Secondary schools and post-16 institutions follow an annual process to create a schoolwide timetable which is then maintained throughout the academic year. The timetable enables the curriculum to be delivered to all students according to a pre-defined curriculum prospectus for that academic year.

Bromcom (web) Timetable facilitates this process by presenting key variables in an intuitive manner which can be brought together to help timetablers complete this important and complex task.

The whole process is integrated into the Bromcom MIS but does retain independent modelling capability so that timetables and related areas can be updated as desired.

Key Features

  • Setup using a Project Wizard
  • Create multiple Timetable versions
  • Relationships page
  • Subject Information page
  • Staffing page
  • Review page
  • Curriculum Plan
  • Class Definition
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Check for Classes missing staff/rooms
  • Optional automatic staff/room assignment
  • Backup process
  • Timetable Rules
  • Timetable Manual and Auto Scheduling
  • Conflict checking
  • Copy Project and Promotion process

Features & Benefits

Setup using a Project Wizard  · Creates a folder for the timetable
· Allows user to manage entities  
·Use data directly from the MIS
·Step through process to add or exclude staff, subjects, rooms, year groups and non-contact codes required for the timetable
· Set staff contact time
· Refresh entities from MIS
Create multiple Timetable versions  · Each project requires a timetable
· Enables a new version using the same project entities
· All entities are contained within a project enabling the same data to be used for variations of the timetable
· A new Timetable can be added for the same project with a different period structure
Relationships page  · Allows user to add staff and rooms to subjects to form a relationship· Subject controls relationships on the curriculum
· Staff can be added to their main subjects
· Rooms can be added to subjects
· Staff/Room can be combined for preferences
· Multiple staff can be assigned to “share” a room
Subject Information page  · Enables user to add the number of periods/classes by subject and year group
· Enables simple combinations of Options and Linear Groups
· Creates Preview for each Year Group to identify total staffing/rooming requirements  
· Allows for pre-planning of staff requirements using Subjects, periods, and number of classes
· Enables comparison of total periods by year group added against the period cycle count
· Create basis curriculum plan structure for Simple, Option and Linear blocks
Staffing page  · Enables adjustment of overall contact time
· Allows allocation of staff contact time to year groups by subject
· Contact Time summary
· Enables user to review available contact time for subjects/departments/staff
· Enables comparison against Subject Information requirements by year group
· Filterable overview to identify surplus/gaps · Improves conflict identification process
Review page· Allows user to identify understaffed year groups
· Ability to split classes into bands by group
· Create a band distribution for classes
· Identifies which subjects need more staffing
· Allows Generation of Blocks to the Curriculum Plan
· Separate versions of planning are possible
· Before generating the blocks, the user can spot issues for staffing and subjects across all the year groups
· User can create bands for whole year groups or just blocks as part of planning
· Blocks can be generated automatically and added to the curriculum plan for each year group
· Applying Generation process more than once will create new versions of the Timetable
Curriculum Plan  · Displays blocks and bands by year group
· Year Group will show entities in the side panel: Staff, Room, Subject as well as Blocks
· Availability is tracked by staff/room subject, but conflict status is managed according to type
· Year Group filter will update all relationships assigned in earlier setup
· Search options in side panel for types of search
· All years display of entities if required
· Block side panel has 2 modes: Curriculum and Scheduling
· Editing blocks from the side panel brings the block into focus automatically
· Better processes for assigning staff, creating complex blocks etc.
· Simple view and expanded views for managing blocks
· Exportable overview for review of the plan in simple form
· Pagination for blocks and bands
· Curriculum overview for reviewing multiple years or all blocks in a year group
· Side Panel Blocks – will have 2 modes: Curriculum and Timetable
· Filtering by Year Group refines the entities that have a relationship with the year group for ease of use
· Staff and Room side panel will display availability in a more visual way, including identifying real or advisory conflicts
· Subjects will filter to those assigned to the year group
· Blocks in Curriculum mode will enable Edit which will bring the selected block into focus in expanded view. No searching for it on the plan
· Simple view enables adding staff/rooms directly to all periods
· Expanded View shows greater detail and allows better manipulation of the blocks
· Linear blocks staffed by subject not by block
· Free sessions added automatically to keep a block in balance for complex blocks
· Simple swap actions within a block Plan focuses on block manipulation
· Pagination for blocks
· Pagination will keep the focus and cross band work will be displayed in each block
· Pagination for managing blocks in expanded view
· Exportable Overview to check plan for multiple year groups and all blocks in a simple to view page
· Swapping staff within classes in a block made easy
· Complex blocks will automatically include free sessions to keep a block square
· Expanded Curriculum overview to review the whole timetable in simple view
· Block mode curriculum, expanded view to check details
Class Definition· Allows user to create custom class definitions by individual Year Group
· Double free text capability to allow better editing  
· Users can create different definitions for class by year group
· Editing some cases has a default free text but additional free text field expands flexibility
Drag and drop functionality  · Allows the user to drag and drop entities from the side panel into the curriculum plan or blocks
· Allows the user to drag and drop from the side panel into the Timetable schedule
· Ease of manual assignment if not using the auto processes
· Users can simply drag subjects staff or rooms into blocks on the curriculum plan · Users can simply drag subjects staff or rooms into blocks on the scheduling page
· Users can resolve conflicts for staff or rooms by dragging classes into free staff or room on the scheduling page
Optional automatic staff/room assignment· Using the relationships and staffing pages, staffing can be performed by a range of combine options: Year, Department, Subject· Saves time adding all staff/rooms into the curriculum plan by block
· Optional selection of staff only, room only or both if relationship exists
· No need to manually assign specialist subject teachers throughout the year groups
· Complements any manual staffing/rooming
Backup process  · A manual process which is no longer automatic· Much of the timetable work is saved automatically so user can decide to back up when required.
· Up to 15 backups available
Conflict checking  · Summary of Conflicts which redirects the user to the selected conflict
· Filterable to selected year group
· All conflicts are visually identified on the curriculum plan
· Additional Timetable rules can be managed, such as split sites
· User can easily resolve conflicts in the plan
· Conflicts can be focussed on a single year group
· Temporary conflicts may not require resolution
· Improved Timetable Rules management
Timetable Rules  · Allows the user to add some custom rules for their project
· Process come sight some default setting – such as 1 per day rule
· Gives the user better control over the process
· Creates user defined rules for managing conflicts
· Better control over custom requirements for scheduling
· Better conflict control in addition to the normal staff and room management  
Flexible auto scheduling  · Allows the user to schedule partially or fully
· Allows the user to test the selected timetable before applying
· Returns suggestions for improving the schedule – based on locked or existing schedule and period type
· Users will be able to see test all or selected elements of the timetable scheduling before applying it
· As timetablers will do add items manually the process will offer improvements where appropriate
Timetable Scheduling  · Manual or automatic
· Side Panel Blocks – will have 2 modes: Curriculum and Timetable
· Allows user to move sessions around
· Allows user to add non-contact codes to fill in blanks 
· Classes and blocks can be linked for scheduling purposes
· Complex blocks will have more dynamic flows
· Timetable mode will show blocks in more detail than curriculum view by default
· User keeps control
· System will be an active assistant
· Staff View to review by department/subject
· Room view
· Expanded Timetable overview to review the whole timetable in simple view
Check for Classes missing staff/rooms  · Checking on curriculum plan will identify all staff or rooms as required · Side panels will filter to any free item with a relationship for that subject class by staff or room
· Check for all available items · Will offer suggestions of available scheduling for selected classes where room swap is better for the class
· The checking page will enable the user to filter to classes missing staff or room for ease of correction
· Available items will be viewable without effort once a class is selected
· User will be able to identify if a swap is preferable
Copy Project  · Any existing project can be copied to reuse the entities
· Keep all settings from last year to create and update for next year’s project.
· Start a new timetable without having to set everything up again
· Copy an existing project to have a play with without affecting the main project
Timetable Promotion· Create a new project using an existing project’s timetable and promote selected year groups· Easy to update entities for the next academic year with minimal effort
· Just decide what to keep and promote
· Simple refresh of entities
· All previous relationships, staffing etc will be retained. Just edit to update

Future Development 

  • Add reserve/subsidiary subjects to Relationships 
  • Concept of a “ghost” block or exception block so that classes can be linked to another block but retain their original block identity 
  • Test the Timetable to see if it is NOT possible before adding too much detail to the plan – this is at the Review stage not once blocks have been built