At Double First, engagement is at the heart of everything we do, by allowing schools to take control of communications between parents, pupils and staff. This year, to celebrate the end of our 30th Anniversary, we are inviting pupils to engage with us by taking part in the Engage Pupil Takeover.
The Pupil Takeover is a competition in which pupils aged between 3-18 in independent or international education are invited to design a creative piece of artwork for our Engage MIS. The competition will be hosted in two categories, Preparatory (3-11) and Senior (11-18). Our favourite design from each category will receive a £100 Amazon voucher, along with a certificate and framed print of their work. The two runners up in each category will receive a £50 Amazon voucher, along with a certificate and framed print of their work. The two best designs will also feature within the Engage MIS, allowing pupils to play a part in our creative software development!
Last week, our team travelled out to Abu Dhabi for the 2018 BSME Annual Conference. At Double First, we’ve been working closely with BSME schools since 2008. Our intuitive management software, bespoke training, dedicated local support and customer-led development programme helps BSME members stay on top of school management.
Richard Jones, Sales Director at Double First, had the pleasure of catching up with BSME Chairman, Eddie Liptrot at the conference, to provide an update on our continuous work with BSME schools and new product developments. As Superintendent of the International Schools Group (ISG), Eddie is now rolling out Engage across his schools, using Engage Finance to support the group with the advent of VAT in the Middle East.
A couple of weeks ago our team attended the BETT show in the heart of London, which is known to be the world’s leading education technology event. BETT gave us the opportunity to catch up with existing customers, as well as meeting brand new schools and educators. This year was also an extra special occasion, as we took a new approach to exhibiting at BETT to help celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Here are some of our highlights from the week…
BETT is the world’s leading education technology event. Bringing together hundreds of innovative service providers and distributors with educators from around the globe, to help create a better future for education. This year, BETT will be running from 24th – 27th January at the Excel Centre in London and once again, Double First will be there.
To Celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’ve booked an exclusive meeting room to host both our customers and prospective international and independent schools. Throughout BETT, we will be providing seminars, Edtech networking and daily refreshments in the Engage Gallery Room, located at the back of the BETT Exhibition – North Gallery Room 4. There will also be the opportunity to find out more about our award-winning school management system, designed exclusively for independent schools.
If you are coming to BETT this year, here are 5 reasons to come and visit us.
Over the festive period at the end of December and start of January our office hours will be as follows:
UK Office Hours
Monday 25th December – Closed
Tuesday 26th December – Closed
Wednesday 27th December – Closed
Thursday 28th December – Closed
Friday 29th December – Closed
Monday 1st January – Closed
Double First puts customers first by delivering improvements to the Support Centre
At Double First, our vision is to provide industry leading management software and services that better inform the school, support education, and engage staff, parents and students.
As part of this vision, we want to ensure we offer you the best possible support to get the most from our products.
During the first quarter of 2018 we will be working hard to improve our online Support Centre. There will be a few activities we need to ask you to complete to help us deliver these improvements. This will include setting up new support account details for your team, so they can access our new and improved services.
Some of the highlights we will be introducing are:
- Live chat
- A single place to view and manage both support and report design requests
- A new and improved look and feel to the portal.
We will provide full details of what is required as we move through the process of introducing the new features, so please stay tuned for more information and look out for more news on this topic.
We’re delighted to be recruiting for an Apprentice Data Migration Operative to join our team at Double First House, Yeovil. This is a fantastic opportunity for an enthusiastic individual with a high level of accuracy to discover the world of software development alongside our 30th year in business.
Lucy Balley, Personnel Administrator at Double First, explains "Apprenticeships are so beneficial to both sides. The apprentice has a genuine job with training which means they can earn while they learn and gain the necessary skills and competencies for their chosen profession. Meanwhile, the employer is investing in its future skilled staff whom they know are getting the correct training – with government funding".
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, and apply for the role, click here.
A selection of the nation’s top students visited the House of Lords this week to receive the highest accolade from the Council for Independent Education.
The award winning students, along with proud parents, teachers and principals, enjoyed afternoon tea overlooking the Thames, hosted by Lord Lexden OBE.
CIFE Awards read more
In the April 2017 release of Engage we will be upgrading the version of Microsoft .NET Framework we use from 3.5 to 4.0. This means any machine that runs Engage Server, Engage Desktop Application, Engage Portal (the webserver) or Engage Core Service will need to have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 or later.
Client machines running Windows 8 and Server machines running Windows Server 2012 (all editions) ship with the required version and will be unaffected by our change.
Client machines running Windows Vista or Windows 7, and Server machines running Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 can all be upgraded to Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework for free by using Windows Update. In most cases this will have already happened as part of routine Windows Update functionality.
If you do not upgrade, you will be unable to install the April 2017 release of Engage.
If there is any reason you are unable to make this change, please contact our Support team and we will be glad to discuss it further with you.
The Education Resources Awards, on behalf of BESA, celebrate success for UK suppliers and teaching professionals in the education sector. This year, Engage by Double First has been shortlisted as an outstanding ‘Tool for leadership, management and assessment’. We are delighted to be finalists for one of the highest accolades in the education industry, and pleased to say that Engage is the only School Management System to have received this honour.
This achievement, which is credited largely to the excellent team behind Engage, follows last year’s acceptance of a Queen’s Award, in recognition of our recent overseas growth.
Education Resources Awards read more
We've just returned from an excellent four days at the Bett 2017 education technology show in London at ExCeL. We were delighted to speak with existing customers and meet so many schools who saw the benefits of Engage, by talking to the in-house team that are responsible for our award winning school management information system and finance package. Paul, Ian, Jeremy, Matt, Adam, Holly, Nick, Mike, Aaron, Mark, Jon, Ben and Peter all just about managed to keep their voices by the end of the show!
Thanks very much for stopping by if you saw us there and sorry if you missed our cream teas on the Friday afternoon.
However, all is not lost if you weren't able to make it to Bett this year because we have our busiest yet couple of months ahead attending exhibitions and conferences around the world. Most immediately you can meet with us that the COBIS conference for Bursars, Business Managers and HR in Lisbon, Portugal, the DIDACTA exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany, the Cambridge International School Owners event in Cambridge, UK, EduTECH Philippines, the Society of Heads Conference in Lincolnshire, NABSS in Benidorm, Spain and the BSME Conference in Bahrain. All before 9 March 2017. We also have our User Groups coming up, which are free to attend for all Engage Customers! Read on for further details:
Engage on tour read more
So the doors have now opened and our team is all present and correct on Stand D400 at Bett 2017. Come and meet the friendly people that make our Engage school management information system the award winning MIS for international schools.
Those present include Paul Rastall, Ian Haig-Brown, Holly Nicholls, Jeremy Redward, Matt Fillary, Nick Eastment, Adam Palmer AND Kim Hollamby.
If you'd like to secure a specific appointment to discuss any aspect of Engage, please visit our Bett 2017 booking page here.
The School Level Annual Census for UK schools is due by Thursday 19th January 2017. In order to complete the Census, all customers must upgrade to Engage 2017.01, which will be available on the support centre from Monday 16th January. This update can be completed in less than an hour at your convenience.
For help with producing the School Level Annual Census report, please visit the support centre. A guide to exporting an XML file for the COLLECT system is available under Download > Reports > Census Reports – SLASC Census Return 2017 User Guide.
As our schools break-up for the festive season, our team at Double First HQ will also be closing down for Christmas. Please note, our opening hours during this period will be as follows:
Operational until 5pm 23 December 2016
Open from 8:30 GMT 3 January 2017
Middle East Team
Closed 25 December 2016
Closed 1 January 2017
Asia Pacific Office
Normal Working Hours
The Bett education ICT show will be held on 25-28 January and Double First will once again be there on stand D400 with a great team and facilities to demonstrate our Engage school management information system and school accounting software.
We'll be there to answer your questions and to demonstrate areas of Engage for existing customers and those of you that want to find out more.
Bett 2017 education ICT show read more
The latest monthly release of the Engage school management information system is now available from our Support Portal.
It features 20 improvements made in response to school feedback by our in-house development team, including a New Advanced Numbers on Roll widget for Engage Analytics. Advanced Numbers on Roll opens a host of exciting new ways in which to analyse and forecast your pupil population, by Year, Category, Admission Stage, Date of Birth, Gender and by many other parameters.
Engage 2016.11 released read more
Double First's Share Ideas portal has been relaunched, with an even greater range of easy-to-use tools to enable schools to collaborate directly with our programme of continuous improvement.
Share Ideas enables schools to propose, vote and comment on their own Ideas and that of other schools. The Ideas that prove most popular are included within the regular releases of the Engage school management information system and school accounting software.
Read on to see 10 great new features that we have included:
Share Ideas relaunched read more
Haynes International Motor Museum, Yeovil - 28 September 2016
Yeovil-based Double First Ltd yesterday celebrated its 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, in recognition of its export growth since 2008, with an official presentation ceremony at Haynes International Motor Museum, Yeovil. Double First was joined by the Queen’s Somerset representative, the Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset, Richard Case CBE, as well as the Deputy Mayor for Yeovil, Councillor Recardo, among other valued guests and employees to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Arriving and departing on a branded vintage double-decker bus, the Double First team were welcomed and praised by the company’s management team for their commitment to the company’s success, before Barry Anns, CEO at Double First, graciously accepted the award - the highest official award available for UK businesses - from the Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset.
Double First receives Queen's Award read more