Advanced Learning (Progresso)

Progresso

Please note that Advanced Learning provided a number of screenshots of the software. While these have been removed for length of the response, they are available in the full response PDF to download. Some responses edited for length are also included in full in the PDF

NEW: Click here for a review report on Advanced Learning and Progresso

Section 1: Product Services
Data Policies
Is you solution’s database stored locally in the school, hosted offsite by the local authority or hosted offsite in your own/leased servers/data centres? Please state which if multiple options are available. Hosted [Offsite] by Amazon Web Services.
Which method is most advantageous for schools and why? Advanced Learning believes that schools are currently in a state of transition between local and hosted solutions.  This is why we offer both a local and hosted school Management Information System (MIS).  For schools that have recently invested in hardware (servers etc.) and have restricted internet access then a local solution would likely be more prevalent.  Alternately, the level of reliability and speed of internet access is allowing schools the option of moving to a hosted environment for all their IT solutions.
If your solution’s database is hosted offsite, is this hosting on dedicated servers or is it hosted in the cloud (i.e. using distributed servers using services such as Amazon Cloud)? Hosted by Amazon Web Services.
Assuming you follow all Data Protection policies, where is the ECC is the data stored? Do you make this information available to your customers/are they actively aware? Could you prove this if questioned by customers/partners/Information Commissioner? (If data is stored outside the UK, but in the ECC, of course this still complies with the DPA, so feel free to reinforce this in your answer and help dispel any remaining myths that data MUST be stored within the UK). Progresso uses Amazon Web Services.   The servers are located across 2 data centres in Ireland.Amazon AWS’s highly secure data centres utilize state-of-the art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems. Data centres are staffed 24×7 by trained security guards, and access is authorized strictly on a least privileged basis. Environmental systems are designed to minimize the impact of disruptions to operations. And multiple geographic regions and Availability Zones allow you to remain resilient in the face of most failure modes, including natural disasters or system failures.We know that it’s important for you to understand the protection measures that are used to guard the cloud infrastructure. But since you can’t physically touch the servers or walk through the data centres, Advanced Learning can help you know the appropriate security measures are in place through the third-party certifications and evaluations that AWS has undergone.AWS has achieved ISO 27001 certification and has been validated as a Level 1 service provider under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). We undergo annual SOC 1 audits and have been successfully evaluated at the Moderate level for Federal government systems as well as DIACAP Level 2 for DoD systems.Each certification means that an auditor has verified that specific security controls are in place and operating as intended. You can view the applicable compliance reports by Advanced Learning, who will be able to make these available. For more information about the security regulations and standards with which AWS complies, see the AWS Compliance webpage or the AWS Risk and Compliance whitepaper.
Is your solution security audited by an external third party (Yes or No) and how frequently does this occur (every release, every year)? No.
How do you deal with security vulnerabilities? For example do you do specific security patches or are they bundled into main releases. If you use underlying technology such as Java or .NET how do you notified customers of security patches. Do you provide public information – such as reference to CVS ratings (http://cve.mitre.org/about/index.html) Security vulnerabilities are dealt with the highest priority. All maintenance is published via http://status.progresso.net
What are the estimated timescales for patch\release rollout, and how much effect is required by the school or LA to update the system? For high priority issues 1 to 2 days. As a fully hosted application all updates are carried out by Advanced Learning.
Are you registered with the Information Commissioner? Yes.
If you do host services in any form, what back-up procedures do you employ? To ensure continuation of service Advanced Learning have implemented the following – The application runs in an active/active configuration across 2 geographically separate data centres – All data is replicated/mirrored across both data centres. – Regular full and transactional database backups are taken. – Database backups are stored at third secure location on highly resilient persistent storage (7 days backup, last 4 weeks Sunday backup, 12 monthly backups from 1st of month) – Progresso undergoes regular penetration tests (both environment and application). Any issues found are resolved as high priority incidents. Last test was completed November 2012.
If you do host services in any form, what disaster recovery precautions do you employ? We perform full backups daily with incremental backups every hour.
Please state you minimum server specification and setup (if multiple servers are recommended) to support a single school of 1000 students and 150 staff. This would be deemed a secondary school. N/A.
Please state you minimum server specification and setup (if multiple servers are recommended) to support a single school of 300 students and 30 staff. This would be deemed a primary school. N/A.
Please describe how your solution’s database is updated including any supporting applications, services or user intervention required. As a fully hosted application all updates are carried out by Advanced Learning.  Major Releases on a termly bases.
Markets
Which markets do you have customers in? Markets are Primary, Secondary, Independent, International British, International Other (Academies, Free Schools and other divisions should be included appropriately with the states groups). Primary, Secondary, Independent, International British, International Other, Academies, Free Schools, Pupil Referral Units, UTCs, Studio Schools.
Which markets do you typically target? Markets are Primary, Secondary, Independent, International British, International Other (Academies, Free Schools and other divisions should be included appropriately with the states groups). Note that this question is not designed to limit your audience but describe if your software is specific to a subsection of schools. Please be honest if, for example, you software is currently designed for Independent schools, but also mention if you are now or soon developing for other markets too. Primary, Secondary, Independent, International British, International Other, Academies, Free Schools, Pupil Referral Units, UTCs, Studio Schools.
Database Structure
What back end database technology can be used with you solution (MS-SQL, MySQL, Oracle, etc.)? MS-SQL.
Does your data structure comply with any ISB (Information Standards Board) standards? Please use one example if Yes. No.
Is you data structure compatible with any SIF objects, or do you have a SIF agent? Please use one example if Yes. Progresso has its own SIF agent which complies with the SIF 1.2 specification, for the following SIF objects:

  • AssessmentLearnerSet
  • AssessmentResponseComponentGroup
  • AssessmentResultComponent
  • AssessmentResultComponentGroup
  • AssessmentResultGradeSet
  • LearnerAssessmentResponseSet
  • LearnerAssessmentResult
  • LearnerAttendance
  • LearnerAttendanceSummary
  • LearnerContact
  • LearnerExclusion
  • LearnerGroupEnrolment
  • LearnerPersonal
  • LearnerSchoolEnrolment
  • LearnerSpecialNeeds
  • LearnerBehaviourIncident
  • LearnerEntitlement
  • Lesson
  • PersonDietaryPreference
  • TTRoom
  • TTSite
  • TeachingGroup
  • ContactPersonal
  • PersonPicture
  • SchoolGroup
  • SchoolGroupType
  • SchoolInfo
  • TermInfo
  • WorkforcePersonal

Going forwards, the Progresso SIF agent will update to comply with the SIF 1.4 specification in all objects, and the SIF 3.0 framework.

Client/User Interface
Is your solution presented via a dedicated application or through web browser? Through a web browser.
If you employ a browser interface, what browsers are supported currently? Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox.
If you employ a browser interface, does you solution employ HTML5? Yes.
Does your solution require any players or stud applications to support functionality (i.e. Flash Player, .Net Framework)? The core application requires no players or stud applications.Report writers will require .Net framework and SSRS Report Builder.An add-in is also available to download through Progresso for mailing merging functionality within MS Word.
Please state the Operating Systems (including versions) you solution supports. We target browsers rather than OS [Edit for clarity: Any OS as the product runs through a web browser].
Please state you minimum system requirements. We recommend that you meet minimum requirements for your chosen browser.
Please describe how your solution’s user interface is updated including any supporting applications, services or user intervention required. As with the database, this is a hosted application and all completed in the cloud by Advanced Learning.
Updates, enhancements, fixes, new features and general support
What is your typical release schedule? Termly releases.  Patches as necessary.
How many staff do you employ per customer (as a ratio) on your helpdesk? [Edited] 1 employee for every 10 customers.
Where is your helpdesk located (in the UK or outside the UK)? In the UK (Derby).
What are your support hours? Customers with a standard Support Agreement will engage with the helpdesk between 8.00am and 5.00pm (UK time) Monday to Thursday and 8.00am to 4.00pm Fridays (excluding English public and bank holidays).Outside of these hours support is available by special arrangement with Advanced Learning, the details of which will either form part of the existing Support Agreement or a separate agreement.In some instances, Customers receive support from Advanced Learning Resellers who will provide the infrastructure to receive and process Customer calls and liaise with Advanced Learning where required to facilitate a satisfactory resolution to an Case.
Do you have an online helpdesk? Yes. All Customers can request login details for our Online Support Portal to allow them to log, update, escalate and query Cases 24 hours a day 7 days a week.Customers have access to:

  • Online Chat: a Support Consultant is available in Advanced Learning business hours to answer customer questions.
  • “Answers”: this is an implementation of Answerhub (www.answerhub.com). This is a collaborative knowledge management platform built around questions and answers. Customers can ask a question which our Support Consultants and our thriving community can answer.
  • Log and manage cases online: Cases can be logged/updated online 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Knowledgebase: this includes best practice, known issues, how tos and much more.
  • Downloads: user guides and other useful materials.
  • Training centre: this includes eLearning, training schedules, training manuals and other training resources.
  • Share reports: a space where Advanced Learning and the online community can share reports they have created.
  • Ideas: this is coming soon. Customers can request and vote on changes the software.
Do you employ a live online helpdesk/chat facility to support customers? Yes. This is available via the Online Support Portal and is available to all customers who have login details.
What support models do you employ (for example, direct to school, via LA, via third party support) Direct to School: To the majority of our customer base we provide direct to school support via the online support portal or by phone.LA: We provide support to LAs who are the first point of contact to their customers. We are a point of escalation for any issue which they are unable to resolve. Access to our support channels are provided to the LA only.Third party support: We provide support to third parties who are the first point of contact to their customers. We are a point of escalation for any issue which they are unable to resolve. Access to our support channels are provided to the third party only.
What is your method for reporting a bug or issue? Issues or bugs found by our customers can be raised via the online support portal or by phone. In the online support portal customers can notify us via:

  • Known issue articles i.e. selecting “I have this issue” on an article.
  • Answers (as above)
  • Online case management
  • Online chat

For any case reported which are bugs, we document them once they have been confirmed by the Development Team. These known issue articles are then published to the online support portal and available for customers to see in the knowledge base Each known issue will be fully documented with details of how to reproduce the issue, any available workaround and which release it is currently scheduled to be resolved in. Known issue articles will be updated when a known issue is allocated to a release. To help us gauge the impact of an issue we are also have a feature in the online support portal: on each known issue article there is an “I have this issue” button. If a customer knows that the issue they are looking at affects them they can click the button to let us know and they will then automatically receive email updates when the issue is scheduled for a release For major system wide issues we notify our customers via a status page. This is a website which indicates any current incidents and/or outages and includes performance metrics for our cloud MIS. When an update is made to this page it will send an email and/or text message update to customers depending on their preferred method or notification. We also produce release notes for each release to summarise the known issues resolved.

What is your typical SLA timescales for issues of all seriousness?
Severity Business Impact Target Response Time Target Resolution Time
1 System Unavailable. A Critically serious problem halting business operations. 1 working hour 1 working day
2 Function Unusable. A serious problem preventing operations in a key area of the school or business. 4 working hours Future Patch/Release
3 Function Impaired. A problem not preventing operations but with the potential to do so if unresolved. 1 working day Future Patch/Release
4 Low/Impact Cosmetic. A minor problem not preventing the operation of the system 5 working days Future Patch/Release

For all Severities customers should expect to receive confirmation that a case has been raised via email within one hour. They may also receive additional information or be contacted by a Support Consultant within this hour, depending on the Severity of the Incident raised. An appropriate SLA is assigned to each of these Severities and consists of a ‘Target Response Time’ and a ‘Target Resolution Time’. Target Response Time is the time in which we aim for a Support Consultant to contact you in order to progress the resolution of the Incident. This may be in the form of an email or phone call. Target Resolution Time is the time in which we aim to resolve the Incident or provide a suitable work-around. In the case of a Software fault it is the time in which we aim to make a Fix available or provide an acceptable work-around. It does not include the time the Customer (or hosting provider) may require to install the Fix or for the Customer to test the Fix. Both target response and resolution times refer to Advanced Learning business hours. The SLA clock stops at the end of the working day and resumes at the start of the next working day. The SLA clock does not run during weekends or bank holidays.

What is your method for requesting an enhancement or change? There will soon be an “ideas” section of the online support portal which enables customers to share an idea with the community and vote on the ones they think are most valuable to them. This is then funnelled into a working group which includes Advanced Learning and a number of representatives of the customer base. The ideas submitted online will be discussed and those to be adopted will be planned.
How do you engage with the market for new features and what sectors or bodies influence how and what is implemented? Customers are able to make enhancement requests on  a customer forum. Customers can then vote for the suggestions listed. This provides a customer input to development. Other inputs are from statutory bodies such as DfE, JCQ. We also keep abreast of technical developments and incorporate these when we judge they will benefit our customers .
Do you publish your 12 month (or more) roadmap? Please share this as part of your response (if you do). We do publish a high level thematic roadmap for this sort of time frame. More details are published nearer to actual release dates.
Data Integration
Do you have an API? Yes.
Describe how this works. For example, does it employ web services? The Progresso API currently has a SOAP based Web Service, and by Sept 2014 will also include a RESTful state API.
Does it cover all the basic aspects for your solution (Pupil details, contact details, relationships, staff details, attendance, behaviour, markbooks, and timetable?) Please state which if only part covers, or covers more aspects. Yes.  All basic aspects are available via the Progresso API.
Does your API allow write back? Please state which data elements can be written back. Yes.  Writeback is available for:

  • Learner Attendance (Roll Call and Lesson)
  • Assessments
  • Learner Details
  • Staff Details
  • Contact Detais
  • Groups and Association
  • Staff Attendance
If this API free to access? If there is any aspect of using the API that you charge schools or third parties for, please state. This includes charging for write back, charging for sandbox or test environment use, requirement to pay for a licence of the software (but does not include charges for consultancy or support of the software or API). Read and Write access to the Progresso API is free.Depending on the level of partnership, there may be a charge for test harness and sandbox access, and access to support.
Does your solution use any other form of open standard integration or technology? No.
Does your solution integrate in any way with popular cloud services such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365? Progresso currently supports many Microsoft Office solutions including Mail merging (Word 2007 & 2010), Exchange, and Exporting to Excel (via SSRS reports).  Additional integration will be in the next release which will support office 2013, whilst office365 is currently being reviewed/discussed within the development road map stage.
Legislative Requirements
For the following questions, it is expected that your solution will provide any census or other exports stated in the defined file type and structure requested by the DfE or Awarding Organisations (An Excel export requiring user intervention for example is not acceptable as a yes answer)
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the School Census? Internally
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the Staff Workforce Census? Internally
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the Independent Census? Third party Product.
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the Key Stage Assessment Returns? Internally
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the CTF File? Internally
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce Exam Entries and other files in EDF compatible files? Are you working towards the A2C standard? Internally
Section 2: Software Characteristics
Core Pupil Database (Real time alerting)
Does your solution store pupil basic/demographic/personal information? Yes.
Does your solution contain all statutory fields required for School Census? Yes. These statutory requirements are (and will continue to be) included within the development roadmap for Progresso.
Does your solution have any real-time alerting to inform staff of changes in any aspect of ongoing observation? Yes. Progresso employs a number of features to inform staff to changes within the data recorded.  For example, Progresso’s Dashboards enable staff to easily select and configure widgets that can monitor and report on changes in data.  Such as a widget to identify any recorded behaviour above a specified severity level for that day, or absence monitoring for a specified ad-hoc group of learners who are marked absent in a lesson but present in the statutory register.Furthermore, Progresso allow for rules to be created that can monitor for specific criteria (e.g. number of lates in a week, number of positive merit points) and then create a record for each learner matching that criteria
Does your solution archive past student records? How far back can a student record be recovered/reviewed? Yes. Progresso will store information on past students for as long as required.  Each student has a status recorded against them (draft, active and left).  This allow for new students to be entered prior to them arriving, ease of identifying current cohort and also, ease of accessing past students all from the learner list screen.
Does your solution accept the latest CTF import? Yes.
Does your solution accept the latest ATF import? Yes.
Pupil Attendance
Does your solution record AM/PM (Statutory) attendance? Yes.
Does your solution record lesson by lesson attendance? Yes. Progresso is capable of recording lesson by lesson attendance against the defined school timetable.  Furthermore, it is possible to configure different timetables structures for different years and also to specify which lesson will officially overwrite the roll call (by whole school or key stage).All attendance (both Statutory and Lesson by Lesson) is visible via the learner record in both the main interface and mobile.
Does your solution alert to patterns of absence or patterns of students consistently absent? Please elaborate if yes. Yes. Progresso allows the option to setup rules which can prompt relevant staff members on attendance patterns. With the use of reports Progresso can also detail what attendance attributes a learner has achieved throughout the year.
Does your solution record the number of minutes late? Yes. Progresso can record the number of minutes late, notes and attach a file to individual learner’s roll call or lesson by lesson registers.  When further information (such as notes/minutes late) is recorded, the learner’s register field is highlighted yellow to indicate additional information can be viewed.
Does your solution allow the storage of absence notes? Yes.
Does your solution connect with messaging systems to alert absence to parents? Yes. Once an absence is recorded in the system, the information will appear on the attendance officers “First Day of Absence” widget.  From there, the learner can be marked in should they arrive late or the Attendance officer can send an SMS message or Email to an individual learner’s parent or in bulk.
Does your solution record responses through such a system, if yes? [Edited as answer not appropriate: Progresso can store the outgoing message, no response given about receiving replies to the message]
Can a teacher see their class absences for a whole term? A whole year? Yes. Teachers can run attendance reports against their class groups or alternatively, add one of the many attendance monitoring widgets to their dashboard and configure it to look at a specific group.
Can a school administrator see a student statutory attendance record for a whole term? A whole year? Yes.
Can a school administrator see a class/form/year group statutory attendance record for a whole term? A whole year? Yes. Progresso includes a number of system reports as standard which can be run against individual learners, registration groups, teaching groups, ad-hoc groups, house groups, learners that match a search criteria (learners in KS3 that have FSM) or individually selected records.
Can the system report back to the Local Authority system, such as to ONE via B2B OPEN? Progresso schools use Groupcall Exporter to manage the data integration back to LA central system like Capita One, Tribal Synergy and CACI Child View.
Pupil Behaviour
Does you solution record behaviour incidents? Yes.
Does you solution record positive achievement events? Yes.
Does you solution record conduct points (positive/negative)? Yes. When creating a behaviour event type Progresso allows you to assign points whether it is positive or negative which can deduct and add points to a learners total point score. You can view how a learner is performing from their profile.
Does you solution record exclusions? Yes. Progresso has the ability to record statutory exclusion data (reason, dates, etc.) with full integration to attendance. When recording exclusions individual sessions can be selected/deselected allowing non-standard exclusions to be recorded. Further information can be recorded against exclusion such as appeals, reintegration and reinstatement dates and details.
Does you solution report exclusions to the local authority where necessary? Yes.
Can your solution record evidence for incidents (and achievements) such as photos, videos, audio recordings, documents etc? Yes. When creating a behaviour event it is possible to write comments and make them confidential and attach documents such as photos, videos, audio recordings to support the achievement of a learners work or to support evidence of negative behaviour.
SEN
Does your solution record SEN data? Yes.
Does your solution maintain SEN records in a workflow to ensure date sensitive information is acquired in a timely fashion? Yes. When inputting an SEN type against a learner you are able to also supply a review date for this. With the use of widgets Progresso then supplies real time data to a members of staff to whom this information is relevant.
Does your solution maintain an IEP within the software (that is, not on Word documents)? Yes.
Document Storage/Content Management/Discovery
Does your solution store documents against student records? Yes.
Does your solution store documents against staff records? Yes.
Does your solution store documents in internal but public locations (for example, on a notice board facility)? Yes. Document can be uploaded to Progresso that are not linked to an individual learner of member of staff.  Individual users will be able to view these documents providing their role type has been associated with the uploaded file.  A ‘Documents’ widget can then be added to any dashboard to quickly provide visibility and access to these documents.
Does your solution have facility to make documents private to an individual or group of individuals? Yes.  When uploading a document to Progresso the user will associate role types to it so that only users with the correct level of access can view the file.
What file types can your solution store? Progresso is compatible with all file types when it comes to storing files.
Are documents stored within the database itself or on a generic file store outside the database (Note that this is specifically the files and the back end database, not the interface)? All documents uploaded to Progresso are stored within the schools hosted database.
Does your solution provide interfaces to external content, such as education resources, eBooks, etc? HTML or Website widgets can be added to users dashboards containing links to external content.All document stored within Progresso are searchable through the “quick search” function.
If so, is this content searchable? Yes.
Markbooks
Does your solution contain a markbook style facility? Yes.  It is possible to have a markbook setup at subject level and also a personalised teacher markbook which can include columns from the subject markbook.
Does your facility require the creation of each class markbook each year, as a manual or semi-automated process, or are markbooks provides for each class regardless based on a pre-defined template? Briefly elaborate on the process. This is a free answer. Yes – Teacher markbooks are provided automatically for each class each year, subject markbooks require a template to be constructed which can be reused each year. School assessments, subject markbook and teacher markbook can be linked together so that a teacher only has to enter a grade once in teacher markbook and this grade will be stored at all three levels.
Can teachers create their own markbook columns? Yes – at teacher markbook level. Subject markbook is predefined by an administrator.
Can homework be set and associated with a markbook column? Yes
Can online tests be set and associated with a markbook column? Yes
Can comment banks be used on markbook columns (or you have another facilities where comment banks are used, often for parental reporting, then this is an acceptable answer)? Yes – comment banks are available when entering results for a subject markbook and also at a school level.
Can formulae be placed into markbook cells to make calculations on other cells? Yes – a teacher is able to use predefined functions, such as Average or Sum, to create a formula for a column with results based upon other columns in the markbook.
Can conditional formatting be placed into markbook cells? Yes – at subject markbook and school level.
Can gradesets or other value limiting mechanism be used on markbook cells? Yes – a teacher is able to define their own assessment scales.  This can either be a list of values, numeric or free text.
Can averages and other summary calculation be made on columns or rows in the markbook? Yes – a teacher is able to create formula for a column in a markbook which will evaluate for each row.  There is no facility to perform calculations across multiple learners to give a column average.
Does your solution have any built in parameters for measuring progress against targets, assessments etc? At subject markbook and school level it is possible to colour code against targets or other assessments.  It is also possible to report on results entered against the assessments and display in widgets on the users dashboard.
Assessment
Does your solution record statutory (non GCSE) assessment such as Key Stage assessments? Yes.  Assessment models are configurable within Progresso and can be based on statutory or bespoke structures (or a combination of both).
Are these assessments recorded in the main markbook or elsewhere? Assessments are recorded in Assessment Templates.   It is possible to create assessment entry screens that also display markbook columns (stored in Markbook templates) and can even use data within these columns to calculate and store the assessment value (e.g. the average of 5 tests = assessment level).
Does your solution record baseline assessment such as FFT or MIDYIS assessments/results? Please list all baseline assessments available to be imported. Yes.  Flight paths can also be added to forward/back populate targets from the recorded baseline.
Are these assessments recorded in the main markbook or elsewhere? Recorded in Assessment Templates.
Please briefly describe the import process for any of the above. This is a free answer. [Edited: Answer pointed to online support and so not answered]
Does your solution contain progress tracking or other analysis on these assessments? Yes.  Progresso supports various levels of attainment analysis. From widgets reminding teachers of pupil’s current attainment level against target, to detailed reports viewing levels of progress from KS2 to KS4.
Early Years Assessment
Does your solution provide assessment templates and features for Early Years assessment and the Foundation Stage Profiling? Yes. The EYFSP tracker supports the seven areas of learning and allows for data to e be recorded up to 6 times per year for each early learning goal (strand).For each strand you are able to enter the age in months that the learner is achieving and the where they are emerging, expected or exceeding.The data can either be entered for all the learners for a subject at a time or for an individual learner.
Does this assessment facility show levels of progress against criteria based on age group? If not, but does provide other analysis, please briefly describe. This is a free answer, but please keep to brief features. Yes. Progresso suite of system reports includes a collection of Early Years Assessment Analysis which includes levels of progress reports.  The following are an example of some of the reports available:
Age Related Attainment – This report shows the learners who have achieved a certain level (i.e. 40-60 Emerging) from a particular assessment entry.
Development Matters – For each early learning goal the learners are listed against the age band which they are achieving for that subject with totals.  The totals can either be Percentage, Count or Both.
Progress by subject – Shows progress between two points for each subject i.e. between Aut2 and Sum1
Does your solution provide for the Early Years statutory return? Yes.
Progress Tracking
Please detail what progress measures can be tracked within your system. This is a free answer but please list the measures. Progresso employs a number of features to inform staff to changes within the data recorded.  For example, Progresso’s Dashboards enable staff to easily select and configure widgets that can monitor and report on data.
Does your solution have any alerting mechanism to inform staff of changes? Yes. Reports can be scheduled to run automatically, so information can be emailed to heads of subject each month, term, etc. allowing them to compare changes in results.
Exams Management
Does your solution record exams (by this, GCSE/A Level)? Yes.
Does your solution import basedata from Awarding Organisations? Yes. Progresso allows the ability to manually import basedata from Awarding Organisations.  Furthermore, Advanced Learning proactively import the latest top 5 basedata sets (AQA, CCEA, Edexel, OCR and WJEC).  Schools will need to activate the relevant syllabi, options and components.
Does your solution send Entry and Amendment files in the EDF format? Yes.
Does your solution accept Results files? Yes.
Does your solution facilitate seating charts? Yes. Progresso supports the option to creating seating charts with features such as room capacity and how many to a row by column. Furthermore, the seating structure can be controlled by restricting seats.
Does your solution facilitate exam timetables, for both students and rooms/exams? Yes. Progresso has the functionality to generate timetables for both students and rooms/exams. These timetables are made available to users through printouts or on screen widgets.
Does your solution alert to exam clashes? Yes. Once entries have been made for candidates then exam clashes can be identified and resolved before exam events are generated.
Is your solution being converted to the new A2C protocols in preparation for the A2C switchover? Yes.
Multi-Tenancy/Multi-School
Is your solution a multi-school solution? By this, can multiple schools access the one solution, each with their own protected information set, but able to still share data or resources? Yes.  Progresso is specifically built to provide cluster level access to multiple schools.  Configuration values (such as Academic Years, cluster attendance targets) and Resources (such as reports) can be shared/pushed to selected schools if required.
If yes, does your solution contain a multi-school interface, particularly useful for academy chains to view and analyse cross school/trust wide information. Yes.  User ID’s can be created at school or cluster level.  The interface used for school and cluster users is the same, however, cluster users can view data across schools in addition to individual schools.  Cluster users can also modify schools data (if given access to by the school) allowing a central point of support.
Admissions Management/Online Admissions
Does your solution provide admissions management? No.
Does your solution provide enquiry management? No.
Does your solution provide facilities to manage waiting lists and priorities on enrolments? No.
Does your solution provide facilities for entering entry test results? No.
Does your solution provide facilities for recording enrolment fees? No.
Does your solution provide Fees management facilities? This would be associated with billing. No.
Lesson Planning/Curriculum Planning
Does your solution contain any form of curriculum planner? (This being a facility to manage the content of lessons over a term or year). No.
Does your solution contain any form of lesson planner? (This being a facility to create and manage a plan for a lesson, with content, resources, outcomes planned, homework assignments, individualised learning styles etc.). No.
Is this facility integrated or able to integrate with the markbook, if available? N/A.
Timetable/Curriculum Structure
Does your solution contain a timetable creation facility? Yes.
Is this facility integrated with your solution? (Integrated means data is not synchronised or sent back and forth). If not, briefly describe the data movement process. Yes.
Does your solution manage ‘Options’? Yes.
Are option ‘Choices’ able to be entered by students/parents online? Yes.  The easy to use drag and drop self-service functionality allows learners to make their preferences all online.  Schools can give Learners access to course descriptions to aid with their selection. Easy to read summary screens clearly highlight the choices a learner has made and if they have any outstanding decisions to make.
Does the options facility directly integrate with the timetable creation facility? (Integrated means data is not synchronised or sent back and forth). If not, briefly describe the data movement process. The Progresso Options Functionality utilises Keith Johnson Timetabler Options to process the learner choices to make sure the maximum satisfaction rate is reached.  Once this information is imported back into Progresso the resulting populated teaching groups are ready for scheduling.
Does the timetable facility:
         Incorporate student data Yes.
         Incorporate staff data Yes.
         Allow rules to be set on student/staff availability, student/student in the same classes, student/staff in the same classes, lesson blocking, and lesson pattern structure? Are these rules customisable? Yes. Via the main interface or the mobile interface.
         Allow multiple timetables to be created Yes.
         View room and staff utilisation Due to the impact of making changes to timetables shared between establishments, each timetable must be specific to a single school. However, restrictions can be added to timetables where schools share or duplicate resources in one school.
         View class sizes Yes.
Can your solution have different timetables, even different day structures, for different year groups? Yes.
When the timetable structure is built, do students have to be manually added to classes or is this already does (because student data have been incorporated into the timetable creation). Yes.  Progresso Options Learner Portal enables schools to efficiently manage their learner’s choices to develop the best option block pattern suiting both the learner’s preferences and the staffing needs of the school.
Are student/staff timetables available online? Yes.
Are student/staff timetables available to print? [Edited: Answer not appropriate to the question].
Can your timetable solution take multiple schools into account (that is, is a student or staff attends a second or more schools for part of their week, can time timetable incorporate this) Yes.
Portals:
Pupil Portal
Does your solution contain a specific student portal? If so, what information is available to a student? Yes.  Students can view their own dashboards containing information from various areas including learner data, attendance, behaviour, timetables and assessments.  In addition, as part of the core product learners also have access to a mobile interface where they can view attendance, timetable and behaviour summaries.
What security is provided to protect data? Progressos security allows users customised access to data based on their assigned role(s). Although ‘out of the box’ role types are provided, school specific role types can be created to control access to functionality and data.
Can student amend or request an amendment to their personal details? Yes.  All users can submit change requests to the schools admin through their login.
Parent Portal
Does your solution contain a specific parent portal? If so, what information is available to a parent? Yes.  Contacts/parents can view dashboards for each of their linked learners through a single user account.  These dashboards can containing information from various areas of Progresso including learner data, attendance, behaviour, timetables and assessments. In addition, as part of the core product contacts/parents also have access to a mobile interface where they can view attendance, timetable and behaviour summaries.
What security is provided to protect data? Yes.  Contacts can submit changes to their information and also to their linked learners.
Can parents amend or request an amendment to their/their children’s personal details? Progressos security allows users customised access to data based on their assigned role(s). Although ‘out of the box’ role types are provided, school specific role types can be created to control access to functionality and data.
What safeguards are in place to protect split parents from seeing data about each other or their children they are barred from accessing? Parents, or any other contact, are not able to see data relating to any other contact. Schools have complete control over who is issued with login details and so a parents with access barred would not be issued with login details.
Governor Portal
Does your solution contain a specific governor portal? If so, what information is available to a governor? Yes. Governors can be provided with access to Progresso.
What security is provided around sensitive data? Progresso users are assigned one or more roles (such as Teacher, Admin, SLT, etc.).  Out of the box roles are provided, however, schools can create additional roles.  Each role contains access rights to each area of Progresso.  Furthermore, users who have more than one role can switch between them without having to log out.
Mobile Apps/Access
Does your solution have a mobile ready interface? Yes.  Progresso has a Web based interface so that it is compatible with any smart phone that can browse the internet. The mobile solution is part of the core system and can be used by staff, contacts/parents and learners.
Does your solution have a dedicated app for mobile devices? No.  However, this is now under development and should be release in 2015.
For either question, please provide details of which Operating System (iOS, Android, Windows) and browser your solution is available for. Compatible with Android, Apple, Microsoft devices.
Remote Access
How can staff access your solution from outside the school? List options that are offered by your software (i.e. not taking into account what schools might put into place separate from your solution) Via a browser (on a PC, Tablet or Smartphone etc.) connected to the internet.  Compatible browsers include Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
How can parents access your solution from outside the school? List options that are offered by your software (i.e. not taking into account what schools might put into place separate from your solution) Via a browser (on a PC, Tablet or Smartphone etc.) connected to the internet.  Compatible browsers include Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Staff Management
Does your solution record and manage staff personal/demographic details? Yes.  Progresso facilitates the recording of all necessary staff data with the option to add extra user defined fields where needed, which can be reported on.
Does your solution contain all statutory fields required for Staff Workforce Census? Yes.  We abide by all census requirements set by the Department for Education.
Does your solution archive past staff records? How far back can a staff record be recovered/reviewed? Yes.  Full History.
Does your solution record contractual details? If so, what security safeguards are available to prevent administrative but non-HR staff from viewing this information? Yes.  Accesses to areas such as contractual details are determined by the assigned role types.
Does your solution record financial/bank details? If so, what security safeguards are available to prevent administrative but non-HR staff from viewing this information? It is possible to record information such as financial/bank details via user defined fields which can then be restricted by the assigned role types.
Does your solution manage and monitor staff checks and renewals for these (Checks being CRB, List 99, and Immigration). Yes.  Progresso facilitates staff checks with the option to add a renewal date where needed. Progresso allows documents to also be uploaded to the staff record for supporting evidence.
CPD
Does your solution manage staff professional development? Yes. Progresso allows users to add user defined fields. School can add the fields required to hold information relating to staff professional development and subsequently report and analyse the data.
Does your solution allow staff to interact with their own CPD recording? Yes. Progresso allows users to add user defined fields. School can add the fields required to hold information relating to staff professional development and subsequently report and analyse the data.
Does your solution allow managers to review and evaluation CPD records? Yes. Progresso allows users to add user defined fields. School can add the fields required to hold information relating to staff professional development and subsequently report and analyse the data.
Does your solution allow training courses to be provides, signed up for and managed online? No.
Does your solution interface with IfL for CPD recording? No.
Cover Management
Does your solution provide cover management facilities? Yes.
Can a staff member be covered for part day, full day, or for long periods of time (several days/weeks) in one step? Yes.
Can a room be covered for part day, full day, or for long periods of time (several days/weeks) in one step? Yes.
Are cover statistics recorded against staff records? Yes.  Statistics such as how many events they have covered to date, maximum number of periods covered/restrictions, etc. are also displayed when assigning cover to facilitate the process.
Does your solution provide analysis for staff absences/covers against pupil performance, attendance and behaviour? If so, please briefly describe. This is a free answer, but please keep to brief features. Yes.  Reports can be created (within SSRS) to pull information from various areas of the system and cross reference for analysis (including attendance and cover).These reports can be scheduled to run automatically, run manually when required, or used on multiple dashboards each with specific parameters.Furthermore, there are many system reports and widgets to choose from as standard, plus Advanced Learning forums to support the sharing of reports/widgets between schools.
Transport/Bus Management
Does your solution provide facility to manage school or LA sponsored transport (such as buses or taxies)? Yes.
Does your solution provide route management and optimisation technology? No.
Does your solution provide alerting to staff/parents/student for changes in transport provision (such as bus cancellation for example)? Yes.
Extra-Curricular Activities
Does your solution provide facility to manage extra-curricular activities? Yes.
Can fees be associated and charged through this facility? No.
Can attendance be associated, recorded and reported on through this facility? Yes.
Can progress (markbooks) be used and reported on through this facility? Yes.
Reports
Does your solution provide a reporting toolset? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution to create the report, but this does not include the final output, such as Word or Excel or PDF). Yes.  Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
Are all data fields within your solution available to be reported on? Yes.
What output formats are available for these reports? Data can be outputted in XML, CSV, PDF, MHTML, Excel, TIFF or Word formats.
Can charts be produced as reports? Yes.  SSRS can produce various graphic representations of data including charts, gauges, conditional formatting and data bars.
Can mail merges be produced as reports? Yes.  Progresso supports mail merging directly from Microsoft Word.
Can reports be sent or viewed online via portals? Yes.  Individual reports can be subscribed to allowing them to be automatically emailed to specific people (e.g. governors, SLT, etc.) at a frequency defined by the school.
Can termly reports be sent or viewed online via parent interfaces, if available? Yes.  Termly reports can be saved in bulk and stored (using the document storage feature) against the learner record for future access by the teach, learner or contact.
Can termly reports be sent via email by facilities within the solution? (This should be answered no if a report or batch of reports would need to be produced, output, saved and then separately attached to emails, manually by staff). No.
Does it allow importing\exporting of templates, for example provided by the LA? No.
Can you integrate third party BI systems – such as Cognos, Microsoft Power BI or Business Objects? No. 
Does your solution have a dedicated data warehouse for reporting to reduce load on the main transactional database Yes.
Communications
Does your solution provide text messaging facilities? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Are responses able to be recorded against student records? Yes. Progresso supports SMS (Texting) & Emails to contacts, staff, and learners if required.  SMS messages can be manually created or chosen from pre-defined templates which can be added to by the school.  Each SMS is logged within Progresso for future reference/reporting.
Does your solution provide emailing facilities? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Are responses able to be recorded against student records? Yes.  Progresso supports sending emails to contacts, staff, and learners if required.  Furthermore, functionality within Progresso allows users to send emails to teachers of selected learners.
Does your solution provide voice message facilities? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Are responses able to be recorded against student records? No.
VLE
Does your solution have an integrated learning platform (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
If yes, please describe the basic characteristics of this platform. This is a free answer, but please keep to brief features. N/A.
Library Management
Does your solution have an integrated library management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Asset Management
Does your solution have an integrated asset management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Facilities Management
Does your solution have an integrated facilities management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Helpdesk
Does your solution have an integrated helpdesk management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Helpdesk does not need to be specifically for IT support, although this is the common need. No.
Room Booking/Facilities Booking
Does your solution have an integrated room booking or facilities booking solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Can booking be managed by the customers, if yes? No.
Parents Evening Management
Does your solution have an integrated parents evening management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Can booking be managed by the parents, if yes? No.
AD Integration/Provisioning/Single Sign On
Does your solution provide any form of provisioning of Active Directory accounts? Are these accounts synchronised with the MIS account? From Progresso, it is possible to export user details that can be imported into Active Directory using the LDIFDE Utility to Provision accounts.Using a solution by our Partner SalamanderSoft, it is possible to Provision accounts directly from the Progresso API into Active Directory.
Does your solution provide other forms of Active Directory integration? The SalamanderSoft solution will also allow for the Creation/Updating of Active Directory accounts with any other information available from the Progresso API.
Does your solution provide Single Sign On? What technology is used for this? Yes, using standard SAML 2.0 or Shiibohla.  We are part of the UK AMF and can link into other providers.  Progresso can act as a Service Provider (SP) or an Identity Provider (Idp).  Using MS AD FS 2.0 Progresso seamlessly links in with AD to allow a SSO solution.
Is yes, what level of security policy is provided to mitigate data loss? Using industry standard technologies, Progresso securely communicates with an IdP/SP to exchange attributes used for the SSO solution.
Customisation/Workflows/Imports/Exports/Process Management/Database Management/UDFs/Validation Control
Please list any facilities within your solution that allow the creation and customisation of:
         Customise interface (over and above the colour of the interface and logos) No.
         Workflows, to control data flow based on school requirements No.
         Data imports Yes.  Data can be imported into Progresso through CSV files.
         Data exports (this is different from general reports that output to Word or Excel formats) No.
         Custom processes (where a school might want to build a process of data specific to them, within the solution) No.
         Database Management (Can the school manage the database tables directly or indirectly, create or remove base and user defined fields, assign complex data types and relationships, add data format and validation). Yes. User defined fields can be created, added to learner/staff screens and reported on.
Data Auditing & Data Migration
Does your solution audit data entry/change/delete and is that data audit reportable? Yes.
Please list what popular MIS solutions you are able to migrate a school from, in terms of the data transfer. All.  Data is imported from a suite of spreadsheets.We have experience of migrating data from Facility, SIMS, E1, Aspen and other less well known and bespoke systems.  Our solution is suitable for any data that can be provided in a spreadsheet format.
What are your typical migration times from each MIS solution you have mentioned? 2 weeks on receipt of completed spreadsheets.
What is the typical data migration success rate (that is, how much data in breadth and history are you able to transfer) for each MIS solution you have mentioned? We are able to import to the majority of fields available in Progresso, it is also possible to create and import data to user defined fields for learners, contacts and staff.

To find out more about this product and supplier, contact them directly using the following details (Feel free to mention you found this site useful!):

Web: http://www.progressomis.com/products/progresso/
Tel: +44 (0)8456 888 500
Email: learning.enquiries@advanced computersoftware.com

Original Response File can be found here: Progresso – The MIS Challenge

This questionnaire is completely objective and responses have only been edited to fit to a standardised format in places. Information supplied by the supplier is accurate at the time of receiving responses. Every effort will be made to timely update the responses in line with changes to the product.

Graham Reed, the Eduware Network and its associates take no responsibility whatsoever for actions taken as a result of reading this or any other responses or opinions, nor do they in any way endorse this or any product or supplier. This is intended as a guide only, and is expected to be used as such.

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