In this article, we talk about some of the common challenges of rollover, the biggest mistakes to avoid and how you can make it easier on yourself for next year.
The dawn of a new academic year brings the enormous and often time-consuming task of rollover: updating your Management Information System (MIS) data, archiving old classes and adding accounts for the new students and staff.
Rollover can be a stressful time for anyone who works in IT for education, whether you’re a network manager in a school or an IT company that provides services to the education sector.
In this article, we talk about some of the common challenges of academic rollover, the biggest mistakes to avoid and how you can make it easier on yourself for next year.
Why is the new academic year rollover so challenging?
For teachers and students, the start of a new academic year is all about getting new timetables, starting new classes and – for new starters – receiving your new logins for emails, apps and learning platforms.
But, as you’ll know, for all this to run smoothly, we techies behind the scenes need to do some serious work over the summer.
Plus, there are other things to consider, such as removing school leavers from the previous academic year.
Some of the key challenges of rollover include:
The sheer size of it!
Rollover is a massive undertaking for even a single school, let alone for a multi academy trust with multiple campuses.
Every MIS is different
Each MIS vendor does things slightly differently, adding an extra layer of complexity and apprehension for IT support.
Tedious and time-consuming
We’re only human, and we’re the first to admit that we hate repetitive and tedious tasks. And, what’s more, the monotony of manual rollover can lead to errors and make things take even more time.
Often, the focus during rollover is solely on ensuring that students and staff have the necessary accounts and access to online learning tools, leaving other important tasks on the back burner.
Common academic year rollover mistakes
From working with IT professionals in schools, we’ve seen some pretty nightmare-inducing scenarios come rollover season when things are done manually.
For example, one common oversight is failing to tweak the intake year for new pupils. This can lead to account complications and the need for accounts (and often home directories) to be deleted and renamed.
Meanwhile, when using CSVs for multiple schools, it becomes easy to forget standardisation, so even if standardisation is attempted, it quickly goes wrong.
How to make rollover pain-free for next year
Aside from working with us, there are a few things you can do to streamline the rollover process and ensure a smoother transition for the next academic year.
Early MIS vendor documentation review
Be prepared and begin reviewing your MIS vendor’s new school documentation well in advance. This helps you identify the tasks that need to be carried out on the network and plan ahead.
Timetable and data coordination
Find out from your timetabler when the new classes and timetables will be ready – this helps you to plan your time ahead, especially if you’re an IT company working with multiple schools during rollover season.
Keep in contact with admissions
Likewise, contact admissions teams and find out when the new starter data will be ready for you. Again, it is extremely important for co-ordinating your team’s workload when working with different schools.
Collaborate with senior leaders (SLT)
Stay updated with senior leaders to find out if any new members of staff are joining in the new year. Additionally, it’s worth asking if they’re having a dedicated staff training day before the new term starts to find out what the requirements are for IT.
Invest in Salamander ready for the next academic rollover!
Our brand new product designed especially for IT companies who work within the education sector, is a game-changer for the academic year rollover season and beyond.
For almost two decades, we’ve been supporting over 4000 schools and trusts directly with our Integration Suite that automatically synchronises user accounts, groups, permissions and more with your School Management Information System (MIS).
However, we recognised that managed service providers who work with schools were also facing the same challenges as network managers in education – spending hours and hours of their time on manual admin tasks that can be automated.
So, we created Salamander for Partners to help managed service providers (MSP), value-added resellers (VAR), or IT support providers (ITSP) save time and eradicate the hassle of onboarding and provisioning schools whilst earning you an attractive reseller margin.
Key benefits of Salamander for Partners for academic rollover:
Task Automation – We eliminate monotonous, error-prone tasks, freeing up valuable time for your team to focus on more critical matters.
Enhanced Accuracy – Our product ensures precise timetables and correct class memberships, reducing the likelihood of errors and complications.
Proactivity – By simplifying and automating processes, we help IT professionals become more proactive in addressing school IT needs.
Relief for busy teams – The pressure is taken off already busy IT teams, allowing you to work more efficiently and confidently during rollover and all year round.
Learn more about the technical and commercial benefits of partnering with SalamanderSoft on our Salamander For Partners page, or alternatively:
Courtney supports SalamanderSoft in creating engaging online content for the company website and social media channels. She has over ten years of experience in digital content creation and her company Bloom Creative specialises in helping software and tech brands attract, convert and retain customers.