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Series 1300 Filesets for SIMS Summer Release 2019

15 Jul 14:45 SIMS Newsfeed – Series 1300 Filesets for SIMS Summer Release 2019

 

Updated 15/07/2019 at 14.45 – Fileset 1302

Fileset 1302 is available from SOLUS 3 and as a download from Here.  It includes the following changes compared to Fileset 1300, which was included with the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2019.

 

School Census Autumn 2019 (State Schools in England)

Updated 01/08/2019 at 11:55 – Fileset 1302

Fileset 1302 is available from SOLUS 3 and as a download from My Account. It includes the following changes compared to Fileset 1300.

School Census Autumn 2019 (State Schools in England)

Beta version of the DfE validation (Beta of the DfE summary report is not included)

School Workforce Census 2019 (State School in England)

No change.

Other

Deals with the problem caused to the Exams PI report by Fileset 1301.

 

School Census Autumn 2019 (State Schools in England)

No change

School Workforce Census 2019 (State School in England)

No change.

Other

Deals with the problem caused to the Exams PI report by Fileset 1301.

Updated 17/07/2019 at 14:50 – Fileset 1301

*** Withdrawn ***

We have received a report that importing Fileset 1301 breaks the PI Report, which will be used by many secondary schools.  We are withdrawing the fileset while we investigate.  Such a problem with Fileset 1301 could be solved by the import of a replacement fileset (1302).

Fileset 1301 is available from SOLUS 3. It includes the following changes compared to Fileset 1300, which was included with the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2019.

School Census Autumn 2019 (State Schools in England)

Beta version of the DfE validation and summary report.

School Workforce Census 2019 (State School in England)

No change.

 

CTF 18 (England and Wales) and CME files (England only)

Items related to the CTF import contact issue are excluded from the newsfeed, as specific information for that area is available from our CTF 17/18 Contact Issue newsfeed.

 

IMPORTANT: 2019 Spring Release awareness regarding CTF imports

28/06/2019

Date 02/07/2019 13:00

Following our previous note regarding CTF imports for SIMS Spring 2019, we can confirm that a patch to address this will be available by Friday 5th July.

The patch will be included in the SIMS Summer 2019 release and will not affect those that have already applied the patch to the SIMS Spring 2019 release. The SIMS Summer 2019 release will be delayed until next week (w/c 8th June) as a result.

 

28/06/2019

We have identified a specific scenario which has affected CTF imports for a handful of schools who have taken the SIMS Spring 2019 release.

The specific scenario arises when a contact exists in SIMS and an imported CTF contains this existing SIMS contact (e.g. sibling) and a new contact with the same surname, forename and gender.  Following the CTF import the new contacts telephone number and email address are appended to the existing contact held in SIMS. The pupil associated with the new contact (in the CTF file) is also incorrectly linked to the existing contact held in SIMS.

A database patch which addresses this scenario has been developed and is currently being tested.  Testing will continue over the weekend and we will provide a further update on Monday 1 July.  Our advice is not to use the CTF mechanism to import pupil and contact details from other schools until this database patch is available and applied to SIMS.

Capita ESS apologises for any impact to our customers that may be affected.  We will keep you informed as information becomes available. 

 

Update 04/04/2019

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

  • house name or number
  • apartment number
  • Postcode

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

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

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

CTF_customer_FAQ.

 

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

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

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

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

Import only

File version 18

Import and export

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

The Summer release added a grid for Service Children Concerns to the Addition Information panel of Pupil Details to allow schools to record concerns that the current school or previous school had regarding a child with a parent serving in the Armed Forces. The Concerns are held completely separately to the Service Children in Education flag, as it is quite possible for a pupil to have been a service child in the past but for them to no longer be a service child. If a record exists indicating a concern for an earlier date, it might be sensible for a school to add a record for a later date to indicate ‘no concerns’ on that date. It might also be sensible to enter a ‘no concern record’ when a pupil is currently a service child. However, it is not advisable to add ‘no concerns’ records for pupils who are not currently and have not previously been a service child, as this might be taken to indicate that they were previous a service child with a concern.

CTF 18 was updated to include the export and import of the Service Children Concerns but unfortunately there is an issue with our CTF 18 Export routine that results in ‘no concern’ records being added to the file when the Service Children Concerns table is blank. On import these become ‘no concern’ records for pupils who may never have been service children.  Two patches are available to support units on SOLUS 3 to deal with this issue.

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

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

Added 04/09/2018 at 12:40 – CME files for leavers (England only)

Some schools are concerned that they forgot to use CTF functionality to provide CME (Children Missing Education) files to their LA for pupils who left the school at the end of the academic year.  Although this may well be an issue for some of the schools in this position, it is also possible that this is not an issue.  There are two possible reasons why this may not be an issue.

  1. The government legislation for CME only insists on information being provided outside of normal phase transfers and many of the pupils who left the school at the end of the year may will have been for a normal phase transfer, e.g. leaving a primary school at the end of year 6 to join a secondary school for the start of year 7.  However, some LAs will always ask for the CME leavers information as end of phase transfer can be difficult to define, e.g. LAs with tradition independent schools may have pupils transferring from prep school to pupil schools at age 14.
  2. The government legislation for CME only insist on the information being provided and CTF is just one of several ways in which such information can be provided, e.g. some LAs provide a website for entering the necessary information.

Added 03/09/2018 at 17:15 – ULN and URN

On the 1st August the CTF version moved on by one year as normal. This means that CTF Export will provide CTF 18 format files, rather than CTF 17 format files, and CTF Import will accept CTF 17 and 18 format files, rather than CTF 16 and 17 format files. The main impact of introducing the CTF 18 format files is that the school’s URN (Unique Reference Number) is mandatory, in addition to the school’s Establishment Number (LA number + school number).

We understand that the CTF files provided via S2S for adding ULN (Unique Learner Number) for learners is still in CTF 16 format, that is no longer supported for CTF Import. The DfE will be dealing with this matter shortly, but for the moment we must caution against making manual changes to the file names and content of CTF files to ‘trick’ CTF Import into accepting them, as the formats for CTF 16 and CTF 18 are not compatible.

Added 02/08/2018 at 18:00 – The CTF 17 newsfeed will be maintained beyond it normal closure date of 1st  August

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

I have added a link from this newsfeed to the CTF 17 newsfeed and I have also added a link from the CTF 17 newsfeed to this newsfeed.

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

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

Viewing CTF Change Requests

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

Adding CTF Change Requests

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

Added 22/03/2018 at 09:00 – Overview Presentation

Please note that version 1.0 of the CTF 18 Overview presentation is available as a ZIP from My Account.  Most of the content of this presentation will be relevant to England only, as the WG has decided that the new items will not apply to school in Wales.

 

“End of Year Academic Year Information.”

End of Year Academic Year Information 2019/20

Primary School End of Year Procedures Summary

Primary School End of Year Procedures Detailed.

Secondary School End of Year Procedures Summary

Secondary School End of Year Procedures Detailed

Preparing for 2019/2020 Using Nova-T6 and Options Online to Prepare the Timetable

Independent Junior/Preparatory School End of Year Procedures

Independent Senior School End of Year Procedures

 

School Census Summer 2019

Census date 16-05-2019

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

Preparing for the Census Secondary Schools.

Producing the Census for Nursery

Producing the Census for Primary Schools.

Producing the Census for Secondary

Producing the Census for PRU.

Producing the Census for AllThrough Schools.

Census Validation Errors Resolutions.

Updated 09/05/2019 at 13:30 – Fileset 1203

This fileset provides the following changes compared to Fileset 1202.  I am pleased to report that our testing was completed more quickly than expected and this fileset is now available via SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1203

Attendance Collection 2019 (Maintained Schools in Wales

No change.

NDC 2019 (Maintained Schools in Wales)

No change.

School Census Summer 2019 (State Schools in England)

Final version of the DfE validation and summary report.  This final version (1.1) joins the baseline version (1.0) as being suitable for providing the submission to the DfE.

Updated 09/05/2019 at 13:50 – Final version of the DfE validation and summary report files

Fileset 1203 includes the final version of the DfE validation and summer report files.  I am pleased to report that our testing was completed more quickly than expected and this fileset is now available via SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1203

Schools can continue to use the baseline version (fileset 1202) for their submission to the DfE, but use of the final version (fileset 1203) will have the following benefits.

  1. Correction to the coding of validation rule 1852 so that it deals with four year-olds correctly.
  2. Correction to the message provided by rule 1861.
  3. Removal of the word ‘Beta’ from the summary report heading.

Added 07/05/2019 at 11:55 – Dry runs

Given that census day is the 16/05/2019, it is important for schools to carry out a dry run if they haven’t already done so.

Updated 25/04/2019 at 16:25 – Baseline version of the DfE validation and summary report files

Fileset 1202 includes the baseline version of the DfE validation and summer report files and is now available via SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1202

The DfE are planning to provide suppliers with a further update to these files at the end of April to deal with issues.  The issues dealt with will include the following.

  1. Correction to the coding of validation rule 1852 so that it deals with four year-olds correctly.
  2. Correction to the message provided by rule 1861.
  3. Removal of the word ‘Beta’ from the summary report heading.

Added 25/04/2019 at 11:05 – Funded hours for nursery children

For financial year 2019/20, which started on the 1st April 2019, all children will be capped at 15 hours for the universal entitlement.  This census takes place in May 2019, so the DfE will expect this ‘cap’ to be reflected in this census.

Updated 25/04/2019 at 10:50 – Baseline version of the DfE validation and summary report files

Fileset_1202 includes the baseline version of the DfE validation and summer report files and  will be installed via  SOLUS 3 and as a download from here Fileset_1202.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All date ranges are inclusive.

Census reference date

16/05/2019

DfE notional autumn term 2018

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

DfE notional spring term 2019

From 01/01/2019 to 21/04/2019

DfE notional summer term 2019

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

Attendance

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

Exclusions

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

Eligibility for FSM

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

Learning Support

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

Spring Census 2019 Update

Spring Census Day 17th January 2019.

Information and documentation.

Preparing for the school census Primary, Nursery & Special Schools

Preparing for the census Secondary Schools.

Preparing for the census Independent

Producing the School Census All Through schools.

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

Producing the School Census Secondary Schools.

Producing the School Census Special School.

Producing the School Census PRU.

Producing the School Independent.

Producing the School Level Annual School Census 2019.

Census 2019 Validation Errors Resolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CES Census 2019 (Catholic Schools in England and Wales)

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

PLASC 2019 (Maintained Schools in Wales)

No changes.

School Census Spring 2019 (State Schools in England)

Important message

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

Additional improvement

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

SLASC 2019 (Independent Schools in England)

No changes.

ISC 2019 (Independent Schools Council)

No changes

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

You can click here to download this publication.

Errata

Validation query 1853

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

Our publication suggests:-

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

When it should suggest:-

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

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

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

Melanie Armstrong (DfE)

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

 

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

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

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

Important message

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

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

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

Background Information

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

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

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

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

Why has the problem occurred?

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Fileset 1102 is now available from SOLUS

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Sims Autumn Update 2018

 

 

26/11/2018 – Three Patches to delete data no longer collected by DfE Census
Given the recent position of the DfE no longer collecting Proficient in English (1.4.3.2), Pupil Country of Birth (1.4.3.3) and Pupil Nationality (1.4.3.4), full details available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/720748/2018-19_School_Census_Business_and_Technical_Specifications_Version-v1.1.pdf Capita SIMS have release the following three patches in SOLUS3 to delete this data:

  • Patch 24423 – Deletes all records for Proficiency in English information for all past, present and future students. Where a student has multiple proficiency entries, the patch will remove all instances of this.
  • Patch 24433 – Deletes the National Identity for all past, present and future students.
  • Patch 24372 – Deletes the Country of Birth and where present the Nationality (actually called Nation inside the expanded Nationality and Passport Details record, only where passport details are blank) for all past, present and future students

01/11/2018 – SIMS Autumn 2018 Release Now Available
We are pleased to announce that the SIMS Autumn suite of software will be made available to customers by throughout today.  All the release notes have been published Click Here

School Census Autumn 2018

Publications

Preparing for the School Primary, Nursery, Special Phase

Preparing for the School Secondary Phase

Producing the School Census Nursery

Producing the School Census Middle-Primary

Producing the School Census English Secondary – PRUS – Post 16

Producing the School Census Special Phase

Producing the School Census all through

Validation Errors and Resolutions 2018-19 7.182

 

Generally Useful Links

 

 

 

Added 11/10/2018 at 12:40 DfE Validation Query 1767Q (Due to FSM protection we would not expect FSM periods to have an end date. Please provide a reason.)

The following excerpt from the lates DfE Update explains why some schools are receiving many incidents of validation query 1767Q.  It also describes the exception to the general rule regarding the exclusion FSM eligibility end date.  It is the exception form the general rule that prevented us from ignoring any end dates that have been entered by schools.

1767q – FSM end dates

5. We currently have a large number of occurrences of 1767q which triggers when an FSM end date is provided for a period of eligibility.

6. Following the introduction of the universal credit, any pupil who was eligible for FSM as at 31 March 2018 or became eligible after that date has protected status and will retain the eligibility until at least the end of summer 2023 and should continue to receive a free meal regardless of how a family’s circumstances might have changes. Please note: the protection is awarded to the individual child. If they move to live with another family member or is fostered or taken into their they will retain their protection.

7. At the end of summer 2023 the pupil will retain their FSM protection until they change phase of education. Therefore we would not expect fsm end dates to be provided for the majority of periods.

8. The only circumstances where an FSM end date should be provided are:

– A parent is aware of the protection but has stated that they do not wish their child to be recorded as fsm eligible.
– The parent qualified through support under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 or the guaranteed element of the pension credit and this has ended.

If either of the above apply, please provide a notepad explanation to this effect and the query will be ok’d. If none of the above apply, the fsm end date should be removed to resolve the query.

9. Please check for any occurrences of this query on your return(s) and amend as necessary.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 18:40 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We are investigating reports from several schools that statutory returns are reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where there have been changes to Enrolment Status.  We have not completed our investigations, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census where Enrolment Status has been changed via menu route Routines | Pupil | Enrolment Status. (or for PRUs via the old menu route Tools | Statutory Returns | Update Provide Status).  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the return to ignore a pupil where it believes the student to be a Guest. A similar situation could arise if a pupil changes from/to Dual Subsidiary.

The problem described above is unlikely to be detected by the DfE validation.  We therefore strongly recommend that the reporting of Enrolment Status in School Census Autumn 2018 is checked for every pupil where Enrolment Status has been changed.  The feedback we have received from schools still suggests a very small scale problem with the data, but we are monitoring new cases to ensure that we get a full picture of the scale of the problem.

Added 08/10/2018 at 18:10 Validation error 1920 for sponsor-led academies that converted from schools

As you probably know, where our Census application detects that an academy was allocated a new Establishment Number when converting from a school, e.g. conversion from a school to a sponsor-led academy, we ensure that the DOA for each pupil is no earlier than the first date a pupil could attend the academy.  We now understand that there is an exception to this general rule, in that where a learning activity is reported that took place at the school that has been replaced, the DOA should be the DOA from the school that has been replaced regardless of when the Establishment Number changed.  Failure to take account of this exception will trigger validation error 1920 and the DfE will NOT accept a note on COLLECT to explain this.

We are looking into how we can help schools to deal with this situation.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 11:05 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We have received reports from a handful of schools that the Census is reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where multiple changes to Enrolment Status have taken place.  We have not yet had time to investigate this, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census for pupils where they have made multiple changes to Enrolment Status.  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the Census to ignore a pupil where it believes the pupil to be a Guest.

This is probably a very small scale problem, but it is best to check where changes to Enrolment Statuses have taken place.

Added 11/10/2018 at 12:40 DfE Validation Query 1767Q (Due to FSM protection we would not expect FSM periods to have an end date. Please provide a reason.)

The following excerpt from the lates DfE Update explains why some schools are receiving many incidents of validation query 1767Q.  It also describes the exception to the general rule regarding the exclusion FSM eligibility end date.  It is the exception form the general rule that prevented us from ignoring any end dates that have been entered by schools.

1767q – FSM end dates

5. We currently have a large number of occurrences of 1767q which triggers when an FSM end date is provided for a period of eligibility.

6. Following the introduction of the universal credit, any pupil who was eligible for FSM as at 31 March 2018 or became eligible after that date has protected status and will retain the eligibility until at least the end of summer 2023 and should continue to receive a free meal regardless of how a family’s circumstances might have changes. Please note: the protection is awarded to the individual child. If they move to live with another family member or is fostered or taken into their they will retain their protection.

7. At the end of summer 2023 the pupil will retain their FSM protection until they change phase of education. Therefore we would not expect fsm end dates to be provided for the majority of periods.

8. The only circumstances where an FSM end date should be provided are:

– A parent is aware of the protection but has stated that they do not wish their child to be recorded as fsm eligible.
– The parent qualified through support under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 or the guaranteed element of the pension credit and this has ended.

If either of the above apply, please provide a notepad explanation to this effect and the query will be ok’d. If none of the above apply, the fsm end date should be removed to resolve the query.

9. Please check for any occurrences of this query on your return(s) and amend as necessary.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 18:40 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We are investigating reports from several schools that statutory returns are reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where there have been changes to Enrolment Status.  We have not completed our investigations, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census where Enrolment Status has been changed via menu route Routines | Pupil | Enrolment Status. (or for PRUs via the old menu route Tools | Statutory Returns | Update Provide Status).  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the return to ignore a pupil where it believes the student to be a Guest. A similar situation could arise if a pupil changes from/to Dual Subsidiary.

The problem described above is unlikely to be detected by the DfE validation.  We therefore strongly recommend that the reporting of Enrolment Status in School Census Autumn 2018 is checked for every pupil where Enrolment Status has been changed.  The feedback we have received from schools still suggests a very small scale problem with the data, but we are monitoring new cases to ensure that we get a full picture of the scale of the problem.

Added 08/10/2018 at 18:10 Validation error 1920 for sponsor-led academies that converted from schools

As you probably know, where our Census application detects that an academy was allocated a new Establishment Number when converting from a school, e.g. conversion from a school to a sponsor-led academy, we ensure that the DOA for each pupil is no earlier than the first date a pupil could attend the academy.  We now understand that there is an exception to this general rule, in that where a learning activity is reported that took place at the school that has been replaced, the DOA should be the DOA from the school that has been replaced regardless of when the Establishment Number changed.  Failure to take account of this exception will trigger validation error 1920 and the DfE will NOT accept a note on COLLECT to explain this.

We are looking into how we can help schools to deal with this situation.

Updated 09/10/2018 at 11:05 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We have received reports from a handful of schools that the Census is reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where multiple changes to Enrolment Status have taken place.  We have not yet had time to investigate this, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census for pupils where they have made multiple changes to Enrolment Status.  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the Census to ignore a pupil where it believes the pupil to be a Guest.

This is probably a very small scale problem, but it is best to check where changes to Enrolment Statuses have taken place.

Added 05/10/2018 at 15:40 Possible problem with enrolment status history

We have received reports from a handful of schools that the Census is reporting the wrong Enrolment Status for pupils where multiple changes to Enrolment Status have taken place on the same day.  We have not yet had time to investigate this, but we think it is worth schools checking the reporting of Enrolment Status in the Census for pupils where they have made multiple changes to Enrolment Status on the same day.  If such problems have arisen where schools have changed between Enrolment Statuses indicated Guest and on roll, it would be possible for the Census to ignore a pupil where it believes the pupil to be a Guest.

This is probably a very small scale problem, but it is best to check where changes to Enrolment Statuses have taken place.

Updated 05/10/2018 at 14:35 Multi-year learning aims (of interest to schools with sixth forms)

As many of you will know, school timetables are the main determinants of course lists and class memberships are the main determinants of course memberships. Both school timetables and class memberships are normally based on single academic years, so our course management functionality provides additional facilities to deal with courses for two or more years. These additional facilities include allowing the duration to be set to 2 weeks, 2-24 weeks, one year, two years, three years, four years or five years. They also include allowing the completion tolerance to be set to none, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 1 month, 2 months or 3 months.

For example, if duration is set to 2 years for a course membership that started on the 05/09/2016 the Expected End Date will be calculated to be the 31/07/2018 (the last possible day for academic year 2017/18) and School Census Autumn 2016 and 2017 will have reported the student’s learning aim Start Date as 05/09/2016 and Expected End Date as 31/07/2018. If the student completed the learning aim on 22/06/2018 and completion tolerance is set to 2 months, School Census Autumn 2018 will report the student’s learning aim Start Date as 05/09/2016, an Expected End Date of the 31/07/2018 and an Actual End Date of 22/06/2018. We believe that all these dates are fine from a DfE point of view, as the Start and Expected End Date do not change during the three Autumn Censuses where the student’s learning aim is reported and the Actual End Date is only reported when the Actual End Date has occurred (i.e. not in the future) *1

However, now that two year courses have become so general for schools we are looking into going a bit further in helping schools with this aspect of School Census Autumn. As things stand schools are likely to have to enter a Status of ‘Completed’ manually in the Census application for multiple year learning aims that have been completed. In the example above the school would need to enter a status of ‘Completed’ for School Census Autumn 2018. Although we have provided a bulk update facility in our Census application to help schools to set the appropriate learning aims status, we are now also looking into providing a patch to default the learning aim status to the most likely status.

If we are able to provide such a patch it will be released as part of consolidated patch 3.

*1 It is important to leave Status blank (even if it has a yellow background) in Maintain Course where an Actual End Date is included for the future. If a school does not leave the Status blank when the date is for the future and before the Expected End Date, the school will not be allowed to save.

 

Added 28/09/2018 at 16:30 Census Consolidated Patch V2 & Fileset 1006 are available

Census Consolidated Patch v2 for Summer Release 2018 (patch 24330) is necessary to correct the issue in the SIMS application for schools receiving error 1992 when running School Census. This error is incorrectly produced when a yr 12/13 student has left the school during the 2018/2019 academic year prior to the Census date even though hours are present.

Import of Fileset 1006 to provide version 1.4 of the DfE validation is necessary to correct the mistake in the DfE validation.

Added 25/09/2018 at 10:15 – Dealing with validation error 2712 in a school with a sixth form

Unfortunately, there are two actions necessary for dealing with validation error 2712.

  1. Application of ‘Census Consolidated Patch v1 for Summer Release 2018’ (patch 24323) is necessary to correct the mistake in the SIMS application.
  2. Import of Fileset 1006 to provide version 1.4 of the DfE validation is necessary to correct the mistake in the DfE validation.

We expect that both of the above will be available before the end of the week.

Added 24/09/2018 at 17:10 – Fileset 1006

The DfE has decided that version 1.3 will not be their final version of their validation file, as their new validation error 2712 is reporting ‘Full-time employment indicator is missing or invalid’ for all students with learning aims and not just those students with learning aims where ‘true’ or ‘false’ is missing for ‘full-time employment’.  The DfE COLLECT validation will report this error as intended and the DfE school validation will be corrected via version 1.4 so that it also reports this error as intended.

We will provide version 1.4 of the DfE validation via Fileset 1006 as soon as possible after the DfE issues this new version to suppliers.

I apologise for the confusing position that has arisen for school with sixth forms as I result of a bug in our software and a separate bug in the DfE validation file regarding reporting of ‘full-time employment’.

Updated 24/09/2018 at 14:45 – Post-16 employment and validation error 2712 (patch 24323)

As you probably know, our school census application determines whether or not a post-16 student is in full time employment or not by checking the Post-16 Employment grid in the Additional Information panel of Focus | Student | Student Details.  Where there is a current record of ’employment in school hours that is beyond 20 hours per week’, the student is in full time employment, otherwise they are not.  Where the software has determined that a post-16 student is in full time employment, our school census application is correctly reporting this as ‘true’.  However, where we should be reporting full time employment as ‘false’, we have incorrectly applied the ‘no date no tag’ rule.  This mistake on our part has not previously been noticed, but the new 2712 validation rule introduced in version 1.3 of the DfE validation, detects this as an error for each student with one or more learning aims that is not in full time employment, i.e. nearly all post-16 students.

The ‘Census Consolidated Patch v1 for Summer Release 2018’ (patch 24323) is being developed to correct this mistake, so that ‘false’ will be report in the return file for post-16 students who are not in full time employment.  We expect to be able to make this patch available to support units via SOLUS 3 before the end of the wee

Added 20/09/2018 at 16:35 – Eligibility for FSM

School Census Autumn 2018 reports on eligibility for FSM records that were current at any point during the period 18/05/2018 (the day after the School Census Summer reference date) to the 04/10/2018 (the School Census Autumn reference date), inclusive.  Protection of Eligibility for FSM came into force on the 01/04/2018.  This means that the DfE will expect no more than one Eligibility for FSM (in England) record per pupil and for that record to have a start date, but no end date.  The Census application will not report an Eligibility for FSM End Date, even if a school has added one, but good advice is not to even attempt to add an End Date, as there are far too many variables to take into account.  For example, the government might change its mind and keep the protection for early or later than 2022.  Moreover, even if the government keep to this 2022 protection date, individual pupil might receive protect for a considerably longer period.  A pupil who 5 years old on the 31/07/2018 would be 9 years old in 2012, but would continue to have protection until they are 11 years or older on the 31st July.

We believe that the problem for schools will be dealing with pupils who have joined from a previous school and a CTF from a previous school has not been imported.  Under those circumstances a school may want to make use of the ECS (Eligibility Checking Service), but this service has not yet been modified to take account of Eligibility for FSM protection.  ECS may indicate that the pupil who has joined the school would not be eligible for FSM if they applied on the date of the check, but that does not mean that they weren’t eligible when they applied early and still eligible because of the protection.  We think that this is unlikely to be a major issue for this Census, but may become a serious issue if the ECS continues to be unaware of the protection.

Added 20/09/2018 at 14:55 – Fileset 1005

Please note that the DfE did not send version 1.2 of their validation file to MIS suppliers, as problems were found by suppliers that required further fixing.  However, we have received version 1.3 and will be including this new version in Fileset 1005.  There should be no problem with updating to Fileset_1005 from Fileset 1003 or from Fileset 1004.

We have made Fileset 1005 available to Schools from SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1005.

The DfE has indicated that version 1.3 of their validation file includes the following improvements to errors/queries compared to version 1.1.

The DfE has told suppliers that version 1.3 of their school validation file will be the last version they make available for School Census Autumn 2018.  This means that once Fileset 1005 has been applied by a school, no further Filesets in the 1000 series will be necessary for School Census Autumn 2018.  Any further problem with the DfE validation will be dealt with via a DfE known issues list and, in some cases, by an improvement to the COLLECT validation.

Error/Query
Number

DfE Description of Change

1925 Bugfix, age calculation incorrect
2005 Update to error messages
2502 Bugfix, incorrectly nested criteria
2712 Rule added
3080 Update to error messages
3090 Update to error messages

Updated 17/09/2018 at 15:15 – Date of admission

As you know, we recommend that pupils are admitted on the first day they can attend the school and not on an earlier date that might have been defined as the start of the academic year but is not a day a pupil could attend the school, e.g. a holiday or a staff training day.  Failure to follow this advice can lead to DfE validation problems for School Census.  We believe that the following excerpt from the DfE School attendance Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities is in line with this recommendation.

..

Expected First Day of Attendance

Schools must enter pupils on the admission register and attendance register from the beginning of the first day on which the school has agreed, or been notified, that the pupil will attend the school. …

 

Updated 14/09/2018 at 13:10 – Fileset 1004 (Available)

Please note that, as you will have gathered from the item posted on the 10th September, version 1.1 will not be the final version of the DfE validation.  The DfE expects to be able to provide version 1.2 in the near future, but has not given us a firm date.  With the lack of a firm date in mind, we are considering going ahead with Fileset 1004 to deliver version 1.1 of the DfE validation, although this would be followed up by Fileset 1005 to deliver what the DfE hope to be their final version.

The DfE has provided suppliers with version 1.1 of their validation file and we made this available to schools from SOLUS 3 and as a download Fileset_1004

The DfE has indicated that version 1.1 of the validation file includes the following improvements to errors/queries compared to version 1.0.

Error/Query
Number

DfE Description of Change

1550 Error message updated
1700 Error message updated
1885 Error message updated
1970 No longer requires specific school types for intake ‘SPEC’
2002 Fixed bug where NC years E1, E2, N1, N2 was not handled correctly
2115 Error deleted
2190 Error message updated
2210 Error message updated
2706 Fixed typo and updated validation
2707 Fixed typo and updated validation
2708 Now called from Pupil Status module rather than Learning Aims module. Which fixes the case where no learning aims are supplied for a pupil

Updated 10/09/2018 at 15:15 – DfE Validation

Please note that we have contacted the DfE to let them know that the validation messages the following errors/queries are not in line with their validation specification.  The DfE have acknowledged our message are their technical people are looking into this.

Sequence DfE Current Message DfE Specified Message
1741 Based on Ministry of Defence criteria, service children (ie parents designated as personnel category 1 or 2) are not eligible for free school meals. Based on Ministry of Defence criteria, Service Children (parents designated as personnel category 1 or 2) are not eligible for free school meals
3080Q Please check: take up of school lunches for pupils in reception (plus pupils aged 4 in year X) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of reception pupils took a school lunch on census day. Please check: Take up of school lunches for pupils in reception (plus pupils aged 4 in year ‘X’) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of reception pupils took a school lunch on census day
3085Q check: take up of school lunches for pupils in year 1 (plus pupils aged 5 in year X) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of pupils in year 1 took a school lunch on census day. Please check: Take up of school lunches for pupils in year 1 (plus pupils aged 5 in year ‘X’) is 50% or fewer.  A reason must be provided why fewer  than 50% of pupils in year 1 took a school lunch on census day
3090Q check: take up of school lunches for pupils in year 2 (plus pupils aged 6 in year X) is 50% or fewer. A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of pupils in year 2 took a school lunch on census day. Please check: Take up of school lunches for pupils in year 2 (plus pupils aged 6 in year ‘X’) is 50% or fewer.  A reason must be provided why fewer than 50% of pupils in year 2 took a school lunch on census day

 

Updated 10/09/2018 at 09:15 – Overview Presentation v2.4

Please note that version 2.4 of the School Census Autumn 2018 Overview presentation is available as a ZIP from My Account.

  • Version 2.4: Version number displayed in top right hand corner of first slide only and a slide on Filesets added to Section 2
  • 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

Added 30/08/2018 at 14:40 – Fileset 1003 

This Fileset is available to support units from SOLUS 3 and as a download from Fileset_1004 and includes the baseline DfE validation and summer report files.

Added 03/08/2018 at 11:50 – Fileset 1002 should be available today

Filset 1002 will be the same as Fileset 1001 except that it inscludes the correct files for use with PI reporting.

We expect the new fileset to be available before the end of the day.

Added 31/07/2018 at 11:45 – Fileset 1001 withdrawn

Unfortunately, Fileset 1001 has been withdrawn as it includes a file that causes a problem for one of the reports in Exams PI.

We will provided Fileset 1002 with the same content as Fileset 1001 except that the correct file for the Exams PI report will be included

Added 13/07/2018 at 11:00 – Publications Documents

Please note that links to the relevant Publications documents are avaialble from the ‘SIMS Returns – School Census‘ Hot Topic.

Added 06/07/2018 at 11:10 – DfE Validation and Summary Report

Unfortunately, the DfE Beta of their validation and summary report files was not supplied to us in time for inclusion in the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2018.  However, we are working on Fileset 1001, which will include the DfE Beta files.  Early next week, I will update this newsfeed with an expected release date for this fileset.

 

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.

Product Development for Data Retention

Product Development for Data Retention

Updated with a new video of the bulk student delete process for Autumn

25/09/2018

Notification Updates

25/09/2018: After we packaged the Autumn 2018 release together for the Beta version, we continued further deep integrated testing on the last part of the student delete. This last step is to delete the central Person Record if the student role was the only role that Person had, this is explained in the video below at the point of 3 minutes and 50 seconds. Therefore, for the Autumn 2018 release of SIMS we will still include the last three data domains in the bulk student delete option, but felt it was safer to not deliver in the main customer release the last ‘Delete All Student Data’ option. We raise your awareness to this now as this option is present in the beta but will not be delivered in the release in November. If you need further clarification, please contact paul.featherstone@capita.co.uk.

28/08/2018: We have now completed the development of the bulk student delete routine in SIMS.  This builds on the initial phase which we released in the Summer version of SIMS and now allows for the complete delete of student records.

How will this work?

To help explain the process, I have recorded a video for SIMS customers to review what has been completed.  While the development is complete, we are now working on other GDPR priorities, the team would welcome feedback on the updates.  So please review the video and then provide your comments in the feedback form below.

The Video…

Additional Information

Please feel free to share this video with anyone who will benefit from knowing what new functionality will be available in the Autumn release.  The direct link is: https://youtu.be/w8sp3XFviIM

The developers are now working of some GDPR features to do with PLinks between SIMS and FMS and then will start to relax some of the rules prohibiting users to delete members of staff from SIMS.

Feedback

Knowing what you think about this routine is important, even if it is to know we are doing it right.  Please use the form below to submit your comments.

The SIMS Parent Lite App

 

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May 2018, schools will have new requirements around the way they use pupil and parent data.

Included within your SIMS annual entitlement fee, the SIMS Parent Lite app helps schools comply with the new GDPR data requirements, by providing a simple way to collect, manage and handle information by obtaining accurate data securely from parents.

Connect up are rolling out Parent App Lite to the schools if you would like this sooner please contact us.

Sims Parent For Schools Click Here

Parent All Lite Resources Click Here

Parent App Lite FQA Click Here

For more information please email us at SIMS_Support@connect-up.co.uk

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.