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Author: Ian Page

School Census Autumn 2018

Publications

Preparing for the School Primary, Nursery, Special Phase

Preparing for the School Secondary Phase

Producing the School Census Nursery

Producing the School Census Middle-Primary

Producing the School Census English Secondary – PRUS – Post 16

Producing the School Census Special Phase

Producing the School Census all through

Validation Errors and Resolutions 2018-19 7.182

 

Generally Useful Links

 

 

 

Added 11/10/2018 at 12:40 DfE Validation Query 1767Q (Due to FSM protection we would not expect FSM periods to have an end date. Please provide a reason.)

The following excerpt from the lates DfE Update explains why some schools are receiving many incidents of validation query 1767Q.  It also describes the exception to the general rule regarding the exclusion FSM eligibility end date.  It is the exception form the general rule that prevented us from ignoring any end dates that have been entered by schools.

1767q – FSM end dates

5. We currently have a large number of occurrences of 1767q which triggers when an FSM end date is provided for a period of eligibility.

6. Following the introduction of the universal credit, any pupil who was eligible for FSM as at 31 March 2018 or became eligible after that date has protected status and will retain the eligibility until at least the end of summer 2023 and should continue to receive a free meal regardless of how a family’s circumstances might have changes. Please note: the protection is awarded to the individual child. If they move to live with another family member or is fostered or taken into their they will retain their protection.

7. At the end of summer 2023 the pupil will retain their FSM protection until they change phase of education. Therefore we would not expect fsm end dates to be provided for the majority of periods.

8. The only circumstances where an FSM end date should be provided are:

– A parent is aware of the protection but has stated that they do not wish their child to be recorded as fsm eligible.
– The parent qualified through support under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 or the guaranteed element of the pension credit and this has ended.

If either of the above apply, please provide a notepad explanation to this effect and the query will be ok’d. If none of the above apply, the fsm end date should be removed to resolve the query.

9. Please check for any occurrences of this query on your return(s) and amend as necessary.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 18:40 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We are investigating reports from several schools that statutory returns are reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where there have been changes to Enrolment Status.  We have not completed our investigations, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census where Enrolment Status has been changed via menu route Routines | Pupil | Enrolment Status. (or for PRUs via the old menu route Tools | Statutory Returns | Update Provide Status).  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the return to ignore a pupil where it believes the student to be a Guest. A similar situation could arise if a pupil changes from/to Dual Subsidiary.

The problem described above is unlikely to be detected by the DfE validation.  We therefore strongly recommend that the reporting of Enrolment Status in School Census Autumn 2018 is checked for every pupil where Enrolment Status has been changed.  The feedback we have received from schools still suggests a very small scale problem with the data, but we are monitoring new cases to ensure that we get a full picture of the scale of the problem.

Added 08/10/2018 at 18:10 Validation error 1920 for sponsor-led academies that converted from schools

As you probably know, where our Census application detects that an academy was allocated a new Establishment Number when converting from a school, e.g. conversion from a school to a sponsor-led academy, we ensure that the DOA for each pupil is no earlier than the first date a pupil could attend the academy.  We now understand that there is an exception to this general rule, in that where a learning activity is reported that took place at the school that has been replaced, the DOA should be the DOA from the school that has been replaced regardless of when the Establishment Number changed.  Failure to take account of this exception will trigger validation error 1920 and the DfE will NOT accept a note on COLLECT to explain this.

We are looking into how we can help schools to deal with this situation.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 11:05 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We have received reports from a handful of schools that the Census is reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where multiple changes to Enrolment Status have taken place.  We have not yet had time to investigate this, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census for pupils where they have made multiple changes to Enrolment Status.  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the Census to ignore a pupil where it believes the pupil to be a Guest.

This is probably a very small scale problem, but it is best to check where changes to Enrolment Statuses have taken place.

Added 11/10/2018 at 12:40 DfE Validation Query 1767Q (Due to FSM protection we would not expect FSM periods to have an end date. Please provide a reason.)

The following excerpt from the lates DfE Update explains why some schools are receiving many incidents of validation query 1767Q.  It also describes the exception to the general rule regarding the exclusion FSM eligibility end date.  It is the exception form the general rule that prevented us from ignoring any end dates that have been entered by schools.

1767q – FSM end dates

5. We currently have a large number of occurrences of 1767q which triggers when an FSM end date is provided for a period of eligibility.

6. Following the introduction of the universal credit, any pupil who was eligible for FSM as at 31 March 2018 or became eligible after that date has protected status and will retain the eligibility until at least the end of summer 2023 and should continue to receive a free meal regardless of how a family’s circumstances might have changes. Please note: the protection is awarded to the individual child. If they move to live with another family member or is fostered or taken into their they will retain their protection.

7. At the end of summer 2023 the pupil will retain their FSM protection until they change phase of education. Therefore we would not expect fsm end dates to be provided for the majority of periods.

8. The only circumstances where an FSM end date should be provided are:

– A parent is aware of the protection but has stated that they do not wish their child to be recorded as fsm eligible.
– The parent qualified through support under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 or the guaranteed element of the pension credit and this has ended.

If either of the above apply, please provide a notepad explanation to this effect and the query will be ok’d. If none of the above apply, the fsm end date should be removed to resolve the query.

9. Please check for any occurrences of this query on your return(s) and amend as necessary.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 18:40 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We are investigating reports from several schools that statutory returns are reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where there have been changes to Enrolment Status.  We have not completed our investigations, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census where Enrolment Status has been changed via menu route Routines | Pupil | Enrolment Status. (or for PRUs via the old menu route Tools | Statutory Returns | Update Provide Status).  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the return to ignore a pupil where it believes the student to be a Guest. A similar situation could arise if a pupil changes from/to Dual Subsidiary.

The problem described above is unlikely to be detected by the DfE validation.  We therefore strongly recommend that the reporting of Enrolment Status in School Census Autumn 2018 is checked for every pupil where Enrolment Status has been changed.  The feedback we have received from schools still suggests a very small scale problem with the data, but we are monitoring new cases to ensure that we get a full picture of the scale of the problem.

Added 08/10/2018 at 18:10 Validation error 1920 for sponsor-led academies that converted from schools

As you probably know, where our Census application detects that an academy was allocated a new Establishment Number when converting from a school, e.g. conversion from a school to a sponsor-led academy, we ensure that the DOA for each pupil is no earlier than the first date a pupil could attend the academy.  We now understand that there is an exception to this general rule, in that where a learning activity is reported that took place at the school that has been replaced, the DOA should be the DOA from the school that has been replaced regardless of when the Establishment Number changed.  Failure to take account of this exception will trigger validation error 1920 and the DfE will NOT accept a note on COLLECT to explain this.

We are looking into how we can help schools to deal with this situation.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 11:05 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We have received reports from a handful of schools that the Census is reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where multiple changes to Enrolment Status have taken place.  We have not yet had time to investigate this, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census for pupils where they have made multiple changes to Enrolment Status.  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the Census to ignore a pupil where it believes the pupil to be a Guest.

This is probably a very small scale problem, but it is best to check where changes to Enrolment Statuses have taken place.

Added 05/10/2018 at 15:40 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We have received reports from a handful of schools that the Census is reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where multiple changes to Enrolment Status have taken place on the same day.  We have not yet had time to investigate this, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census for pupils where they have made multiple changes to Enrolment Status on the same day.  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the Census to ignore a pupil where it believes the pupil to be a Guest.

This is probably a very small scale problem, but it is best to check where changes to Enrolment Statuses have taken place.

Updated 05/10/2018 at 14:35 Multi-year learning aims (of interest to schools with sixth forms)

As many of you will know, school timetables are the main determinants of course lists and class memberships are the main determinants of course memberships. Both school timetables and class memberships are normally based on single academic years, so our course management functionality provides additional facilities to deal with courses for two or more years. These additional facilities include allowing the duration to be set to 2 weeks, 2-24 weeks, one year, two years, three years, four years or five years. They also include allowing the completion tolerance to be set to none, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 1 month, 2 months or 3 months.

For example, if duration is set to 2 years for a course membership that started on the 05/09/2016 the Expected End Date will be calculated to be the 31/07/2018 (the last possible day for academic year 2017/18) and School Census Autumn 2016 and 2017 will have reported the student’s learning aim Start Date as 05/09/2016 and Expected End Date as 31/07/2018. If the student completed the learning aim on 22/06/2018 and completion tolerance is set to 2 months, School Census Autumn 2018 will report the student’s learning aim Start Date as 05/09/2016, an Expected End Date of the 31/07/2018 and an Actual End Date of 22/06/2018. We believe that all these dates are fine from a DfE point of view, as the Start and Expected End Date do not change during the three Autumn Censuses where the student’s learning aim is reported and the Actual End Date is only reported when the Actual End Date has occurred (i.e. not in the future) *1

However, now that two year courses have become so general for schools we are looking into going a bit further in helping schools with this aspect of School Census Autumn. As things stand schools are likely to have to enter a Status of ‘Completed’ manually in the Census application for multiple year learning aims that have been completed. In the example above the school would need to enter a status of ‘Completed’ for School Census Autumn 2018. Although we have provided a bulk update facility in our Census application to help schools to set the appropriate learning aims status, we are now also looking into providing a patch to default the learning aim status to the most likely status.

If we are able to provide such a patch it will be released as part of consolidated patch 3.

*1 It is important to leave Status blank (even if it has a yellow background) in Maintain Course where an Actual End Date is included for the future. If a school does not leave the Status blank when the date is for the future and before the Expected End Date, the school will not be allowed to save.

 

Added 28/09/2018 at 16:30 Census Consolidated Patch V2 & Fileset 1006 are available

Census Consolidated Patch v2 for Summer Release 2018 (patch 24330) is necessary to correct the issue in the SIMS application for schools receiving error 1992 when running School Census. This error is incorrectly produced when a yr 12/13 student has left the school during the 2018/2019 academic year prior to the Census date even though hours are present.

Import of Fileset 1006 to provide version 1.4 of the DfE validation is necessary to correct the mistake in the DfE validation.

Added 25/09/2018 at 10:15 – Dealing with validation error 2712 in a school with a sixth form

Unfortunately, there are two actions necessary for dealing with validation error 2712.

  1. Application of ‘Census Consolidated Patch v1 for Summer Release 2018’ (patch 24323) is necessary to correct the mistake in the SIMS application.
  2. Import of Fileset 1006 to provide version 1.4 of the DfE validation is necessary to correct the mistake in the DfE validation.

We expect that both of the above will be available before the end of the week.

Added 24/09/2018 at 17:10 – Fileset 1006

The DfE has decided that version 1.3 will not be their final version of their validation file, as their new validation error 2712 is reporting ‘Full-time employment indicator is missing or invalid’ for all students with learning aims and not just those students with learning aims where ‘true’ or ‘false’ is missing for ‘full-time employment’.  The DfE COLLECT validation will report this error as intended and the DfE school validation will be corrected via version 1.4 so that it also reports this error as intended.

We will provide version 1.4 of the DfE validation via Fileset 1006 as soon as possible after the DfE issues this new version to suppliers.

I apologise for the confusing position that has arisen for school with sixth forms as I result of a bug in our software and a separate bug in the DfE validation file regarding reporting of ‘full-time employment’.

Updated 24/09/2018 at 14:45 – Post-16 employment and validation error 2712 (patch 24323)

As you probably know, our school census application determines whether or not a post-16 student is in full time employment or not by checking the Post-16 Employment grid in the Additional Information panel of Focus | Student | Student Details.  Where there is a current record of ’employment in school hours that is beyond 20 hours per week’, the student is in full time employment, otherwise they are not.  Where the software has determined that a post-16 student is in full time employment, our school census application is correctly reporting this as ‘true’.  However, where we should be reporting full time employment as ‘false’, we have incorrectly applied the ‘no date no tag’ rule.  This mistake on our part has not previously been noticed, but the new 2712 validation rule introduced in version 1.3 of the DfE validation, detects this as an error for each student with one or more learning aims that is not in full time employment, i.e. nearly all post-16 students.

The ‘Census Consolidated Patch v1 for Summer Release 2018’ (patch 24323) is being developed to correct this mistake, so that ‘false’ will be report in the return file for post-16 students who are not in full time employment.  We expect to be able to make this patch available to support units via SOLUS 3 before the end of the wee

Added 20/09/2018 at 16:35 – Eligibility for FSM

School Census Autumn 2018 reports on eligibility for FSM records that were current at any point during the period 18/05/2018 (the day after the School Census Summer reference date) to the 04/10/2018 (the School Census Autumn reference date), inclusive.  Protection of Eligibility for FSM came into force on the 01/04/2018.  This means that the DfE will expect no more than one Eligibility for FSM (in England) record per pupil and for that record to have a start date, but no end date.  The Census application will not report an Eligibility for FSM End Date, even if a school has added one, but good advice is not to even attempt to add an End Date, as there are far too many variables to take into account.  For example, the government might change its mind and keep the protection for early or later than 2022.  Moreover, even if the government keep to this 2022 protection date, individual pupil might receive protect for a considerably longer period.  A pupil who 5 years old on the 31/07/2018 would be 9 years old in 2012, but would continue to have protection until they are 11 years or older on the 31st July.

We believe that the problem for schools will be dealing with pupils who have joined from a previous school and a CTF from a previous school has not been imported.  Under those circumstances a school may want to make use of the ECS (Eligibility Checking Service), but this service has not yet been modified to take account of Eligibility for FSM protection.  ECS may indicate that the pupil who has joined the school would not be eligible for FSM if they applied on the date of the check, but that does not mean that they weren’t eligible when they applied early and still eligible because of the protection.  We think that this is unlikely to be a major issue for this Census, but may become a serious issue if the ECS continues to be unaware of the protection.

Added 20/09/2018 at 14:55 – Fileset 1005

Please note that the DfE did not send version 1.2 of their validation file to MIS suppliers, as problems were found by suppliers that required further fixing.  However, we have received version 1.3 and will be including this new version in Fileset 1005.  There should be no problem with updating to Fileset_1005 from Fileset 1003 or from Fileset 1004.

We have made Fileset 1005 available to Schools from SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1005.

The DfE has indicated that version 1.3 of their validation file includes the following improvements to errors/queries compared to version 1.1.

The DfE has told suppliers that version 1.3 of their school validation file will be the last version they make available for School Census Autumn 2018.  This means that once Fileset 1005 has been applied by a school, no further Filesets in the 1000 series will be necessary for School Census Autumn 2018.  Any further problem with the DfE validation will be dealt with via a DfE known issues list and, in some cases, by an improvement to the COLLECT validation.

Error/Query
Number

DfE Description of Change

1925 Bugfix, age calculation incorrect
2005 Update to error messages
2502 Bugfix, incorrectly nested criteria
2712 Rule added
3080 Update to error messages
3090 Update to error messages

Updated 17/09/2018 at 15:15 – Date of admission

As you know, we recommend that pupils are admitted on the first day they can attend the school and not on an earlier date that might have been defined as the start of the academic year but is not a day a pupil could attend the school, e.g. a holiday or a staff training day.  Failure to follow this advice can lead to DfE validation problems for School Census.  We believe that the following excerpt from the DfE School attendance Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities is in line with this recommendation.

..

Expected First Day of Attendance

Schools must enter pupils on the admission register and attendance register from the beginning of the first day on which the school has agreed, or been notified, that the pupil will attend the school. …

 

Updated 14/09/2018 at 13:10 – Fileset 1004 (Available)

Please note that, as you will have gathered from the item posted on the 10th September, version 1.1 will not be the final version of the DfE validation.  The DfE expects to be able to provide version 1.2 in the near future, but has not given us a firm date.  With the lack of a firm date in mind, we are considering going ahead with Fileset 1004 to deliver version 1.1 of the DfE validation, although this would be followed up by Fileset 1005 to deliver what the DfE hope to be their final version.

The DfE has provided suppliers with version 1.1 of their validation file and we made this available to schools from SOLUS 3 and as a download Fileset_1004

The DfE has indicated that version 1.1 of the validation file includes the following improvements to errors/queries compared to version 1.0.

Error/Query
Number

DfE Description of Change

1550 Error message updated
1700 Error message updated
1885 Error message updated
1970 No longer requires specific school types for intake ‘SPEC’
2002 Fixed bug where NC years E1, E2, N1, N2 was not handled correctly
2115 Error deleted
2190 Error message updated
2210 Error message updated
2706 Fixed typo and updated validation
2707 Fixed typo and updated validation
2708 Now called from Pupil Status module rather than Learning Aims module. Which fixes the case where no learning aims are supplied for a pupil

Updated 10/09/2018 at 15:15 – DfE Validation

Please note that we have contacted the DfE to let them know that the validation messages the following errors/queries are not in line with their validation specification.  The DfE have acknowledged our message are their technical people are looking into this.

Sequence DfE Current Message DfE Specified Message
1741 Based on Ministry of Defence criteria, service children (ie parents designated as personnel category 1 or 2) are not eligible for free school meals. Based on Ministry of Defence criteria, Service Children (parents designated as personnel category 1 or 2) are not eligible for free school meals
3080Q Please check: take up of school lunches for pupils in reception (plus pupils aged 4 in year X) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of reception pupils took a school lunch on census day. Please check: Take up of school lunches for pupils in reception (plus pupils aged 4 in year ‘X’) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of reception pupils took a school lunch on census day
3085Q check: take up of school lunches for pupils in year 1 (plus pupils aged 5 in year X) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of pupils in year 1 took a school lunch on census day. Please check: Take up of school lunches for pupils in year 1 (plus pupils aged 5 in year ‘X’) is 50% or fewer.  A reason must be provided why fewer  than 50% of pupils in year 1 took a school lunch on census day
3090Q check: take up of school lunches for pupils in year 2 (plus pupils aged 6 in year X) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of pupils in year 2 took a school lunch on census day. Please check: Take up of school lunches for pupils in year 2 (plus pupils aged 6 in year ‘X’) is 50% or fewer.  A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of pupils in year 2 took a school lunch on census day

 

Updated 10/09/2018 at 09:15 – Overview Presentation v2.4

Please note that version 2.4 of the School Census Autumn 2018 Overview presentation is available as a ZIP from My Account.

  • Version 2.4: Version number displayed in top right hand corner of first slide only and a slide on Filesets added to Section 2
  • Version 2.3: Slides on Enrolment Status revised and Content slide added
  • Version 2.2: Cosmetic improvements
  • Version 2.1: DfE ‘messages’ added for validations
  • Version 2.0: Major revisions to reflect DfE removal of AP placements and migration related fields
  • Version 1.1: SIMS 7 screenshots added
  • Version 1.0: First version for customers

Added 30/08/2018 at 14:40 – Fileset 1003 

This Fileset is available to support units from SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1004 and includes the baseline DfE validation and summer report files.

Added 03/08/2018 at 11:50 – Fileset 1002 should be available today

Filset 1002 will be the same as Fileset 1001 except that it inscludes the correct files for use with PI reporting.

We expect the new fileset to be available before the end of the day.

Added 31/07/2018 at 11:45 – Fileset 1001 withdrawn

Unfortunately, Fileset 1001 has been withdrawn as it includes a file that causes a problem for one of the reports in Exams PI.

We will provided Fileset 1002 with the same content as Fileset 1001 except that the correct file for the Exams PI report will be included

Added 13/07/2018 at 11:00 – Publications Documents

Please note that links to the relevant Publications documents are avaialble from the ‘SIMS Returns – School Census‘ Hot Topic.

Added 06/07/2018 at 11:10 – DfE Validation and Summary Report

Unfortunately, the DfE Beta of their validation and summary report files was not supplied to us in time for inclusion in the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018.  However, we are working on Fileset 1001, which will include the DfE Beta files.  Early next week, I will update this newsfeed with an expected release date for this fileset.

 

Added 15/06/2018 at 16:45 – Enrolment Status for PRUs

From the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018 changing of Enrolment Status for PRUs will take place in just one area as it does for non-PRU schools, i.e. Routines | Pupil | Change Enrolment Status.  However, PRUs will be apple to choose ‘FE College’ and ‘Other Provider’, in addition to the Enrolments Statuses available to non-PRUs.

PRUs

  • Single Registration
  • Guest Pupil
  • Main – Dual Registration
  • Subsidiary – Dual Registration
  • FE College
  • Other Provider

Non-PRUs

  • Single Registration
  • Guest Pupil
  • Main – Dual Registration
  • Subsidiary – Dual Registration

Updated 30/05/2018 at 14:10 – Overview Presentation v2.3

Please note that version 2.3 of the School Census Autumn 2018 Overview presentation is available as a ZIP from My Account.

  • Version 2.3: Slides on Enrolment Status revised and Content slide added
  • Version 2.2: cosmetic improvements
  • Version 2.1: DfE ‘messages’ added for validations
  • Version 2.0: Major revisions to reflect DfE removal of AP placements and migration related fields
  • Version 1.1: SIMS 7 screenshots added
  • Version 1.0: First version for customers

Updated 24/04/2018 at 11:05 – Nationality and Country of Birth

Please note that Nationality and Country of Birth will be included in School Census for the last time in School Census Summer 2018 and will not be included in School Census Autumn 2018

We have agreed with the DfE the following way forward.

  1. Remove the tags and data from School Census 2018/19 return xml files.
  2. Remove the columns for this data from our School Census 2018/19 detail reports.
  3. Keep the existing functionality for recording this data in place.
  4. Ensure in a future release that this data can be completely removed to satisfy any GDPR requirements.
  5. Stay in line with the DfE specifications for CTF 18 so that this data is automatically exported and imported, but in a future release allow a school choice regarding import of this data.

The DfE has not yet made its final decision regarding inclusion of Proficiency in English for the Spring Census.

Updated 24/04/2018 at 10:10 – 9 Alternative Provision Placement Items

The DfE have informed us that the following data items are being removed from the baselined specification for School Census 2018/19.

  • Date of entry to the alternative provision placement
  • Primary reason for the alternative provision placement
  • URN for the alternative provision placement
  • UKPRN for the alternative provision placement
  • Type of setting for the alternative provision placement
  • Association for the alternative provision placement
  • Attendance pattern for the alternative provision placement
  • Sessions per week for the alternative provision placement
  • Date of leaving for the alternative provision placement

The DfE have no current plans for these items to be included in a future School Census.

We have agreed with the DfE the following way forward.

  1. Leave our new Alternative Provision data entry and storage functionality in place for the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018, but with no further development.  This functionality may be removed for a future release, once we have had time to gauge its usefulness to customers
  2. Include this data in the XML Return file where it has been entered by schools, on the understanding that it will be deleted by the DfE on upload to COLLECT.
  3. The DfE to remove the 17 validation rules relating to these data items.
  4. The DfE to remove the reporting of these data item from its summary report.

If a school is considering making use of the Alternative Provision Placements functionality, they should take into account the following guidance from the DfE.

There is no requirement from the department for this data to be collected or held with school management information systems.

Should schools decide to collect, process or retain data on alternative provision placements for their own purposes, a lawful basis for this processing must be identified by the school, as outlined in the GDPR articles 6 and 9. See the link below for further guidance from the ICO concerning lawful bases for processing:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/#ib3

  • Added 06/04/2018 at 17:20 – EYPPE renamed EYPPR 

The DfE has acknowledge that, at the point that they collect EYPP data in the Census, the EYPP funding has already been allocated to schools.  With this in mind, the DfE has changed the current EYPPE (Early Years Pupil Premium Eligibility) label to EYPPR (Early Years Pupil Premium Received).

The DfE does not expect this to change the two year old’s reported for this field, but it should avoid some confusion.  The reporting of the Reason for Eligibility in the Census will continue as previously.

Added 05/04/2018 at 14:50 – Waste of Resources 

Please note that we have informed the DfE of the quite large amount of resources we have wasted in providing functionality for the dozen items the DfE is removing from their specification.  Those resource could have been spent on enhancing other aspects of SIMS to benefit customers.  We have asked for an agenda item at the next DfE suppliers meeting where we can look at how we can ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Added 05/04/2018 at 11:00 – 9 Alternative Provision Placement Items 

The DfE have informed us that the following data items are being removed from the baselined specification for School Census 2018/19.

  • Date of entry to the alternative provision placement
  • Primary reason for the alternative provision placement
  • URN for the alternative provision placement
  • UKPRN for the alternative provision placement
  • Type of setting for the alternative provision placement
  • Association for the alternative provision placement
  • Attendance pattern for the alternative provision placement
  • Sessions per week for the alternative provision placement
  • Date of leaving for the alternative provision placement

The DfE have no current plans for these items to be included in a future School Census.

We have agreed with the DfE the following way forward.

  1. Leave our new Alternative Provision data entry and storage functionality in place for the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018, but with no further development.  This functionality may be removed for a future release, once we have had time to gauge its usefulness to customers
  2. Include this data in the XML Return file where it has been entered by schools, on the understanding that it will be deleted by the DfE on upload to COLLECT.
  3. The DfE to remove the 17 validation rules relating to these data items.
  4. The DfE to remove the reporting of these data item from its summary report.

Added 26/03/2018 at 18:30 – Significant Changes to the DfE Specification 

The DfE has contacted suppliers to warn us of significant changes to the baselined specification for School Census in 2018/19. With this in mind I have withdrawn my School Census Autumn 2018 Overview presentation. Some of you will know that we expected some late changes to the DfE specification, but we now understand that these changes are likely to be more extensive than we expected. We should be able to provide more details of the changes next week.

Added 22/03/2018 at 20:35 – Attendance Code ‘E’  

This is just a reminder that the DfE definition of Attendance Code ‘E’ is ‘Authorised absence as pupil is excluded, with no alternative provision made’ and therefore should not be used for sessions where an alternative provision has been arranged for the pupil.

Added 30/01/2018 at 12:00 – UAT (User Acceptance Testing) Workshop for School Census Autumn 2018 and SWC (School Workforce Census) 2018 

Our UAT workshop will take place in our Bedford office on Wednesday the 2nd May, starting at 10am in the morning and finishing around 3pm in the afternoon.  This workshops provides customers with an opportunity to test the changes we have made to the software for School Census Autumn 2018 and SWC 2018 and is not a suitable event for colleagues who need general training in these areas.

You can apply to take part in the workshop via My Account.  We recommend early application as places at the event are likely to be taken up quickly.

Added 19/12/2017 at 14:25 – Post-16 Learning Aims 

The following is not a change to the specification for Learning Aims, but you may find it helpful to know that there will be an amendment to the QN list to take account of the following ‘bands’ of technical level work placements.

   Substantial work placement    Number of hours in placement 
   Band 1    315 to 329
   Band 2    330 to 344
   Band 3    345 to 359
   Band 4    360 to 374
   Band 5    375 to 389
   Band 6    390 to 404
   Band 7    405 to 419
   Band 8    420 to 434
   Band 9    435 to 449
   Band 10    450 to 464
   Band 11    465 to 479
   Band 12    480 to 494
   Band 13    495 plus

Added 19/12/2017 at 14:00 – Service Child indicator 

From School Census Autumn 2018 onwards, Service Child indicator will be collected in all three School Censuses each year, rather then just in School Census Spring.

Added 19/12/2017 at 13:55 – Special Educational Needs (SEN) Status (DfE refer to this as SEN Provision) 

The SEN Status of “Statement” (code “S”) has been removed, as it is discontinued from the 1st April 2018.

 

Updated 22/11/2017 at 14:35 – Expected change to the post-16 aspects of the Census

The only change we are now expecting for the post-16 aspects of School Census is an extension to the list of QNs available to schools.

CTF 17 (England and Wales) and CME files (England only)

Author: Jim Haywood (Capita ESS)

You can ensure that you are using the latest resources that we have provided to help with this issue by referencing the CTF 17/18 Import Contact Issue Key Documents Hot Topic.

Added 26/09/2018 18:00 – SQL Script and SIMS SQL Database Diagnostic Tool to identify last CTF import/export dates and which users have acknowledged the CTF splash screen

The following SQL database script can be run against a SIMS database to identify which users have ticked the CTF incident informational splash screen (please see the below screen print).

The SQL script should be executed at the database management system (DBMS) layer as it is not a part of the SIMS application.

The output will identify the last CTF import and export dates as well as which user has acknowledged the CTF splash screen. Please see the below example.

 

Alternatively the Diagnostic_tool_and_Diagnostic_Script can be employed to generate the same output. Please follow these instructions when using the tool.

 

Added 20/09/2018 at 09:10 – Run (or re-run) Database Diagnostics after applying the Workstation Patch

It is important to run Tools | System Diagnostics | Database Diagnostics  after applying the Workstation Patch as indicated in Step 2 (of the 4 step process) described in the CTF Issue document.  This is true even if Database Diagnostics has been run previously.  Check 99 is improved by the Workstation Patch and is likely to report a slightly wider range of possible issues to check and improved information to dealing with the possible issues.  You will find that much of the advice that help desks are able to offer will be contingent on Database Diagnostics having been run after application of the Workstation Patch.

Added 17 September 2018 at 16:19 – CTF Import of ULNs

We understand that CTF files for Pupil ULNs are now available from S2S in the correct 2018 format.  Using CTF Import to import CTF files for Pupil ULNs has no significance to the CTF Import contact issue, except that school will need to have indicated that they have complete dealing with the CTF Import contact issue before import of CTF files is available from SIMS.

Updated 11/09/2018 at 16:30 – Detailed step by step presentation of the main aspects of dealing with the contact data issue (Version 5.0)

This PowerPoint presentation is available from our Row 03 of the CTF Key Documents Hot Topic.

Important Note

This presentation illustrates how Excel can be used to view a CSV file created from the output for check 99 in Database Diagnostics. This is made available via the application of the workstation patch for either the SIMS Spring Release 2018 or the SIMS Summer Release 2018.

We ask that all schools makes use of this latest check 99 to ensure that all issues created by the incident are identified so that they can be addressed.

Added 07/09/2018 at 17:30 – New Data Collection Sheet (Contacts Only)

A restricted version of the Data Collection sheet for student contacts only has been created in response to customer requests. This Data Collection sheet will populate with basic student details and then provide blank spaces for parental/emergency contact information. This report is helpful if schools wish to provide a simple form for parents to complete to gather or check emergency contact information.

The report needs to be imported into SIMS via Reports | Import – Data Collection (Contacts Only).rptdef. Once imported, you can access the report via Reports | Run Reports | Student to produce for multiple students, or via the Reports link within the student record for an individual pupil.

For Capita Hosted SIMS schools the report will be imported for you by COP Tuesday 11th September.

This report definition file is available from the CTF 17/18 Import Contact Issue Key Documents Hot Topic.

Added 06/09/2018 at 13:05 – Reminder: Informing local authorities and third party partners

Where schools provide information to local authorities, schools should inform their local authority once their SIMS data has been corrected (or inform their local authority that their school(s) was not impacted).  It is also advised that schools inform any third-party partners which may use their SIMS data.

Added 05/09/2018 at 15:00 – Administrative access to Options Online

Please note that administrative access is now available for options online where verification against the CTF incident is still outstanding.  This provides suitable access to carry out the administrative tasks that are necessary at this time of the year.  Full access is resumed once your school indicates that the contact data involved with CTF Import incident has been checked and (where appropriate) remedial action taken.

Added 05/09/2018 at 13:20 – CTF Key Document Hot Topic

We have ‘pinned’ a CTF Key Document Hot Topic to the top of the Hot Topic panel in My Account to help schools with the CTF 17/18 contact incident.  This will stay in place while schools are dealing with this incident and we will ensure that it provides links to the most current versions of the key documents.

Updated 04/09/2018 at 15:40 – Answers to questions posed on the forum (Version 4.0)

Click here to download a PDF document that answers questioned posed on the CTF 17/18 Import Contact Issue forum thread.  This is our fourth version of this document and can be taken to be our view on the 04/09/2018.  We intend to update the document as necessary in the future.  All answers will make it clear as to what date we had the view expressed.

Added 04/09/2018 at 09:35 – ULN and URN are not part of the CTF Import Contact Issue

On the 1st August the CTF version moved on by one year as normal. This means that CTF Export will provide CTF 18 format files, rather than CTF 17 format files, and CTF Import will accept CTF 17 and 18 format files, rather than CTF 16 and 17 format files. The main impact of introducing the CTF 18 format files is that the school’s URN (Unique Reference Number) is mandatory, in addition to the school’s Establishment Number (LA number + school number).

We understand that the CTF files provided via S2S for adding the ULN (Unique Learner Number) for learners is still in CTF 16 format. This format is no longer supported for CTF Import. The DfE will be dealing with this matter shortly, but for the moment we must caution against making manual changes to the file names and content of CTF files to ‘trick’ CTF Import into accepting them, as the formats for CTF 16 and CTF 18 are not compatible.

Please see the normal ‘SIMS Newsfeed – CTF 18’ for any further updates in this area.

Updated 30/08/2018 at 14:10 – Presentation of using MS Excel to view the Check 99 report  (Version 4.0)

This PowerPoint presentation is available from a ZIP Click the Link  CTF_Import_-_Using_Excel_to_view_the_revised_Check_99_report_pptx.

Important Note

This presentation illustrates how Excel can be used to view a CSV file created from the output for check 99 in Database Diagnostics. This is made available via the application of the workstation patch for either the SIMS Spring Release 2018 or the SIMS Summer Release 2018 (intended release on 17th August 2018). Application of either of these patches provide improvements to the original check 99.

We ask that all schools makes use of this latest check 99 to ensure that all issues created by the incident are identified so that they can be addressed.

Version 3.1

Filenames changed so the that they are the same a those used in the latest ‘How to ..’ document.

Scenarios added to the end of the presentation in line with the latest ‘How to ..’ document.

Version 4.0

Section added at the start to describe the mechanics of copying output from Check 99 to a CSV file ready for opening as a spreadsheet.

 

Added 29/08/2018 16:05 – ‘How to Identify …’ document for Capita hosted SIMS 7 customers

Please note that a variant of our ‘ How to Identify and Correct Data Impacted by the CTF Import Incident’ document, for use by Capita hosted SIMS 7 customers, is available from here.

 

Updated 23/08/2018 11:50 – Screenshots after application of the workstation patch

*** The version number is shown in the footer for each page of the document. ***

A PDF document with screenshots captured from SIMS after the workstation patch has been applied is now Resource ID 6503.

Version 2.0: Filename changed to CTF_-_Screenshots.pdf and version number added to footer.

Version 3.0: Further explanation added.

 

Added 21/08/2018 at 18:25 – Answers to questions posed on the forum

CTF Forum QA

A document that answers questioned posed on the CTF 17/18 Import Contact Issue forum thread.  This is our first version of this document and can be taken to be our view on the 21/08/2018.  We intend to update the document as necessary in the future.  All answers will make it clear as to what date we had the view expressed.

Added 17/08/2018 at 13:30 – Improvements to the contact data check in Database Diagnostics (Check 99)

We have released a new workstation patch today following a recent investigation to ensure all potential defect scenarios are captured.

It is important the new workstation patch released today on Friday 17th August 2018 is deployed per school so that both the new diagnostics and corrected CTF logic is in place. Depending on the current SIMS release version the following workstation patch must be applied:

Spring 2018 workstation patch 1 – CTF Import & Check 99 Improvements.
Summer 2018 workstation patch 1 – CTF Import & Check 99 Improvements.

Capita hosted SIMS customers are already on the SIMS 2018 Summer Release (7.182) and therefore the “Summer 2018 workstation patch 1” will be applied on Friday 17th August 2018 outside of working hours.

Does the workstation patch need to be applied?

If your school does not use the CTF process the school will not be impacted (this can be checked in SIMS CTF log, from Routines | CTF Import | View History Log). The school will not need to take any further action.

In all other instances the workstation patch should be applied.

Next steps

Once the correct workstation patch has been applied the new diagnostics within the patch must be run and remedial action taken. Please READ HERE for a detailed description this.

Please note: Even if you have previously cleaned the incorrect contact merge data (based on advice received in July), this patch will identify potentially more incorrect contact information which needs to be addressed (i.e. contacts not at the same address).

Access to the new diagnostic script for Support Units

We have purposefully not provided access to the new diagnostic script by default to Support Units. This is to ensure the new workstation patch (above) has been applied first. Once the new patch has been applied you can request access to the script from Capita SIMS Service Desk.

Existing Modules

Several SIMS modules access and use contact information from SIMS. We therefore have taken the proactive precautionary step for impacted SIMS modules as previously published (see also a summary below).

SIMS Product Product Functionality Suspended Product Functionality Still Available
Online Services
SIMS Parent Calendar | Access to Child’s Dashboard

(attendance, behaviour &

achievement, assessment, timetable,

reports, homework and the data

collection) | Message generation |

Homework

School Detail | School term dates
SIMS Parent Lite Access to Child’s Data Collection School Detail | School term dates
SIMS Activities All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off
SIMS Student All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off
SIMS Options All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off
Other modules
SIMS Agora All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off

 

From Monday 20th August schools will be able to directly reactivate SIMS Online Services and Agora from their respective administration sites and therefore easily reinstate product functionality. Schools will be asked first whether they have completed the data clean-up and will need to acknowledge they are happy to reactivate the service.

Schools should only use InTouch (SIMS text an email module) for generic communications to parents and contacts. Any communication which contains specific pupil information should not be sent until the schools are confident they have validated their student contact data.

Splash screen

New splash screen notifications with acceptance buttons has been included in the SIMS7 workstation patch to ensure all schools are aware of the incident and have taken the necessary action to address potentially incorrect data.

The splash screen references this document for background information and guidance on how to undertake the necessary remedial action.

Additional questions

If you have any questions about the content of this communication or would like additional detail, please contact the Capita SIMS Service Desk.

Added 17/08/2018 at 12:45 – Presentation of using MS Excel to view the Check 99 report

This PowerPoint presentation is available from a ZIP  RESOURCEID-1-6464.

Important Note

This presentation illustrates how Excel can be used to view a CSV file created from the output for check 99 in Database Diagnostics. This is made available via the application of the workstation patch for either the SIMS Spring Release 2018 or the SIMS Summer Release 2018 (intended release on 17th August 2018). Application of either of these patches provide improvements to the original check 99.

We ask that all schools makes use of this latest check 99 to ensure that all issues created by the incident are identified so that they can be addressed.

Version 3.1

Filenames changed so the that they are the same a those used in the latest ‘How to ..’ document.

Scenarios added to the end of the presentation in line with the latest ‘How to ..’ document.

Updated 15/08/2018 at 19:45 – Improvements to the contact data check in Database Diagnostics (Check 99)

The improved version of Database Diagnostic Check 99 includes:

  1. A more focused search eliminating some of the near duplicate lines (i.e. less to focus upon).
  2. Improved formatting and simpler column headings.
  3. Further identification of the applicant/pupils details that are linked to contacts (i.e. inclusion of unique pupil number).
  4. The list of checks displayed at the end of the diagnostic process will now display “Check 99” in black text were no issues have been found and in red text where one or more issues have been found. This brings Check 99 into line with the other diagnostic checks.

NEW FEATURE: The diagnostic check now includes contacts where the applicant/pupil has a different address to that of the contact (such as social workers/divorced parents).

When our consolidated patches are available, schools should apply patch 24203 where the Spring Release 2018 is in use, or patch 24212 where the Summer Release 2018 is in use.

NB: We will be taking a slightly different approach to delivering the changes outlined above and it is now our intention to release on Friday 17th August a new patch and associated guide for the SIMS Spring and Summer releases. This is subject to the satisfactory completion of our testing and UAT processes.

 

Added 14/08/2018 at 14:30 – CTF matching incident – Precautionary measures for SIMS Modules using contact data.

Several SIMS modules access and use contact information from SIMS which may have been impacted by the CTF incident.  We have therefore taken the proactive precautionary step for SIMS modules as below:

SIMS Product Product Functionality Suspended Product Functionality Still Available
Online Services
SIMS Parent Calendar | Access to Child’s Dashboard

(attendance, behaviour &

achievement, assessment, timetable,

reports, homework and the data

collection) | Message generation |

Homework

School Detail | School term dates
SIMS Parent Lite Access to Child’s Data Collection School Detail | School term dates
SIMS Activities All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off
SIMS Student All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off
SIMS Options All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off
Other modules
SIMS Agora All areas No functionality, i.e. switched off

 

Consolidated patches

It is our intention to release on Friday 17th August a new patch and associated guide for the SIMS Spring and Summer releases. This is subject to the satisfactory completion of our testing and UAT processes. This patch will need to be applied by all customers. Capita hosted SIMS customers will be updated out of hours on the day of release.

This patch will update the diagnostics tool (covering incorrect links for contacts who did not live at the same address as the pupil, for example social worker/divorced parents) and ensure the CTF import is working as expected.
This new patch must be applied, diagnostics undertaken, and manual fixes completed before the SIMS Modules can be reactivated.

Reactivation of SIMS modules

Following the release of the consolidated patch schools will be able to reactivate directly their SIMS Online Services listed above through the Product Admin Site (https://admin.sims.co.uk). Schools will be asked first whether they have completed the data clean-up and will need to acknowledge they are happy to reactivate their service.
Similarly, schools will be able to reactivate Agora through its admin site (https://www.simsagora.co.uk).

Advice on messaging

Schools should only use InTouch (SIMS text and email module) for generic communications to parents and contacts. Any communication which contains specific pupil information should not be sent until the schools are confident they have validated their pupils’ contact data.

Next steps and additional questions

Further communications will be provided when the patch is available for release or additional guidance need to be given.

Added 07/08/2018 at 08:40 – Improvements to the contact data check in Database Diagnostics (Check 99)

The improved version of Database Diagnostic Check 99 includes:

  1. A more focused search eliminating some of the near duplicate lines (i.e. less to focus upon).
  2. Improved formatting and simpler column headings.
  3. Further identification of the applicant/pupils details that are linked to contacts (i.e. inclusion of unique pupil number).
  4. The list of checks displayed at the end of the diagnostic process will now display “Check 99” in black text were no issues have been found and in red text where one or more issues have been found. This brings Check 99 into line with the other diagnostic checks.

NEW FEATURE: The diagnostic check now includes contacts where the applicant/pupil has a different address to that of the contact (such as social workers/divorced parents).

We expect to be able to make this improved version of Check 99 available at the close of business on Wednesday the 8th August via two consolidated patches. Consolidated patch 24203 should be applied by schools who are using our Spring Release 2018, while consolidated patch 24212 should be applied by schools who are using our Summer Release 2018.

Added 02/08/2018 at 18:10 – This CTF 17 newsfeed will be maintained beyond it normal closure date of 1st  August

As you know, for all schools that have upgraded to the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018, CTF Export uses the format for CTF 18 instead of CTF 17 from the 1st August.  My normal procedure would be to reflect this in the My Account notification area by making the newsfeed for CTF 17 unavailable.  However, this year I will leave this newsfeed for CTF 17 available so that all items related to our problem with CTF import of contact data is kept available from a single newsfeed.

I have added a link from this newsfeed to the CTF 18 newsfeed and I have also added a link from the CTF 18 newsfeed to this newsfeed.

Updated 23/07/2018 at 17:40 – Reduced scope variant of Database Diagnostic check 99

Check 99 (and its counterpart for DbDiagnose EXE) is very thorough in that it will report on problems with contacts for applicants even when those applicants are also enrolled as pupils at the school. We believe that this approach is in line with quite a strict interpretation of data protection regulations, but we understand that at this stage some schools and support units would appreciate the option of being able to use a variant of check 99 (and its counterpart for DbDiagnose EXE) where issues that relate to applicants that are also enrolments pupils are excluded from the scope of the check.

With the above in mind, we are looking into providing a reduced scope variant of check 99 (and its counterpart for DbDiagnose EXE). If we decide to go ahead, the change for Database Diagnose would be provide via a database patch (which would be made available from SOLUS) and the change for DbDiagnose EXE would be provided via a script (Please contact us or click here).

We expect this ‘variant’ to only be of interest to a minority of schools and, with that in mind, the full scope of check 99 will be adopted for the Autumn Release 2018.

Updated 20/07/2018 at 17:40 – Issues with CTF Import

A detailed FAQ document covering the recent CTF Import issues experienced by some of our customers has been made available from – UPDATED SSUs – How to Identify and Correct Data Impacted by the CTF Import Incident–  this will address your questions and provide clear guidance on next steps.

Thank you for your patience.

Added 18/07/2018 at 11:45 – Clarification regarding overwriting of contact address

Please note that from the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018 onwards CTF Import cannot replace an existing contact address with an address from the CTF file.  The only circumstances where the contact address in a CTF file will be written to a school’s system is where the contact did not previously exist in the school’s system or where the relevant contact in the school’s system does not already have an address.

Updated 17/07/2018 at 23:25 – Patch 24157 for contact linking and address problem

Please note that patch 24157 has been uploaded to SOLUS and made available to support units for application on systems at the Autumn Release and those upgraded to the Summer Release.  The patch adds check 99 toTools | System Diagnostics | Database Diagnostics to identify definite and likely problems with a school’s contacts and contacts addresses that are likely to have been caused by our contact/address bug.  The reporting of check 99 in Database Diagnostics uses the same basic structure as we have used for the DbDiagnose script and this DbDiagnose script has also been updated (version 4) on CTFContactAddressDiagnoseScriptAndInstructions so that it is line with check 99.

Normally, it is only checks that fail that Database Diagnostics displays in red, but this is not the case for check 99, as this is shown in red even if the check has passed in all cases.  Unfortunately, this is the ‘price we pay’ for the reporting of check 99 being suitable for copying to a spreadsheet.  Where no lines are reported for check 99 failures, we still produce a header line for use with a spreadsheet and Database Diagnostics takes the header line to be an indication of a fail.  We understand that this may cause some confusion, but we believe the approach to be justified in that any school with a significant number of check 99 failures will want to copy the data to a spreadsheet.

A PowerPoint presentation to help with the use of the report from DbDiagnose EXE and with the use of the new check 99 reporting in Database Diagnostics is available from Solus 3

Updated 16/07/2018 at 14:15 – The way forward for the contact linking and address problem

Although patch 24040 has caused some further problems for some of the very small number of schools who applied the patch, it has illustrated the risk involved in attempting to fix data which could have been damaged some months ago and therefore subject to any number of changes since then. With that in mind we now plan to provide as much help as possible for schools to detect the problems, so that they can deal with their data problem using their own knowledge and judgement.

With the above in mind we will be modifying the current script for the DbDiagnose application (which is run outside of SIMS .net) to provide a more focussed view of the contact/address issues that have resulted from our bug in CTF Import to an admission group. Once we are happy with this script, we will convert the logic into a SQL patch to add the check to the SIMS .net route Tools | System Diagnostics | Database Diagnostics. Providing the data check via a SIMS .net route will make the checking more accessible to schools and particularly schools with limited access to direct technical support.

Patch 24157 will add check 99 to Database Diagnostics to identify definite and likely problems with a schools contacts and contacts addresses that are likely to have been caused by our contact/address bug.  This patch is in the final stages of testing and we expect to be able to make it available in the near future.

I would like to apologise for the original bug in our software that triggered the data problem and the amount of time it is taking us to provide an acceptable solution.

Added 11/07/2018 at 15:20 – The way forward for the contact linking and address problem

Although patch 24040 has caused some further problems for some of the very small number of schools who applied the patch, it has illustrated the risk involved in attempting to fix data which could have been damaged some months ago and therefore subject to any number of changes since then. With that in mind we now plan to provide as much help as possible for schools to detect the problems, so that they can deal with their data problem using their own knowledge and judgement.

With the above in mind we will be modifying the current script for the DbDiagnose application (which is run outside of SIMS .net) to provide a more focussed view of the contact/address issues that have resulted from our bug in CTF Import to an admission group. Once we are happy with this script, we will convert the logic into a SQL patch to add the check to the SIMS .net route Tools | System Diagnostics | Database Diagnostics. Providing the data check via a SIMS .net route will make the checking more accessible to schools and particularly schools with limited access to direct technical support.

I would like to apologise for the original bug in our software that triggered the data problem and the amount of time it is taking us to provide an acceptable solution.

Updated 11/07/2018 at 11:45 – Patch 24040 withdrawn

I am very sorry to have to report that patch 24040 has been withdrawn.  A customer case has revealed a situation where the patch can assign incorrect addresses for a contact.  Dealing with this issue is our highest priority.

Our initial investigation of the issue with the patch suggests that the problem is confined to situations where schools have attempted to deal with the contact/address problem ‘manually’ before applying the patch.  For example, the patch may malfunction where a school deleted data and then re-ran the CTF Import before applying the patch.

We understand that application of the patch has made the changes proposed by the diagnose script, so schools that did not agree with the changes proposed by the diagnose script will not have applied the patch.

As you would expect, it is safe to continue to use the contact/address script, but the indication of where a data fixing patch should be applied may not be accurate.

Added 10/07/2018 at 17:20 – Possible problem when downloading CTF files from websites

We understand that some schools are having problems when importing assessment CTF files that were downloaded from a government website.  Our investigations indicate that the problem is caused by the CTF filename being ‘corrupted’ on download.  When a file of the same name already exists in an internet browser’s download folder the browser often adds something to the end of the filename to differentiate the files, e.g. (1) or ~1.  The spurious characters at the end of the CTF filename will need to be removed for a successful import into SIMS.

Updated 10/07/2018 at 16:00 – Contact Linking & Contact Address Problem

Apology

  • As many of you will know, there was a problem with a contact matching in CTF Import to an admission group provided by our SIMS 7 Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018 releases that could result in new pre-admission pupils being linked to the wrong contact and can also result in contacts being allocated incorrect addresses.  Please accept my apology for this mistake in our software.

Description of Problem

  • The SIMS 7 Autumn Release 2017 included a patch for CTF Import that has a serious issue where CTF Import is used for adding pupils to an admission group.

First aspect of the problem

  • On import, the software uses a matching routine to check if any of the pupils to be imported have contacts that already exist in SIMS and, where this is the case, links that contact to the pupil and updates the contacts address as necessary.
  • Unfortunately, several aspects of the matching routine where accidentally removed so that the matching routine only checks for matching names and gender.
  • The net result is that existing contacts can be given the wrong address and the imported pupil in the admission group can be linked to the wrong contacts.

Second aspect of the problem

  • This is similar to the first aspect of the problem, but applies where no address for the contact has been included in the CTF file.
  • As for the first aspect of the problem, the link from the imported pupil will be to the first existing contact with the same name and gender, but in this case the address for that contact is not changed.

Example of Problem

  • Having upgraded to the SIMS 7 Autumn Release 2017 or Spring Release 2018, a school runs Routine | Data In | Import CTF.
  • School chooses ‘Add data for New Pupils Only’.
  • Having selected the CTF file, the user opts for placing the new pupil in a Pre-Admission Group.
  • Pupil named Paul Smith is added to a Pre-Admission and the software looks in the SIMS list of all contacts to find Paul’s contact whose name is John Smith with a gender of male.
  • The software finds the first male John Smith in the list, which given the commonness of the name is likely to be the wrong John Smith, and links that John Smith as a contact for the Paul Smith that has been added to the Pre-Admission Group.
  • Where the CTF file includes an address for the contact, the software compares the address of the John Smith in the CTF file with the John Smith that has been linked to the Paul Smith that has been added to the Pre-Admission Group and, in nearly all cases, finds that they are different.  Having found that they are different the software changes the current address for the contact (which is very likely to be the right address) to the address in the CTF file (which is very likely to be the wrong address).
  • Therefore, the Paul Smith that has been added to the Pre-Admission Group is very likely to have ended up linked to the wrong John Smith.  If this John Smith has been given the wrong address, that wrong address will be significant to both Paul Smith and any other pupils where John Smith is the contact.

Solution

Removing the bug

    1. Patch 24068 has been provided to customers via SOLUS 3 to fix the mistake in our coding (this replaced patch 23971 which only fixed part of the mistake).
    2. Patch 24068 has been included in the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018 to ensure that the coding fix is in place for all customers.

Dealing with the data problems caused by the bug

    1. A diagnose script has been provided via My Account to help school identify problems in the contact linking and contact address area.  The diagnose script is now at version 3, but all versions are suitable for use when deciding whether or not to apply patch 24040, with the only difference between the three versions being that the later versions are easier to make use of as they are better at excluded data that has already been dealt with manually.
    2. A presentation has been provided via My Account to help with making use of the said diagnose script.  The My Account link now takes you to version 1.1 of the presentation, which includes a description of each type of ‘Potential Issue’.  You can check if you have version 1.1 of the presentation as the version number appears in the top right-hand corner of the first slide.
    3. Patch 24040 has been developed to automatically resolve many of the data problems caused by the bug and is available to local support units via SOLUS.  The patch is described as “DO NOT USE unless you are happy with the address proposed by the CTF Contact Address Diagnose Script” as a small number of schools have disagreed with the changes proposed by the Diagnose Script and such schools should not make use of this patch as the patch will put in places the proposals made by the Diagnose Script.  We believe that the proposals made by the Diagnose Script are correct, but if a school disagrees they should not make use of the patch.  We are sorry that this patch took longer to develop and test than originally expected, but I can assure you that this work has been treated as our number one priority.

Updated 10/07/2018 at 10:50 – Summary of latest position regarding the contact linking and contact address problem

Correcting the bug

  1. Patch 24068 has been provided to customers via SOLUS 3 to fix the mistake in our coding (this replaced patch 23971 which only fixed part of the mistake).
  2. Patch 24068 has been included in the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018 to ensure that the coding fix is in place for all customers.

Updated 21/06/2018 at 18:30 – Contact Linking & Contact Address Problem Description of Problem

  • The SIMS 7 Autumn Release 2017 included a patch for CTF Import that has a serious issue where CTF Import is used for adding pupils to an admission group.

First aspect of the problem

  • On import, the software uses a matching routine to check if any of the pupils to be imported have contacts that already exist in SIMS and, where this is the case, links that contact to the pupil and updates the contacts address as necessary.
  • Unfortunately, several aspects of the matching routine where accidentally removed so that the matching routine only checks for matching names and gender.
  • The net result is that existing contacts can be given the wrong address and the imported pupil in the admission group can be linked to the wrong contacts.

Second aspect of the problem

  • This is similar to the first aspect of the problem, but applies where no address for the contact has been included in the CTF file.
  • As for the first aspect of the problem, the link from the imported pupil will be to the first existing contact with the same name and gender, but in this case the address for that contact is not changed.

Example of Problem

  • Having upgraded to the SIMS 7 Autumn Release 2017 or Spring Release 2018, a school runs Routine | Data In | Import CTF.
  • School chooses ‘Add data for New Pupils Only’.
  • Having selected the CTF file, the user opts for placing the new pupil in a Pre-Admission Group.
  • Pupil named Paul Smith is added to a Pre-Admission and the software looks in the SIMS list of all contacts to find Paul’s contact whose name is John Smith with a gender of male.
  • The software finds the first male John Smith in the list, which given the commonness of the name is likely to be the wrong John Smith, and links that John Smith as a contact for the Paul Smith that has been added to the Pre-Admission Group.
  • Where the CTF file includes an address for the contact, the software compares the address of the John Smith in the CTF file with the John Smith that has been linked to the Paul Smith that has been added to the Pre-Admission Group and, in nearly all cases, finds that they are different.  Having found that they are different the software changes the current address for the contact (which is very likely to be the right address) to the address in the CTF file (which is very likely to be the wrong address).
  • Therefore, the Paul Smith that has been added to the Pre-Admission Group is very likely to have ended up linked to the wrong John Smith.  If this John Smith has been given the wrong address, that wrong address will be significant to both Paul Smith and any other pupils where John Smith is the contact.

Solution

  • Applying Patch 23971 will fix the first aspect of the bug (available from SOLUS 3).
  • We are creating a second patch that will incorporate Patch 23971, to fix the first aspect of the bug, and will additionally fix the second aspect of the patch.  It will be fine for a school to apply the second patch when they have already applied the first patch and it will also be fine for a school to apply the second patch without having applied the first patch
  • Optionally, make use of a routine, which we expect to be able to provide in the near future, to detect if any of a school’s contact data has been affected by this bug.
  • We expect to be able to make patch 24040 available in the near future to restore the original address for the contacts and to link the imported pupils to the correct contact.  However, it is important to note that this restoration will only be possible where the school has not already attempted to resolve the issue for a contact.

Progress

  • Patch 23971 is available.
  • Patch to replace 23971 is being developed and should be available in the near future
  • Patch 24040 is being extended to take account of both aspects of the issue

Added 09/05/2018 at 14:30 – Problem with importing Proficiency in English (England only)

Unfortunately, there is a problem with our coding of CTF Import which results in any Proficiency in English data not being imported.  The problem is solved by patch 23974, which is being made available from SOLUS.

Added 15/03/2018 at 12:30 – Address Problem (KB478399)

Apology

  • Please accept my apology for not warning you of this problem sooner

Description of Problem

  • Where a pupil is imported into SIMS, when they already have a sibling at the school and the siblings have the same contacts, the addresses for the contacts are ended on the date of import.
  • Where the pupil is set to ‘inherit’ a contact’s address the address for that pupil will also be ended.

Solution

  • Apply patch 23690 to fix the bug
  • Re-import the CTF to restore the addresses
  • This patch will be included in the Summer Release 2018

Added 09/05/2018 at 14:30 – Problem with importing Proficiency in English (England only)

Unfortunately, there is a problem with our coding of CTF Import which results in any Proficiency in English data not being imported.  The problem is solved by patch 23974, which is being made available from SOLUS.

Added 15/03/2018 at 12:30 – Address Problem (KB478399)

Apology

  • Please accept my apology for not warning you of this problem sooner

Description of Problem

  • Where a pupil is imported into SIMS, when they already have a sibling at the school and the siblings have the same contacts, the addresses for the contacts are ended on the date of import.
  • Where the pupil is set to ‘inherit’ a contact’s address the address for that pupil will also be ended.

Solution

  • Apply patch 23690 to fix the bug (available from SOLUS 3)
  • Re-import the CTF to restore the addresses
  • This patch will be included in the Summer Release 2018

Added 04/12/2017 at 16:00 – Restricting export/import of contact data 

Currently we have a tick box that schools can use to indicate whether to export/import contact data.  There has been some discussion of extending the choice to export/import of parental contacts only, e.g.

from

Student Contacts  [  ] 

to

 All Student Contacts  [  ]
 Student Parental Contacts  [  ]

Please raise/support a Change Request on My Account, if you would value such an extension of CTF functionality.

Added 22/11/2017 at 09:35 – Problem with the transfer of service child indicator 

Unfortunately, there is a problem with our coding of CTF Export that can result in the service child indicator being assigned to pupils in the CTF file that are not actually service children.  A patch to resolve this problem will be made available from SOLUS 3 in the near future.

Added 22/09/2017 at 19:10 – Use of effective date for selecting pupils for CME files (England only) 

Unfortunately, in the original SIMS Summer Release 2017 there was a mistake in the coding for selecting pupils for CME files which meant that the System Date was used where the Effective Date should have been used.  Most of you will not have experienced this problem, as Workstation Patch 1 dealt with this problem as one of the CTF pupil selection fixes.  I apologise for not making this clear earlier.

Updated 21st September 2017 at 12:05 – Current academic year restriction for creation of CME files (England only)  

Unfortunately, in the original SIMS Summer Release 2017 there was a mistake in the coding for selecting pupils for CME files which meant that the System Date was used where the Effective Date should have been used.  Most of you will not have experienced this problem, as Workstation Patch 1 dealt with this problem as one of the CTF pupil selection fixes.  I apologise for not making this clear earlier.

Updated 15th August 2017 at 12:25 – Presentation of changes CTF 17 and the introduction of CME files for SIMS 7  

Unfortunately, in the original SIMS Summer Release 2017 there was a mistake in the coding for selecting pupils for CME files which meant that the System Date was used where the Effective Date should have been used.  Most of you will not have experienced this problem, as Workstation Patch 1 dealt with this problem as one of the CTF pupil selection fixes.  I apologise for not making this clear earlier.

A new version of this PowerPoint demonstration was uploaded to My Account on 15/08/2017 at 12:20.

Version 2.1 corrects a mistake regarding the inclusion of Grounds for Removal in CMJ files.

Version 2.0 includes extensive improvements to the presentation, which now includes slides for each of the following areas.

  • SIMS 7 Summer Release 2017
  • SIMS 7 Autumn Release 2017
  • Changes for CTF 17 Compared CTF 16
  • Legal position for CME files
  • CME files for Independent Schools
  • CME files and Grounds for Removal
  • Using CTF, CML and CMJ to avoid CME
  • Using SIMS 7 to enter CME leavers information
  • Using SIMS 7 to create CME Leavers files
  • Structure and Content of CME for Leavers files
  • Trigger for providing CME Joiners information
  • Using SIMS 7 to enter CME joiners information
  • Using SIMS 7 to create CME Joiners files
  • Structure and Content of CME Joiners files

Added 28th July 2017 15:30 – Content of CME (Children Missing Education) Files

Unfortunately, in the original SIMS Summer Release 2017 there was a mistake in the coding for selecting pupils for CME files which meant that the System Date was used where the Effective Date should have been used.  Most of you will not have experienced this problem, as Workstation Patch 1 dealt with this problem as one of the CTF pupil selection fixes.  I apologise for not making this clear earlier.

CML File (Children Missing Education – Leavers)

  • Identification of the pupil
    • UPN
    • Surname
    • Forename
    • DOB
    • Gender
  • Current addresses of the pupil
  • Current phone numbers of the pupil
  • Email address of the pupil
  • Contacts for the pupil
    • For each contact: Relationship to the pupil, Indication of parental responsibility, Identification of the contact, Title, Surname, Forename, Gender, Current address of the contact, Current phone numbers of the contact, Current email address of the contact
  • School the pupil has left
    • Identification of school: School name, School LA, School establishment number
    • Reason for leaving the school
    • Grounds for removal from the admissions register*1
  • School the pupil is expected to join
    • Identification of school: School name, School LA, School establishment number
    • Expected date of entry

 

CMJ File (Children Missing Education – Joiners)

  • Identification of the pupil
    • UPN
    • Surname
    • Forename
    • DOB
    • Gender
  • Current addresses of the pupil
  • Current phone numbers of the pupil
  • Email address of the pupil
  • Contacts for the pupil
    • For each contact: Relationship to the pupil, Indication of parental responsibility, Identification of the contact, Title, Surname, Forename, Gender, Current address of the contact, Current phone numbers of the contact, Current email address of the contact
  • School the pupil has joined
    • Identification of school: School name, School LA, School establishment number
    • Date of entry
  • School the pupil left
    • Identification of school: School name, School LA, School establishment number
    • Date of leaving
    • Reason for leaving the school
    • Grounds for removal from the admissions register*1

*1 Will be introduced by SIMS 7 Autumn Release 2017 in line with the change to the DfE specification for CTF 17.

Product Development for Data Retention

Product Development for Data Retention

Updated with a new video of the bulk student delete process for Autumn

25/09/2018

Notification Updates

25/09/2018: After we packaged the Autumn 2018 release together for the Beta version, we continued further deep integrated testing on the last part of the student delete. This last step is to delete the central Person Record if the student role was the only role that Person had, this is explained in the video below at the point of 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Therefore, for the Autumn 2018 release of SIMS we will still include the last three data domains in the bulk student delete option, but felt it was safer to not deliver in the main customer release the last ‘Delete All Student Data’ option. We raise your awareness to this now as this option is present in the beta but will not be delivered in the release in November. If you need further clarification, please contact paul.featherstone@capita.co.uk.

28/08/2018: We have now completed the development of the bulk student delete routine in SIMS.  This builds on the initial phase which we released in the Summer version of SIMS and now allows for the complete delete of student records.

How will this work?

To help explain the process, I have recorded a video for SIMS customers to review what has been completed.  While the development is complete, we are now working on other GDPR priorities, the team would welcome feedback on the updates.  So please review the video and then provide your comments in the feedback form below.

The Video…

Additional Information

Please feel free to share this video with anyone who will benefit from knowing what new functionality will be available in the Autumn release.  The direct link is: https://youtu.be/w8sp3XFviIM

The developers are now working of some GDPR features to do with PLinks between SIMS and FMS and then will start to relax some of the rules prohibiting users to delete members of staff from SIMS.

Feedback

Knowing what you think about this routine is important, even if it is to know we are doing it right.  Please use the form below to submit your comments.

Fileset 1005 required for Autumn Census 2018

 

Capita has released another Fileset_1005 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 4th October 2018 

We will be  deploying this Fileset to our supported customers but please ensure you have Fileset_1005 listed in the statutory returns area of SIMS. (Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census)

If you do not have  listed please contact  the helpdesk on 0113 2105008

The SIMS Parent Lite App

 

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018, schools will have new requirements around the way they use pupil and parent data.

Included within your SIMS annual entitlement fee, the SIMS Parent Lite app helps schools comply with the new GDPR data requirements, by providing a simple way to collect, manage and handle information by obtaining accurate data securely from parents.

Connect up are rolling out Parent App Lite to the schools if you would like this sooner please contact us.

Sims Parent For Schools Click Here

Parent All Lite Resources Click Here

Parent App Lite FQA Click Here

For more information please email us at SIMS_Support@connect-up.co.uk

CTF 18 (England and Wales) and CME files (England only)

Items related to the CTF import contact issue are excluded from the newsfeed, as specific information for that area is available from our CTF 17/18 Contact Issue newsfeed

 

Added 12/09/2018 at 09:15 – Service child concerns (England only)

As you know a Service Child Concerns table has been added to the Addition Information panel of Pupil Details to allow schools to store data about concerns that the current school or previous schools had on a particular date regarding a service child. The data is held completely separately to the Service Children in Education filed, as it is quite possible for a pupil to have been a service child in the past but for them to no longer be a service child. If a record exists indicating a concern for an earlier date, it might be sensible for a school to add a record for a later date to indicate ‘no concerns’ on that date. It might also be sensible to enter a ‘no concern record’ when a pupil is currently a service child. However, it is not advisable to add ‘no concerns’ records for pupils who are not currently and have not previously been a service child, as this might be taken to indicate that they were previous a service child with a concern.

Unfortunately, there is a issue with our CTF 18 Export routine that results in ‘no concern’ records being added to the file when the Service Children Concerns table is blank. On import these become ‘no concern’ records for pupils who are neither currently nor previously service children. As described above, these irrelevant ‘no concern’ records can cause confusion, so we are now working on a patch to correct the mistake in our coding and a patch to remove any confusing ‘no concerns’ records that have already been imported.

Added 04/09/2018 at 12:40 – CME files for leavers (England only)

Some schools are concerned that they forgot to use CTF functionality to provide CME (Children Missing Education) files to their LA for pupils who left the school at the end of the academic year.  Although this may well be an issue for some of the schools in this position, it is also possible that this is not an issue.  There are two possible reasons why this may not be an issue.

  1. The government legislation for CME only insists on information being provided outside of normal phase transfers and many of the pupils who left the school at the end of the year may will have been for a normal phase transfer, e.g. leaving a primary school at the end of year 6 to join a secondary school for the start of year 7.  However, some LAs will always ask for the CME leavers information as end of phase transfer can be difficult to define, e.g. LAs with tradition independent schools may have pupils transferring from prep school to pupil schools at age 14.
  2. The government legislation for CME only insist on the information being provided and CTF is just one of several ways in which such information can be provided, e.g. some LAs provide a website for entering the necessary information.

Added 03/09/2018 at 17:15 – ULN and URN

On the 1st August the CTF version moved on by one year as normal. This means that CTF Export will provide CTF 18 format files, rather than CTF 17 format files, and CTF Import will accept CTF 17 and 18 format files, rather than CTF 16 and 17 format files. The main impact of introducing the CTF 18 format files is that the school’s URN (Unique Reference Number) is mandatory, in addition to the school’s Establishment Number (LA number + school number).

We understand that the CTF files provided via S2S for adding ULN (Unique Learner Number) for learners is still in CTF 16 format, that is no longer supported for CTF Import. The DfE will be dealing with this matter shortly, but for the moment we must caution against making manual changes to the file names and content of CTF files to ‘trick’ CTF Import into accepting them, as the formats for CTF 16 and CTF 18 are not compatible.

Added 02/08/2018 at 18:00 – The CTF 17 newsfeed will be maintained beyond it normal closure date of 1st  August

As you know, for all schools that have upgraded to the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018, CTF Export will use the format for CTF 18 instead of CTF 17 from the 1st August.  My normal procedure would be to reflect this in the My Account notification area by making the newsfeed for CTF 17 unavailable.  However, this year I will leave the newsfeed for CTF 17 available so that all items related to our problem with CTF import of contact data is kept available from a single newsfeed.

I have added a link from this newsfeed to the CTF 17 newsfeed and I have also added a link from the CTF 17 newsfeed to this newsfeed.

Added 22/03/2018 at 09:00 – Overview Presentation

Please note that version 1.0 of the CTF 18 Overview presentation is available as a ZIP from My Account.  Most of the content of this presentation will be relevant to England only, as the WG has decided that the new items will not apply to school in Wales.

SIMS Returns – School Workforce Census (England)

School Workforce Census

 

Preparing for the School Workforce Census 2018

Producing the School Worforce Census 2018 

School Workforce Census Validation Errors

 

General Useful Links

Added 16/07/2018 at 10:20 – Publications Documents

Please note that links to the relevant Publications documents are avaialble from the ‘SIMS Returns – School Workforce Census (England)‘ Hot Topic.

Added 04/05/2018 at 10:55 – Overview Presentation v1.1

Please note that version 1.1 of the overview presentation is available as a ZIP from School_Workforce_Census_2018_Overview_pptx

Version 1.1: Improved screenshots and explanations
Version 1.0: First version for customers.

SIMS 7 – CTF Issue

SIMS 7 – CTF Issue

Background information

What is CTF?

CTF stands for “Common Transfer File”. This is the mechanism used for loading new pupil applicants and transfers from other schools into SIMS.

What is the issue?

Incorrect matching of applicants and on roll students imported by CTF into your SIMS7 database may have linked new pupil records to an existing contact. Additionally, some data on the existing contact record may have been changed.

Will this issue have impacted my school(s)?

Not all schools will be impacted.

  • If your school does not use the CTF process you will not be impacted (this can be checked in SIMS CTF log, from Routines | CTF Import | View History Log). You will not need to take any further action.
  • If your school uses the CTF process you must complete steps 1 to 4 (described below). Your school may still not have been impacted, but you must follow the process outlined nonetheless, to confirm whether you have been impacted and respond accordingly.

Under what circumstance would my school(s) be impacted?

This would happen if a combination of the name, title, gender and relationship of a pupil’s contact record in the CTF matched the same elements of the contact of another applicant, on roll pupil or leaver already held in your database.

One type of example would be:

  • Already on SIMS
  • Pupil = Joanne Bradshaw, with a Contact/Parent = Wendy Bradshaw, Mother, Female (original)
  • New CTF applicant
  • Pupil = Jamie Bradshaw, with a Contact/Parent = Wendy Bradshaw, Mother, Female (new/different Wendy)

In this instance as both pupils have a parent called Wendy Bradshaw, identified also as being Female and with a relationship of Mother, the new CTF applicant would be linked to the original Wendy Bradshaw. The original Wendy Bradshaw address, telephone number and email would also be updated with the new/different Wendy Bradshaw’s details.

Which data may have been altered?

Address, phone number and email address fields on the contact record may be incorrect.

What steps do I need to take?

Please see the following document for a detailed description of the steps that must be taken. How to guide

The following description is a summary of this.

Step 1 – Patch SIMS

It is important the new workstation patch released on Friday 17th August 2018 is run against your school(s) so that both the new diagnostics and corrected CTF logic is in place. Depending on your current SIMS release version the following workstation patch must be applied:

  • Spring 2018 workstation patch 1 – CTF Import & Check 99 Improvements.
  • Summer 2018 workstation patch 1 – CTF Import & Check 99 Improvements.

Capita hosted SIMS customers are already on the SIMS 2018 Summer Release (7.182) and therefore the “Summer 2018 workstation patch 1” will be applied on Friday 17th August 2018 outside of working hours.

Step 2 – Run the diagnostics

As part of the patch (applied in Step 1) an extra check “Check 99” has been added to Database Diagnostics which is run from within the SIMS. “Check 99” will output data identified as possibly incorrect.

Please see the following report for detail on this diagnostic tool. Diagnostic guide

Step 3 – Complete remedial action (if appropriate)

If the diagnostic tool (Check 99) has not identified any actions to take, you can skip this step (Step 3) and complete Step 4.

If potential output data is identified by the diagnostics tool (Check 99) manual checks will need to be made by your school and contact data potentially updated. Please see the following document for details on how to do this. How to guide

Step 4 – Run the clean-up patch

Deploy via Solus the clean-up patch 24213 or contact your usual SIMS support team. This script will clean-up back-end applicant data associated with step 3.

Capita hosted customers can request the deployment of Patch 24213 using this online form. Request Form

NOTE

Any staff member attempting to run a CFT export/import will be challenged in SIMS as to whether they have completed step 1 to 4 described above. It is imperative that your school has completed these steps before any further CTF imports are run.

On login to SIMS a reminder splash screen will draw your (and other administrative and key staff’s) attention to the CTF issue. This reminder screen will be removed only once it has been confirmed on the CTF explore/import page that your school has completed Steps 1 to Step 4.

If I need help implementing patches, running diagnostics or making changes, who can I speak to?

Your usual SIMS support team will be able to help you with these processes.

Exams Days 15th and 22nd August 2018

Arrangements for exam results download days 15th and 22nd August 2018

 

Dear colleague

 

I write with an update on arrangements for the support of exams download days. Please pass this information on to your school’s examinations officer as I may not have their contact details.

 

Results Day Survival Kit

The key to a successful and stress-free download day is preparation. Please read and act upon the advice in the Results Day Survival Kit in advance of download day

 

OSMIS Web Site

We will update the Examinations area of the OSMIS Web Site with the very latest information – please refer back to this site for late breaking information

 

Arrangements for Support on Download Days (15th and 22nd August)

The OSMIS Service Desk will be open from 7am on download days. As the volume of calls is difficult to predict (depends on factors outside our control), we ask that you log calls for support via email wherever possible (support@osmis.co.uk) and provide a direct dial number on which we can call you back on. Logging calls in this way will mean that we are able to prioritise calls appropriately and are able to provide a solution at first contact in more cases. Of course 01618831290 is still there but we ask for your support in ensuring that we manage the load and deliver the best service possible at this busy time.

 

Do I Need to Apply the SIMS Summer Release?

If the school is not making use of PI functionality in SIMS (using SISRA, Datasec or similar), then the SIMS Summer Release is not required to download results to the SIMS system.

 

Are There Any Database Patches I Need to Apply?

This all depends on your intended use of SIMS but at the time of writing the following patches have been released by Capita:

  • Fileset 1002 – Required if the school has previously imported Fileset 1001
    • The earlier fileset did not include the latest Examindirection.txt file which lists the files to be used for the PI detail reports this year. Please click here to download fileset 1002 which will need to be unzipped and then imported via Tools>Setups>Import Fileset
  • 24126 – Correction to how single Science qualifications count in Attainment 8
    • This patch corrects an error when calculating the Attainment 8 figure for a student who has only taken two single sciences.
  • 24015 – Update to Assessment Manager Exams Gradeset JC A/2
    • This patch updates the Grade Points in the Assessment Manager Gradeset for JC A/2 to:
      • A Grade 25
      • B Grade 20
      • C Grade 15
      • D Grade 10
      • E Grade 5
      • U Unclassified 0
      • X No result 0
      • Q Pending 0
  • 23876 – Update to Assessment Manager Exams Gradeset JC 41
    • This patch updates the Assessment Manager Exams Gradeset JC 41 to the correct values (this gradeset is commonly used for double Science awards).
  • 23539 – Update to JC Gradesets for GCSE 9-1 Short Courses
    • Applying patch 23539 will update Exams JC Gradesets JC 40/2 Result and JC 44/2 Result and enable the import of 9-1 short course basedata.

And Finally

If you have any concerns regarding the download of Exam Results, then please don’t wait – log a call and we’ll be in touch to assist.

 

With best wishes for a smooth and successful download day

School Summer Census 2018

Census date 17/05/2018

It will soon be another National Census Return for all school types. The Summer Census date is the 17th of May 2018

 

 Key Dates

  • Census date 17/05/2018
  • Attendance collected from 01/01/2018 to 01/04/2018
  • Exclusions collected from 01/09/2017 to 31/12/2017
  • Free School Meal Eligibility collected from 19/01/2018 to 17/05/2018
  • Learner Support collected from 01/08/2017 to 17/05/2018

 

Essential docs:

Preparing for the School Census (Primary, All Through, PRUS Primary Phase)

Preparing for the School Census (Secondary, All-Through, PRU’S Secondary phase)

 

Producing the Autumn Census:

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Nursery)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Primary)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Secondary)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Special)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (All-Through)

 

Errors and Validation:

Census Validation Errors and Resolutions 2017-18

 

Quick Reference Sheets:

Quick Reference Sheet – School Census Producing Reports

 

Please ensure you check the Essential Reading section of our simscrowd.net website for any last minute information on census day before you publish your census to the local authority or DfE.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0113 2105008.

 

Updated 11/06/2018 at 15:30 – COLLECT Query 1767Q (End Dates for Eligibility for FSM)

Please note the following excerpt from the DfE ‘Summer School Census 2018 – Update No 2’

COLLECT query 1767q

There appears to be some confusion around the new validation query recently introduced to COLLECT which will trigger for any pupil who has an fsm end date between 1 April 2018 and 17 May 2018 recorded on the summer census.

There are two possible courses of action to resolve this:

  • If a pupil was eligible for fsm at 1 April 2018 and therefore has their fsm eligibility protected as part of the universal credit roll out until 31 March 2022 then either remove the fsm end date from the fsm record in COLLECT or update the school MIS and resubmit the census return.
  • If a pupil’s fsm eligibility has ended because the parent has withdrawn their claim for fsm then an fsm end date will be accepted as long as a notepad entry explaining this has been provided.

Updated 08/06/2018 at 15:10 – Finding out if your return will trigger the new DfE validation query on FSM

The SIMS Free School Meals Eligibility Detail Report can be used to find out if your return is likely to trigger the new DfE validation query on FSM.

If the End Date column includes an end date between 01/04/2018 and the 17/05/2018 (inclusive) and the UK Country column has a UK country of ‘England’ or is blank (the DfE takes a blank UK country to mean ‘England’), we understand that the new DfE validation query will be triggered.  Consequently, the validation query will no longer appear if the end date is removed and/or the UK country is set to a UK Country other than ‘England’, e.g. ‘Wales’, ‘Scotland’ or ‘Northern Ireland’.

We understand that the only circumstances where the DfE will accept this validation being triggered is where the parent has withdrawn their child’s FSM claim, in which case a suitable notepad entry will be accepted.

Added 07/06/2018 at 14:55 – Important information from the DfE regarding FSM

Please note that the DfE has provided the following information.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT FREE SCHOOL MEALS

Following the introduction of universal credit a pupils FSM status will be protected until either the end of the universal credit roll out period i.e. 31 March 2022 or until the end of their current phase of education. This means that:

  • any claimant who is in receipt of free school meals at 1 April 2018 should continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria
  • any claimant who gains eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 and until the end of universal credit rollout (31 March 2022) should continue to receive free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria

Consequently, it is not expected that FSM end dates will be entered by schools during the transitional period – with the exceptions being:

  • where a parent has withdrawn the pupils FSM claim
  • where a pupil transfers from another UK country – their non-English FSM must have an FSM end date

Initial analysis of the current summer school census collection has shown that a number of schools and local authorities have recorded fsm end dates for pupils of 1 April 2018 or later. Although this does not currently produce a validation error it may impact pupil premium funding.

As a result, we are introducing a new validation query to COLLECT which will trigger for any pupil with an fsm end date of 1 April 2018 or later. This will be applied to all schools regardless of return status. Therefore schools which were previously authorised may now revert back and schools who have not yet loaded returns may trigger the query on loading to COLLECT.

This will be in place by Monday 11 June 2018.

Thank you in advance

 

Updated 24/05/2018 at 14:10 – Validation Errors 1852 and 1855

Unfortunately, there is bug in our Census applications that results in the data that schools have provided in the Early Years panel not being reflected in the XML return file for pupils with a DOB of 31/03/2016. Where this problem has occurred it will definitely trigger DfE validation errors 1852 and is also likely to trigger DfE validation error 1855. If your school is receiving validation error 1855, this is almost certainly the explanation, but this can be confirmed by checking the basic details report for the presence of a pupil with a DOB of 31/03/2016. I apologise for this mistake.

Patch 24032 has been provided via SOLUS 3 to deal with this issue.

 

Updated 17/05/2018 at 15:25 – Persistent Absentees in Table 15 of the DfE Summary Report

Although the DfE specification for this aspect of their DfE Summary Report does not look as though it is correct, the actual way the DfE has coded the count for persistent absentees seems to be correct and can be described as follows.

The total number pupils with attendance in the return file that are aged between 5 and 15 (inclusive) on the 31/08/2017, who are not boarders on Census Day, where the sum of authorised and unauthorised absences (excluding absences for unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances), is greater than or equal to 10% of possible attendances.

In the past we have found that schools have questioned this calculation because they have compared the total with what is found in one of their SIMS attendance reports.  However, such reports are unlikely to be comparable to the DfE calculation, as they are unlikely to have the same filtering in place.

 

Added 17/05/2018 at 09:45 – Validation Errors 1852 and 1855

Unfortunately, there is bug in our Census applications that results in the data that schools have provided in the Early Years panel not being reflected in the XML return file for pupils with a DOB of 31/03/2016.  Where this problem has occurred it will definitely trigger DfE validation errors 1852 and is also likely to trigger DfE validation error 1855.  If your school is receiving validation error 1855, this is almost certainly the explanation, but this can be confirmed by checking the basic details report for the presence of a pupil with a DOB of 31/03/2016.  I apologise for this mistake on our part and I can assure you that we will provide a patch to resolve the issue ASAP.  I will keep you informed or our progress via this newsfeed.

 

Fileset_902

The DfE has provided suppliers with an update (version 1.1) of their validation and summary report files to deal what are likely to be minor issues for most schools.

We will be including these revised DfE files in Fileset 902, which we have provide via SOLUS 3.

The DfE has indicated the following changes to their validation compared to their baseline version (version 1.0).

  • 1601Q – Please check: Pupil’s age is out of range for school type.
  • 3140 – Child's extended hours not provided or out of the range of 0 to 15 hours.
  • 5220 – The disability access fund indicator is only available for pupils with funded or extended hours.
  • School validation for a Special School is now determined by the Phase rather then the Intake.

The DfE has indicated that the heading in the summary report has been updated to decribe the version accurately, i.e. from ‘Beta’ to ‘Revised’.

Added 20/04/2018 at 18:45 – Fileset 901  : This Fileset has been released to all Connect-up Schools

 

Updated 24/04/2018 at 10:40 – Nationality and Country of Birth

Please note that Nationality and Country of Birth will be included in School Census for the last time in School Census Summer 2018.

The DfE has not yet made its final decision regarding inclusion of Proficiency in English for the Spring Census.

 

Updated 11/04/2018 at 09:30 – 3 Migration Related Items 

As you know the DfE have informed us that they are planning to remove the following items from the School Census Autumn 2018 specification onwards.  However, it has come to our attention that some areas of the media are reporting that these items will also be dropped from School Census Summer 2018.  We have checked with the DfE and they have confirmed that they are still planning to collect the first two of these items as normal for School Census Summer 2018.

  1. Pupil Nationality
  2. Pupil Country of Birth
  3. Pupil Proficiency in English

Updated 10/04/2018 at 12:30 – Version 901 of Series 900 Filesets

Fileset 901 

The DfE has now provided suppliers with the baseline version (version 1.0) of their validation and summary report files.

We will include these files in Fileset 901, which we will make available ASAP from SOLUS 3 and as a download from My Account.

The DfE has indicated the following changes to their validation compared to their Beta release

  • Rule 1867: Year corrected from 2016 to 2017
  • Rule 1868: Year corrected from 2016 to 2017
  • Rule 3080: Error message updated
  • Rule 3085: Error message updated
  • Rule 3090: Error message updated
  • Rule 1852: Now copes with the Funded Hours element being completely missing
  • Rule 1601: Updated

The DfE has indicated the following changes to their summary report compared to the Beta release

  • Table 14: Minor amendments
  • Table 15: Minor amendments