FreeMIS State of Play

FreeMIS is an Open Source, web based, school management information system which I developed in the mid noughties.

A lot of people arrive at my blog looking for information about FreeMIS. If that's you, this post should provide you with an up-to-date picture of FreeMIS.

FreeMIS is working for me at North Berwick High School, providing the following functions: reporting to parents; positive referrals; progress tracking and target setting; unexpected absence notifications.

FreeMIS is easy to use once it has been set up, but it is a fairly technical job to get FreeMIS up and running on a web server, and there is not much documentation to help you.

As a bare minimum, you would need to know how to get a Ruby on Rails application running on a web server (FreeMIS runs on Rails 1.2.2), be familiar with MySQL and be able to use a tool like Phpmyadmin to populate pupil tables (as FreeMIS does not have a front end tool to enter new pupils other than by doing it one at a time!)

If you can manage that, you will find FreeMIS to be a great tool. Teachers at my school are very happy with it.

If you manage to get FreeMIS up and running, I would be very interested to hear from you.

I am not actively developing FreeMIS now. I make the occasional tweak to suit the needs of my school, but I have pretty much given up on the idea that it might ever provide a comprehensive alternative to the commercial MIS systems.

If you are looking for such an alternative, I suggest that you have a look at SchoolTool or ClaSS.


  1. Hi

    I have managed to get Freemis up and running using the instant rails version.... populated pupils through phpmyadmin... I have come across a problem, probably an error on my part...but when trying to search for pupils freemis always reports no matches....i even tried populating sets via phpmyadmin...but still no listing of pupils i missing something?

    Does the start and end dates of courses/sets etc.. have a relevance to searches ...if so how ...feel free to contact me on


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