At the heart of administration and management in most schools is a big management information system. SIMS from Capita is the market leader, but there are proven alternatives such as Phoenix Management System of Phoenix Pearson and Facility CMIS from CCM Software.
There have always been schools, though, that have successfully used standard business software packages for their school administration. One such is Priory Technology College in Preston, Lancashire, which developed a pupil administration system based on FileMaker.
"We chose it because it's simple to understand and yet it's a professional package with lots of potential," says deputy head Jim Hourigan.
Priory markets its system as Priory Academic Assessment Solutions.
CCM Software. www.ccmsoftware.com
Filemaker (BETT stand V6). www.filemaker.co.uk
Priory Technology College. www.prioryhigh.lancsngfl.ac.uk about.htm