The John Roan School

MIS  

SBS delivers complex timetabling project for secondary school over summer break

Requiring an experienced timetabler at the end of the summer term, SBS was asked to complete on behalf for the school.

The key goal of the timetable was to minimise the site-to-site movement of teachers between lessons, and avoid the scenario where students are taught by multiple teachers for one subject. After receiving a brief from the school our experienced MIS team used software analysis, judgement and education knowledge to provide a resourcing solution ready for the Autumn term that would maximise teaching and learning.

Benefits of the project

Why SBS provide timetabling support

    • Decision making
      An experienced external agency can take a pragmatic view of the requirements to prevent any involuntary bias towards year groups, subjects or teachers.
    • Accuracy and significant time saving
      Outsourcing eliminates the impact of distractions from additional school responsibilities, giving the best possible chance of an accurate, effective end product.
    • Seamless MIS integration
      SBS is a Capita-accredited SIMS support provider, enabling the timetable in Nova T6 to be easily imported into the MIS.

Effective timetabling

  • Education experience
  • Mathematical analysis
  • Puzzle-solving
  • Software expertise
"We wanted to say how grateful we are for all the work you put into our timetable over the summer. We know that it was an intricate timetable to write but we are a few days in now and all is going extremely well. Things move pretty quickly once the students are back and it is easy to forget the enormous effort that has gone on in the background to get them to that stage. Thank you for all your hard work."

Project Steps

How SBS collaborates with a school on a timetable

Brief & goals

A wishlist from department heads was received with the classes required for each teacher.

The key goals of the timetabling were:

Students: Are taught by only one teacher for each subject for continuity and have the opportunity to move between groups at KS3.
Teachers: Aren't required to share classes don't need to cross site between lessons and have the opportunity to 'own' a room.

Modelling & construction

The timetable was constructed in Nova T6, a sculpting process that involves data entry, curriculum planning, resourcing, analysis, scheduling and refinement.

It is possible to automate the whole processing of constructing a timetable using the software but to minimise the movement between sites The John Roan School required a more manual approach with precision lesson placement.

Consultation & negotiation

At this stage there is commonly some negotiation between SBS and the school for the best possible timetable for students and teachers, providing examples of educational impact for specific subjects and feasible options to minimise disruption.

Typically, these decisions will need to be made before finalising the timetable and importing into SIMS. For efficiency the School Data Manager is able to access SIMS to assign students and teachers to class groups for the new year.

Import into SIMS

The timetable was constructed in Nova T6, a sculpting process that involves data entry, curriculum planning, resourcing, analysis, scheduling and refinement.

It is possible to automate the whole processing of constructing a timetable using the software but to minimise the movement between sites The John Roan School required a more manual approach with precision lesson placement.

Autumn term at the school

In early September the students and teachers returned to collect a timetable that provides continuity between lessons and with minimal movement between sites.

Familiarity and experience are key to yearly timetable management and the school will have SBS on hand for future timetabling requirements.

"I believe that the process of building an effective timetable is to ensure that it is a collaborative activity, and not the sole work of the timetabler who uses the software to construct it. Although it took several weeks of our timetabling expertise to sculpt an initial solution for the brief, as we were putting the finishing touches to the lesson placement it was the more manual approach in consultation with the deputy headteacher and subject leaders that added great value to the finished timetable and helped to accomplish its ultimate goal - reducing the amount of traveling required between sites.”

Additional support for John Roan School

In addition to timetabling support, the SBS team also supports The John Roan School for:

  • SIMS Strategy
  • SIMS Health Checks
  • SIMS Data Administration
  • SIMS Training
  • ICT Infrastructure audits