A number of centres with their own in-house Management Information Systems will be implementing A2C:
Acle Academy is planning to implement all necessary areas of the A2C specification except the transport layer, with the intention that transport be handled by the Enhanced Migration Application in the first instance. There are currently no plans to implement our own transport layer.
Development will commence in September 2014, with full implementation driven by the deprecation of the current EDI solution. Our homegrown MIS has an integrated Exams Module which currently communicates through EDI, so the transition to the new file formats and migration application will hopefully be relatively seamless for our staff.
Our MIS is developed entirely in .NET against SQL Server and is in use here at Acle and also at another school. There is just one developer (Derek Dickens) and I’m happy to be contacted by other homegrown centres.
The Academy’s website is http://www.acle.norfolk.sch.uk
Aquinas College is a sixth form college which offers about 85% A-level courses and 15% vocational courses across five of the major exam boards. We deal with around two thousand students on a yearly basis and have our own MIS System to manage the data.
Our MIS System is written in .NET against an SQL Server database. WE are planning on refactoring our exam entry action to bring it in line with the new A2C specification. We are currently planning on using the migration application to do the transport.
Our development team consists of two developers:
Judy Bartlett – firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Powell – email@example.com
Feel free to get in touch if you would like to share ideas and collaborate!
Blackpool Sixth Form College
Brampton College is an independent sixth form college of around 250 students in Hendon, North London. We have recently built our own MIS moving over from Serco’s Facility/eportal package. The MIS is built using .NET technology and backed by Microsoft SQL Server. The MIS has been designed by Neal Thornton, Director of Studies and implemented by NetReady in Leicester with an Internal application for management and a Web browser based Portal for teacher and student use. The system imports basedata and generates EDI entry files at present. We plan to use A2C’s new transport app for homegrown centres in the future.
Cambridge Tutors College
Dearne Valley College
Dr Challoner's Grammar School
We have planned in development time from January 2015 to develop the necessary code for the A2C project and also to revise and update the other exam software suite which is now over five years old.
We are planning to integrate the transport into our software, but welcome the standalone transport solution as a useful fall back.
At present we use the .NET framework as our main technology stack for our MIS functions, on an SQL database.
Our main website is www.challoners.com
East Norfolk Sixth Form College
Farnborough Sixth Form College
The Sixth Form College Farnborough is planning to implement all necessary areas of the A2C specification minus the transport layer which would initially be reliant on the updated migration application. We may look into developing our own transport implementation further down the line.
Development is scheduled to begin in earnest in Summer 2014 and we aim to have migrated entirely to the new system by September 2016.
Our MIS and supplementary systems are developed using .NET and are backed by Microsoft SQL Server. We will be continuing to use these technologies during development of our A2C solution. Our development team consists of three full-time developers.
College website: http://farnborough.ac.uk
Godalming College started development for A2C around January 2014. Unlike other centres that have MIS developed in house we have opted to write our own transport layer. The reasoning for this is because of our early start compared to other establishments. For our progress in development to not be hindered by the lack of an A2C client we had to implement our own to allow for testing with exam boards that we are working with and to allow better integration into our MIS and database. We doubt at this stage that we will meet the September 2014 initial launch that commercial MIS are aiming for; we are hoping to have a pilot with one or more exam boards in 2015 with the intention of swapping over the rest by the summer of 2016. The plan is to go with a minimalistic approach and only implement what we need to cater for the awarding organisations we use, although so far it is looking to be most of the transactions anyway.
Our internal MIS are predominantly written in house using a Microsoft based stack comprising of C# .NET 4 web applications hosted on IIS and backed by MS SQL Server 2012. Our A2C system will be integrated directly into the already existing MIS with a web based interface. There are many reasons for us to do A2C ourselves but in essence it boils down to the massive disruption in service and financial constraints sixth forms currently have to deal with. If we were to purchase a commercial system it would likely involve a large restructure or replacement of our systems and that does not make sense for us financially or operationally.
Our development team consists of two full time developers but we also have others capable of database work that can assist with the SQL aspects such as database design and manipulation of data.
Contact Email: A2C@godalming.ac.uk
College Website: www.godalming.ac.uk
Greenhead College will be implementing the new A2C file formats, using the Migration Application to handle all transport with the AOs. The transactions we will implement will be the minimum necessary to be compliant in the first instance – i.e. centre setup, send orders, receive results.
The timeframe will be guided by the EDI deprecation date, so we’d aim to launch by September 2016. We are investing in A2C because we want to keep technical knowledge in house, plus the prohibitive cost of buying an alternative system.
We are using open-source LAMP stack, although we do have experience using .NET / MSSQL in house. There are plans to increase the development team for this project (currently just one member of staff).
We are happy to be contacted by any other centres in a similar situation.
The college website can be found at http://www.greenhead.ac.uk
Hampton Court House School
The Harvey Grammar School
The school is working in conjunction with a local team from Wrighteous Solutions, a local software company, to re-write the exams administration suite within the management information system, which has been developed in-house over many years.
The MIS is currently based on SQL Server and ASP, but the A2C application will be constructed in Python.
The school will use the A2C Transport Application initially, but may look to produce its own version in time.
The development team consists of three programmers, together with the school’s Network Manager and Exams Officer.
Primary Contact: Bill Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hereford Sixth Form College
Holy Cross College
Holy Cross Sixth Form College are going to be implementing the necessary areas of the A2C specification initially sending orders, receiving results, centre setup. We don’t have any plans currently to implement the transport layer and will rely on the migration application for this. Development will begin properly in Autumn 2014 and ideally we would like to be using the new system before September 2016.
We use ASP .NET and SQL Server. Four members of staff are involved in software development although primarily the work will be carried out by me, probably involving other developers later for web-interface work. I am happy to be contacted by other homegrown centres.
DDI: 0161 762 4516
Holy Cross College (www.holycross.ac.uk)
Paston Sixth Form College
We run our own SQL based system, using a mixture of ASPX and MS Access to access the data. We will not be implementing transport, but are looking to share development locally for product catalogue and results import and entries export (for a limited range of boards/functionality).
Scarborough Sixth Form College
Scarborough Sixth Form College is planning initially to implement the following areas of the A2C specification:
- Create Centre Set-up notification
- Receive Product Catalogue
- Process Orders
- Receive Results
The College is planning its development based on the assumption that the transport mechanism will be achieved using third party software.
The intention is to begin development in September 2014 for completion in summer 2015.
The college employs two full time MIS staff who develop and manage the college MIS system using Visual Studio C# .NET and is based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 databases with SharePoint 2010 as the user interface.
Solihull Sixth Form College
St Peter's School, York
Sutton Grammar School
Truro and Penwith College
Yarm School will be implementing the new A2C files format and will use the A2C Transport Application to handle all transport with the exam boards.
We will start with the transactions we currently use, such as centre setup, catalogue download, sent entries/amendments, receive results.
We aim to start tests using our autumn or spring entries this academic year (2014/15) in parallel with the existing EDI method and fully migrate by September 2016.
Our MIS is built using PHP and MySQL with Windows servers.
There is only one developer in this project who is also the MIS Administrator. We also employ an assistant who helps with tests and help desk.
MIS Adminstrator: email@example.com