School Workforce Census 2019


Preparing for the School Workforce Census 2019

Producing the School Workforce Census 2019

School Workforce Census Validation Errors


Added 16/10/2019 at 08:45 – Validation rules 2850 and 2830 are only included in DfE COLLECT validation

The two validation rules described below are included in DfE COLLECT validation and not in DfE school validation.  This is because the DfE’s school validation only has access to the return files and these two validations are making use of properties of the QANs that are not included in the return file.  However, the official end dates for the QANs are displayed in Maintain Course.

2850 – The learning aim start date is after the date that certification for this qualification closed.

2830Q – Please check: the learning aim start date is after the learning aim approval end date. Pupils should not be enrolled on learning aims that are no longer approved for new enrolments.

Added 15/10/2019 at 12:00 – Issues where pupils leave at the end the academic year and return as guests at the start of the next academic year

Where a pupil has left a school and has return as a guest, their current DOA and DOL will reflect their status as a guest.  In most cases this does not cause problems for our census application, as we can use the previous school history records to determine the DOA and DOL from the earliest date the pupil was on roll at the school without having been on roll at a difference school.  However, there can be issues where a pupil leaves the school at the end of one academic year and returns as a guest at the start of the next academic year, without any records to indicate that they were on roll at another school between leaving from on roll and return as a guest.  Such a situation results in the pupil not being treated as a leaver, which then triggers one of more of the following validation errors.

  • Error 1992: Pupil has at least one learning aim which was active during the current year but there are no planned learning hours recorded for the current academic year
  • Error 2005: Pupil’s NC year on leaving is not a valid value for pupils who have learning aims or is missing
  • Error 2795: For pupils no longer on roll the learning aim status must be 2 (completed), 3 (withdrawn) or 4 (transferred)

In most cases a school can work around this problem by added a previous school history record to indicate being at another schools during the holiday period, but were this is not possible, or is considered unacceptable, we will provide a patch to revise or logic for calculating DOA and DOL for the census.  I will let you know when the said patch is available.

Updated 15/10/2019 at 09:30 – Validation Error 2335 (Permanent exclusion appears for pupil still on roll)

When this validation occurs in the SIMS 7 system there are two possible reasons.

  1. A permanent exclusion has completed its final review and is being reported in the census, but the school has not reflected this in the date of leaving for the pupil.
  2. A permanent exclusion is still under review, but is being reported in the census.

Reason 1 above is solved by entering a DOL before the census date for the pupil with the permanent exclusion.

Reason 2 above will be solved via patch 25330, which is in the final stages of code review and should be available in the near future.  We are treating provision of this patch as matter of urgency.

Once the patch has been applied, only permanent exclusions for the period from the 1st January 2019 to the 31st August 2019, where the final review details have been recorded, will be included.  With this in mind, we will make this patch available on request only, although we will certainly not prevent a school that does not have error 2335 from applying the patch.  From School Census Spring 2020 onwards our application will include this patch, so it will be important that schools fill in all details of the review process from 1st September 2019 onwards, even if they have previously recorded this data in other ways.

Currently Reason 1 above is by far the most common reason for the error, with only a handful of cases for Reason 2.

Updated 09/10/2019 at 15:25 – Validation Error 3046 when prior attainment result is NR (Not Required) or G

The DfE has confirmed that validation error 3046 will trigger when it should not for a prior attainment value of NR (Not Required) or G. The DfE has corrected this mistake for their COLLECT validation, but will not be correcting this mistake for their school validation.

Updated 04/10/2019 at 13:10 – Validation Error 3046/7 (previous prior attainment)

The DfE has clarified its specification to indicate that prior attainment for 2018/19 is required for any pupil on roll in year 12 or above in the 2018/19 academic year (01/08/2018 – 31/07/2019) regardless of whether they were included in the 2018 autumn census.

The Post-16 Prior Attainment application provided with the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2019 only includes pupils for 2018/19 who were included for School Census Autumn 2018.  Patch 25301 is available from SOLUS 3 and, once applied, will ensure that the extra pupils referred to are included in the Post-16 Prior Attainment application.  These extra pupils will be displayed in the application ready for the highest grade data to be added manually.

Added 04/10/2019 at 11:30 – Validation Query 2502 (Zero possible attendance)

We understand that this query is not operating correctly for the DfE school validation, in that it will not take account of zero attendance for pupils on roll at same point in the summer term if they are off roll for the census reference day (03/10/2019).  The DfE will not deal with this problem for their school validation, but has done so for their COLLECT validation.

Added 01/10/2019 at 12:15 – Validation Error 1886/7 (previous planned hours)

The DfE has clarified its specification to indicate that planned hours for 2018/19 are required for pupils who have learning aims reported for 2018/19 but joined the school between the 05/10/2018 (after the 2018 reference date) and the 31/07/2019.

You will find that these pupils are already included in our Post-16 Programme of Study application, but their learning hours will need to be added manually as our calculation as at the 04/10/2018 will indicate no hours for such pupils.

Added 27/09/2019 at 22:40 – Issue for special schools

Unfortunately, we are including the Full Time Employment tag for special schools when it should not be included for such schools.  This problem will be dealt with by Fileset 1306, which will be provided via SOLUS 3 and My Account ASAP.

Added 26/09/2019 at 17:05 – Validation of ‘previous’ prior attainment and planned hours

Please note that we have contacted the DfE regarding the following validation errors, as we believe that they are being triggered by lack of data in circumstances where the DfE specification indicates that such data should not be included.

3046 and 3047 (previous prior attainment)
1886 and 1887 (previous planned hours)


Updated 20/09/2019 at 14:10 – DfE baseline validation and summary report (Fileset 1304)

Fileset 1304 is available from SOLUS 3 and will deliver the baseline version of the DfE validation and summary report.  This baseline includes no significant changes compared to the Beta.  Unfortunately, the heading in the DfE summary report still indicates Beta, although this is now the baseline version.  We have warned the DfE that indicating Beta in the full version will cause confusion and annoy many headteachers, but the DfE has no plans to correct this error on their part.  Further details are available from the ‘SIMS Newsfeed – Series 1300 Filesets for SIMS Summer Release 2019’, which is available from Here.

Added 30/07/2019 at 16:00 – DfE validation and summary report

The SIMS Summer Release 2019 includes version 0.2 of the DfE validation and summary report, which is a Beta.  The DfE Beta takes account of most changes to date for 2019, but does not take account of other changes the DfE has made for 2019, e.g. validation error 4410 will fail for all staff where ‘Other Support Staff’ is reported in the Census.

Added 08/07/2019 at 13:00 – Main changes compared to SWC 2018

Key Dates for the School Workforce Census

Routines | Statutory Returns | School Workforce Census

  • Census date: 07/11/2019
  • Absence collected from 01/09/2018 to 31/08/2019
  • Continuous contracts collected from 01/09/2018 to 07/11/2019.

New Vacancy Post

Routines | Statutory Returns | School Workforce Census

  • The post name ‘(APP) – Apprentice Teacher’ is now available for selection from the Vacancies on Census Day panel.

Changes to Staff SWR Posts

 Staff SWR Posts – Code  Staff Category  Status
 Apprentice Teacher (APP)  Contracted teacher  Active (New)
 Leadership Non Teaching (LNT)  Contracted other support staff  Active (New)
 Other Support Staff (OSP)  Contracted other support staff  Active (New)
 Support Staff (SUP)  Contracted other support staff  Inactive


The Support Staff (SUP) code has been made inactive but will still be collected and then converted to Other Support Staff (OSP) in the return.

The following data items are not required if the staff SWR post is Other Support Staff (OSP):

  • Qualification code
  • Subject code
  • Category of Additional Payment.

School Workforce Census Filenames

To comply with the DfE requirements, SWC has been removed from the School Workforce Census filenames and replaced with SWF, e.g. 999XXXX_SWF_823LL19_001_Basic_Details.XML.

The filenames affected by this change are the .una, .xml and .int files, as well as all reports (including the validations error summary).


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