A packed agenda and a full house of delegates was bound to make for a busy day when the Engage Development Partners met for their second conference.

Using the Greens Room of The Donnington Valley Hotel, the delegates had arrived, been refreshed with tea and coffee, and were ready to start by 10:15am.

Jeff Elliott, MD Double First, outlined the day’s four main objectives.

  • How’s it Going?
  • Developments since the First Conference
  • Future Developments
  • The Double First Academy
  • How’s it Going?
  • Delegates reported on the issues they had been experiencing, some of which had already been corrected, whilst others would be remedied by upgrading to v2.08 which most delegates had yet to have installed.

One school had experienced particular problems with the Integrated Fees module, but was now able to report that having had ‘excellent support’ from the Support Team, the software ‘should now be OK’.

Commenting on the Assessments module, another delegate reported, ‘This has worked very, very well for us. Grades, Reports, all excellent, with teachers saying it was easy.’

Development since the First Conference

Paul Rastall outlined the development progress since the last conference, and demonstrated some of the usability refinements the delegates had been specifically asking for.

In addition, future upgrades would all be available from the website after v2.07.

Future Developments – Money Talks!

After an excellent buffet lunch, Paul distributed one thousand Double First pounds (£DF 1,000) to each school, and placed the titles of ten further potential modules, on the table.

After a great deal of thought, delegates placed their £Hs amidst comments such as Faites vos Jeux (place your bets), after which Paul gathered up the titles for later analysis.

Carole Denman, Operations Manager, introduced a new member of staff, Karen Taylor.

Karen explained her training background with LEAs, Capita, and SIMS.NET which had included being responsible for writing manuals and help files.

Her vision was to create the Double First Academy which would seek to provide training excellence.

‘Training is the key,’ said Karen. ‘If members of staff are well trained, they will be able to use the software far more effectively which can only make for a more efficient school.’

Many ideas were aired which showed everyone just how vital training would be, especially with such an all encompassing product such as Engage.


Jeff rounded up the day’s work, thanking everyone for their support and dedication to making Engage the success it was now enjoying.