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The Top 6 Free and Open Source School Administration Software

Going without school administration software could be costing your school hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if your school has had years of running without software, even under a tight budget, leaving so much of your school administration vulnerable to human error is risky and expensive.

f and os school admin copy

Luckily, there is a litany of school administration software available free of charge. Below, I’ve selected the all-stars based on administrative, financial, and educational features along with the number of allowed users, storage space, and ease of use.

8. FeKara


FeKara, just like School Time, is an all around school admin powerhouse, so long as you are running an operation with 50 students or less.

Pros: FeKara is a clean and modern school administration and management software option which covers everything from exams and assignments to budgeting and internal messaging for all staff. FeKara even includes a mobile app which can work on all tablets and smartphones for convenient on-the-go use.

Cons: Similar to School Time, FeKara is limited by the amount of students, bandwidth, and storage which can be managed on the free version of its software. A $10 per month upgrade to premium gives you further options, including a per student pricing model, increased bandwidth, and additional data storage with all of the previously mentioned features.

7. School Time


If you are a smaller school, such as a private elementary or preschool with 50 students or less, the free version of School Time may be just what you are looking for.

Pros: No financial obligations or credit cards are required for the free version of the program and it never expires. Features include board management, grading systems, library databases, exam management, transportation, attendance, and even dormitory management.

Cons: The most obvious con would have to be the limit on the amount of students that can be accounted for in the free version of School Time. Of course this issue can be solved by upgrading to the not-so-free versions of School Time, but doing so would negate the “free and open source” solution you were looking for. So, as long as your school falls at or below 50 students, School Time can be a fit for you.

6. TS School

TS School, or Time Software School, is a classic powerful tool that offers the basics for schools of all sizes.

Free School Administration Software

Pros: TS School is great for managing your workforce—it has a powerful human resources module to help manage your school’s staff. TS School also offers a robust student management system, reports, a powerful organizational calendar (with plenty of space to detail sports team timetables or organize classes by subject matter), and an exam module for teachers.

Cons: There are some notable features lacking in TS School that can be found in the paid version, including customizable reports, development, inventory, safety, and admissions. TS School may also present a challenge to teachers who have never worked with school administration software before, as some claim it is not immediately intuitive to use.

5. Fedena

Fedena is an open-source school administration software that largely focuses on handling records.


Pros: Fedena offers unlimited administration and student logins to use their system, along with unlimited courses and batches. The system was developed using Ruby on Rails, so schools can easily customize the code to their school’s needs. The system includes human resources, a calendar, financial management, examination management, and student/parent logins.

Cons: Fedena is the free version of another school administration software of the same name. When comparing the free version to the paid version, it becomes clear that the open-source version is lacking in a number of features, including inventory, custom reports, registration, and discipline.

4. Ascend SMS

Principal dashboard

Ascend SMS is an entirely free full-program school administration software made for Catholic and Independent schools. Ascend SMS proudly notes, “AscendSMS does not believe schools should have to pay exorbitant prices for something they fundamentally need to make their school work.”

Pros: Ascend SMS offers a complete package. From offering a health management system for the school nurse to a mobile app for parents to a simple discipline reporting system, Ascend SMS offers more than many paid school administration software options. Administrators will be particularly attracted to their heavy reporting feature, which quickly provides information on ACR, school vitality, student performance, and more.

Cons: Ascend SMS is only free to Catholic and Independent schools. Ascend SMS also limits the number of schools that it adds to its system each year.

3. SchoolTool

SchoolTool is a cloud-based open-source school administration software made for schools in the developing world.

Free School Administration Software

Pros: SchoolTool has a ton of features that largely appeal to teachers. It provides educators with what they need to run their classrooms (gradebooks, skill assessment documents, class attendance sheets, and daily participation journals), strong organization features (including a calendar that plugs in with popular calendar applications like Google Calendar), and a great report card generator. SchoolTool was made with Python, is largely secure, and is run on Linux Ubuntu.

Cons: SchoolTool is a great starting software for smaller schools, but it isn’t an all-inclusive piece of software. For example, schools will have to find other applications to do human resources, reporting, and financial management. SchoolTool is far more a tool for teachers than it is for administrators.

2. Open Admin for Schools

Open Admin for Schools is once again open source. It was designed for public and Catholic schools.


Pros: Open Admin for Schools offers a fantastic full package of software features. From attendance, to discipline, to religion reports, to a lunch management system, Open Admin for Schools is one of the most comprehensive free and open-source school administration software options available. The owners of the site offer free support for struggling schools in developing countries.

Cons: When using the system, new users may find Open Admin for Schools to have a steep learning curve and to lack some of the aesthetic slickness of other solutions. Open Admin for Schools does not offer several core school administration features, like human resources or school reporting.

1. OpenSIS Community

OpenSIS is a free, open-source platform designed for K-12, regardless of if they are charter, private, or state-run schools. OpenSIS is best suited for small and medium schools with a knowledgeable IT staff.


Pros: While OpenSIS offers both free and paid versions of its software, its free version has substantial features. Schools can use this software to maintain transcripts, health records, attendance, demographic information, scheduling, gradebooks, and custom reports. OpenSIS boasts a 4.8/5 star rating onSourceForge.

Cons: To take full advantage of OpenSIS Community, IT members will have to be familiar with PostgreSQL. The free version does not offer discipline, class portals, billing, or state reporting.

Honorable Mention: ThinkWave Online Gradebook


While ThinkWave’s Online Gradebook is not a full school administration option, but it is the best free gradebook option for small schools.

Pros: This intuitive system is easy for teachers to learn and use and it’s compatible with most operating systems and browsers.  The free version offers flexible grading options, so teachers can stress the grade impact of certain projects and tests over others. It includes 25 MB of storage for online assignments and allows both parents and students to access the portal.

Cons: Like so many other free cloud software, ThinkWave Online Gradebook is ad-supported. ThinkWave does not provide technical support or SSL encryption—unless users upgrade to the Premium edition for $49.95 a year.


There are many other free school administration software options available, including MarvelSoft, but these options don’t fit a majority of schools due to its limitation on users and hardware requirements. All of these free options have their limitation in how much they can help schools—most would be better off paying for their school administration software. Thankfully, Capterra can help match you with the right software so you get the most out of every dollar you spend.

Were there other free school administration software that were not listed above that should have been? Leave your thoughts and comments below!