Supporting a MAT to maximise their user experience during a transitionary phase.
Accord Multi Academy Trust is a collection of unique schools from Primary Academies to Sixth Form College. The educational charity was established in 2016 and their work across different academies is underpinned by a single, shared vision.
Just before the start of the 2021/22 academic year, we sat down with Alan Warboys, Chief Executive Officer of the Accord Multi Academy Trust, to discuss how the Bromcom team have been able to support their needs during a period of change.
Bridging the gap
Having brokered procurement with Bromcom against other active providers, we wanted to transition all of our schools to Bromcom’s cloudbased MIS. Unfortunately, our director of data, systems and information who had managed the majority of the relationship with Bromcom moved
on meaning there was a gap which needed to be bridged. We wanted to ensure we could maximise Bromcom’s functionality and fortunately, Dan was on hand to help work out a structure from which we could progress, collaboratively. We set up some initial meetings and Dan was able to
scope out the areas which had already been developed by Bromcom, as well as areas which we wanted to explore further.
We originally thought that the relationship with Bromcom would be ‘distant’ with their team giving advice from afar. Fortunately, Dan was able accommodate us amongst his busy schedule in two key areas. Firstly, he was able to provide both assurances and guidance about the capabilities of the system and what we wanted to do with it at Accord. He also was able to add capacity to areas that we wanted to develop. Though the finished article isn’t quite there at present, the support provided has been of enormous help so far and we plan to continue working with Dan until this is bottomed out.
Dan has helped us in a number of different areas during this transitionary phase. One facet in particular has been moving our primary assessment from our legacy system to Bromcom. He has supported us throughout this task and we are almost there. I feel I should again stress the depth of support that Dan has offered, it really has surprised us. He’s done more than we expected and it has certainly helped us to bridge the gap in the absence of key personnel at the time.
Tailoring the system and evaluating results
We wanted to establish a system which enabled the academies to have a level of autonomy while simultaneously processing their data in a uniform way. This was possible with Bromcom’s Vision X and now provides trust leaders with a holistic overview for reporting.
Dan highlighted how we could adapt the Bromcom system to produce data in the way we wanted to see it. In particular, there was a bespoke piece of work which he helped us to complete around foundation subjects where we were able to capture assessment criteria into marksheets so we could report on them more readily.
All the changes we wanted and needed to make were facilitated and supported, simply by having a contract with Bromcom.
There is still scope for development but we have also been able to harness Bromcom’s functionality when it comes to reporting at Primary level. Our academies have access to standard reports that are available via the dashboard. Additionally, academy leaders are privy to vision reports and module reports from Bromcom’s Primary Tracker. Each member of staff has visibility over the relevant marksheets pertaining to their classes or pupils and all of this information filters through Vision, giving us a comprehensive overview of what is happening across the trust.
From a secondary perspective, our existing arrangements continue to be secure and we’re still working with Dan on some of the minutiae with our primary academies. Again, I want to stress that throughout this transitional period, we were anticipating that a lot of the work we needed to do with some of the aforementioned operations would need to be outsourced. Fortunately, this was not necessary and all the changes we wanted and needed to make were facilitated and supported, simply by having a contract with Bromcom.
Knowing the MAT
It’s been great having someone who has taken the time to engage with our trust throughout this period. To be honest, I don’t know whether we utilised the link as well as we could have done in the past. Moving forward, we will certainly look to ensure that we retain this contact.
With Dan knowing our requirements, we have been able to set up meetings on a weekly basis to develop priorities and have had productive discussion on moving to a particular point where we are happy with the outcome. He is incredibly approachable and a genuine ambassador for Bromcom. We have been very grateful for his support.
We want to continue to get the most out of our relationship with Bromcom and maintain the interaction so that our strategic partnership can continue to grow.
Wins with Bromcom
One of our priorities at the outset of our relationship was to initially implement Bromcom in a phased manner starting across our secondaries. This has been achieved and we have seen some really significant gains here. Legacy MIS were not operating as efficiently as they could have been and, with Bromcom, we have been able to reduce workload for staff across the board, particularly when it comes to attendance, inclusion and assessment. We now want to enhance this experience at primary level with Dan’s continued guidance.
Overall, from a managing data and information perspective, we have seen significant improvements from Bromcom. On the educational side of things, colleagues used to spend hours and hours emailing, counting and processing information manually; these laborious tasks have now been eradicated and staff can utilise Power BI reports, either internally developed or developed by Bromcom, which have been hugely significant to our development. This has freed up teachers time to focus on more important matters than data entry.
Arguably the biggest win we have experienced with Bromcom is that it is a singular MIS provider based online. During Covid-19 this was an absolute life-saver. We understand that many MATs suffered because they were contending with multiple MIS providers and hosted solutions. During this period we didn’t just survive, we thrived. We were able to take registers normally, identify pupils who were absent from online learning and use Power BI reports to identify this information incredibly quickly. Overall, throughout the pandemic, Bromcom has performed really well for us.
As I’ve said, our relationship with Bromcom continues to be work in progress but we are certain they will continue to support us in our journey and have already helped us greatly during a time of transition.