News

Regent International Dubai sign up to CHQ. [+] read more

June 2014

CHQ are delighted to announce that Regent International School in Dubai has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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NLCS Jeju sign up to CHQ. [+] read more

June 2014

CHQ are delighted to announce that North London Collegiate School in Jeju has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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New Cairo British International School sign up to CHQ. [+] read more

May 2014

CHQ are delighted to announce that NCBIS has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Bromley High School sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

April 2014

CHQ are delighted to announce that Bromley High School School in Kent has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Functionality Improvements [+] read more

March 2014

Miscellaneous improvements

The following improvements have been introduced today:

  • You may now configure whether pupils and parents see the "raise support ticket" item in the Help drop-down menu. You might hide this if you want pupils and parents to only contact you rather than talking to CHQ.
  • The title is now brought across from your MIS and saved in CHQ, for parents and for staff. This means that two new things are possible:
    1. Staff names are now shown to pupils/parents as, for example, "Mrs Brown" as opposed to "Esmerelda Brown".
    2. Broadcast emails can now be sent to "Mr and Mrs Smith" instead of having to use "Dear parent". There is a new field in all broadcast email data sources called {ParentalSalutation} which you can use to insert the greeting.
  • You may now opt to hide teachers names altogether on pupils academic timetables. This is configured on System Admin > School > Configuration on the Configuration tab.
  • When pupils/parents are choosing activities and select an activity that incurs a cost, a message to this effect will be displayed at the top of the page once they save their choices.
  • It is now possible to configure - on each activity block - a word or phrase that users must enter when they submit activity choices when they have one or more choices that incur a cost. When they click "submit" they are reminded that they have chosen one or more charged activities, and asked to enter your word/phrase to indicate that they accept to be charged if allocated a place.
  • You can now limit which activities are included when you send activity acceptance messages, by specifying the activity group to include.
  • Where an activity choice is automatically approved or denied due to configuration rules, it is now possible to change your mind and either remove yourself from the activity or from its waiting list.
  • Activities configured as "by invitation only" are now shown on the screen where users choose their activites, so they can see that that time slot is already occupied.
  • A couple of bugs on the Activity Schedule Participants page with Internet Explorer 8 have been fixed.
  • The calculation of pupils outstanding balances has been vastly accelerated, and the criteria on Advanced Search for "has... an outstanding balance" has been corrected, as previously it was not taking into account whether items had been paid.
Time-based event charging

We've introduced a new menu item under System Admin > Fixtures & Events > Time-based charging rules. These rules are designed to allow you to charge for an event based on the amount of time that a participant spent at the event, or based on the time when they left.

You can define one or more cost rules, then apply them to an individual event, or (for schools) to an activity schedule so that all events in the schedule inherit the rule.

Each rule is made up of several lines. Each line can be restricted to a custom group (so it will only apply to people in that group) or made general to apply to all. The rule then sets a duration in minutes, and the charge that it incurs. The rule line should be read like so: "a partipant that stayed at the event for up to X minutes will be charged Y". Depending on the rule setting, the duration is calculated either from the event start time or from the participant arrival time.

In order to use this new charging mechanism, your events should use an event type set to "record in/out attendance" and to "record attendance times" - these are what switch on the fields on the screens to capture the data needed to calculate the cost.

Incidentally, event types can also be set to "require expected attendance times" in which case when someone says they are available, they will be prompted to enter their anticipated arrival and departure times.

Please note that these features are still under development - you should feel free to try them out and let us know if you find any problems.

Activity charges

Where an activity has a cost defined, you will now find the total billable and the total paid displayed on the activity schedule details page, and as a column in the new Activity Schedules view.

Chargeable activity schedules also now have a new tab on their details page for Payments. This leads to a new page which shows all the invoice lines for the activity (by default only unpaid lines are shown). Invoice lines can come from two sources:

  1. Flat rate activities - where a sum is charged for the whole activity block. You will see one line per student who has not been flagged as paid.
  2. Per event charges - where the cost is per booked or attended session. You will see one line per student per event they incurred a cost.

The new activity schedule payments page also allows you to flag each line as paid.

This function is only visible to users who are set to be able to manage payments.

New activity sign-up options

Two new possibilities exist for sign-up phases:

  1. "view only": if you want pupils/parents to be able to see what's in a future activity block, but don't want them to be able to sign-up yet, the new "view only" phase flag is what you need!
  2. "processing": if you'd like to define a date/time period during which sign-up is closed but you don't yet want to announce the results of who got a place on what, use a sign-up phase that you define both as "view only" and as "processing" - this will only show the choices that have been submitted as "awaiting processing" and will not show whether the choices were approved or denied.

In addition, it is now possible to set your own instructions to be displayed on the "choose activities" page. You can do this on each activity block, and/or on each sign-up phase. If no instructions are recorded on the current phase for a given block, then the old system default instructions will be shown.

School-wide email template

It is now possible to define a school-wide email template for rich text (HTML) messages. This allows you to automatically enclose all messages sent in your school branding.

To configure the template, you will need to get hold of the HTML source necessary for the header (the bit before the message body) and the footer (that comes after the message body).

The structure is therefore like this:

HTML header
Message body
HTML footer

You can configure the header and footer on the Messaging tab of your School Configuration page.

We suggest you send a test message or two to validate your template before broadcasting to large numbers of parents, just to avoid nasty surprises!

Activities: reason for removal

It is now possible for you to record the reason why a participant was removed from an activity.

To turn this on, please go to your school configuration page and tick the relevant box on the "configuration" tab. You will then find an item in the System Admin > Activities > Set-Up menu for Removal Reasons where you will need to define the various reasons you want to track.

Each reason can be configured as to whether a person removed is still eligible to be on the waiting list or not. If not, then people removed will be shown in a separate panel on the activity schedule participants page.

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BIS Jakarta sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

January 2014

CHQ are delighted to announce that The British International School in Jakarta has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Nexus International Singapore sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

January 2014

CHQ are delighted to announce that Nexus International School in Singapore has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Tanglin Trust Singapore sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

August 2013

CHQ are delighted to announce that Tanglin Trust School in Singapore has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Dulwich College Beijing sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

May 2013

CHQ are pleased to announce that Dulwich College in Beijing has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Dulwich College Shanghai sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

May 2013

CHQ are pleased to announce that Dulwich College in Shanghai has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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The British School Al Khubairat sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

May 2013

CHQ are pleased to announce that The British School Al Khubairat has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Dulwich College Seoul sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

May 2013

CHQ are pleased to announce that Dulwich College in Seoul has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Shrewsbury International School sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

August 2012

CHQ are pleased to announce that Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Jerudong International sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

July 2012

CHQ are pleased to announce that Jerudong International School in Brunei has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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New functionality releases May 2012 [+] read more

May 2012

We have just released a new feature whereby teachers get easy access to their timetabled lessons on their home page, and can click through to take the lesson attendance inside CHQ. Attendance marks are written back to SIMS overnight, if this option is switched on in your school configuration.

This functionality in the main CHQ system will also be built upon by the attendance webapp, announced earlier this month.

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Attendance webapp announced. [+] read more

May 2012

CHQ are delighted to announce our attendance webapp. This is a new feature of the software suite whereby attendance for all events - activities, fixtures, timetabled lessons, etc. - may be taken within CHQ, either through the normal site or through a new webapp that works on modern smartphones such as the iPhone, iPad, Symbian, Android and Blackberry devices.

Although the webapp is not yet released into the "live" environment, a working demonstration is available for your smartphone at http://dev.mychq.net/wa and a demo viewable on PC is available here.
Please note that the webapp requires certain HTML5 browser features which currently only work in Chrome, Safari and Opera.

The attendance webapp will be included at no extra charge in the CHQ software suite, which also covers email and SMS communications, and costs less that SIMS Lesson Monitor.

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Alice Smith School Malaysia sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

May 2012

CHQ are pleased to announce that the Alice Smith School in Malaysia has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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British International School Riyadh sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

March 2012

CHQ are pleased to announce that the British International School Riyadh has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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Dulwich College Suzhou sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

March 2012

CHQ are pleased to announce that Dulwich College Suzhou has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities.

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New functionality releases November 2011 [+] read more

A number of enhancements to the CHQ messaging functionality are being released today:

  • Broadcast messages are now grouped into "batches", being all the messages sent in one go. The batch is now the basis for the "my sent messages" page, grouping all of the messages sent under one heading, showing the number of replies received.
  • Broadcast batches are linked, where appropriate, with the item in CHQ that generated them. For example, if you send a message from the event page, that batch will be linked to the event itself. This means that you can see all the messages sent for an event, an age group, a class, a group, etc.
  • Replies to broadcast emails can now be received into CHQ. To activate this functionality, see the new tick box on the "messaging" tab of your school/club set-up page. Replies will go to a CHQ mailbox and inserted into the system from there. The intended recipient receives a notification that a new reply is available in the system, with a link to click them straight there.
  • Messages are now "threaded" keeping original emails and replies in a logical order. The "view message" page shows that hierarchy in a top-down, progressive indent manner.
  • You can now reply to a message directly from within CHQ.
  • Although not limited to messaging, you can now save search criteria on the "advanced search" page allowing them to be easily re-used (in a similar way to the messaging templates introduced recently). The combination of this saved search facility, and the message template facility, means that sending a standard message to a group of people has never been easier.

New activities functionality:

Following requests from a number of schools, we are pleased to announce the availability of a new facility to impose a limit on the number of activities a pupil may choose, and on the number that they may be accepted for.

To configure the limits for your school, use the new "Choice / Approval Limits" menu option from the "Activities" sub-menu of the "System Admin" drop-down in the top banner.

Setting a limit involves specifying the scope of the rule (whole school, a specific academic year, or an individual term) then who is affected (this is done by choosing a custom group), listing the activity groups concerned by the limit and specifying the maximum number of choices allowed and the maximum number of approved activities allowed.

If a pupil makes more than their allowed number of selections on their "my profile" page then they will be informed of this when they attempt to submit their choices.

The maximum approved activities limit is applied when you approve pupils choices on both the "pending activity choices" page and the individual participant pages for activity schedules.

A further enhancement has been added to make sure that each preference number is only used once by a pupil. Previously it was possible for a pupil to make all their choices as preference number 1, making proper allocation tricky; that is no longer permitted and each preference number must only be used once.

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New functionality releases April 2011 [+] read more

Who Is Where The "who is where" / "pupil whereabouts" / "my schedule" page has been enhanced to include SIMS timetabled lessons in the daily schedule. An additional filter option has been added for "custom group".

SIMS / CHQ interface The overnight interface from SIMS to CHQ will now include some new feeds: School Bulletins, SIMS attendance codes, Timetable event dates & Recorded attendance from CHQ can be written back into Sims Lesson Monitor.

Custom Calendars The addition of custom calendars allows you to schedule activities independently of the default school calendar, for example if you have different sites with different start/end dates for activities, or if a particular activity takes place during a different time period than others.

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British International School Vietnam sign up to CHQ Schools. [+] read more

March 2011

CHQ are pleased to announce that the British International School Vietnam has signed up with CHQ schools to manage sports and activities across its 3 campuses.

On-site training will be run at the beginning of May, with a view to the system being used in full from the start of the 2011/12 academic year.

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New functionality releases March 2011 [+] read more

Skills & Attributes The new skills & attributes functionality allows you to define as many categories and individual characteristics as you need and associate them with people in your membership database. Of course you may search upon who has which skill (and at what level) and also directly access the CHQ messaging capabilities for each group.

Bookings We have enhanced the booking functionality by strengthening the link between a booking and the event that it relates to.

Attendance Recording Two enhancements: you can now turn off attendance record by event type, and a new flag determines whether attendance has been taken for an event (this is to cater for events where there are no attendees for a legitimate reason).

Custom Groups The custom group functionality has now been enhanced to allow you not only to select individuals one by one to add to a group, but also to use a multi-criteria search facility which includes all the major fields and groupings available within the system. You can even create a dynamic group based upon a search and have its members automatically updated when they become, or cease to be, eligible.

Advanced Search The muli-criteria search functionality used in custom groups is also available as a dynamic advanced search; the results can be displayed, exported to a spreadsheet or used to send an email or SMS message.

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Winchester College endorses CHQ [+] read more

February 2011

Sam Hart, Head of Sport:

CHQ allows a complex programme to be pulled together with ease, allocating different year groups to different times or locations.

The ability to generate attendance registers for the Master in Charge of a session is first rate, and the feedback to the House Dons has ensured that participation rates in sport have never been higher.

House Dons are taking sport seriously and boys now know they're being monitored for the first time. CHQ is proving to be an real asset.

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Capita establishes partnership with CHQ Group to launch activities and sports management software to schools. [+] read more

Bedford: Thursday, 11th February 2010

Capita Children's Services – the leading provider of Management Information systems to schools in the UK announced today its partnership with CHQ Group, a specialist software development company, to become the exclusive reseller of the company's sports and activities management application – CHQ Schools.

The innovative new software which is designed to reduce the administration associated with organising extra-curricular activities, fixtures and team selections also allows teachers to monitor attendances and assessments while allowing instant communication with all relevant staff, students and parents using email and SMS.

Commenting on the partnership, David Grashoff – Head of Partner Management for Capita Children's Services said "CHQ Schools is a unique application. It is by far the most advanced software of its kind in the marketplace today. The application seamlessly dovetails with Capita SIMS – our flagship system for schools – and we are delighted to be adding value to all our SIMS Independent customers by introducing them to CHQ."

Andrew McMorran, a director of CHQ Group observed "the time lost by teachers and staff in co-ordinating extra-curricular activities and sports is enormous. CHQ Schools aims to make this huge administrative task a lot less like hard work and to allow a great deal more play".

"Our partnership with Capita is a tremendous step forward in our development. We were impressed by Capita's vision and innovative approach to partnering and we are naturally thrilled to be working with the UK's foremost schools MIS provider" he added.

Initially, CHQ Schools will be introduced to the SIMS Independent school customers with a roll out to the maintained sector planned for later in the year.

Ends

Notes to editors:
Capita Children's Services is the leading supplier of information systems to the children's services sector providing a range of software and services to schools and local authorities to help raise standards and reduce administration. Children's services teams in over 120 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales currently use Capita Children's Services' One management information system. www.capitaes.co.uk

CHQ Group is a developer of specialist software solutions. The CHQ Schools application has been developed over three years in collaboration with rugby clubs and the directors of sport at a variety of leading UK independent schools. CHQ Group is managed and owned by its 5 directors who are experienced professionals from the fields of management consulting, marketing and advertising and software development. www.chqgroup.co.uk

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