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Author: Ian Page

SIMS Returns – School Workforce Census 2017

 School Workforce Census 2017 Docuementation

census day: 2 November 2017

Preparing for the School Workforce Census 2017

Producing the School Workforce Census 2017

School Workforce Census Validation Errors and Resolutions guide

A powerpoint highlighting changes for 2017.


School Workforce Census



Added 14/11/2017 at 12:10 – Deadline for upload to COLLECT

Please note that the DfE deadline for uploading an acceptable return to COLLECT is Friday 1st December, but you should note that where your LA or support unit is involved with providing the return to the DfE, they may well have an earlier deadline date.


Added 06/11/2017 at 14:40 – Academies with 0 Validation Errors and Queries 


Where 0 validation errors and queries are being reported for an academy, it is worth checking the detail reports to find out if any historical information is being reported, e.g. absences.  If historical information is missing for an academy, the most likely reason is that the software is confused regarding the date the academy opened.  The SWC software uses the date the URN changed as entered in School Details to determine the date the academy opened, so the first thing I would try to get around the problem is to enter something in the previous URN field (from a Census point of view it doesn’t matter what is entered in the previous URN field as long as it is not the same as the current URN) and then enter the date the academy opened in the date the URN changed field.

If you find that you have to do this even when the URN has not changed (where the academy was not formed from an existing school) this would be a bug in the software that should be reported to you help desk.  Obviously, a school could work around the issue as described above, but if the issue is found to exist I would be obliged if it was reported to the help desk to ensure that it is fixed for the future.

Added 03/11/2017 at 14:50 – DfE validation errors 6220 and 6240

The DfE has confirmed that there is a mistake in their school validation which results in validation errors 6220 and 6240 be triggered for the following JACS 3 codes when they are actually fully acceptable codes.  The DfE will not be providing any further update to their school validation to correct these mistakes.

A000 Medicine & dentistry
B000 Subjects allied to medicine
C000 Biological sciences
D000 Veterinary sciences, agriculture & related subjects
F000 Physical sciences
H000 Engineering
J000 Technologies
K000 Architecture, building & planning
L000 Social studies
M000 Law
N000 Business & administrative studies
P000 Mass communications & documentation
Q000 Linguistics, classics & related subjects
R000 European languages, literature & related subjects
T000 Eastern, Asiatic, African, American & Australasian languages, literature & related subjects
V000 Historical & philosophical studies
W000 Creative arts & design
X000 Education
Y000 Combined/general subject unspecified


The Enumeration date for the 2017 SWC is Thursday 2nd November. Please note that where the return date falls on a school holiday data schools should base their snapshot data on the next working day, where practicable. Counts of occasional staff and of third party support staff should be based on the next working day and curriculum data should be based on a typical week.


Please find here a SIMS report definition which can be used to check data to be collected from staff

Please download the file to a given location on your network and then import it to SIMS via Reports > Import.

You will then find the report in the Staff Focus.

The report name is Staff Checking Sheet for Partial SWC v3.

Download and unzip.



The school workforce census is a statutory data collection that takes place each autumn. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there’s a good reason not to.

The census collects data on all teaching and support staff in regular employment, including those working for:

  • local authorities on central contracts
  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • academies
  • free schools, including:
    • studio schools
    • university technical colleges
  • pupil referral units (local authority establishments that provide education for children who can’t attend a mainstream school)

Local authorities are responsible for:

  • co-ordinating and approving the submission of census data from all their maintained schools
  • submitting data for centrally employed school staff

Academies are responsible for submitting and approving their own census data.

Local authorities, local-authority-maintained schools and academies should issue privacy notices to all members of staff. Privacy notices inform staff members about the details of the census and their rights under the Data Protection Act.


Added 19/03/2017 at 18:50 – Changes to the DfE Specification compared to 2016

  1. CBDS (Common Basic Dataset) numbers corrected
    Agency and Third Party Support Staff number changed from 200567 to 200648.
    Disability Indicator number changed from 400320 to 400362
  2. Definition of Pay Data
    A line has been added to note 11 to define what is meant by Pay Data,
    “the contents of the Payments and Additional Payments modules, unless Daily rate = Yes”
  3. End Dates for Fixed Term Contracts
    Business rules for section 3.1 and 5.3 have been modified to indicate that Fixed Term Contracts must always have end dates.
  4. Qualification Subjects
    A line has been added to note 27 to indicate that JACS (Joint Academic Council) codes 2.0 has been superseded by JACS codes 3.0.
  5. XML Encoding Version
    Now indicates encoding UTF-8 to define the character set that can be included.

Fileset 704 required for Autumn Census 2017

Fileset_704 Capita has released another Fileset_704 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 5th October 2017

We will be  deploying this fileset to our supported customers but please ensure you have fileset 704 listed in the statutory returns area of SIMS. (Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census)

If you do not have Fileset_704 listed please contact the helpdesk on 0113 2105008.

SIMS Summer 2017 Consolidated Workstation Patch 3

SIMS Summer 2017 Consolidated Workstation Patch 3

We’ve identified an issue with the Manage Performance Indicator Screen for England when dealing with AS Maths Qualifications


What is the issue?

If you are an exam centre who are offering an AS qualification which for some students will count in the KS4 Performance Indicators and for some students count in the 16-18 Performance Indicators and is either a Level 3 Maths or Extended Project qualification, the Manage Performance Indicator screen won’t allow you to count the KS4 attributes when the Level 3 Maths or Extended Project options are ticked.

How are we fixing this?

This can only be fixed with a workstation application and does not require a database patch.  In line with our approach for workstation patches since the Summer release, Workstation Patch 3 will have consolidated with it WSP2 (KS4 PI Report Update) and WSP1 (CTF Export Screen).

When will it be available?

We hope to release this by the end of the week

CTF Workstation Fix

Please close SIMS and click here for the Workstation Fix

Important information for Exams Officers

Important information for Exams Officers

Results Day Survival Kit

Please find here the Capita Results Day Survival Kit – this highly useful document is intended to provide Examinations Officers at schools in England with the most up-to-date information to assist in achieving successful results download days and the subsequent analysis of results using the SIMS 2017 Summer Release.

SIMS Summer Release

Capita has now made the Summer 2017 update pre-release note available.

The release is scheduled for June 30th and we will Contact all schools close to the time.

Summer Census 2017

Please find below the information on creating and publishing the summer 2017 Pupil Census which will be held on Thursday 18th of May.

Your SIMS version will need to be 7.174 (can be seen via help/about SIMS) and the latest fileset issued by the DfE is 602, which will be deployed automatically to your server over the next couple of days but please ensure you have this fileset before you complete and publish your census.

Capita has released  Fileset_602 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 18th May 2017

Added 15th May 2017 at 16:00 Problem with DfE validation query 2010Q

This validation should be counting how many pupils are not taught in the normal year for their age and then dividing this by the total number of pupils to identify the situation where more than 10% of pupils are taught outside of the normal year for their age.  Unfortunately, this validation can be triggered incorrectly in schools with nursery age pupils, as the DfE coding will count all nursery age pupils that aren’t taught in E1 or E2 as not taught in the normal year for their age.

We believed that the DfE were going to provide an update to their school validation to deal with this sort of mistake, but we now understand that this will not happen and that the schools involved will have to ignore the query in these circumstances.



Please find the user guides below which provides information on preparing and producing the autumn 2016 census return.

New Data collected and changes to existing data:

Resources to support the production of the summer census are now available from the web site.

Key dates for the summer census are:

  • Census reference date: 18/05/2017
  • Attendance collection: 01/01/2017 – 16/04/2017 (inc)
    • Only pupils aged 4 to 15 on 31/08/2016
  • Exclusion collection: 01/09/2016 – 31/12/2016 (inc)
  • FSM eligibility records: 20/01/2017 – 18/05/2017 (inc)
  • Secondary Schools Learning Support: 01/08/2016 – 18/05/2017 (inc)
  • The return will include information on all pupils on roll on census reference date and leavers with
    • attendance in the Spring Term 2017
    • and/or, exclusions in the Autumn Term 2016
    • and/or, learner support to report since the start of the 2016/17 academic year

Important Changes to the Summer Census

Known Issues

  • Validation query 1870Q is being reported where it does not seem to apply.  We have reported this to the DfE.

Essential docs:

Preparing for the Census (Primary & Special Schools)

Preparing for the Census (Secondary & PRU)

Preparing for the Independent Schools Statutory Returns 2017

Preparing for Census (Post 16)

Producing the Summer Census:

Producing the School Census (English Nursery Schools)

Producing Summer Census Primary

Producing Summer Census Secondary

Producing Summer Census Special

Producing School Census Reports


Errors and Validation:

Census Validation Errrors

Please ensure you check the Essential Reading section of our 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.

Fileset 602 required for Summer Census 2017


Capita has released another Fileset_602 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 18th May 2017

We have deployed this fileset via centrastage to our supported customers but please ensure you have fileset 602 listed in the statutory returns area of SIMS. (Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census)

If you do not have Fileset_602 listed please contact the helpdesk on 0113 2105008.

Secondary School End of Year Procedures 2017

This document describes the steps that should be followed to enable a
successful transition from one academic year to another. It includes the
creation of a new academic year, setting up next year’s registration groups
and year groups, etc. together with the promotion of pupil/students from one
year into the next.

Secondary School End of Year Detailed Procedures 2017

Secondary School End of Year Summary 2017


It is applicable to Secondary school SIMS users. Primary school users should
refer to the Primary School End of Year Procedures 2017


School Calendar Academic Year 2017 – 2018

Below is the school calendar dates provided by Leeds City Council:

Leeds school calendar 2017-2018