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New Pupil Premium Rates for 2023-24

The pupil premium rates for the 2023 to 2024 financial year, starting on 1 April 2023 are:
Pupil eligibility criteria Amount of funding for each primary-aged pupil per year Amount of funding for each secondary-aged pupil per year Funding is paid to
Pupils who are eligible for free school meals, or have been eligible in the past 6 years (including eligible children of families with no recourse to public funds) £1,455 £1,035 School
Pupils who have been adopted from care or have left care £2,530 £2,530 School
Children who are looked after by the local authority £2,530 £2,530 Local authority
From 1 April 2023, pupil premium eligibility for pupils who have been adopted from care or have left care will include children adopted from outside of England and Wales.

Service Pupil Premium

The Service Pupil Premium for 2023-24 will be £335 per eligible pupil, if they meet one or more of the relevant criteria.

More info on all aspects of Pupil Premium can be found here: Pupil premium: overview – GOV.UK (

Free School Meal (FSM) Eligibility Update

The free school meal (FSM) protections policy was introduced in 2018 to protect those eligible for FSM from becoming ineligible while Universal Credit (UC) is being rolled out. This was originally set to last until March 2022 and was subsequently extended to March 2023.

The end date for protections has now been extended further until March 2025. This is when we expect UC roll-out to be complete for most cohorts.

This means that a pupil who was FSM eligible on 1 April 2018, or who has become eligible under the benefits/low-earnings criteria since then, will continue to receive free meals, even if their household income exceeds the eligibility threshold, up until March 2025 and then until the end of their phase of education.

Schools will be informed of this update shortly via the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) bulletin. The FSM guidance on is in the process of being updated and we are arranging for the school census guidance to be amended.

Pupil Premium Download Files from the DfE

The DfE (Department for Education) has indicated that the first of the three CSV download files for financial year 2023/24 pupil premium have been made available from GIAP (Get Information About Pupils).

You can check the ‘Changes compared to finance year 2022/23‘ item below for information on the DfE caveats regarding this first download.

We are not aware of any changes to the structure of this file, so we don’t expect any problem for schools when importing the file, but please let us know if you have any problems when importing the file.

Three downloads compared to two previously: –

First download

  • To be made available in spring 2023.
  • It will make use of data provided by School Census Autumn 2023 but is provided too early to take account of the Alternative Provision Census 2023 or the SSDA903 collection.
  • It will be of interest to all State Schools in England EXCEPT AP (Alternative Provision) Academies, AP Free Schools, and Pupil Referral Units.
  • A proxy is used for identifying looked after children, as the SSDA903 collection does not take place until March 2023. Where a pupil is identified as looked after the school will NOT receive the deprivation pupil premium for that pupil.

Second download

  • To be made available in summer 2023.
  • It will make use both of data provided by School Census Autumn AND data provided by the Alternative Provision Census 2023 but is still provided too early to take account of the SSDA903 collection.
  • It will be of interest to all State Schools in England INCLUDING AP Academies, AP Free Schools, and Pupil Referral Units.
  • A proxy continues to be used for identifying looked after children, as the SSDA903 collection does not take place until March 2023.

Third download

  • To be made available in autumn 2023 and is provided late enough in the year to take account of all relevant collections, i.e., School Census Autumn 2023, Alternative Provision Census 2023 and the SSDA903 collection.
  • It will be of interest to all State schools in England and indicates the final allocations for financial year 2023/24.

The Kings Coronation - Monday 8th May Bank Holiday

The Coronation of King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023. Monday 8th May 2023 has been declared a Bank Holiday. Schools are not expected to remain open on this date. As with other Bank Holidays, it is at the discretion of the individual settings for Early Years whether they close or remain open, but there is no expectation for Early Years and childcare settings to remain open on a Bank Holiday.

Adding an additional Bank Holiday – please see the instructions on how to record a school closure for the Coronation of King Charles III for your MIS in the relevant section below.

Spam or Junk Inbox

It’s been brought to our attention that our ticket replies can sometimes find their way into your spam or junk e-mail box, or in some cases, be blocked by school networks altogether.

If you feel you haven’t had a response from us within the timeframe you would usually expect, please could we ask you to check your spam or junk e-mail folders or give our MIS Team a call who will be happy to investigate further for you.

Exam Dates

Key dates for Exams – please see the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications) key dates for this academic year here

Reporting on Emergency Alerts

Since the Summer 2022 Release (7.206) of SIMS, you can now report on Emergency Alert Fields. To do this, you will need to go to Design Report and select Communication | Emergency Alerts when selecting the Data Area. The following Emergency Alerts fields have been provided:

  • Sender
  • Date
  • Time
  • Receiver
  • Class
  • Room
  • Message
  • Read Status

If you use InTouch, you can use the Messaging Audit report to view this information

Best Practice in MIS Webinars - April 24th - May 5th

Our popular termly Best Practice Webinars will be running from the 24th April until the 5th May.

Webinars are available to book now via our website:

We run these each term and they are completely FREE and you can sign up for as many as you wish!

There are a few webinars still in the process of being confirmed which will be added to the website ASAP and a full schedule shall be shared in our website news section and e-mailed out shortly.

Our sister company - School ICT Resourcing is hiring! Are you or anyone you know looking for a role in recruitment?

School ICT Resourcing currently has an amazing opportunity for someone wanting to break into the recruitment sector. Please click HERE for the full job description and details on how to apply.

Nursery Children - Easter Intake (where children have just turned 3)

Many schools will be looking to set their new academic year up soon.  If you have an intake in January and Easter (where children have just turned 3), these children will usually be N1, not N2.  Their year group is dictated by their date of birth, and whilst the year groups can be mixed for registers, etc., each year group should be clearly identified.  If you need help with this, or you are unsure, please call us and we will be happy to help.

Distance Learning Courses - Expiry Dates

Just a gentle reminder that our Distance Learning courses expire one year from the date of purchase.  As most of them would be one day or half day courses if delivered ‘live’, this is ample time to complete them (and even remind yourself of any areas that you don’t use that often!).

Exploring An Alternative MIS?

Thinking of exploring alternative MIS Solutions? If you are interested in exploring alternative MIS solutions, our expert team can advise on the best solution for your school.

School ICT work closely with leading MIS providers, namely Arbor, Bromcom, ScholarPack and SIMS. We can help guide you through the migration process and continue to provide ongoing support.

The link to our previously recorded webinar on moving MIS is below, along with a sheet to assist with assessing functionality and cost: –

If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0345 2226802 or via our portal

E-mail Addresses - Please let us know of any changes

IMPORTANT: We have experienced a couple of schools, within Trusts especially, changing their e-mail addresses without informing us, which has resulted in raised tickets not being logged.

If your school e-mail address changes, please make sure you let us know as soon as possible so we can update our systems and ensure all logged tickets are actioned. If you raise a ticket using a new e-mail address, without having informed SICT of the changes, the ticket will not be logged and may be missed.

Bett Show 2023

Bett Show 2023

We are delighted to share that turn IT on has been invited to attend the Microsoft stand at Bett. If you plan to attend Bett UK, make sure you come by the Microsoft stand and say hello! The turn IT on school development team will be around on the day to simply say hello and introduce yourself and your establishment or to have a chat about your current school tech and direction.

turn IT on will be present on the Microsoft Stand on Thursday 30th March and Friday 31st March and shall be presenting in A LOFT on the following topics –

  • Learning Accelerators
  • Maths Tool
  • Immersive Reader
  • Dictation
  • Windows 11
  • Live Captions
  • PowerPoint Live
  • School Data Sync
  • Accessibility Checker

Schedule: –

Thursday 30th March

  • Presentation – Journey to the Cloud (Tom Welch) A LOFT 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Microsoft Stand (General) 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday 31st March

  • Microsoft Stand (General) 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • All Presentations A LOFT (Martin Long): –
    1. Foster wellbeing in your classroom reflect and school connection – 10:15 am –11:00 am
    2. Ramp up learning in your classroom with learning accelerators – 11:00 am – 11:45 am
    3. Curate an inclusive classroom with Microsoft accessibility tools – 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm
    4. Dive into the dashboard of a secure and future proof estate – 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
    5. Ramp up learning in your classroom with learning accelerators – 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Arbor's Spring Webinar Series

Following the success of the national webinars Arbor ran at the end of January, they’re running a new series of Arbor MIS demos in March: –

Primary school demo – Tuesday 7th March, 10am

MAT demo – Wednesday 8th March, 10am

Secondary school demo – Thursday 9th March, 10am

Special school demo – Friday 10th March, 10am

If you sign up for any of these sessions, please update the last two fields of the below signup form with School ICT.

Arbor spring webinar series

Each demo is around 45 minutes long and covers the core areas of Arbor MIS, Arbors seamless and stress free migration process, and their Pay-for-One Promise for any schools in a SIMS direct contract.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions:

Adding an additional Bank Holiday for the Kings Coronation

To add an additional Bank Holiday for the Kings Coronation you have 2 options:

Option 1) Add a Public Holiday via the School Diary

In SIMS select Focus | School | School Diary. Right click on Monday 8th May 2023 and you will see the option to select New Public Holiday. You will then get a pop up which will allow you to add appropriate details as follows: e.g.

Sims 1

Select Ok to add.

If you are a secondary school with a timetable, we would also recommend that you reapply the timetable via Tools | Academic Management | Apply Timetable to ensure that all your timetable days are mapped correctly after the bank holiday.

Option 2) Edit the Academic Year Wizard
 Running the Edit academic year routine can take a long time in SIMS we would advise carrying out this process at the end of the day when everyone is out of SIMS.

In SIMS select Routines | School | Edit Academic Year. In the Edit Academic Year Wizard next through each page until you see the Define Public Holidays Screen as follows:

Sims 2

Add in the Bank holiday and click next through on to the final screen ready to update the academic year, check your dates and select Update.

FMS - Financial Year End/New Financial Year

FMS – as the current financial year end approaches, don’t forget to start ‘tidying up’ your current year in preparation for this. Also, just a little reminder that FMS is not designed to be left open for long periods without being used.  This is a security measure as it is a finance package. You will not know, as it will look as if it is still open, but it will give you an error message when you try to do anything if you have left it ‘untouched’ for a while. To resolve this, simply close it down and then sign back in, and it should be fine. Locking your screen will also have the same effect.

Pay360 Education Payments Security Certificate Warning

Pay360 Education Payments displaying a Security Certificate Warning when Accessing the Pay360 website. This is not a Pay360 issue, it’s a Microsoft issue. We will update as and when we get further information from ESS.


Giving Permission for other staff or TA's to take attendance registers

If you have staff members who are unable to access the registers but need to take attendance, such as teaching assistants, long-term supply teachers (e.g., maternity) or admin staff, you can choose the solution that will best fit your needs from the options below, and see where they can then take the register from:

·       Relax your take register access – if you want all your teaching staff and teaching assistants to be able to take attendance for any lesson

·       Give them the Admin Permission – to be used when adding users who should be able to take and see all registers and manage settings, such as SLT, attendance officers and admin Staff

·       Add them to the Timetable Slots – usually used for teaching assistants, this only allows the staff member to take the register for selected lessons and does not include administer permissions such as inputting assessment marks

·       Add them as an Academic Lead – to be used when adding new teachers, course leads or long-term supply teachers

Please note, if you need to allow short-term supply teachers to take registers you should not use this method. Instead, you should use Arbor’s Cover module. Click here to see how to assign cover for an absent member of staff.


·       Student: Attendance: Administer All Students – Relax your take register access

·       School: Permissions: Administer – Give staff the Student: Attendance: Administer All Students permission

·       Academic Structure: Administer – Give staff access to registers through timetable slots or by assigning them as the Academic Lead- Add staff as academic leads or to timetable slots

For detailed instruction please see Arbor’s article here

Adding an additional Bank Holiday for the Kings Coronation

After following the instructions below, you will not need to open registers or take attendance on the 8th May, as there will be no registers. This method will mark attendance in the background with the # attendance code. This method should be used for whole school closures that are planned such as Bank Holidays.
To record the school as closed for the 8th of May, go to School > School Structure > Academic years and select this year.

Arbor 1

Click the red Return to incomplete button before making changes.

Arbor 2

Click +Add in the Holidays section to add planned whole school absences.

Arbor 3

Fill in the relevant information in the slide over and select the Holiday type as Public Holiday.

Arbor 4

Once this holiday has been added, click the green Mark Calendar as Complete button to save your changes.

Arbor 5


Add columns for all Summative or Ad Hoc assessments to a Student Custom Report Writer report.

Just click the Bulk Add Assessment Columns button and select the year, assessments and periods, and for Summatives choose which marks or targets to show.

In the left-hand menu of lesson dashboards, click Assessments to view your Full Marksheet from the Summative Tracking tab or select the assessment from the Formative Tracking tab.

Arbor have removed the Mark Assessments page and will also be removing the Latest Marks page (the same page but for classes) soon. Top Tip: You can still use the Full Marksheet to view the most recent marks – just change the filters to today’s date.

Pop ups

  • Snippets are now keyboard controllable and more accessible.
  • Previously, clicking full screen mode in a table or slide over would only fill that space. Now, the pop up or slide over will take up the whole page, and you can easily minimise it again.
  • All pop ups can now be displayed in full screen mode – perfect for a better view when sending communications directly from student profiles. Just click the button, press the Escape key to exit full screen mode, then press Escape again to close the window.

What else is new?

When logging Behaviour Points in My Classroom, Arbor have renamed Incident Summary to Narrative, to match what it is called elsewhere in Arbor.

  • When clicking on a student on the Absentees by Date page, you can see the room location of the class they were scheduled to be in.
  • Arbor have made the Hide Columns feature in tables easier to spot.
  • Optimised saving marks in the background for attendance, meaning no delay when inputting marks from a slide over.
  • When creating an internal exclusion session, you used to have to add a name, but this then wasn’t visible anywhere. This has now been removed this so there is one less field to fill in.

Toggle New Tables

The toggle option in tables has now been removed, as Arbor have implemented the new table style. Arbor’s new tables give you a powerful and easy-to-use spreadsheet, with intuitive features such as quick search, full-screen mode, and column filtering and resizing. See this article for further information here.


Adding an additional Bank Holiday for the Kings Coronation

To record school closure for a Bank Holiday, go to Admin > Config > Core Setup > Holidays.

At the base of the page, enter the Holiday as a Bank Holiday, and input the start and end dates as 08/05/2023. Click Add Holiday in order to apply the Code # in registers on that day.

Scholarpack 1

You may wish to refer to this guidance on recording unexpected school closures, as it provides information regarding Meals and Clubs if you use these modules in ScholarPack: Recording an Unexpected School Closure.


Adding an additional Bank Holiday for the Kings Coronation

To record a school closure for a Bank Holiday: –

Go to Config > Curriculum > Academic Days. The Academic Year will default to the current one

Bromcom 1

the Key and Display Options panel will show all available codes and settings

Bromcom 2

choose the correct Term by looking at the date ranges on the right side of the screen

Bromcom 3

click on the down arrow to open the relevant term then click on the pencil to edit the academic day in the relevant week:

Bromcom 4

in the pop up, change the dropdown for AM and PM for Monday 08/05/2023 to # (holiday) and the TT Day to –, as shown below:

Bromcom 5

click on Save


SIMS and Arbor Training Courses

We have a comprehensive schedule of online ‘live’ SIMS training courses along with Distance Learning courses to help you develop your knowledge of SIMS and get the most out of your MIS (Management Information System).

Booking is now open please visit:

If there’s an area you’d like training on but can’t see a course to suit, please get in touch and we can advise the most appropriate course for your needs or look at a bespoke training solution for you if required.


School Genies - Data Genie

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Data Genie – Virtual Data Managers (VDM).

When maintaining your schools data is not possible, our Virtual Data Genie team enables you to maintain, enhance or completely outsource your schools data management, ensuring best practice and continuity of your schools data, at all times. Whether it be a one off to support with a particular time of year such as census or exams, for a short to medium term period like maternity or sickness cover, or if you’re perhaps struggling to recruit – to fully outsource your schools Data Management, we can provide a solution.

“School ICTs Virtual Data Manager service has provided our school with high-quality day-to-day management of core school student data, support to staff and data analysis.

They have seamlessly completed our School census but have ensured that school admin staff understand their role in the maintenance of student data.

The SLT, teaching and support staff are so impressed with the service being delivered and the advanced level of knowledge and expertise that it brings.

Nothing is too much trouble and our VDM has sorted out many of the issues that we had in our MIS that no one else could previously resolve!

The knowledge that the VDM has of our MIS and all its functionality is seriously impressive along with their knowledge of DFE/ESFA rules, regulations and policy changes.

It is like having a Data Manager in the office next door but just online, they respond promptly to emails, request for reports/data and are happy to arrange phone calls or Teams meetings as required.

I can highly recommend the service – give it a try!

Rachel Mowbray – King Edward VI Grammar School, Louth.

For further information on this new service from School ICT, please visit: Data Genie or call: 0345 222 6802 – option 3 or e-mail:

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Census, Exams, End of Year… could you do with an extra pair of hands at key times of the academic year?

Working alongside School ICT, School ICT Resourcing place both permanent and temporary specialist support staff into schools.

Candidates are available from a days placement through to a whole school year. All candidates have completed the safer school recruitment process, and have enhanced DBS clearance.

For further information please call: 0113 372 0039 or visit:

Due to retire? If yourself or any colleagues are retiring soon, and would consider working on a temporary or ad-hoc basis, please contact Helen who would love the opportunity to speak with you about the potential of adding you to our candidate list.

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