I received excellent service from Rebecca yesterday regarding an item I posted wrong via FMS the first this year !! she is lovely to deal with and always professional but friendly. The team at Pennine always give outstanding service thanks so much Ruth Bayley. Ruth
I would just like to say thank you to Rebecca for her patience and support. Over the last week or so Rebecca's help has been outstanding and she has helped me to get to the bottom of some very complex queries. Nothing is too much trouble and she always has time to ensure that I understand the processes and procedures. THANK YOU! Claire Grainger, The Harmony Trust
"Having to manage 3 schools at a time, which is quite common in my role as Executive Business Manager of a federation and supporting other schools, I have found the support and work that Pennine Education offer to be invaluable. They enable me, and the schools, to function on a day to day basis by offering a wide range of support and facilities. They are always professional and extremely good at what they do. I cannot speak highly enough of them and their services" Stephen D Mould, Executive Business Manager, Yew Tree School Oldham.
“We have been using Pennine Education for our SIMS support since April this year. We have found the service to be excellent. Calls to the helpdesk are answered very promptly and, in the majority of cases, the issues are resolved straight away. If a problem has to be referred for more analysis we are kept updated on progress. The seminars they provide at no extra cost are very useful and informative and provide a great opportunity for networking with colleagues from other schools. Overall, our experience so far is that the team provide a friendly, helpful and professional service and make us feel we are a valued customer.”
Peter Callan, Business Manager, SS Aidan & Oswald RC Primary School, Oldham
"John has supported Oldham Council and the Oldham schools with various SIMS .Net and FMS issues and projects for a number of years. He is committed, thorough, organized and reliable and I would have no hesitation in recommending his services and advice to any users of SIMS .Net and/or FMS in organization's from a single small school to an entire LA. “ Jonathan Howarth, Ict Manager, Oldham Council
“I have worked with Jonathan for over 7 years in his role of IT Schools Team Manager and SIMS consultant with our local LA. In my role as a Business Director of a large secondary school (which was a community school but has recently converted to academy status), I am responsible for ensuring that the school’s SIMS systems are working effectively and for ensuring that all our statutory census returns are completed accurately and to time. Jonathan has always been able to provide excellent and speedy advice and support whenever we have had any issues or queries and knowing that he and his team were there has been hugely reassuring for me. He provided regular excellent training sessions in all areas of SIMs ensuring that we had all the information we required and helping us to make the most of SIMS and its changing functionality. He is always cheerful, courteous, supportive and a pleasure to work with.”
Adrienne Lang, Bridgewater High School, Warrington.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing such informative guidance notes. I have just completed importing the KS2 results and it was a seamless process, even to printing out individual reports which I haven't done before (we usually do them via Target Tracker). I have used your guidance notes a lot this year. Though I have used SIMS.net and FMS for many years there are often 'annual' jobs to be done which need a refresher to undertake. The notes are written assuming the user hasn't any knowledge of a process which is brilliant and saves a lot of time trying to work things out in the long run.
In my view Pennine have got it right - they don't wait until there are problems before issuing documentation - it is relevant, clear, concise and useful, leaving time for you to spend with the customers who need that little extra bit of support (and we can all put ourselves in that target group at times). Response times to customer queries is awesome. Well done team, first class service, so glad we moved from Capita. Kind regards to all
Kath Roberts St Chad's CE Primary School
During 2014/15 I was approached by numerous schools saying they were very unhappy with the SIMS support they were receiving from our previous support supplier. At the same time, our own Finance department were also having issues with them whilst trying to upgrade their FMS system. After months of issues they contacted me in desperation asking if there was anything I could do. Pennine Education Ltd came to our attention in 2015 and a meeting was arranged to discuss options. They were certainly people we could deal with, understood the product and understood schools pressures and needs. Their first task was to resolve the issues and implement the Finance department’s FMS system, which they did very efficiently. Finance soon had a system they could use and couldn’t believe the difference in dealing with Pennine Education compared to our previous Sims support supplier. Blackpool schools were invited to a presentation in October 2015 to introduce them to Pennine Education, as an alternative SIMS support organisation. The event was really well attended and the feedback we had from the session was how professional they came across. Following this initial meeting 11 Blackpool schools signed up with Pennine Education for their SIMS support service, starting from 1st April 2016. The feedback I had in the first few months was outstanding; “fantastic”, “a breath of fresh air”, “wonderful” were just a few of the comments made to me. Pennine had certainly made an impression in Blackpool and a difference to the schools – taking away the frustrations they previously had. They make schools feel they are not alone anymore and have a friend on hand to help with any issues. Pennine Education have assisted ICT Services in providing a hosted SIMS environment where schools no longer need to have a server in school. Our first implementation was for Educational Diversity, a PRU based across 5 sites. Their requirement was for every member of staff (70) to have access to SIMS. This was installed and configured during the summer holidays in 2016 and was available to staff on their return from the summer break. This has made a massive difference to Ed Diversity and reduced the amount of time wasted trying to obtain the information teachers want. As a result of the work Pennine Education have done we are now talking to a number of other schools who want to buy into the hosted SIMS service. The organisation within Pennine Education is excellent with termly updates booked well in advance so all schools can ‘save the date’ to ensure a high attendance at the sessions. Presentation material is handed out to all attendees and is also available electronically if requested. Pennine Education run a number of training sessions with options to have tailored training for individual schools if required. Our own staff are invited to these events and has helped considerably by giving a ‘heads-up’ on any changes and requirements to the termly Census. They are able to produce documents and prepare all schools in plenty of time of the census - not just schools who buy into the Pennine support service. John, Elaine and Jonathan are very approachable and easy to talk to. They understand SIMS inside out as they have used SIMS for many years both as users and in supporting roles. They are happy to help with the smallest of niggles to major system migrations - nothing is too much trouble. Even though they are based in Oldham, about 60 miles from Blackpool, there has never been a problem with support. In most cases support calls have been resolved either by simply talking the user on the phone or connecting to the school PC remotely. On the odd occasion a site visit has been necessary, they have jumped in their cars and driven over without hesitation. As a testament to Pennine Education all 11 schools have renewed their support contract with them again this year. I’m confident the relationship and reputation will grow for many years within Blackpool and look forward to our continued partnership.
Jeff Walley, ICT Relationship Manager (Schools), ICT Services, Blackpool Council
As an emerging Academy we were looking around for partners that could help us implement the FMS product . Our Business Manger asked several schools in our area and Pennine was recommended to us and after a meeting with the Senior Leadership Team we decided to engage the organisation . That was our lucky day ! Pennine have provided us with a faultless service. At the outset there was a comprehensive training package to ensure that our Business Manger was able to get to grips with the system . This training was conducted at a pace that was well matched to our Business Manager level of competence , so it was spot on. Following this there was consultation on our coding structures to ensure that there was minimal disruption to our existing system. In parallel there were discussions with myself as Financial Director , to determine how we might accommodate the forecasting facilities that I required . Once again Pennine demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and produced a User Defined Report that helps provide a bridge between the output fro the FMS and my forecasting spreadsheets. As we became an Academy Pennine were on hand to provide us with considerable advice and guidance and run a series of activities to demonstrate to us that the reports did reconcile, thereby building our confidence in FMS. Pennine also provided day to day support to our Business Manger to answer the inevitable questions of an organisation getting used to a new product , such support was provided willingly and patiently! Of particular benefit is the remote access to FMS that is operated by Pennine , on several occasions I have raised queries with Pennine and by using this facility they are able to offer a very swift turnaround to our queries . Pennine are always on hand / contactable, they are very responsive to queries providing informed answers within very short periods of time by people that are professional and have a deep and comprehensive understanding of FMS. In summary I find that Pennine have a superlative understanding of FMS, offer a first rate service ,demonstrate a clear understanding of our business and , to me , represent very good value for money I would recommend Pennine to any prospective Client