, and it is critical that teachers understand how learners are developing. Put simply, our integrated assessment system will make it easier for teachers to help their students advance and grow.

We’re excited to start the pilot for this new slice of Next Gen after the summer break, with pilot schools onboarding before then. While teachers are recharging over the next month or two, we’re going to be working harder than ever to make sure that they come back to intuitive functionality.

When I wrote my last piece, I was visiting North Macedonia, working side by side with our fantastic Product and Technology team in Skopje. We’ve continued to innovate together, striving to give schools access to the most cutting-edge technological developments and latest in cloud innovation. If you would like to help, and provide insight that will be fundamental to SIMS Next Gen and the future of MIS, then please do get in touch via the form on this page.

I’m looking forward to sharing more exciting news after the summer break, with a September that promises to be packed with new features.

Until then, I hope you enjoy the Summer!

Bye for now.


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