A quick note to confirm the support hours of our UK headquarters team over the forthcoming holiday season.
We'll be working to our published Service Level Agreement for school support, which is tailored to the requirements we have gathered from schools right across the Engage family.
- The office will close Monday 24 December at 1700 GMT (UT).
- We will reopen for Engage MIS support at 0130 GMT Wednesday 2 January, at 0600 GMT the same day for technical support and 0830 GMT for our finance team.
We've been pleased to welcome no less than nine new staff members in recent weeks as a part of Double First's strategy to reinforce and increase the headquarters team that supports our Engage School Management System globally.
This expansion reflects the ongoing growth in adoption rate of Engage by many leading fee-paying schools, who recognise the flexibility of our school management system and are exploiting it in ever new and imaginative ways to enhance education and improve management of everything from administration to finance.
Nine new Engage staff members read more
The regular release programme the we run for Engage provides a platform not only to deliver enhancements from our continuous development programme in a timely manner, but also to accommodate changes in educational requirements.
The December release of Engage (2018.12) being a case in point, as it contains the SLASC (UK School-Level Annual Schools Census) and ISC (Independent Schools Council) Returns for January 2019.
ISC and SLASC Return read more
Engage is pleased to sponsor and work with many key associations and educational bodies around the world. Among that number is the Association of British Schools Overseas (AoBSO), founded by former head of St Christopher's School, Bahrain, Ed Goodwin OBE. This organisation provides a vital role in supporting BSO schools, and held its annual conference at the County Hall in London during November. Engage has been a keen supporter of this body since its foundation earlier in the decade.
AoBSO Conference, read more
Award winning school management information and finance solution, Engage by Double First, and leading virtual learning specialist, Firefly, have teamed up to deliver a new, seamless experience for leading schools around the world.
Double First, founded in 1987 and recent recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade, provides school administrators, teachers and leadership teams with access to key information through comprehensive pupil and student, staff and parent databases in one fully integrated application, Engage.
School users of Firefly can make use of Engage's rich suite of data to create an online teaching and learning environment which supports homework, feedback, creating and sharing resources, and parental engagement.
Engage and Firefly partnership read more
Double First was delighted to attend the 30th FOBISIA (Federation of British International Schools in Asia) conference in Bangkok, Thailand during November and to take part in the celebrations. Having not long since reached our own 30th birthday, it was nice to mark the same milestone.
Richard Jones (Group Sales Director), Steve James (Schools Account Director – Asia) and Kieran Millar (Group Finance Director - pictured) all attended the reception at the British Ambassador’s Residence which ended with candles being blown out by those who have been associated with the organisation for the longest.
FOBISIA 30th conference read more
Our Engage school management information system is subject to a continual enhancement through the efforts of our in-house development team and informed by our customers preferences via our Share Ideas portal.
Among recent improvements, we have further expanded the capabilities of Engage's fully integrated school timetable module to enable closer integration with other systems. We recognise that timetabling is one of those specialist areas where no two schools are quite the same in terms of the way they wish to organise it, or run their day.
Engage timetable improvements read more
Double First uses Office 365 for all of its team members. It's a great service and we recommend it, but there have been several reports and occurrences of customers and third parties having difficulty delivering e-mail to our addresses, so we thought we'd post an explanation of why that might be happening for us, or perhaps for you also if you utilise Office 365 in your school.
Your contact is vital to us, so if you haven't heard from us promptly then it is highly likely we have not seen your message. Here is an explanation of the likely cause and details of how to reach us.
Solving email contact problems read more
The International Schools Partnership (ISP) has selected Engage as its preferred software for their school management software. Double First Ltd, a leading schools software supplier, today announced a global deal with the International Schools Partnership, to implement the Engage school management software across all its schools worldwide. Engage was selected due to the software’s excellent and broad functionality, for its flexibility, group reporting and the company’s highly skilled people and their ability to work in collaboration with the International Schools Partnership.
International Schools Partnership selects Engage read more
At Double First, engagement is at the heart of everything we do, by allowing schools to take control of communications between parents, pupils and staff. This year, to celebrate the end of our 30th Anniversary, we are inviting pupils to engage with us by taking part in the Engage Pupil Takeover.
The Pupil Takeover is a competition in which pupils aged between 3-18 in independent or international education are invited to design a creative piece of artwork for our Engage MIS. The competition will be hosted in two categories, Preparatory (3-11) and Senior (11-18). Our favourite design from each category will receive a £100 Amazon voucher, along with a certificate and framed print of their work. The two runners up in each category will receive a £50 Amazon voucher, along with a certificate and framed print of their work. The two best designs will also feature within the Engage MIS, allowing pupils to play a part in our creative software development!
Last week, our team travelled out to Abu Dhabi for the 2018 BSME Annual Conference. At Double First, we’ve been working closely with BSME schools since 2008. Our intuitive management software, bespoke training, dedicated local support and customer-led development programme helps BSME members stay on top of school management.
Richard Jones, Sales Director at Double First, had the pleasure of catching up with BSME Chairman, Eddie Liptrot at the conference, to provide an update on our continuous work with BSME schools and new product developments. As Superintendent of the International Schools Group (ISG), Eddie is now rolling out Engage across his schools, using Engage Finance to support the group with the advent of VAT in the Middle East.
A couple of weeks ago our team attended the BETT show in the heart of London, which is known to be the world’s leading education technology event. BETT gave us the opportunity to catch up with existing customers, as well as meeting brand new schools and educators. This year was also an extra special occasion, as we took a new approach to exhibiting at BETT to help celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Here are some of our highlights from the week…
BETT is the world’s leading education technology event. Bringing together hundreds of innovative service providers and distributors with educators from around the globe, to help create a better future for education. This year, BETT will be running from 24th – 27th January at the Excel Centre in London and once again, Double First will be there.
To Celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’ve booked an exclusive meeting room to host both our customers and prospective international and independent schools. Throughout BETT, we will be providing seminars, Edtech networking and daily refreshments in the Engage Gallery Room, located at the back of the BETT Exhibition – North Gallery Room 4. There will also be the opportunity to find out more about our award-winning school management system, designed exclusively for independent schools.
If you are coming to BETT this year, here are 5 reasons to come and visit us.
Over the festive period at the end of December and start of January our office hours will be as follows:
UK Office Hours
Monday 25th December – Closed
Tuesday 26th December – Closed
Wednesday 27th December – Closed
Thursday 28th December – Closed
Friday 29th December – Closed
Monday 1st January – Closed
Double First puts customers first by delivering improvements to the Support Centre
At Double First, our vision is to provide industry leading management software and services that better inform the school, support education, and engage staff, parents and students.
As part of this vision, we want to ensure we offer you the best possible support to get the most from our products.
During the first quarter of 2018 we will be working hard to improve our online Support Centre. There will be a few activities we need to ask you to complete to help us deliver these improvements. This will include setting up new support account details for your team, so they can access our new and improved services.
Some of the highlights we will be introducing are:
- Live chat
- A single place to view and manage both support and report design requests
- A new and improved look and feel to the portal.
We will provide full details of what is required as we move through the process of introducing the new features, so please stay tuned for more information and look out for more news on this topic.
We’re delighted to be recruiting for an Apprentice Data Migration Operative to join our team at Double First House, Yeovil. This is a fantastic opportunity for an enthusiastic individual with a high level of accuracy to discover the world of software development alongside our 30th year in business.
Lucy Balley, Personnel Administrator at Double First, explains "Apprenticeships are so beneficial to both sides. The apprentice has a genuine job with training which means they can earn while they learn and gain the necessary skills and competencies for their chosen profession. Meanwhile, the employer is investing in its future skilled staff whom they know are getting the correct training – with government funding".
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, and apply for the role, click here.
A selection of the nation’s top students visited the House of Lords this week to receive the highest accolade from the Council for Independent Education.
The award winning students, along with proud parents, teachers and principals, enjoyed afternoon tea overlooking the Thames, hosted by Lord Lexden OBE.
CIFE Awards read more
In the April 2017 release of Engage we will be upgrading the version of Microsoft .NET Framework we use from 3.5 to 4.0. This means any machine that runs Engage Server, Engage Desktop Application, Engage Portal (the webserver) or Engage Core Service will need to have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 or later.
Client machines running Windows 8 and Server machines running Windows Server 2012 (all editions) ship with the required version and will be unaffected by our change.
Client machines running Windows Vista or Windows 7, and Server machines running Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 can all be upgraded to Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework for free by using Windows Update. In most cases this will have already happened as part of routine Windows Update functionality.
If you do not upgrade, you will be unable to install the April 2017 release of Engage.
If there is any reason you are unable to make this change, please contact our Support team and we will be glad to discuss it further with you.