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SIMS 7 – CTF Issue

SIMS 7 – CTF Issue

Background information

What is CTF?

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

What is the issue?

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

Will this issue have impacted my school(s)?

Not all schools will be impacted.

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

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

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

One type of example would be:

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

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

Which data may have been altered?

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

What steps do I need to take?

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

The following description is a summary of this.

Step 1 – Patch SIMS

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

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

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

Step 2 – Run the diagnostics

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

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

Step 3 – Complete remedial action (if appropriate)

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

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

Step 4 – Run the clean-up patch

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

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

NOTE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does the workstation patch need to be applied?

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

In all other instances the workstation patch should be applied.

Next steps

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

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

Access to the new diagnostic script for Support Units

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

Existing Modules

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

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

(attendance, behaviour &

achievement, assessment, timetable,

reports, homework and the data

collection) | Message generation |

Homework

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

 

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

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

Splash screen

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

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

Additional questions

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

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

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

Important Note

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

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

Version 3.1

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

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

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

The improved version of Database Diagnostic Check 99 includes:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

(attendance, behaviour &

achievement, assessment, timetable,

reports, homework and the data

collection) | Message generation |

Homework

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

 

Consolidated patches

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

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

Reactivation of SIMS modules

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

Advice on messaging

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

Next steps and additional questions

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

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

The improved version of Database Diagnostic Check 99 includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your patience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apology

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

Description of Problem

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

First aspect of the problem

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

Second aspect of the problem

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

Example of Problem

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

Solution

Removing the bug

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

Dealing with the data problems caused by the bug

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

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

Correcting the bug

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

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

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

First aspect of the problem

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

Second aspect of the problem

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

Example of Problem

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

Solution

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

Progress

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

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

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

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

Apology

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

Description of Problem

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

Solution

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

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

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

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

Apology

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

Description of Problem

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

Solution

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

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

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

from

Student Contacts  [  ] 

to

 All Student Contacts  [  ]
 Student Parental Contacts  [  ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CML File (Children Missing Education – Leavers)

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

 

CMJ File (Children Missing Education – Joiners)

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

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

Exams Days 15th and 22nd August 2018

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

 

Dear colleague

 

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

 

Results Day Survival Kit

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

 

OSMIS Web Site

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

 

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

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

 

Do I Need to Apply the SIMS Summer Release?

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

 

Are There Any Database Patches I Need to Apply?

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

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

And Finally

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

 

With best wishes for a smooth and successful download day

Fileset 1002 required for Autumn Census 2018

 

Capita has released another Fileset_1002 to address changes made by the DfE in the upcoming census on the 4th October 2018 

We will be  deploying this Fileset to our supported customers but please ensure you have Fileset_1002 listed in the statutory returns area of SIMS. (Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census)

If you do not have Fileset_1002 listed please contact  the helpdesk on 0113 2105008

Summer Holidays

Dear All,

With the start of the summer holidays the Connect-Up help desk will now be operating at a reduced level, this is due to staff members taking holiday and also major work projects.

We hope you understand and wish you a peaceful and happy summer.

Regards,

Connect-Up Support Team.

Third Party Software

Dear Customers,

We are receiving a an ever increasing number of calls, on the help desk regarding third party software products (i.e. Classroom Monitor, Medical Tracker, Call Parents, Parent Pay, Inventry etc.) and we are rapidly approaching the point where it will affect our ability to fulfil our core responsibility to school of supporting SIMS and their statutory responsibilities.

In light of this we thought it would be best to clarify the position of Connect-Up, regarding the support of third party products.

Connect-Up has the responsibility, under the SIMS SLA, to assist 3rd party suppliers apply patches, facilitate remote access for investigation and/or assisting with network or SIMS configurations required prior to installation.

We would advise any customers purchasing 3rd products to ensure they have also purchased installation from the supplier. Our recommendation for the next step with this is to contact the supplier of the software and ask them when they can install this for you.

They may need a remote connection to the server/computer that this needs setting up on, if that is the case can you please put them in touch with us as we are more than happy to facilitate a remote connection for them to fulfil the installation.

Please bear in mind that we will need an Email confirmation from a senior member of staff at the school pre-authorising us to give them access to your server/computer to make the relevant changes, this is to cover both yourselves and us under GDPR.

If the school has not got installation included in the purchase of any 3rd party software, an option for you as a school would be that if you do have a managed service contract with us, you are more than welcome to use their time as you please whilst they are in your school (that would need to be agreed with senior staff within the school and the engineer made aware before their site visit).

As a last option if installation has not been purchased and the customer is unable to setup the 3rd party product purchased then Connect-Up would have to charge for a dedicated engineer to install the product.

School Census Autumn 2018

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

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

PRUs

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

Non-PRUs

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have agreed with the DfE the following way forward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have agreed with the DfE the following way forward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have agreed with the DfE the following way forward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

School Summer Census 2018

Census date 17/05/2018

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

 

 Key Dates

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

 

Essential docs:

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

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

 

Producing the Autumn Census:

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Nursery)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Primary)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Secondary)

Producing the School Census Summer 2018 – (Special)

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

 

Errors and Validation:

Census Validation Errors and Resolutions 2017-18

 

Quick Reference Sheets:

Quick Reference Sheet – School Census Producing Reports

 

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

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

 

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

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

COLLECT query 1767q

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

There are two possible courses of action to resolve this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please note that the DfE has provided the following information.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT FREE SCHOOL MEALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

This will be in place by Monday 11 June 2018.

Thank you in advance

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Fileset_902

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Fileset 901 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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