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SIMS access

Discussion in 'Governors' started by neddyfonk, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Just wondering how many governors have remote access to SIMS which may be for assessment, behaviour, progress, attendance, finance/budgets , SEN, accidents, HR, timetables, events etc etc. rather than having to plow through reams of paper at meetings.
    Capita have a 2hr orientating training session ( no sessions currently booked) but I suspect very few governors are ever given a remote login to access any of this valuable data.
     
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Established commenter

    As an ex-data manager I'd be a bit worried about this. Governors don't have responsibilities for individual pupils or individual staff members so I would be asking some serious Data Protection questions about the reasons why they are asking for access to personal data. The governors concerned might well be able to answer them successfully.... but I'm not sure.
     
    bevdex, Rott Weiler and wanet like this.
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Indeed I see how reason why governors should have access to SIMS in this way. It is an operational tool.
     
    Rott Weiler likes this.
  4. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    I made an inquiry to Capita as to whether a governor portal might be available that would only supply summary data ( or they could of course anonomise individuals via a different id - e.g Y5B01 ( Boy No.1 in Yr5 )).
    I had to do this as a TA when writing diaries.
     
  5. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    To Skeoch
    As an ex programmer, analyst and database designer I know how easy it is to introduce foreign keys, hide primary unique keys, add fields and create SQL views that would give me governor compliant versions of SIMS for very little effort.
     
  6. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    That view will have to change. Governors are invited to job interviews, exclusion meetings with parents, appeals about admission, the heads review and other things where they need to know things of a personal nature about individuals. All governors need to do is abide by the same confidentiality agreement that applies to all staff ( including TAs and playtime supervisors). It gets particularly stupid when in FGB meetings the head, staff and some parents know exactly which child kicked the dinner lady for not giving him more pudding, but the community governor cannot be privy in case the information is spread further ( to whom ?).
     
  7. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Can't see why a Governor needs access to MIS to get the correct information.
     
    nomad likes this.
  8. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Established commenter

    Governor's don't need access to SIMS; RAISEONLINE is far more informative for governors.
     
    bevdex, revstevew, nomad and 2 others like this.
  9. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    The primary reason is to detect and prevent fraud. Although the majority of heads will be honest and not inclined to use funds for personal benefit, some can easily create documents with false information and pass them off as being 'real' to governors. Some may even create companies and send invoices to the school for payment that are also authorised by the head. This has already happened in Academy chains but I would not like the be the governor with egg on my face when I could have access to 'the facts'.
     
  10. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    So you want access to data to detect and prevent fraud, that sounds like an audit process. Conducting audits is NOT the role of a governor, even if they are professionally competent to do so. Their role is to ensure audits are undertaken and to review the results.

    If you are given access to data in order to detect and prevent fraud, could you be held liable for any losses if you failed to do so - accountants have professional indemnity insurance, do governors?
     
    bevdex, nomad and wanet like this.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Don't see how they would spot it.
     
  12. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Established commenter

    SIMS would not help you to detect fraud. Schools have bursars to process invoices and to keep track of budgets.
     
    nomad and Jesmond12 like this.
  13. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    I only came in here for a snoop around but why do you want so much unlimited access to the operational aspects of your school? It's apparent in over threads also.
     
  14. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Its called having openness and transparency, nothing to do with interfering with operational aspects. Even the Russians eventually called for Perestroika and Glasnost so that they could understand what was actually happening. Done properly the head, Senior leaders and school business manager do not need to spend hours of their valuable time transcribing and summarising data for meetings, governors end up with a list of enquiries they perform on a regular basis depending on what functions they perform for which committees and if they stumble upon something that does not seem to make sense, ask for enlightenment.
     
  15. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    The problem I have is that by the time an official audit has found that procedures have not been created or adhered to: for approval of items over the limits agreed for the head, petty cash left in drawers, receipts not given to parents, bank deposits not done for 3 months, cheques not presented, best value not being applied etc etc etc a governor who was selected on the basis they have accountancy or business analysis could easily be found liable for not using the skills they have appropriately. I have also had need to ask 'who is the project manager ' for a two year action plan and greeted with bemused looks and a shrugging of shoulders.
     
  16. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Then you need to hold whoever is responsible to account!
    The school should have someone whose job title is finance.
     
  17. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Much of this refusal to change anything and doggedly stick with what they have done for decades seems to stem from the delusion that schools are not running a business. Academisation has become a driving force to change that but has ended up with no proper rules set by the DfE or a good model to adopt. So we limp from an inadequate hotchpotch to a dangerous quagmire.
     
  18. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    That sounds very laudable until you examine primary school admin and find small numbers of staff, low levels of responsibility and remuneration coupled with a thin spread of properly qualified School Business Managers. This problem has only been started to be addressed in the last 10 years with the creation of CSBM/DSBM/ADSBM and SBD qualifications but I hear very little about them, nor have I noticed job adverts requiring them. Feel free to correct me if you are better informed.
     
  19. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    It still isn't the job of governors to get involved with day to day implimentation, it is their job to hold those that are to account. If govenors feel that this isn't being done correctly then they should appoint someone who will.
     
    GeordieKC likes this.
  20. Lattelady

    Lattelady New commenter

    You did attend Governor training, didn't you? That was when it was explained to you that your role was strategic not day-to-day management.

    Having been a governor for over 25 years, I don't recognise what you are describing but I do recognise your governor type. It is not your job to be a busybody, it is your job to hold the school to account, not just by reviewing stats but by visiting at agreed times and using your visit wisely, discussing any issues that you might perceive. Have you ever tracked their invoicing process during a finance meeting, or looked at the asset register to see if it works...

    if you are unhappy about the levels of delegation and training, then discuss it an appropriate meeting, if you dislike reams of paper then ask for the reporting to be changed.

    And unfortunately the Management do need to spend time preparing reports and analysing data because you are not the only person to whom they answer.
     
    GeordieKC and digoryvenn like this.

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