What is the MIS Challenge?

The MIS Survey AKA “The MIS Challenge” was conceived of with one purpose: To provide as much The MIS Challenge Markimpartial information about as many of the MIS products available to as many schools and local authorities as possible, and to raise the awareness of the fact there are at least 13 credible suppliers in the market.


The back story to this research project started years ago while Graham was still working within schools managing and supporting MIS solutions, and while working with an MIS supplier. Many times with suppliers and schools the same conversations were being had: What choices do I have for MIS? Is there only x and y. The short and simple answer was always no, but without the awareness or drive to research, from scratch, those other providers, schools had little need or want to explore what could be a better all round solution for their unique needs.

Another reason for this project was the deemed failure of the IMLS framework to supply this information to schools, which has been poorly advertised and even more poorly received by the market. Ultimately this survey would be superfluous if the IMLS framework was more popular.

The Survey

This survey was designed to tease out the technical aspects of each supplier’s solution based largely on what schools wanted to know, what had come out of past tenders to LAs and procurement exercises by schools. It attempts to get to the key things schools want, need and should know about the systems they are investigating and buying, and know what the alternatives are for their set of requirements.

This survey does NOT take into account anything to do with costs, customer numbers or other commercial arrangements, and is purely interested in the technology and the functionality.

Indeed, this very much should NOT be used as a feature comparison exercise, but rather a repository for what a system can supply to you, and to raise awareness equally of all the current suppliers in the market. Just because one system does not have a particular feature, or not as many features (as a number) as another does not mean it is a worse solution! PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS AS A FEATURE COMPARISON.

Included too in the near future will be a more qualitative review of each product carried out by Eduware Network associates, giving a more feel and functional analysis and feedback on how each system measured up during a pre-defined set of tests, all of which are impartial and objective.

In time, there will be facility for suppliers to submit a limited set of customer-written testimonials.

As new suppliers join the market they will be invited to take part in the project too; this is not a closed framework.

All of this is designed to inform schools and LAs on the capabilities of the products, equally and fairly. if you wish to find out more, contact details for each supplier are available for you to communicate in your own way in your own time (No referrals are passed from this site to suppliers and your views and visits are not specifically tracked).

The Suppliers

The suppliers currently operating in the UK market are as follows:

1886 – Edubag

Advanced Learning – Progresso

Arbor – Arbor MIS

Bromcom – Bromcom MIS

Capita – SIMS.net

Double First – Engage

Furlong – Schoolbase


RM – Integris G2

ScholarPack – ScholarPack MIS

Schoolbacs – Plus4Schools

Schoolpod – Schoolpod

Tribal – Synergy for Schools

VSWare – SchoolThing

Wauton Samuel – PASAPP


Market Analysis

There is also a market analysis section which has taken information from the Census from 2010 via several Freedom of Information requests to the Department for Education. Based on these statistics is shows current market trends and figures for each organisation, growth, and the break down across each LA over the years. This could be useful to find out who is using what in your local area.


NOTE that the market analysis information is sourced directly from the DfE census returns and has not been altered in any way. If you find an item is incorrect (particularly what school had what MIS in what year) then please contact us to investigate. Note too that this shows just over 21,000 schools taken from the Census returns, and so may not be a 100% acurate reflection on supplier market share. Graham and Eduware Network are in NO WAY RESPONSIBLE for the raw data contained. This information is also freely available and was obtained under Freedom of Information, and is accessible by anyone.

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