ICT

Important changes to SIMS Annual Entitlement and Support from 01 April 2022

From 01 April 2022, ESS (formerly Capita) will contract for SIMS Annual Entitlement directly with all schools who are currently using SIMS under the Manchester City Council ‘umbrella’ licence. The agreement will have a 3-year term and will enable Local Authority maintained schools to access the new, cloud-based core SIMS features, at no additional cost.

By Mark Seddon on 03 Feb 2022

The SIMS agreement with the school will include a requirement for the school to procure their support from an approved SIMS Support Unit (SSU) and therefore schools will continue to obtain help and support from One Education. Schools will also continue to have access to the same range of SIMS, FMS software modules and SIMS additions as they currently use under their existing One Education SIMS licence agreement.

One Education will manage the introduction of the new Local Authority maintained school agreements and will continue to invoice your school directly for both SIMS Support and Annual Entitlement as was previously the case. In previous years, both SIMS Support and Annual Entitlement provided through One Education was charged at a rate dictated by banding directly linked to pupil numbers e.g. up to 100 pupils, 101-200 pupils…. etc. The new ESS contract requirements mean we now have to change our charging model to a ‘per pupil’ basis based on the exact pupil numbers for each school, in order that our agreement with you aligns correctly with these new ESS requirements.

In accordance with the Annual Entitlement changes above, our existing SIMS Support Agreements will be adjusted to match the new ESS contract period and as result of change to a ‘per pupil’ model, the cost of your SIMS support will likely vary and, in some cases, unfortunately it may increase. However, as always, One Education is very conscious of the constant budget challenges faced by schools and we have committed to ensuring that, with the exception of the 3.5% increase on the Annual Entitlement cost in 2022-23 (this increase from ESS happens every year) none of our customers will pay more in total for their SIMS support and Annual Entitlement than they currently do.

All our schools will receive their Support Agreements as usual in early December and the changes detailed above will be included in the new agreements. Please note: no other services we provide in your agreement are affected by these changes. We will be providing further information in due course, including how the new SIMS Connected (Cloud Based SIMS) will look, its timescales and how the move to this new environment will work for your school.

We have tried to address any general concerns in the following FAQs section, but if you have any specific questions or concerns not covered here, please email us at sims.contracts@oneeducation.co.uk and we will do our best to answer your questions.

FAQs

Why is the agreement changing to a 3-year period?

ESS have initiated this change for a number of reasons. Longer agreement terms are increasingly standard practice in the sector and allow suppliers like ESS the ability to commit to sustained investment programmes, which translate into better products for schools. Contractual arrangements of this nature are standard for software as a service. They are required to enable schools to enjoy software as a service in a modern, agile, rapid and GDPR compliant manner and allow for easier medium-term budgeting for this important resource.

Is there an option for a shorter agreement period?

No, 3 years is the minimum agreement length being offered by ESS to all its customers.

Will there be cost increases through the 3-year agreement?

SIMS Annual Entitlement fees will rise by 3.5% this year (materially less than the current inflation rate in the software industry), and by no more than CPI + 2.5% in contract years 2 and 3.

Will I be required to purchase the perpetual license in addition to the Annual Entitlement (as Academies and direct school contracts are required to)?

No. Maintained schools who currently benefit from a local authority licensing arrangement or sub-licence will not be required to purchase new perpetual licences.

Do I now have to pay ESS directly for the Annual Entitlement?

No. One Education will continue to invoice you for the Annual Entitlement (along with your SIMS Support) as we have done previously. Will there be any charges for moving to the new cloud-based version of SIMS?

There will be no data migration charges and no need for expensive retraining of staff or costs usually associated with a wholesale change in processes. What are the GDPR implications of moving to a cloud-based version of SIMS?

The terms of the new agreement incorporate appropriate GDPR arrangements for cloudbased services and provides the ability to transfer schools’ data to the cloud for use in cloudbased SIMS features in a secure and compliant software environment.

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