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Timetabling/schedualing software

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by JEJF_JEJF, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. JEJF_JEJF

    JEJF_JEJF New commenter

    Hi All,

    I have just started in a new school that is only three years old. So far the role has been very low and so timetabling has been done manualy. Next year the expected role will be 1500 students. I have been asked to take over timetabling,

    If anyone is able to detail any experiences thay have with any of the schedualing tools good or bad it would be very useful for me to guide my decision on what tools to use in my school. I am new to timetabling, so would ideally like a package that is easy to use.

    I have some basic experience with CMIS, other staff in my current school have been pushing for a package called 'Class A Schedualer' made by longhouse software.
     
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Keith Johnson's Timetabler - easy to find with a search engine. The accompanying textbook might be helpful too.
    Ensure that whatever you go for can integrate or communicate with your MIS, be it SIMS, CMIS or whatever.
     
  3. dookiedaveuk

    dookiedaveuk New commenter

    I would strongly recommend Keith Johnson's Timetabler software, and accompanying book.

    You really need to get yourself on a course ASAP. I would recommend 'Mist Services' in Market Harborough, Chris Knights-Branch there is a super guy. Do not leave this too late! March or April at the latest. You need time to draw up a Curriculum plan, Staff loading document, and practice the software.

    Start off with the 2 day 'Introduction to Timetabling with Timetabler' course. Day one is learning about the principles of Timetabling (Curriculum diagrams, combing charts, staff allocations etc...), Day two is about how to use the software.

    I was in the same situation as you last year, it is an absolute beast of a learning curve. Luckily my Head was a Curriculum Deputy in a former life, and was incredibly supportive through the whole process. I took a full 2 weeks working from home, and still had to carry on working on it right until the end of term. I would not have a clue on how long it took in total, but it would easily run to a hundred hours plus.

    You will also need someone that knows how to do the SIMs part of it, setting up new year, promoting students from one year to the next etc...

    There is no quick fix, and there is no easy way to learn. It is something I believe you can only truly appreciate after having gone through the process.

    Best wishes.
     
  4. dookiedaveuk

    dookiedaveuk New commenter

    oops - double post

    Please delete
     
  5. DM

    DM New commenter

    There are alternatives such as Nova T6. This does the job very effectively.
     
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Forget courses - get someone in to train you and who can offer support all year round in the first instance. Or link up with a timetabler in a school close to you - better than any Course or book in my experience.
     
  7. ICTBusinessCS

    ICTBusinessCS New commenter

    Having written & scheduled 4 timetables in a Secondary school with sixth form (1700 pupils / 100 teaching staff / 25% part time staff). I only have experience of Nova T6. I went on the 4 day course, which was informative & taught me how to use the software, but I found due to the size and complexity of the timetable I was scheduling, using Excel (formulas/conditional formatting etc) was vital for me!
     
  8. DIrectorStudies

    DIrectorStudies New commenter

    Keith Johnson's Timetabler
     
  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Literacy was not listed as an essential attribute on the person spec for this role, I note...
     
  10. RUN DMC

    RUN DMC New commenter

    I set up my own MIS system (using Excel with a bit of coding) which I used and refined over a period of 9 years. If you want to take a look at the timetable module it is available for free on TES resources:
    https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/whole-school-timetable-demo-11157548
    A problem here is that if only one person knows how a system works and there is limited backup it can make life difficult for the next person who does the job. Although I left handover notes my had this issue when I left!
     
  11. RUN DMC

    RUN DMC New commenter

    Although I left handover notes my school had this issue when I left!
     
  12. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I've come across several schools now where someone set up their own MIS or timetabling or whatever; this can be great as long as the originator is still in circulation as the solution can be, to coin a phrase, very bespoke. But these systems are rarely fully documented and seem to be very difficult for the successor to manage effectively. This does suggest that a proprietary system will be a better long-term buy.
     
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Agree, plus using Excel rather than Access would raise concerns for me.
     

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