SISRA Ltd was founded & SISRA Online was launched
500 Schools were signed up
1000 Schools were signed up to SISRA online
We released SISRA Observe
Our first annual conference SAC2014 was held in Birmingham
We released SISRA Analytics, the upgrade replacing SISRA Online
KS4 & KS5 become read only in SISRA Online
SISRA Analytics celebrates it's first birthday!
The SISRA community grows to over 1600 schools in 163 LAs
Brand new version of SISRA Observe is launched
Opportunities often present themselves in an unexpected guise. Thinking back to the beginning, we were introduced to an examinations officer in a local school who was struggling with residuals. He was working through the summer holidays with a deadline to meet (the looming autumn term and the start of a brand new academic year), and just when he thought he had the riddle of residuals solved, the Head would throw in a curveball question. In reality, it was probably the numerous calculations of the ever-extending Excel spreadsheet that was the crux of the problem.
Our company background was data – massive volumes of the stuff and so, armed with this in-depth knowledge, we ventured into the world of education. Staff at Broadgreen School were looking for help with residuals so Jon Williams (now our Technical Director), met with them and responded to their needs by producing a market first: a web-based solution for delivering residual values. No more depending on Excel spreadsheets or the inaccuracy of calculus. One single version of the truth was born and every member of staff could access it from school or home – or the beach if they preferred!
We didn’t know it at the time, but as we introduced SISRA to more and more educationalists, it quickly became apparent that we had something that offered great benefit to schools, their staff and students. The SISRA journey had begun. Was this an evolution or a revolution within the realm of schools data? We weren’t sure, but we were certainly blazing a trail given the standard market offerings available at the time.
To help us to develop this opportunity further, we had the pleasure of meeting and eventually employing our great friend, the late Michael Surtees, who at the time was Deputy Head of Madeley High School. He told us he’d received our flyer and, instantly recognising SISRA was something new and exciting, wanted his school to be a part of it. Michael was a passionate educationalist who cared about the outcome of the kids. He spent many hours advising Jon (who was spending more and more hours developing a robust and functionally rich SISRA Online) on what schools needed regarding government driven analysis and countless more hours motoring up and down the country presenting SISRA to his peers and colleagues in other schools.
Jon and Michael, enthusiastically supported by our online user forum and complemented through a recruitment policy to employ educationalists, generated new ideas which flooded in from a passionate user community thus ensuring the value SISRA offers schools would grow at a rapid pace.
Looking to the future, SISRA will continue to respond to the demands of our user base (and those within the DfE’s latest Statement of Intent). There are a number of exciting developments including the release of our upgraded version of SISRA Online, which will be branded SISRA Analytics. Furthermore, we are thrilled about the release of a brand new web-based service, SISRA Observe, which has been especially developed for the benefit of schools to support their staff in effective CPD and monitoring lesson observations. As well as our current customer base (secondary schools) this new service opens up further opportunities to assist the primary school sector – and maybe even beyond, in the advanced learning sector.
SISRA Ltd will continue to grow by responding to the needs of the education market. We are encouraged by the support of 100,000 educationalists in their day-to-day use of school data and delighted that SISRA is seen within schools as a great value service provider offering a measurable benefit to all staff and the kids.
by Terry Graham, Managing Director, SISRA Ltd.