SchoolBase offers a tailored service for its schools, allowing the MIS to reflect the look and feel of each specific school. This is something that runs throughout the system, allowing for a very customisable system reflecting the needs of your school. ’I have asked SchoolBase for specific actions and developments to be made for our school and these have been completed and implemented in an acceptable amount of time and to the high expectation we have.'
One of the attractions to SchoolBase was Furlong’s commitment to provide the data migration from their current MIS into SchoolBase for no extra cost. We spoke with the school’s MIS Coordinator, Mr. Chris Goodchild and asked him why he chose SchoolBase. The first hurdle for them was the fear of migration.’The time and complexity of data migration has often put us off changing suppliers in the past. With Furlong, the whole experience was smooth and efficient. I was kept fully up to date on any progress and was involved at relevant points.’
Once migration was underway, we could turn our attention to setting up a detailed implementation plan, a road map for which features were essential from day one and which modules would be brought on at a later date.
Face to face training is provided in your annual price and the initial six days are organised in conjunction with the needs of the school. Every level of user received the training required to start using SchoolBase and then the simple UI allows the staff to grow their knowledge organically. ’Training has come from experienced users in person (even from the Managing Director in person, a real personal touch) and on Skype at short notice. Communication has always been responsive and productive.'
Support is our passion.
SchoolBase offers free support via telephone, email, Skype or any other sensible means of communication. Unfortunately our homing pigeons were eaten by a fox and we can no longer offer that service!
Staff are based in offices in the UK, Cyprus and Bangkok working typical hours. With staff in a variety of time zones, you can receive support nearly 24hours a day. 'Our previous support was so poor. In one instance, I received a reply to an issue over a year later and after we had stopped using said supplier. Since being with SchoolBase, I have managed to access support in minutes as there are people in various time zones to help us out. The support we receive is first class, above and beyond.' – Talha Shaikh – IT Manager
The continued support and online training will allow staff to open up new parts of the system when it is needed, and our free face-to-face four training days a year will allow you to bring new staff up to speed.
Supporting our schools also comes in the form of developing software that they need and education dictates.
At Furlong, we aim to future proof ourselves for the changes that come by taking development ideas from you, the schools. All ideas are welcome and if deemed an improvement to the service our schools receive can be developed. This has allowed SchoolBase to evolve with the changes to education and will continue to do so. ’If any new modules are released, you get that module. For free. And, if hosted, you don’t even need to do the update! All done for you!’
This extends to different languages and SchoolBase is already being used in Arabic, English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Thai, Greek and Welsh.
Providing a system and reporting in Arabic, along with starting the week on a Sunday, were priority requirements for the school and our translators worked with the school to perfect the Arabic language platform.
'I was very impressed how easily Furlong managed to integrate my bespoke system with their software.'
‘Having integrated reporting in Arabic along with SchoolBase running in Arabic, has significantly improved parent interaction with the school.’
'Since being with SchoolBase, I have managed to access support in minutes.'
While SchoolBase tries to be as comprehensive a system as possible, there are sometimes preferred systems already in place within the school and integration is an important part of the migration from your old system to SchoolBase.
We were able to identify some key systems that the school felt were essential to their needs including; Firefly, ASc, Destiny Library Manager. Through our API development, these and many other additional pieces of software can run smoothly with SchoolBase.
The Gulf English School accounting department had developed a sophisticated in-house system that they were especially keen to keep and integrate with SchoolBase.
The school, like many, works with a number of different exam boards and students can sit for a range of tests including IB, BETEC, i/GCSE to name a few. With SchoolBase’s easily configurable markbook and curriculum mapper, data for all types of curriculum can be sorted and reported on from one single place. This type of academic integration is essential in saving teachers time, as well as reducing stress, ’the actual speed of using SchoolBase online is extremely quick. Pages load quickly and the system can handle more than a few people using it at a time!‘
'The markbook tracking has meant that we can track our student’s progress in a more simplistic manner. Compared to what we had before, this is an absolute revolution. It is simple and makes sense!'
’The main thing for myself, being the whole school MIS coordinator, is that I don’t worry about any problems coming up. I know the system is reliable and if for any reason a glitch occurs, support is on hand and issues resolved in what I would deem a reasonable amount of time.’
The school pointed to different parts of the system that functioned better than what they were using before but also pointed to the financial savings they had seen. ’There are many benefits I have seen since switching to SchoolBase. Firstly, the use of the parent evening and activities booking (both chargeable modules under the previous MIS), has been a marked improvement.'
’When asking our previous MIS supplier for anything new that we required, we would be told that it would take months and incur additional costs. This is not what we expected as an answer.’
The building of bespoke reports for the school was one such example.
’Whilst our previous supplier would happily make changes to a template, there were times when it was not up to expectation. If changes were needed, they would come at a cost. Recently a request was made to make a change to a SchoolBase template and this was completed free of charge in no time at all.’
Once the templates had been built, there was strong support from the staff in the process used for writing these reports. ’The new report writing process has been applauded by the staff due to the ease of use and being able to name and gender check at the click of a button.’ Chris Goodchild – School MIS Coordinator