Student Management Systems
Information about Student Management Systems (SMS).
The Ministry’s SMS project has finished and the funding assistance offer for schools to move to an accredited SMS has ended. However, the Ministry’s relationship with SMS vendors is far from over - we are working with both accredited and non-accredited SMS vendors to provide data sharing services to schools. Any SMS vendor can participate. See the Data Sharing Services section to find out more about the different data sharing initiatives.
Frequently asked questions about SMS
- Do schools have to have an SMS?
No, it is not (and has never been) compulsory to have an SMS.
- Do vendors still need to be accredited?
No. The last accreditation results were released in 2005 so accreditation status is no longer an up-to-date indication of quality. SMS vendors should be striving towards having data sharing approval in the initiatives that are important to their school clients, regardless of whether they were accredited or not.
- Which SMS vendors are working with the Ministry?
The Ministry is working with vendors of the following SMS products - Assembly/SchoolMaster, eTAP, KAMAR, MUSAC, PC School, Phoenix and Synergetic. Contact details for each of these vendors can be found on our Vendor contacts page.
- Is there any funding assistance available for my school?
No, the funding assistance offer has now ended. The Ministry offered funding assistance for schools to move to accredited SMS between 2005 and 2009.
- What help is available for schools that are purchasing an SMS?
The Sector Access and Interoperability team is able to provide information and advice to help schools with their decision-making process when purchasing an SMS. We can put you in touch with schools that are using the SMS products you are considering. Several helpful documents can also be found in the downloads section at the bottom of this page. Please contact the Sector Access and Interoperability team if you would like any further advice.
- What is a "hosted" SMS?
A hosted service means the school accesses the SMS via the web without having to install it onto a computer. Data is stored offsite and managed securely on the school’s behalf and any changes to the system are made by the provider, so the school doesn’t have to install upgrades or worry about backups. Hosted systems offer advantages over locally installed solutions for many schools, although you will need high speed internet access to make it run effectively. Some bigger schools with complex needs may also prefer to install locally to develop a system that will meet their needs. Many staff find ease of access from home to be an advantage of a hosted SMS.
Which SMS product are schools using?
The following pie chart shows the SMS market share as at September 2011. Figures show the number of schools using each product.
The SMS products are broken down into the following figures: Assembly/SchoolMaster 512, eTAP 645, KAMAR 239, MUSAC/Symphony 980, Phoenix 5, Other 9, PC School 31, None 75, Synergetic 13.