Sixth Form

I spent a lot of time in schools thinking “There must be a way of automating this task…”

by | Oct 19, 2022

I joined Applicaa in January after working as a Data Manager for a MAT in South London.

Because I’d worked in IT before going into Education, I spent a lot of time in schools thinking, “There must be a way of automating this task…”, but schools are hectic places and I rarely had time to sit down and do the programming necessary to put my ideas into place.

Working at Applicaa has meant a lot of the ideas I’ve dreamt of turning into reality are now within reach. I’ve been fortunate to have a great team of developers to help build tools that I’d always wished I’d had as a Data Manager.

Some of these tools are already live in the system, such as the feature which lets you send a bulk request to your feeder schools asking them to send a CTF file. There is also a new feature we’re about to deploy which helps put new Year 7 and Year 12 students into tutor groups.

New Student Transition Tool

For those of you that use our product, you already know we can securely send requests to referees of applicants to Sixth Form to gather more information about the students. I started to wonder if this could be used to find out information about new students joining schools – either in September as Year 7 or Year 12’s, or even for in-year applicants.

This came from personal experience seeing how the best-laid plans of Assistant Headteachers tasked with ensuring a smooth transition into secondary often hit the rocks – either because of the pandemic, or more common issues such as a simple lack of time to go and visit all the feeder schools.

I remember with some fondness a former colleague, who was a delightful Head of Year 7, would come in with a big stack of notes about new students joining the school hoping I could disseminate them to their September teachers. Sometimes student names would be missing or illegible. 

Then inevitably, over the summer, things change and students change. Did I inform the right science teacher about the student with a fear of insects?

Because I used SIMS on a day-to-day basis as Data Manager, I wondered if there couldn’t be an easy way for teachers at a previous school to type in comments about a new student’s abilities (and arachnophobia!) that could be automatically written into SIMS. Then Year 7 teachers could see an unfiltered view from former teachers, even if they weren’t from your own school!

This idea has now become the Applicaa Transition Tool

You can now automatically send a message to a student’s previous school which they open and a referee can write a few lines about a student’s performance, so can the former teacher, and through the use of mark sheets tied to new classes in SIMS, these can easily be made available for their new teachers to read…amazing! : )

We’re hoping that schools find this useful, and perhaps in a few years, this might end up becoming an easy way for reports on students to ‘follow’ them from one school to the next.

We now have schools using this and are eagerly awaiting their feedback so make it even slicker! 

If you have ideas of what we can build for you to make your jobs easier please let us know!

By Jeff Clark | Applicaa Product Manager and former Data Manager

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark

I joined Applicaa in January 2022 as a Product Manager, tasked with building new features that make the software ever more useful to our customers. Before working at Applicaa, I have worked in both the IT and Education sectors: In IT I have worked for software developers to help them build and configure systems that are useful for staff, and in the Education sector, I worked as both a teacher of Science & Psychology for 15 years, but also in roles overseeing school MIS systems, exams, timetabling and school network administration.

Explore the world’s most optimized school CRM for managing all things admissions. Trusted by more than 1000 schools and colleges around the world.

Learn more on this topic

Related Blog Posts

How The Greenshaw Learning Trust Uses Applicaa

How The Greenshaw Learning Trust Uses Applicaa

Recently, we caught up with Marlene Francis, Head of Admissions at the The Greenshaw Learning Trust to find out how the MAT has benefited from adopting the Applicaa CRM. How did admissions run in your MAT before you got Admissions+? Greenshaw Learning Trust has 24...

read more
Hear from ALET on Admissions Management in a MAT

Hear from ALET on Admissions Management in a MAT

We recently caught up with Sarah Dawson, Operations Manager at ALET multi-academy trust and Applicaa customer across multiple schools in the MAT setting. We wanted to ask Sarah some key questions about the use of Applicaa and the benefits for MATs. Before ALET adopted...

read more

Join in the conversation

Leave a Comment



Join for notifications on events, campaigns, & news