Training can come in many shapes and sizes; it can include visits to your school, attending a face-to-face course, on-line courses, workshops where you work on your timetable alongside other timetablers, webinars over the internet, right through to hiring someone to work alongside your timetabler, or to create your timetable for you. More details below:
However, because timetabling has become more complicated* in recent years you may wish to consider the Extra Training & Support outlined below. This extra and higher-level Support has become increasingly popular over recent years, as timetabling becomes ever more demanding. You can learn both the general principles of timetabling and/or the specifics of using TimeTablerorOptions.
[* recent complications include : the E-Bacc in England, CfE in Scotland, the IB, ‘consistently-setted’ blocks, options ‘Pathways’, ‘vertical’ registration groups, options in Year 9 as well as years 10 & 11, consortium days and other fixed points, PPA time, ‘primary’ organisation or more setting in Year 7, ‘vertical’ teaching groups, reductions in staffing, ‘socially-distanced’ timetabling, more Part-timers, etc, etc.]
In addition, timetabling is often a lonely task, and meeting fellow timetablers on courses or workshops can be an enormous boon, and give you a fresh viewpoint and impetus. There is the opportunity to network with your fellow timetablers, and share ideas and solutions.
The Associates listed below are all experienced timetablers. They can give you extra Help on-site in-school if you wish.
Some of them also provide Courses. Please note that these courses can be on general timetabling principles, or on using the TimeTablersoftware in particular, or both. And they can be out of school (at a training centre), or they can be on-site in your school, or they can be on-line so you can use them at any time convenient to you. MIST Services also offer workshops and webinars. (If you need help with Supply Cover, see below).
All the Courses are advertised in the monthly eNewsLetter …see the bottom of the page to sign-up for this.
If you feel that you need Extra Help, or if you would like to go on a Course, then there is a wide choice … provided at5 levels.
We have negotiated a range of discounted Vouchersto make this extra Help more affordable …more detailshere.
MIST Services offer a wide range of services and support on Options, Curriculum design and Timetabling, helping both new and experienced timetablers throughout the timetabling process.
They offer courses on timetabling principles, as well as specific support for TimeTablerand Options, including in-school on-site training around the world on how to use these programs in your school.
Some of their services include:
Face-to-Face Courses on timetabling principles, TimeTabler, and Options
Self-Study Courses on timetabling principles, TimeTabler, and Options
Timetabling Workshops for TimeTablerand Options
Timetabling Consultancy for TimeTablerand Options
More details of thecourses can be found on the MIST website.
If you wish to use the TOOLS on-line feature in Optionsbut don’t wish to host it at school, MIST can host it for you.
Chris Knights-Branch and his colleagues work with academies, state schools, independent schools and International schools, using TimeTabler, Facility Scheduler and Nova T6. As such they have a unique insight of all three solutions and are able to advise you, should you be migrating from Facility Scheduler or Nova T6 to TimeTabler.
Other Associates who can help you with on-site in-school support, as well as doing the timetable for you if you want to out-source it, include:
John Clark writes: “I have been involved in timetabling since the early 1990s. Since early retirement in 2008, I have provided training on the use of TimeTablerto more than 100 schools, including preparatory schools, 11-16 and 11-18 comprehensives and academies, senior independent schools, special schools and international schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Germany, Thailand, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. I have also scheduled the complete timetable for a variety of schools, both at short notice in emergency situations or on an annual basis. I am also experienced in the use of the Options and StaffCovermodules.
I can offer senior managers advice on how to get the most flexible timetable to meet curriculum needs, train staff to create a schedule and import it to their MIS, troubleshoot when difficulties arise, and schedule complete timetables. I am based in Hampshire but am happy to travel anywhere, including overseas, or work from home.
Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your requirements, without obligation.”
Debbie Hayton writes: “I teach Physics (part-time) at a school in Bristol. I have been timetabling for fifteen years and I am proficient in the use of TimeTablerand Options.
I can assist with the implementation of both packages, advise on pre-planning the deployment of resources, and suggest solutions when nothing seems to work. I am based in Bristol, but I can travel throughout the UK (and beyond) to provide bespoke on-site support in schools.”
David Miles writes: “I have been involved in timetabling since 1995 – originally using card and paper methods and then moving on to computer systems.
I have used TimeTabler, Options and StaffCoverfor over 15 years now and find them the most effective combination for planning and implementing school curricula. I have written curriculum plans and timetables for UK, US, bilingual and International schools and can help senior staff and advise on methods of curriculum creation, staff consolidation and streamlining.
I can work with your existing timetabler or create the complete timetable ready for import to your school’s MIS.
I am now based in Dubai, UAE and I am happy to travel or work remotely to fit your school’s needs. You can contact me to set up a video call to discuss your requirements.”
Ted Fenton writes: “I have been involved with Timetabling since the 1990s and was solely responsible for the timetable until I retired in 2020 (including several rewrites in August of that year to look at ways of making the school ‘covid secure’).
My first few timetables were written manually but I have been using TimeTablerfor many years now. Options and StaffCoverwere also essential software for my job and I have used both for many years.”
Janet Glass writes “I have been timetabling for around 25 years, initially in a maintained school 3 site consortium setting in West Yorkshire, using Nova-T4 (and SIMS), and then within an independent school in Kent for the last 12 years, using TimeTablerand Options (with WCBS and then iSAMS); I am also familiar with StaffCoverand I have experience of the International School context within Dubai and Tanzania as well.
I have always found the Keith Johnson software to be excellent and invaluable in producing the timetable year on year …at my most recent school setting, offering a wide choice of subjects for GCSE and A Level, both A Levels and the IB within the sixth form and bespoke learning pathways for individual students throughout the senior school.
Having recently retired from teaching Chemistry and the function of Director of Studies, I can offer advice and support from strategic curriculum planning through to export for MIS, and to either build whole timetables or work alongside an experienced or new timetabler.
I am based in Guildford but am happy to travel so would be interested to work in bespoke ways with schools anywhere within the UK or worldwide either in person or virtually, and am available almost all year round.”
Neil Farquharson writes: “I am a recently retired Depute Head Teacher who worked at Carluke High School, South Lanarkshire. I dealt with pupil’s options, created the yearly timetable and input all this data into the SEEMiS system. I also had the daily task of organising staff Cover.
Options – My school had a free choice of options for pupils in S3 to S6, and I am very familiar with the Options software and the advantages that it brings. Creating a column structure every session for each of these year groups with no difficulties was the norm.
TimeTabler – I have been timetabling for 15 years and I have found that the TimeTabler software deals with complex curriculum models very easily. I also have the experience, and know the value of, setting up the SEEMiS system properly to ensure a smooth import from TimeTabler. Over the 4 years that the import has been available I have never had an issue. What a timesaver it is!
StaffCover– I am very familiar with all aspects of this software as I used it, on a daily basis, for over three years.
I’m happy to help with any of this software, and travel throughout Scotland is not a problem.”
Derek Simpson writes: “I was the depute Headteacher at Dunbar Grammar School with responsibility for the timetable; later at Knox Academy. I have been using the TimeTablersoftware for over 7 years. In that time the structure of the school day and curriculum changed with remarkable regularity.
A number of years ago the school moved to a free choice model S2 to S3, and the combination of Options with the TimeTablersoftware meant that this has been delivered every year since with no real issues.
The challenge of timetabling a new structure to cope with CfE is yet to come in reality. Familiarity with the software has allowed me to try various options and schematics through to a finished timetable. These have then been analysed for “efficiency” and “good timetabling” which I think have contributed to a greater understanding of the issues faced in meeting the requirements of CfE. I am happy to share this experience with anyone as well as offer myself as help or support to those using the TimeTablersoftware.”
Liam O’Brien writes: “As an Assistant Principal (Post Holder in the earlier years) I have been responsible for producing the timetable at Midleton CBS for nearly 30 years.
For most of those years the timetable has been produced using Keith Johnson’s excellent TimeTablerprogramme – previously I used rubber and pencil!! Now retired I still take on timetabling responsibilities for the school and I am also available to assist schools who would like to learn more about TimeTablersoftware and how well it can apply to schools in the Irish context.”
For courses on-site in International schools please see MIST Services, above.
Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)
This association sometimes organises lectures for members, with an outline of timetabling principles. They do not usually include any timetabling by computer.
If you need help in finding Supply Cover, see here.
The Timetabler’s CookBook: If you are unable to attend a course, or if you prefer to learn from a book, or if you want to revise the timetabling principles that you learnt on a course, or if you want to study a topic in more depth, then you need a copy of Keith Johnson’s book: ‘Timetabling – A Timetabler’s CookBook‘.
This is the timetabler’s ‘bible’.
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If you have any queries about the programs, please e-mail them to: email@example.com
We will answer any questions you may have about using the software with your particular curriculum.