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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.

Update 04/04/2019


IMPORTANT: SIMS 2019 Spring Release – CTF Incident (Update on 08 April 2019)


IMPORTANT: SIMS 2019 Spring Release – CTF Incident (Update on 08 April 2019)

SIMS Spring 2019 Database Patch 24836 is available via Solus and addresses a CTF issue identified with the SIMS 7 Spring 2019 Release 7.186 which has been raised by one school. Once the SIMS Spring 2019 Release is applied please also apply Patch 24836 to prevent this potential CTF issue.  For Capita Hosted SIMS 7 customers, the Spring 2019 Release was applied on 29th March and Patch 24836 is scheduled to be deployed overnight on 8th April.

If you are on the SIMS Spring 2019 Release and have since imported a CTF which included contact addresses, then please contact your usual support provider for more information.


IMPORTANT: 2019 Spring Release – CTF Incident (Update on 04 April 2019)

Our investigation is now complete following our communication yesterday (03 April 2019) about the CTF incident.  A patch will be available early next week for schools who have taken the Spring 2019 Release.

Once the SIMS Spring update is taken please apply this patch to ensure the potential CTF issue is addressed.  For Capita Hosted SIMS customers, the Spring release was applied on 29th March and the patch will be applied as soon as it is available.

Once again Capita ESS apologises for any concern or impact to our schools and their support partners that may have arisen from this incident.

Please see My Account if you would like specific further details on the incident or contact your local support unit.

IMPORTANT: 2019 Spring Release – When this unique CTF Incident occurs (Update on 04 April 2019)


If a school imports a CTF into the SIMS Spring 2019 release that contains a person with an incomplete address that is missing all of the following:

  • house name or number
  • apartment number
  • Postcode

The incomplete address details will be inserted into any learner contacts being added by the CTF file who have no address record.  In other words, incorrect partial data would be inserted into all blank addresses against new contact records.

Also incomplete address details will be inserted into SIMS where a learner contact already exists in SIMS and the same learner contact is present in the CTF, and neither have an address record.  In other words, incorrect partial data would be inserted into a blank address against an existing contact record.

“Street Name”, “Locality”, “Town” and “Region” information (i.e. partial address) would be transferred in both instances.



29/03/2019 at 13:00 – LA boundary changes

As you probably know, our SIMS 7 Spring Release 2019 put in place the revised list of LAs, which includes 838 (Dorset) and 839 (Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole). From the 01/04/2019 the DfE expects these new LA numbers to be used for CTF imports and exports. In a few cases a new establishment number has also been allocated.

14/02/2019 at 12:25 – CTF versions supported

01/08/2018 to 31/07/2019 (inclusive)
File version 17

Import only

File version 18

Import and export

Updated 20/09/2018 at 10:45 – Service child concerns (England only) – Patches Available

The Summer release added a grid for Service Children Concerns to the Addition Information panel of Pupil Details to allow schools to record concerns that the current school or previous school had regarding a child with a parent serving in the Armed Forces. The Concerns are held completely separately to the Service Children in Education flag, 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.

CTF 18 was updated to include the export and import of the Service Children Concerns but unfortunately there is an 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 may never have been service children.  Two patches are available to support units on SOLUS 3 to deal with this issue.

  1. Patch 24298 corrects the coding mistake in CTF 18 Export so that ‘no concern’ is only included in the CTF file when ‘no concern’ has been entered by the exporting school.  This patch does not change CTF 18 Import, as there is no way for the software to distinguish between ‘no concerns’ included because of our mistake and the inclusion of legitimate ‘no concerns’.
  2. Patch 24313 removes any ‘no concerns’ records that are found in SIMS where a record does not also exist indicating an actual ‘concern’.

The Service Children Concerns are not included in information sent to the DfE in the School & Pupil Census returns.

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 23/03/2018 at 12:10 – Change Requests 

After the Easter break my colleagues and I will be going through the change requests logged by customers to help decide what improvements would should be making in the future.  With that in mind I recommend you view existing change requests for CTF and add votes and new items to ensure that your wishes are taking into account.  I have outlined below some the methods I have found helpful for viewing and updating the change request for CTF.

Viewing CTF Change Requests

  1. Go to the My Account home page and click on Customer Services | View Change Requests.
  2. Select ‘CTF (Excluding NI)’ as the Product and add further filters as necessary before clicking on Search.
  3. Browse the existing change request and click on any where you want to Agree or Disagree.

Adding CTF Change Requests

  1. Either click the Change Request button in View Change Requests or go the My Account home page and click on Customer Services | Log a Change Request
  2. Make sure that you select ‘CTF (Excluding NI)’ as the Product and fill in the remaining fields as necessary.
  3. If you have any particular opinion as to whether your request should be looked at for SIMS 7 only or SIMS Primary only, you should ensure that you mention this in the description of the request.  If you don’t specify SIMS 7 or SIMS Primary we will take it that you are requesting for both.

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.

School Census Autumn 2019

Census reference date 3rd October 2019

Updated 13/03/2019 14:05 Expected changes compared to 2018


Items collected for 2018 will also be collected for 2019, but will be collected for one and two terms previous rather than just two terms previous.  From the spring census onwards this data will be collected for just one term previous.

Lunch time exclusions will no longer be collected.

The DfE will expect the following data items to be stored by schools from the start of academic year 2019/2020 onwards, but this CANNOT be collected in School Census Autumn 2019 as this will collect exclusion data for the last two terms of academic year 2018/19 which is subject to CBDS for 2018/19 where this data was not specified.

Exclusion review date

Exclusion review result

Exclusion reinstatement date

Exclusion review SEN expert

Post 16 Planned Hours

Items collected for 2018 will also be collected for 2019.

The following items will be collected in addition to those collected for 2018

Planned learning hours (qualification hours) previous year [to enable corrections to be reported]

Planned employability, enrichment and pastoral hours (non-qualification hours) previous year [to enable corrections to be reported]

Post 16 Prior Attainment

Items collected for 2018 will also be collected for 2019.

The following items will be collected in addition to those collected for 2018

Maths GCSE highest prior attainment previous year [to enable corrections to be reported]

English GCSE highest prior attainment previous year [to enable corrections to be reported]

Updated 25/01/2019 11:10 Relevant dates

All date ranges are inclusive.

Census reference date


DfE notional spring term 2019

From 01/01/2019 to 21/04/2019

DfE notional summer term 2019

From 22/04/2019 to 31/07/2019

DfE notional autumn term 2019

From 01/08/2019 to 31/12/2019


Collection from 22/04/2019 to 31/07/2019


Collected from 01/01/2019 to 31/08/2019

Eligibility for FSM

Collected from 17/05/2019 to 03/10/2019

Post-16 Learning Aims

Collected from 01/08/2018 to 03/10/2019

School Census Summer 2019

Census date 16-05-2019

Preparing for the Census Primary, PRU, Special, Nursery Schools.

Preparing for the Census Secondary Schools.

Producing the Census for Nursery

Producing the Census for Primary Schools.

Producing the Census for Secondary

Producing the Census for PRU.

Producing the Census for AllThrough Schools.

Census Validation Errors Resolutions.

Updated 02/04/2019 at 13:05 – DfE validation and summary report files

Fileset 1201 includes the beta for the DfE validation and summary report files.  Please see the fileset newsfeed on My Account for further details.  You should note that we are aware of the following issues with this beta of the DfE validation.

  1. Validation error 2400 is being triggered for all 4 year olds (DOB 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2014 inclusive) when it should not be.
  2. Validation error 2500 is being triggered for students taught in year 12 when it should not be.

Updated 22/02/2019 at 09:00 – Late changes to the DfE specification (2nd Correction)

Please note that we believe that the DfE’s correction to its mistake regarding the allocation of the new LA codes was also incorrect and that the new LA code for Dorset is 838 and not 383 as stated in the DfE official correction document.

We understand that the DfE is likely to make the following changes to its specification for School Census Summer 2019.

  • SEN Need Type of ‘Visual Impairment’ to become ‘Vision Impairment’
  • Validation rule 1530 to accept UPNs assigned with the new LA codes of 838 (Dorset) and 839 (Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole).
  • Take account of Early Years Funded Hours being capped at 15 hours from 01/04/2019 onwards.

Added 25/01/2019 at 11:30 – Relevant dates

All date ranges are inclusive.

Census reference date


DfE notional autumn term 2018

From 22/04/2019 to 31/07/2019

DfE notional spring term 2019

From 01/01/2019 to 21/04/2019

DfE notional summer term 2019

From 22/04/2019 to 31/07/2019


Collection from 01/01/2019 to 21/04/2019


Collected from 01/09/2018 to 31/12/2018

Eligibility for FSM

Collected from 18/01/2019 to 16/05/2019

Learning Support

Collected from 01/08/2018 to 16/05/2019

6 Tips To Avoid Phishing Attacks – Don’t Click On Strange Links!

1. Asking for Personal Information is a Red Flag

Few (if any) websites, banks or businesses will ask you for confidential personal information, or financial information, in an e-mail. If you receive an e-mail requesting you to supply this information, you should treat the request with suspicion.

2. Check the Sender’s E-Mail Address

The first phishing giveaway is often the sender’s e-mail address. Even if the e-mail itself looks legitimate, that address often stands out as being questionable. For example, if you receive an e-mail from Apple AAPL +0.32% and the sender’s address is, this is clearly not really from Apple.

3. Watch for Links and Attachments

The objective of a phishing attack is usually to get you to download an attachment or to click on a link. Use extreme caution with attachments –they can be disguised malware that will infect your PC. Don’t click links within an e-mail that you are at all suspicious of. What looks like a legitimate hyperlink can be a disguised link to a criminal website. When in doubt, hover your mouse over the text of the hyperlink (you should see the full URL, which will help to show whether it leads to a legitimate website) or better yet, open a browser window and manually type in the hyperlink yourself to prevent it being re-directed.

If you receive an e-mail from someone you know, with apparent nonsensical or out of character text, don’t click on anything. In all likelihood, their e-mail account has been hacked and all of their contacts are now targets of a spear phishing attack.

4. Typos are a Red Flag

For some reason, cyber-criminals seem reluctant to invest in copy editing. One of the easiest ways to spot an e-mail sent as part of a phishing attack is typos. Most that I receive are full of spelling errors, poor grammar and syntax, and ugly text layout.

5. When In Doubt, Contact the Supposed Sender

Sometimes the bad guys pull things together and manage to generate a spear-phishing campaign that’s really difficult to detect. The e-mail appears to come from a legitimate source, it references something that could be legitimate (like a recent purchase you made) and it’s polished and official looking. If you’re not expecting this e-mail, pick up the phone and call the originating company’s customer service, or send an e-mail directly to their customer service to verify they sent it.

6. Install Security Software and Be Smart About Passwords

As an added layer of defence, security software is never a bad idea. Some Internet security packages have a feature that automatically detects and blocks fake websites, adding a failsafe in case you accidentally click on link you shouldn’t. And it goes without saying that you should be using a unique password for each website where you are required to log in. If you’re a phishing victim, this can help to contain the damage.

If you follow these steps, you will minimize your risk of becoming a spear phishing victim. For further information on protecting yourself against phishing and spear phishing attacks, check out the NCSC’s website. And finally, here’s a shot of a phishing e-mail I received yesterday morning. I’ve circled the many giveaways and below the image is a list of why they stood out.

If however you do find yourself victim to an attack please RESET your email password.


Connect-Up Support Team.

Common Transfer File (CTF)

Common Transfer File (CTF)


Added 27/02/2019 at 08:45 – Migration related fields removed for CTF 19

The following three fields have been removed from the DfE specification for CTF transfer, but schools can continue to collect and store this data in their MIS if they have an acceptable reason for doing so.  School Census is no longer an acceptable reason for collecting and storing this data, as School Census no longer includes this data.

  • Nationality
  • Country of Birth
  • Proficiency in English

Added 15/02/2019 at 12:30 – CTF versions supported

01/08/2018 to 31/07/2019 (inclusive)

File version 17

Import only

File version 18

Import and export

01/08/2019 to 31/07/2020 (inclusive)

File version 18

Import only

File version 19

Import and export

Pupil Premium for FYr 2019/20 (England)

Pupil Premium for FYr 2019/20 (England)

Added 15/02/2019 at 14:50 – PPG (Pupil Premium Grant) per-pupil for financial year 2019/20

Adopted from Care Premium: £2,300 per year

Deprivation Premium – Reception to Year 6: £1,320 per year

Deprivation Premium – Year 7 to 11: £935 per year

Early Years Premium: 53p per hour up to a maximum of £302.10 per year (53p up to a maximum of 570 hours per year)

LAC (Looked After Children) Premium: £2,300 per year

Service Child Premium: £300 per year

Added 14/02/2019 at 10:50 – Types of pupil premium for financial year 2019/20

The following information is based on the DfE specification for the financial year 2019/20 CSV download.

Deprivation pupil premium

This is reported in the DfE CSV download.

This is allocated to pupils on roll in the January 2019 school census or alternative provision census that are known to have been eligible for free school meals (FSM) on any pupil level census since summer 2013 (known as ‘FSM Ever 6’).

Service child pupil premium

This is reported in the DfE CSV download.

This is allocated to those pupils on roll in the January 2019 school census or alternative provision census who have been either:

  • recorded as a service child in either January 2014, January 2015, January 2016, January 2017 or January 2018; or
  • in receipt of a War Pension Scheme (WPS) or Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) pension from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a result of injury, illness or death caused by service

Adopted from care pupil premium (also referred to as Post LAC pupil premium)

This is reported in the general DfE CSV downloads, but is not reported via the CSV files generated by the DfE search facility, as this pupil data is not intended to be passed between schools.

This allocated to pupils on roll in the January 2019 school census or alternative provision census who are recorded in January 2019 as either adopted from care or ceased to be looked after through a child arrangement order, special guardianship order or residence order.

Looked after children pupil premium

This is reported in the DfE CSV download where the pupil would have attracted one or more of the other pupil premiums.  It can be more accurately reported in the second general download than the first.

This allocated to children who have been recorded on the local authority SSDA903 return as looked after for 1 day or more between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. This excludes children whose only episode(s) of care during the year was as a result of respite, or were on remand/committed for trial or sentence and accommodated by the local authority.

Due to the FSM and service child ever aspects used to allocate elements of the pupil premium, it is possible that some schools and local authorities may not know the identity of all the children for which they are being funded. For this reason the download was introduced to help schools and local authorities identify which of their pupils are eligible for pupil premium funding.

Further information on the pupil premium is available here (a link to a GOV.UK page).

Early years pupil premium (EYPP)

This is NOT reported in the DfE CSV download.

The early years pupil premium (EYPP) was introduced in April 2015 to allocate extra funding to providers of early years education to support disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds.

EYPP participation data is collected from early years providers via the school census, early years census and alternative provision census to allocate the EYPP. However as the funding is allocated directly to local authorities based on the data returned via the January census (meaning providers will be able to identify all of their eligible pupils from the data they have provided to the department), and as the eligibility, payment and distribution methodology is different from the school-age pupil premium, we will not be including details of children eligible for the EYPP in the pupil premium download.

Further information on the early years pupil premium is available here (a link to a GOV.UK page).

Added 13/02/2019 at 11:05 – Report definition files

Two versions of the report definition file for DfE FSM Ever 6 at Spring Census 2019 are available from My Account.  Please select the one(s) suitable for your school phase.

The file should be extracted from the ZIP before being imported via Reports | Import.

Spring Census 2019 Update

Spring Census Day 17th January 2019.

Information and documentation.

Preparing for the school census Primary, Nursery & Special Schools

Preparing for the census Secondary Schools.

Preparing for the census Independent

Producing the School Census All Through schools.

Producing the School Census Return (English Primary and Middle deemed Primary Schools)

Producing the School Census Secondary Schools.

Producing the School Census Special School.

Producing the School Census PRU.

Producing the School Independent.

Producing the School Level Annual School Census 2019.

Census 2019 Validation Errors Resolutions

Added 24/01/2019 at 12:30 – DOA and DOL should not be during school holidays

As many of you know, giving pupils dates of admissions and/or dates of leaving during school holidays is very likely to trigger validation failures.  I have asked the DfE about this and they have confirmed that both dates of admissions and dates of leaving should be dates when the pupil could attend.

With the above, we recommend that dates of admission and dates of leaving should not be during school holidays or on staff INSET days. 

Perhaps the most important implication is that setting the leaving date for pupils to the 31st August is very inadvisable and will almost certainly trigger validation failures.

Added 18/01/2019 at 15:15 – DfE Validation Error 1000 (Pupil reconciliation does not match number of pupils on roll)

Where this validation error occurs in a secondary school because there are more students in classes than on roll, one possible explanation is that one or more students have been timetabled for different classes for the chosen census period.  Such clashes can be identified via running School | Academic Structure | Curriculum Assignment by Students and searching with Acad Status set to ‘Timetable Unresolved Clash(es)’.

Added 18/01/2019 at 11:25 – Possible misalignment of Enrolment Status and ‘history of Enrolment Status changes’

We are able to confirm that the census information being submitted to the DfE is correct.

There are a small number of instances where the front end may not reflect what is saved in the underlying database. However when a school checks the detailed history (drawn from the underlying database) this is always correct and reflects any changes made by a school/user of SIMS. Information collected for Census is obtained from the underlying database and therefore only correct information will have been/are being submitted to the DfE.

Updated 18/01/2019 at 08:30 – Spring Returns 2019 Consolidate Patch

New for version 3 (ID 24592) – Available from SOLUS 3

CES Census 2019 (Catholic Schools in England and Wales)

No further changes, but was changed by version 1 (see below).

PLASC 2019 (Maintained Schools in Wales)

No changes.

School Census Spring 2019 (State Schools in England)

Important message

If Consolidate Patch 2 has not already been applied by all schools that are subject to School Census Spring 2019, then patch 3 must be applied instead.  Please see description of Patch 2 for further details.

Additional improvement

Now displays the corrected attendance range start date for schools with more than 3 terms a year.  This was a display issue only, as attendance is included in the census for the correct dates regardless of the display issue.  We deemed the correction necessary as some schools were unwilling to go ahead with providing the return file to the DfE while this confusion in the display was present.

SLASC 2019 (Independent Schools in England)

No changes.

ISC 2019 (Independent Schools Council)

No changes

Added 17/01/2019 at 15:25 – Validation Errors and Resolutions publication

You can click here to download this publication.


Validation query 1853

This query ask schools to check that when a pupil aged 3 or 4 is eligible for early years pupil premium and is recorded as FSM on census has a reason other than ‘RE (Receipt – economic)’ or ‘RB (Receipt – economic and other)’.

Our publication suggests:-

Select Tools | Statutory Returns | School Census – Early Years Pupil Premium Receipt panel. Ensure that the correct value is selected from the Basis for EYPP Eligibility drop-down list.

When it should suggest:-

Select Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census – Early Years Pupil Premium Receipt table in Early Years panel. Ensure that the correct value is selected from the Basis for EYPP Eligibility drop-down list.

Added 17/01/2019 at 11:15 – Validation Query 564Q (concerning pirmary admissions appeals)

Some customers have been concerned with regarding receiving the message “Please check: Primary admission appeals figures should be provided and are expected to be greater than zero” when they are in the good position where there have been no primary appeals regarding admissions. The DfE have kindly responded to this concern expressed on our forums.

Melanie Armstrong (DfE)

If the school did not have any appeals they are correct to recorded ‘0’ not blank. This validation was introduced in previous years due to unreporting of admission appeals. Therefore it is correct that if they recorded ‘0’ admission appeals the query will trigger and if this is the case they just need to confirm this in the notepad.


Added 16/01/2019 at 11:50 – Exams Embargo

Please note that we are investigating reports that the use of ‘Exams Embargo’ is preventing access to the School Census Spring 2019 application.  I will provide an update ASAP.

Update 11/01/2019 at 18:30 – Consolidated patch 2:  Required to resolve an issue relating to School Census Spring 2019.

Important message

The Consolidate Patch 2 (patch number 24579) must be applied by all schools that are subject to School Census Spring 2019.
Once the patch has been applied schools can be confident that any data entered for the following areas are retained.

  1. Top Up Funding (all school phases)
  2. Post Looked After Arrangements (all school phases)
  3. Update Early Years (primary phase only)
  4. Class Type (primary and all through phases only)
  5. Time in Unit (PRU phase only)

This patch has been made available via SOLUS 3. The patch has also been applied for all Capita Hosted schools.

Background Information

When School Census Spring 2019 is worked on for the first time and the return is not saved prior to running Calculate All Details, data entered in the 5 areas above, via the census application or previously entered directly using Tools | Statutory Returns Tools, will not be retained on save.

In some cases, the data can be restored by accepting the option provided to copy the data from the previous census. We apologise for any re-entry of data caused by this issue.

The Consolidate Patch 2 will prevent the issue occurring so it must be applied by all schools that are subject to School Census Spring 2019.

Please note: On some of our forums this issue has been linked with our filesets. For clarification, there is no link to filesets.

Why has the problem occurred?

To meet GDPR requirements, in the Autumn Release 2018, the Save routine within census, was modified to remove data that was no longer relevant. For example, historical Top Up Funding data. Unfortunately, there is a bug in our modification of the Save routine which means that the data removal includes the data for the current census return as well as the historical data.



Updated 09/01/2019 at 15:45 – Early Years, Top-up Funding and Post Looked After Arrangements data not being reported in the Census

Please note that we are investigating reports that under certain circumstances the said data is not be reported in the Census application.

Our investigations to date indicate that the problem for Top-up Funding and Post Looked After Arrangements can be avoided and rectified without loss of data that has been entered, but we are not yet sure that this is the case for the Early Years data.

At this point, our advice for entry of Early Years data is not to spend any further time on entering such data until we have had time for further investigation.


Update 09/01/2019 at 11:45 – Fileset for base release of the DfE’s validation and summary report

The DfE provided suppliers with the base release of its validation and summary report (version 1.2) just before Christmas.  We have included these files in fileset 1102.  We are sorry that this base release was not available to schools until the week before the Census and we will be discussing with the DfE how such late provision can be avoided in future.

Fileset 1102 is now available from SOLUS

Added 08/01/2019 at 15:20- Fileset 1102 released to schools via Solus 3 or click here for the manual update


Added 03/01/2019 at 15:20 – Fileset for base release of the DfE’s validation and summary report

The DfE provided suppliers with the base release of its validation and summary report (version 1.2) just before Christmas. We will be including these files in fileset 1102, which we expect to be able to make available by the middle of next week (week beginning 07/01/2019). We are sorry that this base release will not be available to schools until the week before the Census and we will be discussing with the DfE how such late provision can be avoided in future.

We expect to be able to provide a list of the DfE changes in the near future.


Added 18/12/2018 at 17:30 – Validation errors 2470 (4 year olds) and 2500 (15 year olds)

Please note that although the DfE has not acknowledge any change to the coding of these two age related validation errors, we can confirm that the DfE has corrected its coding of these validation rules in its base release of the validation.  This means that validation error 2470 will no longer appear for all four year olds and validation error 2500 will no longer appear for all 15 year olds.

We are continuing to investigate the changes made for the base release of the DfE validation and will provide full details ASAP.

We are planning to include this base release of the DfE validation in fileset 1102.  Unfortunately, fileset 1102 will also need to include the base release of the DfE summary report and as this has not yet been provided to suppliers we can only state that we expect to be able to provide fileset 1102 at some point in early January.


Updated 21/11/2018 at 16:25 – Fileset for first Beta of the DfE’s validation and summary report

We have made the DfE’s first Beta of their validation and summary report available from SOLUS 3 and from My Account.  Please see ‘SIMS Newsfeed – Series 1101 Filesets for SIMS Autumn Release 2018’ for further details and for the link in My Account for downloading the fileset.

Since we created this fileset the DfE has made a second Beta available and we are looking into whether or not we will provide this in a subsequent fileset or wait for the baselined release from the DfE, which is due in December.


ATTENTION – Spring Census 2019

Connect-Up has an applied Consolidated patch 2 this was required to resolve an issue relating to School Census Spring 2019.

This means that all schools MUST create a NEW census return.

Using the dummy census and amending the details will not work as the patch requires a new return.

Times for Spring Census

Details are required of all classes running at the selected time on census day (17 January 2019). If different parts of the school use different timetable structures, then systems should allow the school to return class information for the timetable structure that applies to Key Stage 1. For example, where lunch is at 12:00 hours for pupils following a primary timetable but at 13:00 hours for pupils following a secondary timetable, then the end of morning school should be taken to be 12:00 hours and not 13:00 hours. The ‘selected time’ is based on the last digit of a school’s departmental establishment number as follows:

2, 3 or 6 – The selected time is one hour after the start of afternoon school.
4, 7, 8 or 9 – The selected time is one hour after the start of morning school.
0, 1 or 5 – The selected time is one hour before the end of morning school.

Where the selected time is not appropriate to the school timetable: where the selected time is when the whole school or a large proportion of the school is in an assembly with the head teacher; schools can choose an hour/period that reflects a ‘normal’ class situation that applies at the selected time each Thursday of the term (see paragraph 2.1). Do not record unusual situations (such as class amalgamation or school closure) which may have occurred on census day due, for example, to staff training or absence, severe weather conditions or religious observances. Any group of pupils receiving instruction outside the normal class framework at the selected time, including pupils in a SEN unit or special class, are treated as a separate ‘class as taught’ unless this is an atypical or temporary arrangement

Fileset 1102 required for Spring Census 2019

Capita has released another Fileset_1102 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 17th January 2019

We will Fileset_1102be  deploying this Fileset to our supported customers but please ensure you have  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