“When we moved to Engage, we wanted a system that integrated administration and finance. We had Kieran in from Double First and he did a really good job of tailoring the system to our requirements. Engage works for us because it’s simple to set up and easy to adopt. Engage gave us the option to take up our new MIS bit-by-bit, alongside our in-house curriculum database, and build a system around our development as a school.
“Engage is very simple to use. We don’t require complicated knowledge or help from an IT expert, which makes it very straightforward. I love the look and feel of Engage, it’s colourful, bright and easy to navigate with pictures and icons.
“We use Engage for all administration and finance. It handles the fees, bursaries, discounts and direct debits, as well as the core school admin functions, admissions and registration. We save all communications to our Document Management System and use the portal to share key documents with parents and staff. Staff are certainly starting to see the benefits of Engage and they’ve been requesting additional modules, such as room booking and daybook templates.
“We offer flexi-boarding, where children can choose to stay any night of the week. We also do theme nights, which are hugely popular. We have to set this up weekly, which is where Engage comes in. Parents can choose options in the parent portal each week and these are added to their activities.
“It’s lovely that parents can view the timetable and see the activities they have booked. It’s a good selling point of the parent portal for engagement.”
Speaking about the support offered by Double First, Julie explained: “The user groups are very useful and I’ll be booking to attend again this year. The online self-help system is well set out – it’s really simple and easy to pick up.
“Engage integrates perfectly with Early Essence, which allows us to take control of, and monitor, our Nursery and Reception in one central system.
“When I started here it was still a prep school, and over the last three years it’s become a senior school too. We’ve just added Year 11, and we’re almost at 400 pupils now. We’ve hired many teachers over this period, but only one part-time admin person and we couldn’t have done it without Engage. In the long term, it saves us time and money – I’d call that a result!”