A cluster of Liverpool schools transitioned to Bromcom in the past year, with the aim of having an integrated MIS that could streamline operations and enhance efficiency. Among this group were two distinguished Catholic Primary schools – Our Lady of Good Help and Our Lady of the Assumption.
We caught up with their respective MIS leads, Lynn Hopwood (Office and Facilities Manager), and Maureen Russell (School Business Manager), to talk about their journeys with Bromcom and find out what a change in MIS and Finance systems has meant for them.
"The head teacher loves it because he can find all the reports and things that he wants really easily"
The selection process
With SIMS contracts coming to an end, Liverpool council advised schools in 2022 to research and choose their preferred MIS supplier. With the support of the local business management association, Our Lady of Good Help and Our Lady of the Assumption independently assessed various school management solutions and saw demonstrations from different suppliers. For Lynn, Bromcom was a clear winner, particularly due to its fully integrated Finance solution, which is a ready-made replacement for FMS: “Both the head teacher and myself looked at it independently and Bromcom just stood out for me, mainly for the Finance side of it. It was so easy and user friendly. It’s a busy office here and I just needed something that wasn’t going to take me months to get accustomed to.”
For Maureen, Bromcom’s comprehensive offering was a compelling factor: “It looked easy to use and to get the information you needed, you had it all in one system. You just buy one system and you’ve got everything – you haven’t got to buy a separate Finance the way you do with other suppliers.”
After careful consideration both Our Lady of Good Help and Our Lady of the Assumption, along with several other Liverpool schools, chose Bromcom as their MIS and Finance provider.
Transitioning to Bromcom
The implementation process was a success for both schools, marked by comprehensive training sessions that equipped them with the knowledge and skills to use the new system. Maureen reported that she appreciated this support.
For Lynn, the new system was simple enough to use that much of the training content provided was unnecessary, and she preferred to refer to the supplementary help sheets.
"The data transition went smoothly which was great. We were able to do all the different training webinars and it was all pretty straightforward really, you quickly pick up the basics"
Highlights of using Bromcom:
At Our Lady of Good Help, Lynn primarily uses Bromcom for Finance, as well as basic MIS tasks such as entering staff absences and searching for pupil information, which is simple to do. The Head teacher is able to use the MIS to carry out more extensive data analysis and create reports for governors. The school currently retains some third-party modules related to assessments, however they plan to re-evaluate this decision in the future given Bromcom’s comprehensive all-in-one provision.
For Maureen, the in-built help function is a boon for Our Lady of the Assumption: “What I like is that on the side of the screen you’ve got that ‘need help’ button, and you just type in what you need and it gives you step by step instructions as to what you need to do.
Maureen says the My Child at School app – used by parents – is one of the best things about Bromcom: “We’ve got different trips on there and obviously all dinners and breakfast clubs and it all works really well. Loads of the parents are using it for payments so we’ve got a lot less money coming into school which makes it safer for us. Parents are loving it – they like the fact they can keep an eye on their child’s attendance on the app.”
Maureen goes on to say how Bromcom has brought about a step change in reporting: “The head teacher loves it because he can find all the reports and things that he wants really easily. He says that what used to take him ages – producing and collating reports – can now be done at the touch of a button.”
The combined journey of Our Lady of Good Help and Our Lady of the Assumption with Bromcom is a testament to the power of strategic partnerships in education. By choosing Bromcom, these Liverpool Primary schools not only overcame operational challenges but also set new standards for efficiency, financial management, and parental engagement.