The School Census Autumn 2021 is on Thursday 7th October 2021 with a return to the DfE date of Wednesday 3rd November 2021, see the other date ranges below:
The DfE have implemented some late changes and want schools to record Funding and Monitoring. We have made a short set of notes with links to the DfE documentation below to show what's new in this return, along with changes in Post-16, Exclusions and Alternative Provision:
13-09-2021 - V2 documentation released with updated Funding & Monitoring information
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Preparing v2 - Primary Phase
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Preparing v2 - Secondary
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Preparing v2 - Post-16
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Producing v2 - Primary
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Producing v2 - Secondary
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Producing v2 - All Through
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Producing v2 - Nursery
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Producing v2 - Special
- School Census Autumn 2021 - Producing v2 - PRU
DfE Acceptable Notepad Entries 2021/22
Errors and Resolutions Document
Filesets - updated 18/10/2021
Importing the Fileset
- Click the link above to download the Fileset
- Right-click the file in windows explorer and click Extract All
- On the extraction wizard click Extract
- In SIMS go to Tools > Setups > Import Fileset
- Click on the yellow folder next to the Choose Fileset: option
- Browse to the directory where you extracted the files
- Select the 1902-StatutoryReturns-Summer2021_Fileset.mfs file
- Click on Import Fileset
- SIMS will say import successful and suggest you close and re-open SIMS
- Close and re-open SIMS and re-validate your return on the new Fileset
3005 and 3015 - Issue with Prior Attainment for leavers - fixed via Fileset 1904
1897 - fixed via Fileset 1903
5130 - Postcode is not required for off-roll pupils without programme aims - The most likely reason for this validation being triggered is that a post-16 leaver has not been assigned a Post-16 Programme of Study. The absence of a Post-16 Programme of Study can be checked via the Programme of Study and Learnings Aims detail report. The most likely reason for this validation being triggered for all post-16 leavers is that menu route Tools | Academic Management | Course Manager | Post-16 Programme of Study had not been used to identify Post-16 Programmes of Study.
2485Q, 2588Q - Validation queries 2485Q and 2588Q - These two validation queries are being triggered where a suspension (fixed term exclusion) includes a holiday period. This could be due to a fault in the DfE coding.
3000/3010 - Post-16 pupils who have left the school this academic year 3000/3010 Errors - Fileset 1905 will deal with this issue by updating the rules for filling the XML return, so that the highest prior attainment grade is included for post-16 pupils who have left the school this academic year, but continues to be excluded for post-16 pupils who left the school during the previous academic year.
2500, 2510, 2575 -Currently the autumn census application is not providing an attendance container for pupils who were marked as not needing to attend for the whole of the collection period. ESS now understand that the DfE expects an attendance container for such pupils and that this container should indicate a possible attendance of 0. For pupils who are on roll on census reference day or leavers who have other data required for the census, this issue will trigger one of more of the following validation rules: 2500, 2510 and 2575. Where a leaver would have no reason other than attendance for inclusion in the census return, none of these validation rules would be triggered. With the above in mind we recommend that schools check if they have any leavers who had X or Y codes for the whole of the summer term 2021 and are not appearing in the return. Where one of more pupils in a school are subject to the issue described above, we recommend that the census return file is not authorised until we provide a solution to this issue. ESS will be providing a database patch to deal with this issue and we will add an ETA for this patch via this newsfeed as soon as possible.
2903 and 2795 - for schools with sixth forms - Please note that ESS are investigating the situation regarding the triggering of these two validation rules. Their initial investigations suggest that the DfE coding of the validation rules is correct. We advise schools not to attempt any action to resolve these validation failures until we able to provide further advice. Our initial investigations also suggest that triggering of these two validation rules will take place in a limited number of schools with sixth forms.
2903 - pupils who a school originally expected to join year 12 and were allocated to learning aims and programmes of study on that basis, but did not actually turn up at the school for year 12 and were subsequently made a leavers for the previous academic year when they were taught in year 11. ESS are now examining why their now defunct programmes of study are being added to the XML return file.
With the above in mind we recommend that schools where validation rule 2903 is being triggered for the reason described above should continue with not uploading their XML return to COLLECT until ESS provide a solution to this issue.
2795 - The most likely explanation is that the pupil left a two year course one year earlier than expected and this has confused the 'leaving' functionality into not allocating 'Withdrawal' as the completion status and therefore not allocating the chosen withdrawal reason. The problem can be solved by manually adding 'Withdrawal' as the completion status for each of the pupil's learning aims and selected the appropriate withdrawal reason.
4007Q (No pupils on roll are in receipt of School Led Tutoring) - We have examined the DfE coding of this validation rule and we believe that it is working as expected. We understand that the DfE has introduced this query to alert schools to the complete absence of School Led Tutoring and provide schools with the opportunity to explain this unusual position via a note on COLLECT. Although the spending of this extra COVID-19 catch-up funding can be spread over the whole academic year, it will be unusual not to have spent at least part of it on or before the census reference date (07/10/2021).
No learning aims reported in the learning aims details report - set post-16 programmes of study programme via menu route Tools | Academic Management | Course Manager | Post-16 Programme of Study and then re-run Create and Validation in the census application.
Programme of Study Display Issue - The 'Other Courses' column in the Post-16 Programme of Study table should only be displaying the pupils' courses when taught in year 12 or above, but in some cases is also displaying courses from the pupils were taught in year 11. This is a display only issue and has no impact on the data made available to the autumn census. However, the display issue can cause confusion, so ESS are developing a patch to exclude the year 11 courses and will make the patch available on request.
Populate from Exams in Update Prior Attainment - As you probably know, where GCSE Maths and or GSCE English Language results are only available as 'external' results, there are not enough details available for 'Populate from Exams' to calculate whether the necessary attainment was achieved by the end of year 11. As in previous autumn censuses, the school will need to manually enter this achievement for each pupil in this position. However, some schools have pointed out that, where this achievement was entered in last year's census, it would be helpful for the software to bring through the achievement data entered last year, as it would only have changed for this year if it was entered incorrectly in last year's census. ESS are looking into the possibility of providing a patch to bring through the achievement data from last year, where appropriate.
Inferring the programme of study withdrawal reason from the learning aims withdrawal reason - With the very late and quite large and complex changes introduced by the DfE, ESS were not able to add this 'inference' for this years autumn census. However, it is certainly something they intend to introduce for next year's autumn census.
Issues in Table 15 of the DfE's school summary report
The DfE has designed table 15 to summaries the attendance data in the XML return file, but schools should note the following when making use of this table.
- The totals for code O (Unauthorised absence as pupil missed sessions for an unauthorised absence not covered by any other code/description) are correct.
- The totals for code N (Unauthorised absence as pupil missed sessions for a reason that has not yet been provided) are likely to be incorrect, as they are actually a repeat of the totals for code O
- The overall totals for attendance sessions are likely to be incorrect as they include for total for code N which is likely to be incorrect.
- The table cannot be used to reliable deduce the totals for code N or the overall totals.
- The DfE will not be providing an update of their summary report file for school MIS, but will be updating the equivalent table provided by COLLECT following upload of a school's XML return file.
These mistakes in the DfE coding of their attendance summary report have no impact on the SIMS detail reports for attendance, which continue to report exactly what is found in the XML return file.
Error access Funding and Monitoring Menu Route - When menu route Tools | Statutory Return Tools | Update Funding and Monitoring was introduced via Workstation Patch 1 for the SIMS Summer Release 2021, there was an issue in the database coding that results in a fall over where an unusually long name has been assigned for a year group. This issue is dealt with via database patch 26778, which will be made available via SOLUS3 during the morning of Thursday 7th October. This patch will only run on a system where Workstation Patch 1 has already been applied.
Changes for the Autumn School Census
- Learner repeating year 13 as part of the DfE's education recovery initiative.
Where a learner is repeating year 13 as part of the DfE's education recovery initiative, the DfE expects the programme and learning aims for the repeat year to be reported separately in School Census Autumn 2021 to the learners previous programme and learning aims. As you probably know, the course management application in SIMS will normally extend programmes and learning aims when a learner joins an appropriate classes for an addition year. However, this will not be a problem for the School Census Autumn 2021, as ESS will be modifying School Census Autumn 2021 so that where repeating the final year as part of 'education recovery' has been indicated for a learning, it will report the 'original' programme and learning aims as ending at the end of 'working' academic year 2020/21, e.g. 21/07/2020, and the 'new' programme and learning aims as starting at the start of 'working' academic year 2021/22, e.g. 03/09/2021.
New fields for the DfE's education recovery initiative
Following consultation with ESS SIMS and other parties, the DfE is publishing some very late changes to its CBDS (Common Basic Data Set) for academic year 2021/22, which will be needed for schools to record the funding and monitoring data required from schools regarding the government education recovery funding. The data recorded in these new fields will apply from the start of academic year 2021/22, with most of the new data reported to the DfE by School Census Autumn 2021, with the Spring and Summer school census also expanding so that all the new fields are reported to the DfE before the end of academic year 2021/22. Some aspects of the education recovery initiative may continue for academic years 2022/23 and 2023/24, but to some extent this will depend on the success of this initiative for academic year 2021/22, as indicated via the school census and other sources of data used for such decisions.
An outline of the CBDS changes will be provided shortly and a description of the impact on School Census Autumn 2021 will appear soon after.
ESS are planning to provide both the CBDS changes and the School Census Autumn 2021 changes via a workstation patch for the SIMS 7 Summer Release 2021.