On 6 June, 2008, Double First hosted a Data Protection and IT Network Security Seminar at Cisco's magnificent HQ near London's Heathrow airport.
Given the many recent and well publicised data losses, the questions every school needs to ask are, ‘what would happen if we lost some data? Who would be liable, and to what extent?'
'How vulnerable is my IT Network. How can we afford to protect it? How do we know it is properly protected?'
Data Security Seminar (read more)
With its increasing record of success and acclaim, Double First's flagship school information management software has been renamed 'Engage'.
'We wanted to move away from the IT technical name it seemed to have adopted of "dot net",' said Jeff Elliott, MD. 'The product has such an excellent suite of modules, able to engage every member of a school's staff in its use, that the obvious name was "Engage".
School management software Engage (read more)
Ian Teague, Director of IT for the United Church School Trust (UCST), announced today that, 'Following a successful pilot, UCST is rolling out Engage across all their independent schools.'
The Pilot has been run by Charles Crawford (Network Manager) at Hampshire Collegiate, one of UCST's schools.
'Teachers are finding it easy to use,' said Charles. 'It's a really good bit of software. From an admin point of view it is intuitive, and since we rolled out Assessments there have been very few problems.
Church Schools and Engage (read more)
Continuing to add value to their offering, Double First today launched a Users' Forum within the newly named Our World section of the website.
'It was a suggestion from one of our customers,' said Jeff Elliott, MD, 'and one which we all thought would bring real benefit. So we adopted the idea and launched it today.'
New forum (read more)
Paul Rastall, Senior Project Manager Double First Ltd, has just returned from a Fact Finding tour of the UK, dedicated to meeting Engage Schools and their users.
'In my former role I was Software Development Manager,' said Paul, 'I was now keen to find out if Engage was doing what it was designed to do, and whether users were aware of its full capabilities.'
UK Tour (read more)
'This is a Landmark release,' said Carole Denman, Double First's Operations Manager. 'For example, the automatic timetable is so refined, and the new Internal Report Generator is excellent. And these are only two of the significant elements of version 2.10.
'With Engage having been in use for over two years, we have now fully incorporated all the major enhancements our 70 customers have asked for.'
Landmark Release (read more)
Recognising that changing your MIS (or implementing MIS for the first time) carries such a high penalty if poorly managed, Double First has released a new booklet entitled ‘Ten Key Stages in Successfully Implementing an MIS’.
Drawing on their experience, this booklet helps ensure the successful introduction of an MIS into a school, and considers the effects of such an important operation.
Ten Key Stages (read more)
A Special Educational Needs (SEN) module for Engage has been released. The SEN module tracks pupils who have extra needs, as well as those who are Gifted and Talented. The SEN module removes barriers to pupils' achievement and potential.
Designed specifically around the pupil, you can easily follow the individual through the module, from their addition to the SEN Register to creating and reviewing their individual Education Plan (IEP).
Special Educational Needs module (read more)
A new term for schools and a further improved Engage was on show for the Development Partners to see.
After a busy summer implementing many of the requested product enhancements, Double First was keen to show the latest developments at their third Engage Development Partners Conference to a room full of Delegates.
Engage Development Partners Conference (read more)
The second June seminar held by Double First had a full house attendance.
Jeff Elliott, MD, explained the day's packed agenda and stated he would be keeping a watchful eye that timings went to plan!
The day began with five workshops from which delegates could choose to attend three. All were 'sold out' to capacity.
School management software seminar (read more)
The ISA Annual Conference was held at the Stratford Moat House Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, between 10th to 12th May, in a beautiful setting next to the river Avon.
'Many Double First customers were there,' said Edina Champion, Customer Liaison Manager, 'including members of the Alpha Plus Group who recently placed an order for all their schools and colleges.'
Double First exhibits (read more)
Double First is proud to announce the launch of a new module, Engage Portal, an e-Learning and VLE platform.
'The Portal,' said Jeff Elliott, 'is a magnificent product, conceived around Becta's e-Learning strategy.'
Continuing, Jeff added, 'We have deliberately made the Portal pupil-centric to encourage its use.'
Engage Portal launched (read more)
The Alpha Plus Group, formerly the Davies, Laing and Dick Education Group, placed an order for 16 of its schools and colleges, valued at £355,000 in February this year.
'We had been struggling with a well known MIS product for many years,' said Alan Holden, Alpha's Support Services Manager. 'Everybody was thoroughly fed up with it.
'The stage had been reached where we just had to find a replacement MIS which did what we needed it to do instead of being limited and constricted.
Alpha Plus chooses Engage (read more)
Double First is offering Accounts Users a one day Refresher Course at a special low rate.
Will you be approaching Year End wondering if you have completed all the things you should have done? Does it seem a long time ago when you had to prepare these important routines? Is it your first Year End? Can you afford to make mistakes?
Whatever the case, attending a one day refresher course for Year End may save you hours of work and prevent costly errors.
Refresher Course for Accounts users (read more)
Timetable for Engage (manual version) is released today. 'Timetable has been created from scratch and with no preconceived ideas,' said Paul Rastall, Software Development Manager.
'Our research was extensive and included examining existing timetable systems and discussing them with their users, as well as discussions with many schools from large to small, single gender and coeducational, to ascertain exactly what was needed, before we started designing,' said Paul.
Double First Engage Timetable (read more)