Skip to main content

Contents - to help you navigate to the most relevant section, please click the appropriate link below: -


School Census - 5th October 2023

Just a reminder of the data collection for this return.

Deadline for submission to the DfE is Wednesday 1st November 2023 via COLLECT but please check with your Local Authority for alternative collection arrangements.

General 1

Please see Links to guidance on preparing and producing this return In the MIS sections below.

DfE Guidance to the Census for 2023-24 can be found here.

For schools/academies who upload to COLLECT the most recent guidance (2019) is available here.

You can view information previously sent out from us via this link.

School Workforce Census Thursday 2nd November, DfE Submission date 1st December

School Workforce Census Thursday 2nd November, DfE Submission date 1st December (please check with your Local Authority for alternative collection arrangements)

There are no changes to existing data, but new items have been added:

Following research published in February 2023, Disability Data Collection will now be enforced in SWC so needs to be updated.  It is up to staff themselves to decide whether they want to disclose that they have a disability or not.  Disability status can change and so schools should try to keep this information up to date, as they would any other information for the SWC.

A new post of School Business Professional (SBP) has been added:

  • A flag to identify members of the Senior Leadership Team in schools has been added
  • Destination and Leaving reason will be required for SBPs
  • New qualifications have been added to the code set, for the use of SBPs

Never completed the SWC? Book training for your MIS. 

Click here for SIMS

Click here for Arbor

You can access guidance for the SWC on the portal.  For SICT customers click here  and for turn IT on customers click here .

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 providers, namely Arbor, Bromcom, ScholarPack and SIMS. We can help guide you through the migration process and continue to provide ongoing support.

The link below 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

Customer Information

School ICT customers:

turn IT on customers:

Our customer portals allow you to: –

  • Log and track support tickets
  • Watch previously recorded webinars
  • Search the Knowledge base for guidance and information
  • Keep up to date with the latest MIS news and updates
  • Access remote support

School Census/School Workforce Census Reminder:

Latest fileset news can be found via


Consolidated Database Patch 3 (28462) is due, but is only required by schools in England with a sixth form where external exams are involved with the achievement of Post-16 prior attainment in Maths and English.

We have made available detailed and quick guides which are available on the customer portal.

Guidance on completing the return can be found via this link.

FMS and email of BACS remittances/PDF orders

FMS users who send BACS remittances electronically to their Suppliers are advised to regularly test the mail server settings. This to ensure that the email function is properly sending the email to the chosen supplier.

This can be done from within the FMS database.

Tools – Establishment details – Email Setup.

Click the edit button on “BACS eAdvices” to open the settings.

Then click “Test Mail server setup” – This should return a successful test.

If the test returns a failure, this may suggest that the configuration is incorrect, if this is the case, please raise a support ticket via the helpdesk.

The above test should also be carried out for those who send pdf Orders electronically.

Tools – Establishment details – Email setup – Email pdf orders.

Pay 360 and SIMS Dinner Money 7

Since the recent end of Education Pay 360, schools who had linked Pay 360 to their SIMS Dinner money 7 module are recommended to deploy De-licence patches to the SIMS Services manager. See below.

Applying these patches will remove the links between and Pay360 Education Payment software and resolve errors between SIMS and SSM.

The following patches are available to unlicence the corresponding Pay360 SIMS Service Manager packages via SOLUS 3.

23167 – SIMS Pastoral Client Unlicence

23168 – Dinner Money Client Unlicence

In addition to the above patches, a further 2 patches are available to unlicence the packages used for syncing data from FMS to Pay360 and Fees Billing to Pay360 respectively.

24624 – Fees Client Unlicence

23897 – FMS client Unlicence

Applying these patches will remove the links between and Pay360 Education Payment software.

If you think you are affected, please open a Helpdesk ticket and request the patches.

School ICT customers:

Contact: 0345 222 6802 Option 1,


turn it on customers:

Contact: 01865 597620 Option 2,


Did You Know....a few tips to make life easier!

  • Pupil of the week/Star of the week, etc.

These can be set up and done in SIMS (so can other certificates and regular letters!).  They can be set up via the Attendance Letters (seems odd but they can).  If you’d like help with this, please call or log a ticket and we’ll be happy to show you how.

  • Configuring the Homepage

You can tailor your homepage to what you want to see – attendance (for various groups: Whole school/Year Groups/Reg Groups/Houses, Today/YTD/Term to date, etc), as well as Behaviour/Achievement, Favourites (reports etc.).  The Diary function is a useful tool for keeping school updated with what’s going on, e.g., School Photographer.  You can set events/appointments that are seen by all, or to only be seen by the person who adds them.  You can also set shortcuts on the left to areas that you use often, and these can be within SIMS (Internal) or outside of SIMS (such as a link to your school budget, etc.):

Sims 1

Sims 2

  • Reminder to change the academic year on your SIMS Homepage to the current academic year this can be done via clicking on the academic year on the top of your homepage or via Tools|Academic Management|Set Academic Year which takes you to the same screen:

Sims 3



NEW - Arbor Distance Learning Courses

We now have some new Distance Learning Courses added for Arbor, including a FREE course on Business Roles and Permissions.

You can view the Arbor Distance Learning courses here.

Our pre-recorded Distance Learning courses give you the flexibility to study online, at a time and pace to suit you. You will have access to the course for twelve months and will receive a certificate once the course is completed.

Admin Functionality

School ICT and turn IT on are now able to carry out Admin functionality for your school. This means we’ll be able to diagnose and resolve a selection of common issues and perform common data refreshes, for example; Refreshing course calendar entries, populating missing payment accounts and audit logs, negating the need to escalate these tasks to Arbor. We will be contacting schools over the coming months regarding this, however please feel free to contact our helpdesk for more information in the meantime.

School Census

Just a reminder to complete the school census. Guidance on completing the return can be found via: –

School ICT customers:

turn IT on guidance is available here.

School Workforce Census

The Workforce Census will be available on Arbor from the 19th October 2023.

For the Workforce Census this year, you can record users with the Position Category (aka Post) of School Business Professional (SBP). Anyone with this Post will need their Professional Qualifications recording, and a Destination and Leaving reasons when their contracts end.

There’s also a new flag to identify members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

School Workforce census guidance can be found here along with our handy report which can be downloaded and imported to show which staff will be included in the School Workforce census return.


  • Previously when setting up Summative assessments, you could select from a list of pre-named assessments. Now we’ll take you right to the step to set up a new assessment. Please note this means you are no longer able to set up FSP and ELG summative assessments in bulk.
  • Assessments added to the Annual Policy on school sites or pushed down from the MAT MIS will no longer be added to any existing report cards.

Exams Update

The Separate invigilation Access Arrangement is now called Alternative rooming arrangements

The EDI export jobs table shows all candidates, and any differences between Arbor data and the EDI file will be highlighted in red. We’ll also show if the UCI is different.

If you are Offering the same Exam qualifications next year. You can now quickly copy over your Qualification Offering, ready to make entries – no need to manually add again using QAN codes.

What Else Is New?

  • You can now include unique identifiers when downloading students’ data from any table. Just go to School > Data > Export > Export Options to add in Arbor Student ID, Year Group, Registration Form, UPN, ULN or UCI.
  • Using the Arbor App in IOS? parents and guardians using the Arbor App on iOS can now click the back button.
  • Improved the TimeTabler import process for staff and NTAs and made it impossible to import more than one file at once.

School Census Guidance

Census guidance can be found here.

Important Dates

  • Collection Date: Thursday 5th October 2023
  • Deadline for returns: Deadline is Wednesday 1st November 2023

*Your local authority may have a shorter deadline if you submit to them rather than COLLECT – please contact them for details of their deadline.

Where to find Autumn Census in ScholarPack?

The census module can be found via Admin > Census > Autumn Census.

You will be shown sections for –

  • Documentation – links to the DfE and ScholarPack Guidance
  • Known Issues – Information will show here on anything flagged by the DfE or any specific error or queries to be aware of.
  • Notes – Useful information needed on certain sections of this census. If the notes are in RED it means no data has been recorded for the required item.
  • Specific Data Items – Information on all the specific data items required for this particular school census and a link to the area of ScholarPack where you can view / update the information.
  • Standard Data Items – Information on all the standard data items required for this particular school census and a link to the area of ScholarPack where you can view / update the information.

Each blue button in the View/Edit column will take you to the area of ScholarPack where you can check or update your information.

School Workforce Census

Changes since the last Workforce Census

There are no major changes since the previous collection, though the guidance has been updated in several aspects:

  • Guidance on School Business Leaders has been clarified, see section 4.3, 7.2.5, 7.5 and 7.5 of the DfE guide.
  • Guidance on Disability has been clarified, see section 7.1.9 of the DfE guide.

 Staff Data Capture Sheets

To ensure your staff data is complete and up to date you can ask staff members to complete a basic personal information sheet. This can be downloaded via Admin>Personnel>Download Data Capture Sheet.

Every school will be expected to have a SENCO and to have a headteacher or executive headteacher. If this is a combined role within the school, for example the Head is also the SENCO then a note will need to put on COLLECT for queries 6540Q and 6550Q

To complete and download your Workforce Census, go to Admin > Census > Workforce Census

You are able to access this area when the ‘Census Status’ is showing as Live.

Once you have ensured that all necessary information is complete, go to Admin > Census > Workforce Census> Calculate Full Census Return to validate your information. Any errors or queries will be displayed here.

Once you have checked the validity of your data you will be able to generate a summary of the information in Admin > Census > Workforce > Generate Census Summary. We recommend also printing out this summery so you are able to manually work through each figure and tick off if correct, this can be then signed off by your Head Teacher. Once you are happy that the summary of information is correct, you will need to click on Download Census File from the main census page.

This file will download to your computer (to your chosen destination) and you will be required to either send this information to your Local Authority, or upload directly to the DfE COLLECT Portal. If you are unsure we recommend you contact your Local Authority for more information.

For further advice and support please see the attached link to the DfE census documentation:

DfE Workforce Census

If you need further help, please contact us: –

School ICT customers:

turn IT on customers:


Census Guidance

School Census Thursday 5th October 2023, submission to COLLECT 1st November (Local Authorities may have earlier dates for submission).

Just a reminder to complete the return.  You can get further help and guidance here.

School Workforce Census is Thursday 2nd November with a deadline for COLLECT of 1st December (Local Authorities may have earlier dates for submission).

You can find more help and guidance on the School Workforce Census here.

As always, you can call or log a ticket for any help you need:

School ICT customers:

turn IT on customers:


Census Guidance

We would like to draw your attention to the following important school census information which is informed by current guidance from the DfE.

Any further updates will be shared via email.

Accessing the Return

Modules > Census > School Census

Integris 1

Documentation to Aid with Completing the Return

We have uploaded our guidance notes to the customer portals. Please see the link below to access all the latest information.

Data Items Included in this Return

Full details of what is included in each return can be found via DfE spreadsheet.

Need further help?

You can book training here for Integris.

Our Helpdesks are open from 08:00 until 17:00 so please do not hesitate to give us a call or log a ticket and we will help with your query.

turn IT on


Phone number: 01865 597620 – Option 2


School ICT


Phone number: 0345 222 6802 – Option 1


Lots of new items coming to Integris!

These include Editable Quick Links:

  • Attendance Quick Notes now in Parameters
  • Attendance Daily Register and Week View Improvements
  • Option to Export Advanced Find results as CSV Export

Communication Centre Send SMS (text message) change – The number of text credits that can be used in a single text message is now limited to 5 SMS text credits (a restriction imposed by our text message provider) to avoid long messages, which are better directed to emails.  SMS text messages are intended for short messages.   Please remember that at any time while writing a text message, you can see the number of text credits that are going to be consumed in a message, as well as the total number of text credits that would be used if sent to multiple contacts.

Children with a Social Worker (CWSW) – A new field has been added to support recording of Children with Social Worker

Social Care Section added to Student Find

Auto-Generated Groups – There is now an auto-generated group which includes all pupils on the current roll.  This group updates automatically when a pupil leaves or joins the current roll.  (The membership is updated overnight). This can be viewed in Modules > General > Groups.

Ability to enrol all current roll students to an Assessment Plan

Key Stage Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) – The MTC has been moved to a separate section of the Key Stage 2 page and behaves in a similar way to Phonics. The MTC now has its own assessment plan and will be removed from the KS2 plan from 2024 onwards. When generating an MTC report the MTC check year will be used to select the desired students.

Letter Templates Update – To improve the usability of the letter templates, they are now automatically listed in alphabetical order of the Template name.  In addition, you can sort any of the columns, so it’s also possible to sort them in alphabetical order of Description or Date Created by clicking on the column name.


Upcoming Training Courses

Training courses for the academic year 2023/2024 are now live!

We have a comprehensive schedule of online ‘live’ training courses, along with pre-recorded Distance Learning courses, to help you develop your knowledge of SIMS and Arbor, enhancing your knowledge to ensure you are getting the most out of your MIS (Management Information System).

Bookings can be made by visiting:

Course Name Date More details via this link:
SIMS Personnel Thursday 12th October 2023 (Full Day) SIMS Personnel – Full Day
Integris Reporting – New User Tuesday 17th October 2023 (Half Day)

Integris Reporting New User – Half Day


SIMS Lesson Monitor Tuesday 17th October 2023 (Full Day)

SIMS Lesson Monitor – Full Day


Arbor Assessment User Wednesday 18th October 2023 (Full Day) Arbor Assessment User – Full Day
SIMS School Workforce Census Wednesday18th October 2023 (Half Day AM) SIMS School Workforce Census – Half Day AM
SIMS School Workforce Census Wednesday18th October 2023 (Half Day PM)

SIMS School Workforce Census – Half Day PM


Arbor School Workforce Census Thursday 19th October 2023 (Half Day) Arbor School Workforce Census – Half Day
Integris School Workforce Census Thursday 19th October 2023 (Half Day) Integris School Workforce Census – Half Day
Arbor Payments and Meals

Friday 20th October 2023

(Half Day)

Arbor Payments and Meals – Half Day
Arbor Standard Reporting Tuesday 7th November 2023 (Half Day) Arbor Standard Reporting – Half Day
SIMS Attendance Primary Wednesday 8th November 2023 (Half Day) SIMS Attendance Primary  – Half Day
Arbor Attendance Wednesday 8th November 2023 (Half Day)

Arbor Attendance – Half Day


SIMS Standard Reporting Thursday 9th November 2023 (Full Day) SIMS Standard Reporting – Full Day
FMS Advanced (Bank Account and Centrally Maintained Schools) Friday 10th November 2023 (Half Day) FMS Advanced – Half Day

Come and say hello at the following Industry Events: -

We shall be exhibiting at the following events – if you’re there, please pop by our stand to say hello and to find out about the latest services, training, consultancy and support we can offer, and grab some of our event merchandise! : –

  • National Education Show, Cardiff – 6th October
  • Birmingham HR Services for Schools, Birmingham NEC – 10th October
  • LASBM, Accrington – 11th October
  • Education People Show, Kent – 8th November
  • East London School Business Leaders Conference, Stratford – 10th November
  • MGL, Liverpool – 10th November
  • Schools and Academies Show, Birmingham NEC – 22nd November
  • MGL, Manchester – 23rd November

Are you in need of temporary or permanent non-teaching school staff?

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:

As the end of the academic year approaches are you 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.

Virtual Data Management Service - Data Genie

3966 virtual data manager additional assets 01

Data Genie – Virtual Data Management (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 Management 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:

3966 virtual data manager additional assets 05

Leave a Reply