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December news and latest MIS updates from School ICT

By 9th December 2020No Comments

Team News and Christmas Closure information

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our customers for your support through this challenging year! We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope you all enjoy a safe and well-deserved festive break!

A polite reminder that the office will be closed for our annual Christmas shut-down from Christmas Eve, re-opening on Monday the 4th January at 8am. Any calls, helpdesk e-mails or support requests via the customer portal received during this time will be responded to as soon as possible.

In Team News we have recently welcomed Alison Broughton – MIS Support Officer, Ashley Holroyd – Technical Consultant and Charlotte Halstead – Finance Administrator to the Company. We also said a fond farewell to Holly Mitchell – Marketing & Events Assistant, who has moved onto pastures new and we wish her every success in her new role.    

Best Practice in SIMS Webinars

We would like to thank everyone who attended our Best Practice webinar events in November, it was fabulous to have so many attendees. For those who were unable to join us, the events were recorded and are available to watch on the Customer Portal ( We covered a range of topics including COVID Attendance, Personnel, Exams and Nova top tips. 

Should you have any issues logging in to the Customer Portal please contact:

Save the date! Our next online Best Practice events will be on the 10th and 11th March 2021, further details coming soon.

January Census - Thursday 21st January 2021

In order to run the Spring Census, SIMS must be upgraded to Autumn version of SIMS 7.196 and this can be checked via Help | About on the Homepage in SIMS.

Collection Periods

Attendance from 03/09/20 to 31/12/20

Exclusions from 13/04/20 to 31/12/20

FSM from 02/10/20 to 21/01/21

New for this census:


School Spring Census will be the first School Census to report all attendance codes other than the following two:

  • Z – ‘Pupil not on roll,’
  • # – School closed


Reminder that for Exclusions that start on or after 01/08/20 the DfE expects schools to cease the use of ‘other’ as a reason for exclusion.

Census exclusions v2

Up to 3 reasons may be recorded per exclusion from the start of Autumn Term.

The following reasons have been added:

  • Use or threat of use of an offensive weapon or prohibited item
  • Abuse against sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Abuse relating to disability
  • Wilful and repeated transgression of protective measures in place to protect public health


A reminder that details of all classes running at the selected time on Spring census day are based on the last digit of a school’s DFE establishment number.

Census classes

Guidance notes are available to download on the Customer Portal under Student Census. We have scheduled the following training courses:

  • 11th January 2021 – Primary Census ½ day
  • 12th January 2021 – Secondary Census ½ day

Places are limited so please book early via  to secure a place and avoid disappointment.

Attendance marks and reporting from SIMS

Just a reminder that due to the COVID pandemic the DfE has made some changes to how schools should record attendance in terms of whether someone is isolating or ill with COVID.

The temporary codes that were introduced for the Summer Term 7, 8, and 9 have now been withdrawn and should not be used from September 2020 onwards.

The X code has been amended to now include COVID related absence.  For more guidance on which code to use we have created a video specifically covering COVID related attendance, which is part of our new Distance learning suite of online training, accessed via the customer portal. Simply log in and type ‘COVID 19 Attendance’ into the knowledge base to find the recording. 

Alternatively please see the DfE guidance on attendance: –

To assist with attendance reporting School ICT have produced additional reports which can provide detailed data for the last 5 years. Please download the report from the customer portal ( and import into SIMS via Reports/ Import

Once run the reports will provide the following information: –

Example of an attendance marks and report in sims

The data tab can also be used to filter the data and update the analysis. It is also possible to customise the traffic light system for attendance to meet the school’s criteria by amending the colour parameters on the data tab.

Example of an attendance marks and report in sims

In addition, there is a specific report for this academic year which includes X codes to enable schools to get an accurate picture of attendance in school, as all other reports in SIMS will exclude X code attendance. If you require any assistance, please contact the helpdesk on: 0345 2226802.

*NEW* Introducing School ICT Distance Learning

We understand how busy you are in schools and how, even with the best of intentions, it can be difficult to get out for specific training days. With this in mind, we have created a distanced learning package which will allow you to access our SIMS training courses anywhere, anytime, with the flexibility to study at your own pace, in bite sized videos.

Once purchased, courses will be available for a full year to refer to. Created by our team of experienced MIS consultants, our courses also include downloadable resources. We currently have a small selection of courses available, including Monitoring Attendance and System Manager with additional courses currently in development and coming soon. Please keep checking back to the website for additional courses which will be being added over the coming months.

To give you an introduction to this way of learning, we have produced a free short course on Housekeeping in SIMS which can be accessed via the Distance Learning link below: –

All our 2021 Spring and Summer term scheduled online SIMS training courses can be viewed and booked via:

If you have a particular course that you would like to attend or purchase that doesn’t appear to be currently available, please let us know.

If you are looking for something more tailored for your school, we also offer bespoke training and consultancy which can be delivered onsite or online. Please contact: or call us on: 0345 222 6802 for further information.

Year 2 Phonics Screening Test

Don’t forget!

You are required to submit your Year 2 Phonics Screening data to the LA this term.  Full instructions can be found on the attached Helpsheet.  You must have been upgraded to the Autumn Release (7.196) of SIMS to create the correct CTF to send the phonics data to the LA. If you require any assistance with this, please contact the helpdesk.  

School Genie - A complete analysis of Attendance and Exclusion data

Pastoral Genie provides a complete analysis of current and historic Attendance and Exclusion data for schools using SIMS, allowing easy comparison to national data.

The analysis is broken down by key groups and designed with Ofsted in mind, Pastoral Genie provides analysis which is specifically targeted to answer the questions Ofsted are likely to ask, providing the information you require to provide a targeted approach to tracking.

Here’s what one of our Genie customers had to say: –

“As the behaviour and attendance lead in school I have looked for numerous data packages which can enable me to provide feedback to key stakeholders. GENIE is by far and away the best I have come across. It is simple to use, aesthetically pleasing and most importantly 100% accurate. I used this package to provide data for our most recent OFSTED inspection and it provided information on every aspect of the behaviour and attendance discussions . I would highly recommend GENIE to any colleague.” Gavin Kumar – Assistant Vice Principal, The Vale of York Academy.

For more information visit School Genies or call: 0345 222 6802.

Get your resourcing needs all wrapped up with School ICT Resourcing

Support staff gaps that need filling? No problem.Resourcing christmas offering dec 2020 1

As specialists in the recruitment of ‘non-teaching’ staff for schools, we can get your recruitment woes all wrapped up.

Contact us to discuss any temporary or permanent support staff placements you may have in 2021 on: 0113 372 0039 or


From a days cover to longer term contracts, we’re your solution.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Helen and the team at School ICT Resourcing!

Ensure your school is Covid Safe with an InVentry sign in system - Webinar coming soon

Sign up to the number one sign in and visitor management system for education – InVentry.

As a premium reseller, we have an exclusive offer for InVentry – the leading solution for visitor management. Buy now and spread the cost over two years, and you can benefit from a fully equipped, MIS compatible system that accurately monitors who is in your school.

  • New features to ensure Covid-19 safe
  • Save admin time and costs
  • Speed up the sign in process
  • GDPR compliant
  • DBS checker
  • Badge printing
  • Auto-manage pupil late marks

We shall be running webinar sessions in the New Year for both current and prospective InVentry customers to update you on the latest features and ensure you are getting the best out of the system, helping to ensure your establishment is Covid-19 safe – make signing in books a thing of the past.

Contact us on: 0345 222 6802 for more information or to arrange a no obligation demonstration or e-mail: if you would like to register your interest in attending a webinar.

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