* Your local authority: It may be committed to one product, but there could be someone who knows more than you.
* Becta: The Government's education technology agency won't tell you which products to buy, but it'll help you with your approach to decisions. Go to www.ictadvice.org.uk/index.php?section=ap&rid=153 for advice. A full list of management software products is available at www.becta.org.uk/leaders/display.cfm?section=3_3
Becta's purchasing advice service offers advice and consultancy on all aspects of ICT procurement: http://ipas.ngfl.gov.uk/ipas_home.php
There are good examples and case studies of reducing bureaucracy at www.becta.org.uk/leaders/leaders.cfm?section=4&id=2157
* Other schools: a good source, but needs time and care. Get lots of examples and professional judgment.
* Suppliers: Good firms won't dazzle with technology. They'll work through the issues, defining your needs, and then they'll try to convince you that their product is the one that fulfils them best. You be the judge.
* Department for Education and Skills: Try the IMS strategy website at www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/tools/ims/ for good pointers on how the Government sees management ICT developing. There's a link to the strategic document 'Fulfilling the potential' at www.dfes.gov.uk/ictin schools. For progress on the integration of admin and curriculum systems, see www.dfes.gov.uk/ictinschools/ict_active/document.cfm?articleid=393
* Early Years and Primary Teaching Exhibition Manchester, The G-MEX Centre, May 14-15 www.teachingexhibitions.co.uk
* Special Needs North, Reebok Stadium, Bolton, May 24-25 www.publishers.org.uk/paweb/paweb.nsf/
* Wales Education 2004, Cardiff International Arena, May 27-28 www.exposystems.co.uk/welsh/reg.htm
* Special Needs North Show, The Reebok Stadium, Bolton, June 24-25 www.publishers.org.uk or www.teachingexhibitions.co.uk
* SETT 2004,(Scotland and the North's educational technology exhibition), SECC Exhibition Centre, Glasgow Sept 22-23 www.ItScotland,org.uk/sett
* Special Needs London & The Education Show London, Olympia, Sept 30-Oct 4 www.specialneedslondon.co.uk
* Early Years & Primary Teaching Exhibition London Business Design Centre, Islington, London, Oct 1-3.
* North West Regional Exhibition & Conference The Premier Suite, Reebok Stadium, Bolton, Oct 14-15.
* Nasen & TES Special Needs Exhibition, Business Design Centre, Islington, London, Oct 22-23
* Early Years and Primary Teaching Exhibition, SECC Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Nov 19-20
* BETT 2005: Olympia, London, Jan 12 - 15, 2005
* Special Needs Fringe: Hilton Hotel, Kensington High Street, Olympia, London, Jan 12-14, 2005
* Capita's SIMS sims.capitaes.co.uk
* Serco Learning's Facility www.sercolearning.com
* Pearson's Phoenix www.pearsonphoenix.com
* Bromcom's e-School MIS www.bromcom.com
* RM's Integris www.rm.com
* Wauton Samuel's Pupils Administration System goes some way towards being a full MIS, written in Microsoft Access. It has a group of enthusiastic users. www.wautonsamuel.co.uk
* Connetix Ltd's Learning Environment www.connetix.co.uk
* Ramesys' Assimilate Adopted by Lincolnshire LEA www.ramesys.com
Sleuth from The School Software Company www.schoolsoftwarecompany.com
RM offers a similar solution as part of its Integris management software. www.rm.com
Radun's Sentinel www.radun.com/education.html Tel: 01685 887600
Easy Trace Tel: 01962 795014
Truancy Call www.truancycall.com Tel: 0870-046-4246
www.bromcom.com Tel: 020 8695 8000
TASC Software Solutions www.tascsoftware.com
DfES advice on e-reg systems www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=4033