The UK government has recently announced that schools in England should wait before signing up to a three-year licensing agreement with Education Software Solutions (ESS).
Indeed, ESS, which is now owned by Montagu Private Equity, will be making changes to its SIMS (schools information management systems) Annual Entitlement Plan and extending the agreement to 36 months. Many schools were then concerned about the changes, leading the Department for Education to step in.
The decision to move to a three-year agreement was due to the fact that longer agreement terms are increasingly standard practice in the sector and allow suppliers to commit to sustained investment programmes and better products for schools. The customers will then have until February 2022 to make up their minds and choose if they agree or not.
Faced with the situation, IT professionals said that the schools would need to run a tender process before moving to three-year licensing contracts. It was also found out that more and more schools are switching from SIMS’ MIS to cloud-based alternatives, due to the greater autonomy regarding the choice of supplier provided.