We’ve been using SAM now for a year and a half and in that time we have been impressed with how easy it is to use, how supportive the SAM team are and how much easier it has made managing our absence process. We’ve been really happy with the system and the service we receive and have contributed to user groups to help develop the software further.

How SAM has helped

People now know that we are addressing staff absence and that has encouraged them to talk to us and work with us. Staff absence here was not an issue prior to SAM as we supported staff well but the absence process itself was a laborious unnecessary paper system that took up a lot of administration time. There was no structure to it and we were logging information in multiple places. There was so much paperwork. Now I put information into SIMS and upload it straight to SAM. I can see straight away what I need to do and the only paperwork we have now is the initial absence form, everything else is saved on SAM. If you import weekly, SAM does the rest for you and provides accurate data that you can act on.

SAM tells us what to do. It reminds us about monitoring rounds and meetings, so we are reacting much quicker to triggers. SAM guides us through the process and it is now an hours job once a week. It is so easy to deal with as it does everything for you.

The main benefit from SAM is that it is more personal, so people are responding better, noone is getting their hands slapped, it’s all about working together and so when people are absent we are getting people back to work much quicker. In fact, in the time we have been using SAM we have seen a reduction of 59% in the number of days absent. Currently out of 70 staff we only have 3 on a monitoring round at the moment and that is a fantastic result. We have saved 146 days in a year and a half from using SAM and when you put this into financial terms the savings are frightening. Our supply costs for the academic year 2015/16 were £22609, this academic year so far, they are just £2800. That is a saving of £19,809 from our budget and that is just supply costs. If you take into account the salaries of the staff absent (£47,266 1st year/£19,529 2nd year so a saving of £27,737), the savings for our school of 70 staff are estimated to be £47,546 making SAM worth every penny.

I have been championing SAM to other schools because I think it is so valuable and I would highly recommend it.

Victoria Roome, St John’s Primary School, Bradford

*using salary costs of £1,829,000 based on 70 staff and 195 working days.

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