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Category: SIMS News

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.

CES Census 2018 (Catholic Schools in England and Wales)

CES Census 2018 (Catholic Schools in England and Wales)

 

Updated 22/01/2018 at 12:50 – Issues with reporting of religions other than Catholic

Unfortunately, there is a problem with the way in which we are counting religions other than Catholic that can result in underreporting of such religions.  For example, if a school decided to create additional religion Lookup Codes for Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims and set the Categories for the Lookup Codes to Muslim, only the pupils original Muslim Lookup Code would be included as Muslim and the addition Lookups Codes would be counted as no religion.

We apologise for this mistake on our part and have made patch 23611 available from SOLUS to correct his mistake.

Once the patch has been applied, schools should proceed as follows.

1. Open Tools | Lookups | Maintain and select Home Religion as the lookup type.

2. Ensure that each Active religion code has an appropriate religion category, e.g. a code for Church of England should have a category of CH (Christian).

3. Run Create & Validate for the Census return to ensure that the correct category data is reported in the Census.

We have added steps 1 and 2 above to this newsfeed item, as we have found that the religion mapping is missing in some schools, which has resulted in the religion being reported as missing in the return for those schools.

 

Added 03/01/2018 at 09:50 – Issues with reporting of religions other than Catholic

Unfortunately, there is a problem with the way in which we are counting religions other than Catholic that can result in underreporting of such religions. For example, if a school decided to create additional religion Lookup Codes for Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims and set the Categories for the Lookup Codes to Muslim, only the pupils original Muslim Lookup Code would be included as Muslim and the addition Lookups Codes would be counted as no religion.

A patch 23611 available and will be depolyed to all Catholic Schools.

Class Information

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:

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 

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

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.

DATA CHECKING REPORT

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.

General

 


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.

Autumn Census 2017

It will soon be another National Census Return for all school types. The Autumn Census date is the 5th of October. Your SIMS version will need to be 7.176 (can be seen via help/about SIMS) and the latest fileset issued by the DfE is 704, 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.

Author: Jim Haywood (Product Manager for Statutory Returns) 

 

 

Added 10th October 2017 at 12:50 – COLLECT Validation Error 160: URN recorded on COLLECT does not match URN recorded on EduBase

Please note that although the DfE COLLECT validation includes the check for validation error 160, the DfE school validation does not.  This is because COLLECT is able to compare the entry in the return file with what is currently stated on GIAS (formerly known as Edubase).  It is possible to deal with this directly in COLLECT, but schools should also correct the data on their MIS (assuming that they have provided the correct information on

 

Added 8th October 2017 at 22:35 – Reduce retention and possible loss of funding if core learning aim is included for an academic post-16 programme of study

Please note the following clarification, which has been provided by the DfE in one of our forums.  I think the implication of this clarification is that any school that has submitted their return to the DfE with a core aim identified for an academic programme should remove that core aim and resubmit their return, or use some other method to ensure that their retention is not unnecessarily reduced with the possible loss of funding.

Schools need to identify and record the substantive (core) learning aim for those students undertaking an ESFA funded vocational or mixed study programme. Where the student is following an academic programme, a core aim must not be recorded on the census.

For vocational programmes, the core aim is key in determining the programme cost weighting a student receives and whether they are counted as retained for funding purposes. Missing or incorrect core aims are likely to have a negative impact on funding. If a core aim is identified for an academic programme it will likely have a negative impact on retention as the core aim will denote the programme as vocational but with no vocational aim in the programme the student may be count as not retained.

 

Added 6th October 2017 at 15:10 – Validation Query 2584Q – Please check: There would normally be at least one pupil who would have at least one unauthorised absence for the second half of the summer term

Please note that there is a mistake in the DfE coding of this query which means that it is checking authorised absence when it should be checking unauthorised absence.

Added 6th October 2017 at 15:00 – Validation Query 2583Q – Please check: There would normally be at least one pupil who would have at least one authorised absence for the second half of the summer term

Please note that there is a mistake in the DfE coding of this query which means that it is checking unauthorised absence when it should be checking authorised absence.

Added 6th October 2017 at 14:35 – Number of learners who have not achieved A*-C in Table 28 of the DfE Summary Report

Please note that we believe that this last row of Table 28 is incorrect in that it is only taking account of leavers when it should also be taking account of on roll students.  We have passed our findings to the DfE.

Added 6th October 2017 at 12:25 – Accuracy of the 30 Hours Code is very important for schools’ nursery funding

As we understand it, the DfE will only provide funding for the new extended 30 hours of nursery education where an accurate 30 hours code is included in the School Census.  Unfortunately, the only attribute of this code that the DfE has been able to validate is that the code is 30 digits (DfE validation rule 3105).  The fact that some school’s data is failing even this rudimentary validation is a concern, as it could indicate that not all schools involved with nursery education are aware of the importance of providing an accurate 30 Hours Code in their School Census.

We suggest that all schools expecting to receive the new 30 hours of extended nursery education use the Early Years Detail Report to double check that they have provided accurate 30 hours codes.

Added 6th October 2017 at 11:05 – Error 3120: The disability access fund indicator is only available for 3 and 4 year olds

The message the DfE has provided for this validation error is causing confusion and it might be better to ignore the actual message and think instead of the full description of what triggers this validation.

Validation error 3120 will be triggered when the DAF indicator is included in the return and NEITHER of the following is true.

  1. The child’s date of birth is between 01/09/2013 and 31/08/2014 (inclusive)
  2. The child’s date of birth is between 01/09/2012 and 31/08/2013 (inclusive) AND they are taught in years E1, E2, N1 or N.

In the SIMS Software there are two possible reasons for this validation error to be triggered.

  1. The software is being run in a Nursery School and the software was built against the agreed DfE specification which asked for this data to be included for ALL children in a Nursery School, while the DfE validation is taking account of the very late decision by the DfE that Nursery School’s should be subject to the same restriction and other schools, as described above.  In practical terms this means that the validation will be triggered for all children in a Nursery School who are taught in year R.
  2. The school installed the ‘Early Release’ of the Summer Release 2017, which had a bug in this area, and failed to upgrade to the ‘Full Release’, which included a fix to this bug.

So if a Nursery School gets this validation failure they can ignore it, as the DfE will delete the data they no longer require on upload to COLLECT.

If any other school gets this validation failure they should upgrade to the ‘Full Release’, or even better, upgrade to the ‘Full Release’ and apply the latest workstation patch.  Schools that are still on the ‘Early Release’ will see the following when they run Help | About SIMS .net 

Version: 7.176
Database build: 3.62.768

 

Added 5th October 2017 at 12:20 – Table 26: Post 16 learning aims – number of learning aims that started this academic year – from 1 August 2017 or continued from previous academic year(s)

Please note that the DfE have confirmed the issue we found with the calculation of one of the overall totals.  However, we have now contacted the DfE to let them know that we believe that all the numbers quoted in the table are incorrect and meaningless, as they appear to be applying a filter at the learning aim level and then reporting at student level.

 

Added 4th October 2017 at 20:35 – Part time for the pupil and part time for the pupil’s attendance

In their latest bulletin, the DfE has pointed out that the part time indicator reported in the Census is about the nature of a pupil’s education in general rather than the nature of their expected attendance at the school.  In the context of SIMS this means that Part Time Details in the Registration panel of Pupil Details is describing an attribute of the pupil’s education in general (which could include concurrent education with another provider), while Early Years Attendance Patterns in that panel is describing an attribute of the pupil’s attendance at the school.

In line with the DfE specification, our Census application makes use of Part Time Details as an attribute of the pupil rather than Early Years Attendance Patterns.

Added 4th October 2017 at 14:00 – What provision should be recorded against funded hours, extended hours and hours at setting?

Please note the following excerpt from the DfE Final Readiness Bulletin for School Census Autumn 2017.

The scope of the provision which is funded by central government via the universal entitlement to early education (recorded against funded hours) and the extended entitlement to 30 hours (recorded against extended hours) is identical and must only include hours used for education provision. Education provision for these purposes is defined in regulations as provision which follows the learning and development requirements of the early years foundation stage. This means:

• Funded hours – hours used to deliver the learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage which are funded under the universal entitlement to early education.

• Extended hours – hours used to deliver the learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage which are funded under the 30 hours extension to early education.

As with funded hours and extended childcare hours, hours at setting should record the time spent at the provider used to deliver the learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (i.e. in education provision). The difference is that hours at setting should record all hours spent in education provision irrespective of who is funding the hours whereas funded hours and extended childcare hours should only include hours funded under the universal entitlement and extended entitlement respectively.

Added 2nd October 2017 at 18:20 – Post-16 Programme of Study and Planned Hours

When Calculate Hours from Courses is clicked in Tools | Academic Management | Course Manager | Post-16 Programme of Study, the calculation will look at all courses open on Census Day for each student selected and for each of those student calculate the Qualification Hours by summing the Planned Qualification Hours per Year entered for each of their courses and the Non-Qualification Hours by summing the Planned Non-Qualification per Year for each of their courses.

If a student leaves a course before Census Day, the hours for that course will not be taken into account, regardless of whether or not they left the course because of a transfer to another course or because they withdrew from the course without transferring to another course.

Similarly, no attempt is made to reduce the hours for a student when they joined a course after the start of the year but on or earlier than the Census Day.

In the majority of cases the caveats that I have described above will make no material difference to the hours to be included in the Census Return, but there might be a case for adjusting the Planned Qualification Hours and Non-Qualification Hours in certain situations.

  1. When a student joined a course late without having transferred from another course.
  2. When a student withdrew from a course before Census Day and the Planned Qualification Hours and Non-Qualification Hours are marginally below a funding band.

Updated 2nd October 2017 at 13:00 – Claiming Early Years funding via the School Census (schools) OR via the Early Years Census (LAs)

As you know, early years funding from the DfE can be claimed by a school via School Census, or by the LA via the Early Year Census, but cannot be claimed via both Censuses for the same child.  A claim by the school must be based on the legal requirement for education of early years children at a school, e.g. minimum adult/child ratio.  Similarly, a claim by the LA must be based on the legal requirement for caring for a child at a nursery, e.g. a lower minimum adult/child ratio for caring for a child at nursery than for educating a child at a school.

Some school have found that they are not able to provide the minimum adult/child ratio needed for the extended (30 hour) DfE funding via School Census and have decided to remove their nursery age children from the school’s MIS so the LA can claim the funding via the Early Years Census.  However, we understand that such action is not necessary in many cases, as the alternative of leaving the children in the school’s MIS with an enrolment status of Guest would also ensure that they are not included in this aspect of School Census and therefore would not be subject to the more stringent minimum adult/child ratio.

For further information, please consult the funding regulations provided by your LA and/or the DfE.

Updated 28th September 2017 at 08:55 – Fileset 704 has been uploaded to Fileset Update

Please note that Fileset 704 has been uploaded to Fileset Update

This Fileset makes the following changes for School Census Autumn 2017, but you should note that the DfE has not corrected the problem with rule 1852 for their school validation.  However, the problem with rule 1852 has been addressed for the COLLECT validation.

DfE School Validation

Errors 3100, 3110, 3120, 3130, 3140, 3150, 5170, 5180 and 5230

The coding for each of these validation errors has been updated to take account of the very late change to the DfE specification that applies the same rule to exclude pupils taught in year ‘R’ in Nursery Schools as was previously only true for Non-Nursery Schools.

Error 3070 – Pupil’s Country of Birth is missing or an invalid value

The validation rule now takes account of ‘Slovakia’.

Error 3075 – Pupil’s Nationality is missing or an invalid value

The validation rule now takes account of ‘Slovakia’.

DfE School Summary Report

Table 2 – Pupils on roll by age and gender

The age calculation has been corrected to that the total for pupils are shown in a year in line with the pupils’ actual age.

Table 15: Attendance information for the 2017 summer term (terms 5 and 6) for all pupils aged between 5 and 15 years as at 31/08/2016 [Not for: Nursery school]

The unauthorised absence codes have been included and persistent absentee calculation amended.

Table 23 – Universal infant school meals

The age calculation has been corrected for pupils with NC year X so that the correct pupils are taken into account for year X.

SIMS Application

UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number)

This is now being included in the return where it is available.

Added 27th September 2017 at 14:40 – Fileset 704 is in its final stages of testing

We expect the DfE update to their validation file to address the following issues.

Error 3070 – Pupil’s Country of Birth is missing or an invalid value

This error is being triggered for “Slovakia” when it should not be.

Error 3075 – Pupil’s Nationality is missing or an invalid value

This error is being triggered for “Slovakia” when it should not be.

Error 1852 – Child’s funded hours not provided or out of the range 0 to 15 to two decimal places for pupils aged 2 or 3

This error is triggered for 0 zero funded hours when it should not be.

We expect the DfE update to their summary report file to address the following issues. 

Table 2 – Pupils on roll by age and gender

The age calculation is incorrect in the XSLT and therefore pupils are shown on this table in a year below their actual age.

There is also an error in the wording displayed for pupils aged 5, as the date of birth range should be ‘01/09/11-31/08/12’ and not ‘01/09/2012 and later’.

Table 16 – Attendance information for the 2017 summer term (terms 5 and 6) for all pupils aged 4 years as at 31/08/2016

The unauthorised absence codes have been omitted. However, the DfE does not expected schools to be affected by mistake on their part.

Table 23 – Universal infant school meals

The age calculation is incorrect for pupils with NC year X and therefore the incorrect pupils may appear in the table for year X. However, a UiFSM report which will include pupils in year X, is available for schools and local authorities to run via the report section on COLLECT. This report will allow schools to reconcile their pupil numbers.

The following issue is due to a mistake on our part and a solution is already in place for distribution via fileset 704. 

UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number)

This is not compulsory for School Census Autumn 2017, but should be included where available. Unfortunately, UPRN is not being included in the Census when it is available.

Added 27th September 2017 at 14:15 – Total Hours for Early Years

Our understanding is that the Total Hours for Early Years should take account of the normal funded hours, the extended funded hours and any additional hours for teaching that the parent(s) have paid for.  However, if the parent(s) have paid for childcare, that should not be included, as this is not teaching.

Added 19th September 2017 at 10:10 – Relationship between EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and childcare hours

The following explanation has been posted to our forum by the DfE and schools may find it helpful in understanding the childcare funding that schools can claim via the School Census.

The scope of the provision which is funded by central government via the first 15 hours and the second 15 hours is identical and must be used only for education provision. 

As set out in regulations, in order to receive funding to deliver free places providers must be either: 

  • registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register
  • registered with a childminding agency which is registered with Ofsted
  • schools taking children aged two and over which are exempt from registration with Ofsted as an early years providers 

Providers must deliver the full Learning and Development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) unless: 

  • they are an independent school which has met the quality requirement(most recent Ofsted inspection judgement is “good” or better) and notified the Secretary of State that they intend to take up exemption from the Learning and Development requirement; or
  • the Department has granted an exemption from one or more of the Learning and Development requirements on the grounds that the provider’s established principles cannot be reconciled with one or more of the Learning and Development requirements. 

So, in effect, this is saying that the universal entitlement and the extended childcare hours must be used to deliver the learning and development requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). 

Added 18th September 2017 at 18:15 – UPRN is not being included in the return file

Unfortunately, we have made a mistake in one of the files we provide via the Fileset which results in UPRN (Unique Property Reference Number) being excluded from an address even where a school has validated the address to obtain the UPRN.  This does not trigger a validation issue, as UPRN remains an optional item.  However, we intend to deal with this mistake on our part via provision of Fileset 704.

Added 18th September 2017 at 17:55 – Problem with DfE validation errors 3070 and 3075 in Fileset 703

Validation errors 3070 or 3075 should only be triggered when a pupil’s country of birth or nationality, respectively, are missing or an invalid value.  However, they are both being triggered for “Slovakia”, which is incorrect. We have contacted the DfE to let them know about this anomaly in their school validation.  We can confirm that this is due to the same mistake by the DfE as they made for the previous School Census.

Added 18th September 2017 at 17:10 – Problem with DfE validation error 1852 in Fileset 703

This validation error should only be triggered when a child’s funded hours are not provided or out of the range 0 to 15 to two decimal for a child aged 2 or 3. However, it is also being triggered when a child’s funded hours are 0 for a child aged 2 or 3, which is incorrect.  We have contacted the DfE to let them know about this anomaly in their school validation.

Updated 18th September 2017 at 16:40 – Problem with validation 5240Q in Fileset 701 and 702.

Essential docs:

Preparing for the School Census (Primary)

Preparing for the School Census (Secondary)

Preparing for the School Census (Post 16)

Preparing for the School Census (Special)

Producing the Autumn Census:

Producing the School Census Autumn 2017 – (Primary)

Producing the School Census Autumn 2017 – (Secondary)

Producing the School Census Autumn 2017 – (Special)

Producing the School Census Autumn 2017 – (Pru)

Producing the School Census Autumn 2017 – (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.