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Category: Essential Reading

Key Stage Assessment Returns

Important information for Key Stage Returns

Instructions for 2018 Key Stage Assessment Returns via Capita SIMS .

Connect-Up Support Services GDPR Preperations.

The upcoming changes to the data privacy law are very extensive and daunting to schools.  Connect-Up has continued its approach of producing informed briefings, toolkit focused training courses and hands-on practical workshops, in order to provide the skills your school will need to meet these new complicated and legal requirements from May 2018.

Part of the process that all schools should be doing is to check that companies who process data on your behalf are making the same preparation efforts for the new law that you in school are making.  The majority of companies are simply adding details to their websites (Connect-up are doing this as well) but this requires you to actively search for these.  Connect-Up is trying to make to process simpler by contacting you directly with our standard processor letter which explains the steps we take when processing any from you in a legal and secure manner.  Please click the link below for a copy of our letter.

Connect-Up Processor Letter

Don’t forget that the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on the 25th of May and that we offer a wide range of training and consultancy on data protection to our schools including

All Staff Briefings

SLT Briefings

Data Lead / Chief Privacy Officer Training

Gatekeepers Training

Progress Check / GAP Analysis Consultancy

If you would like to request further information or discuss your school’s data compliance, please feel free to contact me.

Kindest regards
Peter Brookes
School Compliance Advisor/Statutory Consultant
Connect-Up Support Services

Secondary School End of Year Procedures 2018

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 2018

Secondary School End of Year Summary 2018

It is applicable to Secondary school SIMS users. Primary school users should
refer to the Primary School End of Year Procedures 2018

Primary School End of Year Procedures 2018

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.

Primary School End of Year Detailed Procedures 2018

Primary School End of Year Summary Procedures 2018  

It is applicable to Primary school SIMS users. Secondary school users should
refer to the Secondary School End of Year Procedures 2018

Connect-Up End of Year Service

The End of Year Process in SIMS .Net can be a stressful time for you in school.  Everyone knows how important it is to get your setup right before the next year starts.  As many people know once the rollover into the next academic year has happened, there are very few things that can be changed about the structure of the Year groups and Registration Groups.

This year Connect-Up would like to offer your school an extra service.  Let Connect-Up take the strain and we will do it for you.  We have a set of simple sheets that will give us all the necessary information to allow us to complete the following for you:-

  • Setting up the next academic year with term dates and inset days.
  • Setting up next years pastoral structure (Year groups, registration groups and teachers).
  • Setting up the promotion paths for your current students.
  • Setting up admission groups (if needed).

Connect-Up is offering this service for just £100.

For further enquiries please contact us on 0113 2105008

Attendance Code for Snow Closures

Attendance Code for Snow Closures

If your school has had to close due to the ongoing bad weather then we would recommend that you use the exceptional circumstance code (Code Y) in SIMS Attendance.

For further guidance on your attendance code requirements please see the Guidance and Advice on School Attendance Updated August 2013 handbook, P13.

Code Y: Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances

  • This code can be used where a pupil is unable to attend because:
  • The school site, or part of it, is closed due to an unavoidable cause; or
  • The transport provided by the school or a local authority is not available and where the pupil’s home is not within walking distance; or
  • A local or national emergency has resulted in widespread disruption to travel which has prevented the pupil from attending school.
  • This code can also be used where a pupil is unable to attend because:
  • The pupil is in custody; detained for a period of less than four months. If the school has evidence from the place of custody that the pupil is attending educational activities then they can record those sessions as code B (present at an approved educational activity).

This code is collected in the School Census for statistical purposes.

Quoted from the dfe School attendance Statutory guidance and departmental advice, August 2013 

To fill in the following information access Focus | Attendance |  Exceptional Circumstances

  • When on this screen click the NEW button.
  • Ensure your date range is set for only the sessions your school was closed (be very careful you don’t select the whole term, if you did this you could wipe out all of your attendance data!)
  • Select the group type you wish to apply the Y code too – for example, “Whole School” or a specific reg group for a partial closure.
  • Select the Y Code from the drop-down list at the bottom of the screen
  • Enter a description such as “School closed due to bad weather”
  • Click the  APPLY button, these codes will the be applied in attendance.

Kind Regards
Sims Support Team
Connect-Up Support Services
T: 0113 2105008

Spring Census 2018

It will soon be another National Census Return for all school types. The Spring Census date is the 18th of January 2018. Your SIMS version will need to be 7.178 (can be seen via help/about SIMS) and the latest fileset issued by the DfE is 803, which will be deployed automatically to your server when capita release it, but please ensure you have this fileset before you complete and publish your census.

Essential docs:

Preparing for the School Census (Primary)

Preparing for the School Census (Secondary)

Preparing for the School Census (Special)

 

Producing the Autumn Census:

Producing the School Census Spring 2018 – (Primary)

Producing the School Census Spring 2018 – (Secondary)

Producing the School Census Spring 2018 – (Special)

Producing the School Census Spring 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.

Added 02/02/2018 at 10:00 – DfE Validate Error 560

We believe that there is a mistake in the DfE coding of validation error 560, in that the error message indicates that it should be triggered when there are more primary admission appeals withdrawn or heard than were actually lodged, but is actually being triggered when the number of admissions appeals withdrawn plus the number of admissions appeals heard is not equal to the number of admission appeals lodged.

This means that it will be in line with the DfE message when there are more primary admission appeals withdrawn or heard than were actually lodged, but will be out of line with the message when it triggers in other situations, e.g. when the number of admissions appeals withdrawn plus the number admissions appeals heard is less than the number of admissions appeals lodged.

Please note that the DfE has advised us that it is their validation error message that has been coded incorrectly rather than their coding of the validation logic itself.  This means that the DfE will only accept Returns where the number of primary admissions appeals lodged is equal to the sum of the primary admissions appeals withdrawn and the primary admissions appeals heard. 

Added 30/01/2018 at 11:25 – DfE Validate Errors 2510

We believe that there is a mistake in the date the DfE has used for validation error 2510 that means that is can be triggered for pupils who left on the last day of the previous DfE notional academic year when it should only be triggered for pupils who left on or after the start of the current DfE notional academic year, e.g. it can be triggered for a pupil who left on the 31/07/2017 when this should only be possible for pupil who left on or after the 01/08/2017.

 

Added 24/01/2018 at 11:30 – DfE Validate Query 1925Q

Please note that we believe the there is a mistake in the DfE coding of validation query 1925 in that it does not take account of the possibility that a leaver is only included because they have a bursary to be reported.  Obviously, this will only be an issue in very unusual cases.

Added 19/01/2018 at 11:35 – DfE COLLECT Validate Error 2935

We understand that there are situations where DfE validation error 2935 is correctly not appearing for DfE school validation, but is appearing for DfE COLLECT validation when it should not be.  We are awaiting further details from the DfE.

Added 19/01/2018 at 10:50 – SIMS Primary System Presentation v1.0

Please note that version 1.0 of the School Census Spring 2018 for SIMS Primary Overview presentation is available as a ZIP from My Account. The presentation is the equivalent of the overview presentation previously provided for the SIMS 7 and concentrates on the changes for this Census compared to previous School Censuses.

Added 19/01/2018 at 09:10 – 2 Year Old Basis for Funding

Please note the following excerpt from the DfE guidance document.

5.3.11 Funded free entitlement hours [Not for: City technology colleges and non-maintained special schools] [used for funding]

Funded free entitlement hours record, for eligible pupils aged two, three and four years, the total number of free entitlement to early education funded hours in education provision (that is: following the learning and development requirements of the early years foundation stage) at the school. This information is provided by all schools with relevant age children: with the exception of city technology colleges and non-maintained special schools.

All children become eligible for free early education from the term following a child’s third birthday irrespective of background or family circumstances. A specified subset of disadvantaged two year olds also become eligible from the term following a child’s second birthday. Eligible two year olds are those who meet the criteria, which are available on the department’s website. Local authorities will be able to confirm which children meet the eligibility criteria should schools not know. Some three and four-year-olds are also eligible for the extended entitlement hours, which attract an additional 15 hours per week (see 5.3.12 below).

The table below shows the dates of birth, and year groups, of children for whom funded free entitlement hours are required. If a child falls into the cohorts listed below but is not in receipt of any funding via the free entitlement, then a value of zero is recorded for funded free entitlement hours.

Census Date of birth ranges and school type / pupil national curriculum year group Maximum entitlement to funded free entitlement hours
Autumn Born between 01/09/2013 and 31/08/2015 (inclusive)  – all relevant schools and year groups 15 hours
  Born between 01/09/2012 and 31/08/2013 (inclusive) for pupils in national curriculum year groups ‘E1’, ‘E2’, ‘N1’ and ‘N2’ only 15 hours for pupils where 30-hour code is present 

25 hours for pupils where 30-hour code is NOT present 

Spring Born between 01/09/2013 and 31/12/2015 (inclusive)  – all relevant schools and year groups 15 hours
  Born between 01/09/2012 and 31/08/2013 (inclusive) for pupils in national curriculum year groups ‘E1’, ‘E2’, ‘N1’ and ‘N2’ only 15 hours for pupils where 30-hour code is present 

25 hours for pupils where 30-hour code is NOT present 

Summer Born between 01/09/2013 and 31/03/2016 (inclusive)  – all relevant schools and year groups 15 hours
  Born between 01/09/2012 and 31/08/2013 (inclusive) for pupils in national curriculum year groups ‘E1’, ‘E2’, ‘N1’ and ‘N2’ only 15 hours for pupils where 30-hour code is present 

25 hours for pupils where 30-hour code is NOT present 

Free education and childcare for 2-year-olds if you get benefits

Your 2-year-old can get free early education and childcare if you live in England and get one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit
  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • support through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

A child can also get free early education and childcare if any of the following apply:

  • they’re looked after by a local council
  • they have a current statement of special education needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • they get Disability Living Allowance
  • they’ve left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you’re eligible the free early education and childcare:

  • must be with an approved childcare provider
  • starts from the term after your child’s 2nd birthday

Contact your childcare provider or local council to find out more.

https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-2-year-olds-benefits

Added 18/01/2018 at 13:55 – DfE Validation Errors 5235

This DfE validation error should be checking that two year old basis for funding is NOT provided where funding hours is zero, but the version of the validation the DfE has provided for schools has an issue that is preventing the validation from operating.  The DfE has corrected this mistake for their COLLECT validation.  A school can use the SIMS detail report to carry out the check before upload to COLLECT, as the SIMS report is showing the correct information.

Added 18/01/2018 at 13:40 – DfE Validation Errors 1570 and 1573

These two DfE validations errors should be checking for the presence of ULNs for pupils who are 14 years and above, but the version of the validation the DfE has supplied for schools is actually only checking for pupils who are 15 years and above.  The DfE has corrected this mistake for their COLLECT validation.  A school can use the SIMS detail report to check for such missing ULNs before upload to COLLECT, as the SIMS report is showing the correct information.

Added 18/01/2018 at 12:50 – Tables 26 to 30 of the DfE Summary Report

If a table between 26 and 30 is displayed in the DfE Summary Report, it will always show counts of 0, as all these tables report on Post-16 data that is not collected for the Spring Census.

 

Updated 15/01/2018 at 09:30 – DFE guidance on selected time (period)

Please note the following excerpt from version 1.6 (January 2018) of the DfE School Census 2017 to 2018 Guide.

Details are required of all classes running at the selected time on census day (18 January 2018). 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:

Code  Descriptor 
4, 7, 8 or 9    The selected time is one hour after the start of afternoon school
0, 1, or 5 The selected time is one hour after the start of morning school
2, 3 or 6 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 an SEN unit or special class, are treated as a separate ‘class as taught’ unless this is an atypical or 

Added 11/01/2018 at 13:10 -Table 15 of the DfE Summary Report

As you probably know, the DfE has warned schools in it latest bulletin that Table 15 is including 4 year olds when it should not be.  However, we believe that the problem is wider than this and that they are also excluded 15 year olds when they should not be.

Although we are more than willing to provide a further Fileset if they DfE sends us an update, we believe that this is very unlikely to happen.  However, you will find that the correct information can be obtained from the Detail report that we have provided.

 

Fileset 803

The DfE has provided suppliers with an update (version 1.1) to their validation and summary report files, which deals with a number of mistakes in their baseline version (version 1.0). We will include this new version of the DfE validation and summary report files in Fileset 803, which we have made available to customer in Solus 3 and is being deployed to the schools .

 

The DfE has indicated fixes to their coding of the following validation rules.

  • Errors: 1280, 1770 and 1866
  • Queries: 564Q, 565Q and 566Q

 

Fileset 801

The Fileset contains the DfE Beta release of its validation and summary report. As you would expect the Beta release includes several mistakes, as the DfE has not yet completed its testing. It is very important that this Fileset is only used for training and preparation and that it is NOT used as a basis for authorisation and upload to COLLECT.

We have found the following mistakes in the validation and the DfE has confirmed that these will be corrected for the baseline release, which is scheduled for late December.

Error 1861: In Nursery Schools, this is being triggered for all pupils whose DOB is before 01/09/2012. In other schools, it is triggered for all pupils’ other than those with a DOB of the 01/09/2012.
Error 1853: This is being triggered for all pupils where EYPP eligibility should not be reported.

Error 2017: This is being triggered with the SEN code of “SEMH” is assigned to a pupil, but “SENH” should be an acceptable SEN code.
Query 1881Q: This is being triggered for pupils with attendance from 28/05/2017, when it should only be triggered for pupils with attendance from the beginning of the Spring Term.
Query 2502Q: This is being triggered for pupils with a DOA on or before 28/05/2017, when it should only be triggered for pupils with a DOA on or before the start of the Spring Term.

 

 

 

 

Pupil Premium for Financial Year 2018/19 (England)

Pupil Premium for Financial Year 2018_19 (England)

29/01/2018 at 09:30 – Report Definition Files for DfE FSM Ever 6 at Spring Census 2018 

 

The report definition files are available for download  DfE Ever6 Report 2018  The files should be extracted from the ZIP before being imported via Reports | Import

You will find that the ZIP contains the file for last year and files specifically for secondary and primary schools.  The only real difference between the files for secondary and primary schools is the use of the word Reg for secondary and Class for primary.

 

Added 26/01/2018 at 11:05 – Calculation spreadsheet 

The calculation spreadsheet for financial year 2018 to 2019 is available Pupil_Premium_Financial_Year_2018-19_Calculation_v1_0JMH_xlsx.

Added 26/01/2018 at 10:25 – Rates for eligibility pupils 

Please note the following excerpt from the DfE ‘Pupil Premium 2018 to 2019: condition of Grant’ guidance documents published on 19/12/2017.

The PPG per pupil for 2018 to 2019 is as follows:

Disadvantaged pupils Pupil premium per pupil
Pupils in year groups reception to year 6 recorded as Ever 6 free school meals £1,320
Pupils in years 7 to 11 recorded as Ever 6 FSM £935
Looked-after children (LAC) defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority £2,300
Children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order £2,300

 

Service children Pupil premium per pupil
Pupils in year groups reception to year 11 recorded as Ever 6 service child or in receipt of a child pension from the Ministry of Defence £300

Added 26/01/2018 at 09:50 – Eligibility 

Please note the following excerpt from the DfE ‘Pupil Premium 2018 to 2019: condition of Grant’ guidance documents published on 19/12/2017.

3.1 Ever 6 Free School Meals (FSM)

The pupil premium for 2018 to 2019 will include pupils recorded in the January 2018 school census who are known to have been eligible for FSM since May 2012, as well as those first known to be eligible at January 2018.

3.2 Children adopted from care or who have left care

The pupil premium for 2018 to 2019 will include pupils recorded in the January 2018 school census and alternative provision census, who were looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted, or who left local authority care on a special guardianship order or child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order). These are collectively referred to as post-LAC in these conditions of grant.

3.3 Ever 6 service child

For the purposes of these grant conditions, Ever 6 service child means a pupil recorded in the January 2018 school census who was eligible for the service child premium since the January 2013 census as well as those recorded as a service child for the first time on the January 2018 school census. The grant will be allocated as set out in sections 4, 5 and 6 below. Where national curriculum year groups do not apply to a pupil, the pupil will attract PPG if aged 4 to 15 as recorded in the January 2018 school census. 

National Insurance Table 2018/2019

National Insurance Table 2018/2019

Confirmed rates and guidance for National Insurance 2018/2019

29/01/2018

The National Insurance 2018/2019 rates for employers is now available. This document provides information to populate your National Insurance table in SIMS and will enable salary commitments in FMS to be calculated with the new rates.

We have also produced Patch 23693 which will insert the new 2018/ 2019 NI Table into SIMS7 automatically when applied. This is available from SOLUS.

Fileset 803 required for Spring Census 2018

Capita has released another Fileset_803 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 18th January 2018 

We will be  deploying this Fileset to our supported customers but please ensure you have Fileset_803 listed in the statutory returns area of SIMS. (Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census)

If you do not have Fileset_803 listed please contact  the helpdesk on 0113 2105008