Western Australia’s Education department is having a second go at replacing its legacy core student information system (SIS) after its first attempt with Civica failed to progress past testing.
The department returned to the market earlier this month to find a new cloud-based solution, dubbed Kaartdijin, eight years after it originally got the go-ahead to rollout a new SIS.
The department had contracted Civica to replace the system with a cloud-based platform, called webSIS, in 2016 at cost of $32 million, hoping to avoid a repeat of NSW’ infamous LMBR overhaul.
Based on the Civica Education Suite, webSIS was to replace the state’s RM Integris Classic software package, which supports 300,000 students across more than 818 schools, by the end of 2019.
But the department paused the project in September 2019 after a series of software releases failed testing, as revealed by iTnews.
At the time, director-general Lisa Rodgers, who described webSIS as “not fit for piloting or roll out”, said the department would work with Civica to resolve the issues.
However, that process appears to have not yielded any results, with the department and Civica now working through the termination of the contract.
“The supplier and the department are working through the termination of the contract for webSIS following the decision to cease the webSIS project,” a spokesperson told iTnews.
“The supplier is continuing to provide support and maintenance services for the existing school information system, SISClassic.”
The spokesperson confirmed the tender was the department’s second attempt to replace the system with a “web solution that meets the needs of public schools”.
According to tender documents, the new Kaartdijin solution will cover four modules: school administration, student management, timetabling and school finance.
Unlike SISClassic, which is deployed by schools either as a “locally-hosted Windows client server instance” or using a Windows RDS server, the new SIS will be as-a-service.
“It is critical to ensure all schools can access and use information relevant to their students in a secure, and readily accessible manner, from anywhere at any time,” the tender states.
“A contemporary SIS will assist in ensuring the department schools will provide a quality and consistent educational experience.”
The department is planning work on the SIS to begin in Q1 2023, with a pilot of initial capabilities expected in Q4 2023, followed by a second pilot of the full solution during Q3/Q4 2024.
It will take a phased approach to cutover, starting with kindergarten and primary schools in 2024 and all remaining schools in 2025.
Given the history of the former project, the department is also tendering separately for a contractor to provide advice to ensure the project “delivers on time and to budget”.