SOCS is used in some of the largest schools in the world, including Millfield, Wellington College, Whitgift and Dulwich College, and is also deployed at smaller preparatory schools with no more than 100 students. SOCS offers a true ‘one-size-fits-all’ platform regardless of the scale of the school. More than 700 independent schools across 15 countries are using SOCS.
The full SOCS system consists of separate modules for managing the school’s calendar, sport and co-curricular offerings. SOCS helps to manage fixtures and team sheets, run activity sign-ups, communicate club schedules and content and take registers. SOCS also provides competition microsites, making it easier for schools to operate competitions each season. Most schools are opting to use the full range of SOCS modules, but it is also possible to pick and choose the aspects of the system that are most needed to strengthen the existing systems at a school.
Organising the school’s calendar can be a daunting task for any school, especially when the range of different activities is broad and varied, but SOCS makes the management of the school calendar straightforward. Often it is the small details that drive efficiency and progress at schools. For example, online registration makes it easy to spot when a pupil has a conflict between sports and drama, check attendance records and manage a student sign-up process. SOCS helps staff in charge of activities to see if a pupil is doing too much or too little with the production of periodic reports on individual pupil activity. These can help to encourage both pupil and staff participation and discourage academic disruption when a pupil is identified as doing too much. Activity schedules are easily repeated the following year and records can be produced to help with ISI inspections.
Lucy Watkins, head of client management at SOCS, said: “Independent schools are renowned for focusing on the holistic education of the pupil, as well as exam results. With the help of SOCS, busy parents are able to cut through the noise of the school life and follow their child directly, by synchronising their smartphone to their child’s activity calendar. This way they are always up to date on where their child is and what time they need to be picked up. Having a system that is kept up to date on the latest data protection standards that staff, pupils and parents can use safely has been at the centre of our strategy from the start.”
Although SOCS calendar, SOCS co-curricular and SOCS sport have different functions, when used together, these different modules synchronise and work seamlessly together. While SOCS co-curricular enables parents to keep up to date with their child’s activity clubs, SOCS sport enables them to stay up to date on locations for the weekend’s fixtures. With SOCS sport, the sports staff can easily manage the weekly job of picking teams, identifying clashes, collating results and match reports. Producing participation statistics takes a few clicks, and we have made it very simple to feed back to the senior leadership team.
The team behind SOCS are passionate about working with schools to tackle the challenge of managing and communicating fixtures and clubs, whilst making sure that the school staff don’t have to deal with yet another tool that adds to the workload.
James Kershaw-Naylor, business development director at SOCS, said: “The reduction in staff workload whilst seeing an improvement in the schools’ communications with current parents is key. We are giving the schools a tool to market their extensive sports and co-curricular programmes to prospective parents too. The SOCS calendar is the beating heart of the school, linking the content on the SOCS sport and co-curricular systems, and enabling parents to find out when and where things are happening at a glance.”