Ask SAM – find answers to any questions you may have

About SAM

What is SAM?

Staff Absence Management, SAM to you and me, is bespoke online staff absence management software for schools which tracks sickness, paid and unpaid leave of absence.

Why do I need SAM?

Often staff absence in schools is difficult to track, and current reporting options (eg.SIMS) are fairly basic. SAM not only gives you some fantastic reporting options, it will also help you quickly identify staff that have hit an absence trigger and help you to manage and monitor the absence of those staff. SAM allows you to centralise all confidential documentation including minutes of meetings, self-certification forms, fit notes and return to work forms. We will also load your school letter templates into SAM, so your letters are prepopulated with information, saving you the time of completing the forms manually.

Why would I want to use SAM instead of a spreadsheet to track staff absences?

Using SAM is quicker than using a spreadsheet. Easier too. You can quickly extract data from SIMS without the need for duplication. You don’t have to manually sort the data, or calculate which staff have hit triggers. SAM does it all for you.

How easy is SAM to use?

SAM is so simple to use, it’s an automated tool that can directly import data held in SIMS.

How can SAM save the school money?

SAM keeps track of staff that have hit absence trigger points and helps you take your absence management processes to a new level. We know from experience that schools who manage their absences more proactively save money. They are able to bring staff back to work as quickly as possible as well as identifying patterns of absence that may indicate misuse of the school’s attendance policy.

Is SAM web-based?

Of course.

Can SAM interface with other management information systems that are not SIMS based?

As long as you have a database that can export staff data and absence data as a csv.file, then SAM can interface with your system. You can also record absences directly into SAM without extracting data from other systems.

Who can have access to the system?

There are different levels of users eg. Senior Leaders, Administrators and Line Managers. So staff absence can be controlled and managed at various levels.

Does SAM support Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs)?

Yes, you can purchase a MAT license, which will give you access to absence data for all schools within the Trust. The Head Office, as an overview, can see what management interventions are taking place in each school to tackle absence. MAT reporting also allows you to produce internal MAT benchmarking for each of your
schools within the MAT.

What trigger points does SAM use?

The trigger points in SAM can be customised to match your own school’s attendance policy. However, SAM also has recommended trigger points and Bradford Factor trigger points which you can apply.

Will the system alert me to any staff absence triggers that occur?

Yes. Every time you import data from SIMS into SAM, the system will show you which staff have met a trigger, and which staff are currently under trigger monitoring.

Will the system replace having to enter data into SIMS?

No. As the SIMS system currently supports the Workforce Census collection, schools should continue to record absence in SIMS in the same way. SAM directly imports the data held in SIMS so there is no need to record any absence more than once.

Can I easily identify trends in absence?

Yes. There is quick access to a great suite of absence reports, which allow you to easily identify and analyse trends. It just takes a few clicks.

How often will I need to import data?

As often as you like, however we would recommend a weekly import so that you can quickly identify new triggers.

How long does it take to import data?

No longer than it would take to boil a kettle.

Purchasing SAM

How much does SAM cost?

SAM comes in the form of an annual licence. Depending on the number of staff you have, a SAM licence starts from £495 per annum.

There’s a set-up fee in the first year of using SAM, which includes the setting up of current and historical school data, details, users, calendar and terms. We will also import current and historical employee information and current and historical absence data. As part of the set-up, we’ll configure triggers and absence types and provide remote training for users, along with a User Guide.

If you’re a MAT, we can offer discounted rates depending on the number of schools within the Trust and discuss training across the schools. Each license gives you up to 99 users per school. For more information, please contact us on 01924 827869.

Want to see SAM in action?

Just let us know and we’ll arrange to show you a demo.

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